Sunday, February 28, 2010


I've finished the third season for 'Callan', and now that I'm hooked I just realized that Netflix put my request for season four into the "Saved" column. Hopefully they'll pick up a copy soon!

In the meantime, it's onward to another tribute - "Five Red Herrings", a 'Lord Peter Wimsey' mystery in salute to the late Ian Carmichael. (I was watching 'Callan' in memory of Edward Woodward.)

Now I've only seen the first two parts of "Five Red Herrings" and have only nine episodes of 'Callan' under my belt, but already I feel like making a theory of relateeveety that would connect the two shows!

Lonely is the low-life snitch that does odd jobs for Callan in the course of his assignments - surveillance, breaking and entering, passing messages, that sort of thing. As far as I can tell, we never do learn what his real name is or anything about his background, other than how many times he's been nicked for his petty crimes. But as for his parentage, other members of his family? I'm not so sure it ever comes up. And even if it does, it shouldn't cause a problem with this familial link, as this doesn't have to be a claim as closely connected as father and son. (Although it could be if Lonely's lineage remains vague.)

In "The Five Red Herrings", Lord Peter Wimsey has crossed over the border into Scotland for a bit of a vacation, to do some fishing. And he's found himself in a hamlet that is teeming with temperamental artists, one of whom is found quite dead.

One of these artists is Matthew Gowan, a rather hirsute Highlander..... As 'Callan' took place in the late 1960's into the early 1970's, and the 'Lord Peter Wimsey' mysteries are set in the late 1920's and the 1930's, Gowan is at least a generation older than Lonely. The case could be made for Gowan to be Lonely's father: during time spent in London when visiting his club (the Mahlstick Piccadilly), he could have fathered a bastard child. Although if Lonely is the same age as the actor who played him, he would have been born in the mid-1920's. Therefore it couldn't have happened during the case of "The Five Red Herrings" as that took place in 1932. (Betty the maid went to the cinema and saw "Mata Hari" starring Greta Garbo and Ramon Novarro, which came out in America in December, 1931.)

But it just as easily could be that the relation is not that close, and yet still the resemblance between them could be that perfect. It's the Toobworld way with tele-genetics; the best example is Corporal Randolph Agarn of 'F Troop' and all of his distantly related cousins who bore an amazing likeness to him.

So Matthew Gowan could be Lonely's uncle, or an older second cousin, some such relation. And that would theoretically link 'Callan' to 'Lord Peter Wimsey'.

[It may not be apparent what with all of that hair, but Russell Hunter, who played Lonely, also played Gowan.]


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