Monday, March 15, 2010


Many times when characters from Earth Prime-Time "slide" over to another dimension, the people they meet are twins to their counterparts back in the main Toobworld. But the greater concept of Toobworld doesn't always work that way. Because some properties are reworked and then recast, they generally wind up in the remake dimension. And because of the recasting, characters sharing the same name, occupation, their basic life, will have to look different from the original.

As I'm on one of my periodic Christie kicks, we'll use Miss Jane Marple as an example. In the main Toobworld, she was played by Dame Joan Hickson, who appeared in TV adaptations of all the novels. Nearly a decade after she retired from the role, Geraldine McEwan moved into St. Mary's Mead as Miss Marple - but now had to be placed in the remake dimension.

(Gracie Fields played Miss Marple in a one-shot back in the 1950's and technically should be considered the Miss Marple of Earth Prime-Time. But as Dame Joan has an impressive body of work in the role, Toobworld Central has judged in her favor. Ms. Fields can share the same alternate TV dimension as Art Carney as Horace Ford and Ronald Howard as Sherlock Holmes.....)

And it's not just the characters' tele-genetics that go through changes from one TV dimension to the next. Architecture is another example. Check out these two images of Gossington Hall from the two different productions of "The Body In The Library".....

From 1984, with Joan Hickson as Miss Marple: and twenty years later with Geraldine McEwan as the spinster sleuth: Because each individual has free will, the lives of characters in the main Toobworld don't have to be scrupulously copied in the alternate dimensions. And again, "The Body In The Library" serves as the example.

As that example, I don't think it gives anything away to say that the character of Conway Jefferson was confined to a wheelchair for a different reason in each dimension. In the main Toobworld, it was due to a plane crash. In the remake dimension, it was caused by a German bomb during the War. All of the other dire results from both tragedies remained the same....

I just watched both productions this week, and without giving anything away (I hope!), I can say that even though the murder plot, the motive, and the many characters involved remained the same, ultimately the answer to the mystery was not quite the same for both. In fact, the revelation was altered for a more... salacious solution.

As an O'Bservation:I've seen more of the McEwan "Marple" mysteries than I have of Hickson's, and so far I am leaning towards the first set of remakes as being the more entertaining. (Except for the casting of the guest stars, I'm not too keen on the newer version, now that Ms. McEwan retired. Julia McKenzie now plays the role of Jane Marple.)


No comments: