Friday, December 08, 2006

CASTING COUCH







I think that correct casting in television, or film, is absolutely vital to audience enjoyment of the production. This is particularly important in the case of the dramatisation of a series of books with which the reader has become familiar.

In some cases the casting is so brilliantly successful that the readers can effortlessly slip into the TV series with the same pleasure they get from the novels.
An example of this is Warren Clarke's portrayal of Andy Dalziel in the highly successful Daziel and Pascoe British TV series. Warren Clarke is almost exactly how I had imagined Dalziel from Reginald Hill's books.

But last night I wandered on to a different cable station away from cricket, and watched 30 seconds of Bones. Now I am sure this is a very good series but I had to switch it off.
I had always envisaged Temperance Brennan as the real Kathy Reichs, after all both are forensic anthropologists working in Montreal and Charlotte. In the books Tempe has a college aged daughter and in my mind she was an attractive blonde of indeterminate age but certainly over 40, which fitted in nicely with the photos of Kathy Reichs on the book covers.

Emily Deschamel, who plays Tempe in the TV series, is very attractive but she is a brunette and was born in 1976!

Kathy Reichs, to me the real Temperance Brennan, was a Ph.D before Emily Deschamel was born.

American University 1971 B.A. Anthropology
Washington, DC
Northwestern University 1972 M.A. Physical Anthropology
Evanston, IL
Northwestern University 1975 Ph.D. Physical Anthropology
Evanston, IL


I think I will stick to the novels and keep Kathy, not Emily, in my mind.

8 Comments:

Anonymous crimeficreader said...

Good call, Norm. Best to stick with the novels!

3:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The character in Bones is supossed to be a lot younger than in the books... said by the same Kathy and the producers of the show.

Also the show is based on the real life of Kathy, not too much about the book

9:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's a shame that you feel you can't watch the series. You are of course welcome to have any mental image of Brennan you like but in fairness I would like to point something out.

You may not be aware but the Brennan of the series is NOT supposed to be the Brennan of the books. The character is "inspired by the life of forensic anthropologist and author Kathy Reichs" and not inspired by the books. The producers have always been very careful to make that point.

That is why TV Brennan is also an crime-writer (and in an in-joke) the producer Hart Hanson has said she writes books about a fictional forensic anthropologist called Kathy Reichs. :)

Reichs herself has said that she sees TV Brennan as like the book Brennan was 10 years earlier. She has also said that she (Reichs) has more stories to tell than she has time to write novels and that she sees the series as way of telling those tales.

Just wanted to set the record straight.

2:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you don't watch the show, you'll miss Kathy Reich's appearance next week. She is by the way both consultant and an executive producer for the show.

6:15 PM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Thanks Anon for the information. I will certainly try and catch the show next week to see Kathy Reichs, but I think it will be very difficult for me to adjust to a young Tempe Brennan.
I suspect that in Bones Brennan will be in charge of the investigations, is this realistic at such a young age. I remember that the distinguished forensic pathologist who lectured us told us that he had been the junior on the Christie murders. [10 Rillington Place]
He added that meant they gave him a shovel and told him to dig up the garden.

9:49 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

I'd been thinking about casting issues recently, only one of them to do with crime novels and movies. Emma Thompson made Elinor Dashwood twenty-seven years old in the 1995 movie version of Sense and Sensibility, if I recall correctly, rather than nineteen, as in Jane Austen's novel. The movie and Thompson were so good that one hardly minded that I noted but did not mind at all that Thompson was also too old to play twenty-seven.

Then there was Don Cheadle, who was dead-on as Mouse in the movie version of Devil in a Blue Dress, so precisely the way I'd imagined the character when I read the novel that it was a jolt of recognition to see the performance.

10:41 PM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

I agree Don Cheadle was "Mouse" as I had imagined him, although I had read White Butterfly, and not Devil in a Blue Dress.

8:54 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

I watched the Bones episode on Thursday 14 december on Sky One in the UK.
There was no appearance by Kathy Reichs unless I missed it, or Anon lives in the USA.
In my humble opinion if this episode was an example of the series then I am not going to waste any more time on it. I was hoping for something of the standard of Law and Order but Bones is CSI Lite, and a very poor imitation at that.

8:11 AM  

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