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Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan, Ph.D. is both a fictional character who features in the best-selling novels created by author Kathy Reichs and the lead female character in a Fox TV series partly based on the novels.
On television, Emily Deschanel portrays Dr. Brennan, and former "Angel" star David Boreanaz is FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth.
Brennan gets shot:
"Bones" (a nickname she doesn’t particularly like) is a genius forensic anthropologist, who also holds Ph.D.’s in anthropology and kinesiology. Working out of the Medico-Legal lab at Washington, D.C.’s fictional Jeffersonian Institute, she serves as a consultant to the FBI, where’s she’s partnered with Special Agent Seeley Booth – her partner in a relationship outside the office that’s ultimately led to marriage and two kids.
Using her extremely high IQ, an obsessive adherence to scientific discipline, and mad forensic skills that have gained her a global reputation as an authority in the field, Dr. Brennan reconstructs murders based on the bone fragments and other organic residue discovered at a crime scene.
But her path to success wasn’t easy.
A Troubled Past
Brennan’s parents were notorious bank robbers, who changed their names from Ruth and Max Keenan and disappeared when Temperance (whose birth name was Joy Keenan) was 3 years old. She grew up in foster homes, and was often the victim of violent abuse. In later episodes of the TV series, it’s revealed that Ruth Keenan/Christine Brennan was murdered two years after she and her husband went on the run.
Max Keenan (played on TV by Ryan O’Neal) later came out of the shadows to assist his daughter when she became the target for a killer, and has returned on occasion as a recurring character in the show. So too has Temperance’s Benjamin Franklin-obsessed cousin Margaret Whitesell, who’s played by Emily Deschanel’s real-life sister Zooey.
A Brilliant Mind
Perhaps due to her blunted childhood, Brennan’s academic brilliance manifests as a Spock-like adherence to logic and scientific rigor, an inability to "get" traditional forms of humor or sarcasm, and awkward social skills. But she’s at heart a good and generous person, whose true character somehow always manages to transcend these limits.
Over several seasons of the TV series, "Bones" has mellowed and evolved, becoming a much more personable human being.
Bones not so cold:
Some Great Friends
A great influence on her is Brennan’s partner and FBI liaison, Seeley Booth. It was he who also coined the term "squints" for the forensic team at the Jeffersonian; brilliant scientists who squint at case evidence. "Bones" has a highly skilled set of colleagues, to assist in her investigations.
There’s Angela Montenegro, a talented forensic artist with prodigious 3D visualization skills, made even keener by the latest in holographic technology – who’s also Brennan’s best friend. Forensic pathologist Camille Saroyan is their department head at the Jeffersonian Institute, where entomologist Jack Hodgins performs magical feats of deduction using bugs, worms, maggots, or whatever species of vermin most infests a crime scene or corpse. And the team is assisted by a rotating set of quirky interns.
Some Great Television
"Bones" has been playing on Fox Television for several years, with season 8 culminating in the (finally…) marriage of Brennan and Booth.
Now into its 11th season, the show has an appreciable fan base – and the strength to try out new ideas, such as the recent crossover with the supernatural detective series "Sleepy Hollow":
"Bones"-"Sleepy Hollow crossover
Word and Screen
There are currently 17 Temperance Brennan novels which have been penned by Kathy Reichs. The books share only a loose continuity with the TV show. But notably, the television series features a direct and ongoing link: Emily Deschanel’s "Bones" is an internationally best-selling novelist whose detective fiction features a forensic anthropologist named Kathy Reichs, whose life and methods mirrors that of Brennan’s own character.
Both the books and the show are well worth a look.
Okay, so you’ve listened to the podcast (or not…). Here’s the original story, for you.
An Unreliable Sauce
By Des Nnochiri
Pedrosa was cutting it pretty fine.
18:30, he’d said. That was 6:30, in the P.M., for civilians.
Wallace twitched his lip. Approximation to a smile.
It was almost funny. The way Pedrosa had set up this rendezvous, in
military time. Laid out the terms and conditions of his “testimony”,
as if he were negotiating an armistice.
Pedrosa – if that was even his real moniker; the guy was an illegal,
like so many others at Blue Mountain – was to be credited as “an
No recording equipment.
Wallace was to get Pedrosa’s story, word for word. On paper.
Nuts, to that. Wallace’s secretarial skills were right up there, with his
great-grandmother’s – who’d been a professional seamstress.
Non-existent, in other words.
He’d called in some favors at Metro P.D., and gotten himself wired,
like an undercover Narc.
Brought a notebook and pen, for show. He’d do his own version of
Between that, Senor “Manuel Pedrosa’s” halting English,
Wallace’s own high-school Spanish (He’d flunked, spectacularly), and
the tape, he’d have what he wanted.
Pedrosa, spilling the beans on what was really going on with Blue
Mountain’s Everyman range.
Crouched beside the chain-link fence surrounding the canning plant,
Wallace reflected that something out of the ordinary must be going on,
To justify the watch towers at every corner; machine gun emplacements
at the top. The CCTV cameras, patrolling guards, and sniffer dogs. The
crackling high voltage, coursing through the mesh of the fence.
They had to be protecting more than just a secret recipe for the
millions-selling All-Purpose Ragouts, the company was peddling.
Well, Pedrosa should be here soon, to shed some light.
But Pedrosa was…
Wallace checked his wristwatch.
He was going to be 15 minutes late. In another 5 minutes.
A sudden movement, to his right. Wallace flicked his eyes, in that
direction. Tensed, ready to run or fight.
A stinging pain, beneath his right ear. Instinctively, Wallace clapped
a hand to the spot. Slapping the tranquilizer needle even deeper, into
He pitched forward, to the dirt. Unconscious, in seconds.
Wallace awoke to the glare of fluorescent lights, overhead. A large
space, like a warehouse or factory floor.
Flat on his back. And naked, as the day he was born.
He couldn’t make out what kind of surface he was lying on. Or
feel his legs. Arms. Anything else, for that matter.
He could hear, though. And see – even if his eyes could only stare
What peripheral vision he had put him in a wide channel of some sort,
with knee-high walls of steel mesh. At a table nearby, workers in the
spotless overalls of the Blue Mountain Foods conglomerate pored over
Wallace’s clothing, with a fine-tooth comb.
That’s how he deduced that he was naked.
Peering down at him was a face he recognized from all the news reports
and business dailies.
Montague Kane. CEO, Blue Mountain Foods.
Kane held in one hand the mike and recording device which had been
taped to Wallace’s body, an expression of distaste on his patrician
features. Like everyone else, the man was wearing surgical gloves.
One of the technicians from the table approached Kane. His tone was
deeply respectful, as he confirmed that “We’ve done a sweep of the
area, sir. No surveillance vans, or back-up units. Mr. Wallace is
Kane nodded. He handed the wire to the tech, holding it in his
thumb and forefinger, like a dead rat. His face didn’t
change, as he returned his attention to Wallace.
“Mr. Wallace is alone…”
The words seemed to echo through the room. They were all that Wallace
could focus on, even as Kane loomed above him. But the man’s lips were
moving. He was talking. Saying words that might – might – hold the key
to Wallace’s survival.
Because, make no mistake; Wallace knew that his life was in the balance, here.
He bore down, struggling to make out the words.
“Mr. Wallace is alone…”
Not quite, though.
Kane’s monologue on the merits of Everyman…
“Ranch House, Negrito. Our Everyman sauces are the favorite choice of
households across the country. Nutritious, naturally tasty, and
…Was interrupted, as a trio of workers passed behind him, lugging a
wrapped plastic bundle. They hoisted it over the channel wall.
The limp and naked body of Manuel Pedrosa landed with a thud, at Wallace’s feet.
If Wallace’s eyes could have widened in horror, they would have.
As it was, they could merely stare, as Kane continued speaking.
“Why, you may have used them, yourself. Very popular.
We’ve had our trials, of course. Who hasn’t? Civil suits. That unfortunate business
with the gender rights lobby. EveryWoman, EveryPerson, my ass.
And I’m sure you’ve heard the rumors, in the press. Else, you wouldn’t
Kane chuckled. More like a death’s head grin, in that lean face.
“About our stringent work practices. Our unconventional
employment policy. Migrants, transients, runaways. We hire them, where
no one else will. I admit that. There’s no shame in it. And yes, I run
a tight ship. But, by taking these people off the streets – by giving
them a purpose – we are doing a public service.”
He leaned forward earnestly, now. Huckstering, like a cheap politician.
“You know, we ship over a million tonnes of our products every year, to
starving families in Africa and Asia? At no charge. Public service.
And, if we ask that our workers give something back, at the end of
their shift, that’s not unreasonable, is it?”
Kane paused, nodding to one of the technicians at the table.
As the tech guy flipped a switch, Kane resumed his discourse. Eyes
gleaming with fervor. A sheen of sweat, on his upper lip.
Speaking with the absolute conviction of the obscenely wealthy, and
“The work force, now. They’re our life’s blood. Our strength. Our
special ingredient. The secret, to our sauce. You’ll see.”
Kane stepped back, out of Wallace’s line of sight.
At the far end of the hall, a mesh of sharpened steel blades whirred into life.
If Wallace could have thrashed and kicked, he’d be out of there, right
“Mr. Wallace is alone…”
And the steel conveyor belt holding the bodies of Manuel Pedrosa and
Mr. Wallace chugged inexorably toward their special place in the
making of Blue Mountain Everyman.
Wallace wondered which variety he’d end up in.
As in, peace.
Dale Bartholomew Cooper is a fictional character, an eccentric Special Agent of the FBI. Cooper was the central figure of the ABC television series “Twin Peaks”, and was played by actor Kyle MacLachlan.
The series was created by legendary film director David Lynch and Mark Frost, and went on to achieve a cult status of its own.
The Man, and His Methods
David Lynch named Cooper as a reference to D. B. Cooper, the unidentified man who hijacked a Boeing 727 aircraft on November 24, 1971. Cooper escaped by parachute, never to be seen, again.
Born on April 19, 1954, the fictional Dale Cooper is a graduate of Haverford College. After joining the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cooper was based at the Bureau offices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was partnered there with the older Special Agent Windom Earle (actor Kenneth Welsh) – a closet psychopath whose various crimes (when they came to light) would return to haunt Cooper, in later years.
Key among these was the case of Earle’s wife, Caroline, who witnessed a federal crime, some time after Cooper joined the Bureau. Earle and Cooper were assigned to protect her; it was around this time that Cooper began an affair with Caroline. One night in Pittsburgh, Cooper let his guard down – and Caroline was murdered by her husband (who had also committed the crime witnessed by Caroline, during a psychotic break). Windom Earle was subsequently sent to a mental institution, from which he would later escape, to wreak havoc in Twin Peaks.
Cooper was devastated by the loss of the woman he would later refer to as the love of his life. He swore to never again become involved with someone who was part of a case to which he was assigned.
An introspective man, Cooper is fueled by a profound interest in the mystical, especially the mythology of Tibetan and Native American cultures. Much of his work is based on intuition and the interpretation of dreams, rather than conventional logic. While working a case, Cooper also dictates regular reports to his (never seen) assistant Diane, using a hand-held tape recorder.
“A hairless mouse with a pitchfork sang a song about caves.”
Okay, this is actually a quote from the “Twin Peaks” parody sketch when Kyle Maclachlan guest hosted Saturday Night Live in 1990. But the fact that it’s not a million miles from the kind of stuff Dale Cooper puts out during his “real” adventures gives an indication of the methods of the man.
At some point in his career, Cooper was placed under the direct authority of FBI Regional Bureau Chief Gordon Cole (played in the series by David Lynch, himself). Under Cole’s mandate, Cooper was occasionally assigned the mysterious ‘Blue Rose’ cases.
The Town, and Its People
On February 24, 1989, Cooper arrives in the fictional Northwestern town of Twin Peaks, to investigate the murder of local teenager Laura Palmer (actress Sheryl Lee). Here’s a YouTube clip, of Dale’s arrival, from the series’ pilot episode:
It’s a complex case, involving the town’s eccentric characters (like The Log Lady), metaphysical entities, and other-dimensional spaces like the mysterious Black Lodge. During his extended stay, Cooper winds up helping the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Department to investigate other cases, as well.
Cooper gains an instant rapport with many of the townspeople – including Sheriff Harry S. Truman (yes, like the President; actor Michael Ontkean) and his junior officers, Deputy Tommy “Hawk” Hill and Deputy Andy Brennan. 18-year-old Audrey Horne (played by Sherilyn Fenn), the daughter of local businessman Benjamin Horne, develops a serious crush on the eccentric FBI man. Over time, a close and affectionate friendship develops, between the two.
And Cooper falls in love with the “damn fine coffee”, and cherry pie, for which the town would become famous. Check out the YouTube clip below, to get a flavor of the place:
The Laura Palmer mystery is eventually “resolved” on an ambiguous note, with Dale Cooper’s evil doppelganger on the loose in Twin Peaks (a fugitive from the Black Lodge; watch the show on DVD, it’s too complex to go into, now), and the dead girl’s spirit vowing that “I’ll see you again in 25 years.”
His Anticipated Return
Now, 25 years on, that promise is to be fulfilled. In 2016, Showtime will be bringing us a sequel to the cult series. The network says that nine new “Twin Peaks” episodes – set in the present day – are going into production soon. And Kyle MacLachlan is set to return, as Dale Cooper – as are several other characters from the original 1990s run.
Showtime’s president, David Nevins, has even persuaded David Lynch to direct all nine episodes.
Fans will no doubt be hoping that the sequel will answer the questions left hanging at the end of season two in 1991. Nevins is keeping quiet on this.
Only time will tell.
Keep watching this space.
In a week that saw Fox’s “Gotham” achieve its best-ever ratings on US television, here’s a link to my article at the Xtreme Entertainment Network, reviewing the show’s first season, for UK audiences.
Oh, and best wishes for 2015. Hope it’s a good year, for all of us.
In case you’re wondering where I’ve been, the answer is: BUSY.
My world outside the blogosphere has been chock-full of writing assignments in the tech arena. In parallel to that, there’s developing my own brand of crime and suspense fiction, trying to sell my screenplays, and the whole “trying to have a life” issue.
One of the jobs I did recently was a preview / review of The CW’s “The Flash”, for the UK market. I put it out through the Xtreme Entertainment Network, a start-up based in London. Xtreme specializes in video games, movies, TV, and related media.
Could be an outfit worth watching. “The Flash” certainly is.
You can check out
Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau of the Surete Nationale (a main arm of the French police forces) is a fictional character in Blake Edwards’ series of farcical “The Pink Panther…” films. In most of the movies actor Peter Sellers portrayed the character, who was to become one of Sellers’ pivotal roles.
He’s NOT The Pink Panther!
Which was actually a piece of jewelry; a diamond, targeted for stealing by the aristocratic British thief Sir Charles Lytton, a.k.a. “the Phantom”, in the 1963 comedy thriller “The Pink Panther”. The main focus of the film was on the plotting of actor David Niven, as Sir Charles, with Sellers’ Clouseau providing slapstick comic relief.
Sellers’ antics lent to the popular reception of the film, and established Clouseau’s method of operations; that of a complete buffoon who somehow manages to solve major crimes by a combination of blind luck, inept villains, and fortunate accidents. And the lingering suspicion that, somewhere in his head lurks the identity of a true detective.
The Pink Panther went on to give its name to a suave cartoon feline (who was to feature in the movie credits), and a series of sequels.
He’s had Many Faces:
* The 1964 sequel “A Shot in the Dark” was based on a stage play that didn’t originally include the Clouseau character. It was in this film that Sellers first developed the exaggerated French accent that became Clouseau’s trademark.
The movie introduced two of the series regular characters: Clouseau’s superior officer, Commissioner Dreyfus (actor Herbert Lom), who’s eventually driven mad by Clouseau’s bungling, and his long-suffering Chinese steward, Cato (Burt Kwouk), employed to improve Clouseau’s martial arts skills by attacking him at random.
* For 1968’s “Inspector Clouseau”, the detective was portrayed by American actor Alan Arkin. Blake Edwards was not involved in this production.
* “The Return of the Pink Panther” (1975) saw the return of Peter Sellers to the role of Clouseau – and a rematch with the villainous Sir Charles Lytton (now portrayed by Christopher Plummer). The opening credits were animated by Richard Williams, and feature Clouseau seeking to retrieve the Pink Panther diamond after it is stolen by the Phantom.
* “The Pink Panther Strikes Again” (1976) continued the story from the end of “The Return of the Pink Panther”.The now insane Dreyfus creates a crime syndicate and constructs a doomsday device, with the intention of using it to blackmail the world into killing Clouseau.
Here’s a scene, courtesy of YouTube, depicting Clouseau’s unique style of interrogation:
* Sellers and Edwards originally planned the events of “Revenge of the Pink Panther” (1978) as the basis for a British television series. The movie ignores Dreyfus’ apparent “death” in the previous film, and has Clouseau investigating a plot to kill him after a transvestite criminal is murdered in his place. The movie was a box office success, and led to several more films after Sellers died in 1980.
* 1982’s “Trail of The Pink Panther” was Blake Edwards’ attempt to continue telling Clouseau’s story, despite losing his lead actor. Using outtakes and alternative footage of Sellers as Clouseau, the film introduced a new storyline in which a reporter (played by Joanna Lumley) investigates Clouseau’s disappearance. Along the way, she interviews characters from past Clouseau films, and meets Clouseau’s equally inept father (played by Richard Mulligan).
Seems like a bad idea? Well…
* “Curse of the Pink Panther” (1983) continued the conceit, with the revelation that Clouseau underwent plastic surgery to change his appearance. The character appears briefly, in a joke cameo by Roger Moore, billed as “Turk Thrust II”. Neither “Curse” nor “Trail” was a box office success, and the series was retired.
* Edwards attempted to revive the series a decade later with “Son of the Pink Panther” (1993). Here, it is revealed that Clouseau had illegitimate children by Maria Gambrelli (played by Elke Sommer in A “Shot in the Dark”; recast in this film as Claudia Cardinale, who played the Princess in “The Pink Panther”).
Clouseau’s son, Jacques Jr., was portrayed by Roberto Benigni, and his twin sister, Jacqueline, played by Nicoletta Braschi. Jacques Jr. attempts to follow in his father’s police footsteps, but is soon revealed to have inherited the congenital Clouseau ineptitude.
* Steve Martin starred as Inspector Jacques Clouseau in the 2006 reboot of “The Pink Panther”. The story casts Clouseau as an inept Gendarme hired by Chief Inspector Dreyfus to serve as the figurehead investigator in a high-publicity murder, so that Dreyfus can carry out his own investigation, without risking the repercussions of failure.
Although foolish, Martin’s Clouseau is nonetheless able to locate the Pink Panther diamond and solve the case through his own knowledge, and observation of obscure data.
Martin’s Clouseau is considerably older than Sellers’ was, and although the 2006 film was placed prior to the events of the first Pink Panther film (Clouseau is still in uniform), the time frame is advanced to the present day.
Here’s a YouTube trailer, for you:
* “The Pink Panther 2” (2009): When a series of rare and historical artifacts are stolen by the mysterious Il Tornado, Clouseau is assigned to a “dream team” of international investigators to recover the relics – and the Pink Panther. Despite appearing bumbling and clumsy as usual, Clouseau once again displays surprising cleverness through his unorthodox methods.
Clouseau is promoted to Chief Inspector over the course of the film series, and is regarded by background characters as France’s greatest detective – until they encounter him directly.
The Inspector (sorry; Chief Inspector) has an exaggerated view of his own intelligence, and attempts to appear dignified, regardless of any calamity he’s just caused.
He has a passion for elaborate costumes and aliases, ranging from the mundane (a worker for the phone company) to the ridiculous (a bucktoothed hunchback with an oversized nose). All of them are usually masked by his characteristic mannerisms – and accent.
Clouseau’s immense ego, eccentricity, exaggerated French accent, and prominent mustache were derived from Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie’s fictional Belgian detective. A frequent running gag in the movies was that even French characters had difficulty understanding what he was saying!
Ironically, much of that humor was lost in dubbing the films into French, where Clouseau wound up with an odd-sounding, nasal voice.
Okay; that’s it, for this one.
See you, for the next – I hope.
Charlie’s Angels are a trio of female private investigators, the stars of an American crime drama that aired on ABC Television from September 1976 to June 1981. Despite mixed reviews, and a reputation for being “Jiggle TV,” the show enjoyed immense popularity with viewers. The series spawned a film revival in the 2000s, and a short-lived attempt at TV resurrection, in 2011.
Three talented women graduate from the police academy, only to be assigned menial jobs like handling the switchboard or directing traffic. The ladies are recruited to work for The Townsend Agency, as private investigators. Their boss, Charles Townsend a.k.a. Charlie, nicknames them “Angels.”
Charlie – whose face is never seen – assigns cases to the Angels and his liaison, John Bosley, via a speaker phone in their office. Unlike the Angels, Bosley has met Charlie, and can contact him at any time.
Initially, the Angels were:
1. Sabrina Duncan (played by Kate Jackson): a graduate of the Los Angeles police academy – the unofficial leader of the trio. Sabrina is a divorcé who remains on good terms with her ex-husband. She eventually leaves The Townsend Agency to get married and start a family.
2. Jill Munroe (actress Farrah Fawcett): a graduate of the Los Angeles police academy. Jill is unmarried, athletic, and charismatic. She leaves The Townsend Agency to pursue a career as a race car driver and is replaced by her younger sister, Kris (see later). Jill returns to the agency occasionally (Season 3), when needed for a specific case.
3. Kelly Garrett (played by Jaclyn Smith): also a graduate of the Los Angeles police academy. Kelly grew up in an orphanage; a tough cookie, but with the sensitivity to help others in need.
Here they are, in a clip from 1976 (video comes courtesy of YouTube):
In most episodes, a crime is committed, the Angels are given the case details, and then go undercover to solve the mystery. The final scene takes place back at the Townsend office, with Charlie offering congratulations for a job well done.
The show was intended as a classy undercover detective drama, and worked in that vein for some time. Until the network got caught up in the whole “three hot chicks we can dress up in skimpy outfits, to boost our ratings” thing.
Disgruntled, Farrah Fawcett, then Kate Jackson left the series, sparking the first of several high-profile searches for new stars.
And Then, There Were…
In subsequent seasons, the Angels’ line-up would include:
4. Kris Munroe (actress Cheryl Ladd): younger sister of Jill, and a graduate of the San Francisco police academy. Kris is charming and mildly clumsy, providing the show with comic relief.
5. Tiffany Welles (played by Shelley Hack): a graduate of the Boston police academy. She is recruited in after Sabrina Duncan leaves, and works for The Townsend Agency only for a brief period before moving back east.
6. Julie Rogers (actress Tanya Roberts): a fashion model from The Bronx. Moving to Los Angeles, she worked with an undercover agent to expose drug dealers within the modeling industry. After her partner is killed, she’s recruited by The Townsend Agency on a trial basis to replace Tiffany Welles.
The series ran for five seasons, with ABC canceling the show in the spring of 1981 due to declining ratings.
Back – With a Movie
Charlie’s Angels returned via the big screen, in a 2000 American action comedy directed by McG.
The film starred Cameron Diaz as Natalie Cook, Drew Barrymore as Dylan Sanders, and Lucy Liu as Alex Munday – the latest in a long line of operatives of the Charles Townsend detective agency. The premise being that new Angels are drafted in over the years, as their predecessors leave for one reason or another.
John Forsythe returned as the voice of Charlie, with Bill Murray stepping into the shoes of his go-between, Bosley.
Set in the present day, the movie adventure sees the ladies embroiled in a complex case involving enigmatic villains, voice-recognition software, and a plot to kill their boss.
The Angels of the 21st century have stepped up their game, considerably – with Matrix-level martial arts skills, and near-genius IQs.
Here’s some of both at work, in an entertaining fight scene, from the movie (courtesy of YouTube):
With a well-crafted mystery, and three stunning leads exuding glamour, mad skills, and goofy charm in equal turns, the film was a critical and box-office success.
It spawned a sequel (2003’s “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle”), which was notable for a cameo by Jaclyn Smith as Kelly Garrett, and the introduction of Demi Moore as former Angel turned crackpot ultra-villain Madison Lee. And not much else.
The sequel did however make enough money to whet the studio’s appetite for a television comeback.
The Short-Lived TV Revival
In November 2009, ABC announced it was considering a television revival of Charlie’s Angels, with Josh Friedman handling both writing and executive producing duties. The reboot movie’s Drew Barrymore shared co-production with Leonard Goldberg.
On May 13, 2011, ABC announced a 13-episode order for the series. The network canceled, after only four episodes.
Some Behind-the-Scenes Stuff You (Probably) Didn’t Know
* Kate Jackson – who had earned kudos for her portrayal of a cop’s wife, in popular police drama, “The Rookies” – was earmarked for a role during pre-production, and didn’t even have to audition. Initially cast as Kelly Garrett, Jackson opted instead for the role of Sabrina Duncan. That’s why the early part of the pilot episode focuses heavily on the Jaclyn Smith character; the casting change was made too late, for further rewrites.
* The show was initially titled “The Alley Cats”. But Kate Jackson suggested to the producers that the heroines should be called “angels”, instead. Jackson also came up with the idea that their boss should be a mystery man (both to the characters and the viewers), and that the Angels should receive their cases over a speaker phone.
* The Angels’ boss was originally going to be called Harry, but the title (“Harry’s Angels”) was dropped, so as not to conflict with “Harry O.”, another television detective series.
* I won’t say “cat-fight”, but stars Kate Jackson and Cheryl Ladd didn’t get along, during the show’s second season. Jackson believed the inclusion of relatively inexperienced actress Ladd had damaged the series considerably. Their animosity on-set reportedly placed great strain on the show’s producers, and their co-star Jaclyn Smith.
* The show became infamous as “Jiggle TV” or “T&A TV” (“Tits & Ass Television”), among critics who believed it had no substance other than its scantily-clad title characters. The skimpy outfits – roller derby girl, beauty pageant contestant, maid, female prisoner, or just plain old bikini – were justified as essential plot elements for the Angels, who often went undercover (so to speak).
* ABC attempted a spin-off for “Charlie’s Angels” in 1980 called “Toni’s Boys”. Essentially a gender reversal, it starred Barbara Stanwyck as Antonia “Toni” Blake, a wealthy widow and friend of Charlie Townsend’s who also ran a detective agency. The outfit was staffed by three good looking male detectives who took orders from Toni, and solved crimes in a manner similar to the Angels.
Never heard of it? No, neither had I; the show wasn’t picked up.
Well, that’s your lot, for now.
See you, for the next one.