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October 4, 2015

Marlowe -- A look at the pilot script

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 5th 2007 10:00AM
Raymond Chandler bookI'm a big fan of private eye TV shows and novels, and I've been thinking lately that they need to make a big comeback (sorry, Monk just isn't the same). Raines comes kinda close, but it's not quite the same thing. Judging from the script for the pilot of Marlowe, ABC's modern take on the classic Raymond Chandler character, it looks like it could be a return to the great private eye genre that TV fans have been waiting for.

The first thing I noticed is that, yes, the show is going to have voiceovers! Some people hate voiceovers, some people love them. I remember that Robert Parker hated the voiceover on Spenser: For Hire, when it was actually one of the cool things about the show. There's a lot of voiceover in this pilot script, and while I don't mind it, I wonder if it's too much.

Another thing I notice is that everything in the script is in first person, like the voiceovers. I don't think that's a normal aspect of most scripts, even those that contain voiceovers and narration by the main protagonist. And that makes me think that this show is going to be very first person-oriented, very much focused on the Philip Marlowe character.

All the other private eye staples are here too: Marlowe is sick of L.A., he wonders why he doesn't leave the city, and he comments on the city and the surroundings and how the rich live. He's hired to follow the friend of rich couple Bill and Suzette Church, and problems arise from that seemingly mundane assignment. There's a sexpot in the story, of course, and she causes trouble for Marlowe, too.

ABC has hired Jason O'Mara (The Agency, In Justice) to play Marlowe, though I don't really know much about him. As long as they don't have him dress like Ryan Seacrest and listen to rap music. If they do this show right, it will truly be unlike anything else on television. That's if it gets past the pilot stage, of course.

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Are you suggesting that Veronica Mars isn't a great private-eye show? Of course, if it gets cancelled it won't really matter. To me, noir has never looked cooler than in Neptune, California.

April 05 2007 at 1:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I too really enjoyed this pilot script when I read it a few months ago. It offered all of the noir conceits of private eye novels/movies that make me wistful for the genre, but set in a modern LA that was completely grounded in the city I live in. LOVED the hard-boiled voiceover narration (particularly in a pilot season that is FILLED with script upon script containing poorly written VO) and Marlowe's character. Jason O'Mara will also be familiar to viewers of BBC's "Monarch of the Glen." He'll always be Fergal to me.

April 05 2007 at 10:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Like all good shows, Its going to depend on who they cast In the lead role! I look forward to seiing this develop!

April 05 2007 at 10:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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