Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Blake Mysteries:Ghost Stories (aka New Beginnings) 2018

I am a huge fan of The Doctor Blake Mysteries which aired on the ABC from 2013 to 2017.  It starred Craig McLachlan as Dr Lucien Blake, a police surgeon in Ballarat in the 1950s.  Blake was a WWII veteran who was very good at solving mysteries.

It rated quite well but the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Commission) decided to cancel the series in 2017.  (Just as they did with Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries - although that may have been more because Essie Davis was getting more international work Game of Thrones)

But there was good news Channel 7 was going to continue the series (as well as a Miss Fisher Spinoff Miss Fisher's MODern Mysteries featuring Phyrnne Fisher's niece).

Then Craig McLachlan got caught up in #metoo and one of his co-stars from the Rocky Horror Picture Show stage production accused him of inappropriate behaviour.  McLachlan is fighting the charges and suing for defamtion  but it put a pall over the revival of Dr Blake and he bowed out.

From what I read everyone was ready to start filming casting had happened and the decision was made to make Dr Blake's new wife and former housekeeper Jean the focus of the TV movie.

Which raises the question, could the series work without the "great detective" Dr Lucien Blake.   Could you make Monk without Tony Shaloub as Adrian Monk, Elementary without Jonny Lee Miller or The Mentalist without Simon Baker?

The Blake Mysteries does work in a way because Lucien's absence is part of the show and the characters step up and take on some of the roles that Lucien would have taken.  Lucien's old colleague Dr Alice Harvey has been appointed the new police surgeon and she now takes the lead on autopsies and forensic investigations that Lucien Blake would have taken, his wife Jean effectively becomes Lucien butting into police cases,  Jean however feels more Jessica Fletcher just happening to be on the scene of this murder rather than Lucien's Quincy MD style of investigation.

It ultimatly works and I hope we get an explantion as to what happened to Dr Lucien Blake,  if McLachlan does return it my make for an interesting new direction for the show either as rival detectives or as a Nick and Nora style couple detectives.