The First Evil (asta77) wrote in jamiebambernews,
The First Evil

More '17th Precinct' Details

When NBC announced they were moving forward with production on the pilot for Ron Moore's 17th Precinct, the media quickly dubbed the project "an adult Harry Potter". Having had the opportunity to take a look at the casting sides, thanks to the generosity of greycoupon, I have to disagree with the generalization. I hate making comparisons, but if I had to compare it to another work of fiction, I would go with The Dresdan Files. TV Squad had a fair assessment of the series, calling it a "new magical-world-based police drama". And bonus points for stating, because of Jamie's involvement, "This pilot just went from intriguing to must-see TV." :)

I'm not able to share the sides. Certain people may not be pleased with me if I did. ;) I also don't wish to spoil too much since a lot seems to be happening in the first episode. But to satisfy some of your curiosity, I'm going to provide character descriptions, a few details and general impressions. I will say to beware of minor spoilers, but anything I saw that I kind of wished I hadn't I'm leaving out.

Caolan (KAY-lawn) Longstreet (played by Jamie Bamber): Caolan is blonde, has short hair, a slender build, very fit, in his mid 30s, and projects a seriousness of purpose and deep focus. (Hmmm, I'm wondering if Ron may have written this part with Jamie in mind. :) He's married to Susan and they have two children, Doreen, 7, and Boyle, 11. It's established Caolan is studying for his sergeant's exam and is struggling with finances (along with most people right about now).

Jeff Bosson: Caolan's partner. Jeff has a British accent (seems Jamie may have to suppress his again), is also in his 30s, has long dark hair, also slender, but with the professional slouch of someone who takes pride in avoiding the gym. He and Caolan seem to be friends as well as partners.

Susan: Caolan's wife. She owns an antique store. There's a bit more about her character, but I feel it gets into spoiler territory.

Morgana: The only physical characteristic I could pick up on is she has long hair. She's likely in her 30s as well. As for a job description, psychic coroner came to mind. It also occurred to me that could be the basis for a new reality series! I can't put my finger on why exactly, but I can picture Tricia Helfer in the role.

Detective Sergeant Mira Barkley (played by Stockard Channing): No sides and in all likelihood Stockard was offered the part without auditioning. In an earlier press releases, Mira was described as "a fiercely intelligent former homicide detective who’s working in the robbery division of the 17th Precinct." A few additional tidbits contained in a rather exposition heavy exchange: she's divorced, no kids and has a younger sister. Mira strikes me as strong, opinionated and quick to react.

Detective Jimmy Travers: 25, a rookie and Mira's new partner. There's also discussion of him being an "intuitive savant".

DCI Wilder Blanks: There are no sides for this character and thus no description (perhaps he's already been cast?). He interacts rather extensively with several main and supporting characters and it's clear he doesn't disappear at the end of the first episode. He might be a former partner of Mira's.

Liam Butterfield: Mira's immediate superior. Apparently, Liam used to be...Lisa. There's some potentially intriguing hints of gender swapping and the ability to make people younger and older in the script. Ron may also be tackling sexuality in a way he didn't on BSG.

General Thoughts: This definitely reads as a Ron Moore creation. There's no mention of God, or gods, but there is a spiritual element. The case being investigated, the murder of Excelsior's Executive Profit Donald Pynchon (yes, really), takes place at the time of the Equinox celebration. A celebration that involves giving thanks. Yet, while people may rely on the profit to tell them what tomorrow may bring, we find out prophesy has a political component and nothing is officially released to the public until it's reviewed.

It looks like the sides were cobbled together from at least two early drafts, which explains why some of the dialogue can use work. And there is a lot of, well, not techno-babble, but paranormal-babble? There's a discussion of hexes vs curses. Hand gestures can move manipulate objects and the gathering of evidence. Herbs, potions and bugs are investigative tools. OK, in fairness, on Bones, bugs provide important evidence all the time. ;)

And while Excelsior is the fictional city in which the series takes place, Mira mentions growing up in Mineapolis and there is a view described as "stretching from The Golden Gate Bridge (almost exactly the same, but without the cabling) to the small island of Alcatraz (without the decrepit prison). So, will we be viewing an alternate reality or parallel dimension? (Think: Fringe)

The timeline could easily be present day or the near future. The internet exists, though it operates differently than what we use on a daily basis. Cars have no steering wheels and drive themselves, which I think is safe to say is only a matter of time.

Overall, I am intrigued. Although, I do believe strong writing and casting (which they have a good start on) is needed to really sell the material.
Tags: tv : 17th precinct

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