Saturday, 20 January 2018

New 1920s-set crime drama

How's this for some good news? British cable/satellite TV channel Alibi is going to start broadcasting Frankie Drake, a 1920s-set crime drama.


The show was created by Carol Hay and Michelle Ricci, two women who'd worked as writers and producers on Murdoch Mysteries. It has a Toronto setting like that series, but is set a couple of decades later and the leads are predominantly female. Not just predominantly female: Frankie's partner at the detective agency, Trudy Clarke, is a black lady, and morgue attendant Flo is a mature, rotund one.

I'm guessing that like with Murdoch Mysteries, the programme makers will have rejected accuracy in favour of inclusiveness. Whether you approve of such things is up to you; to be honest I quite enjoy it. Murdoch is played straight but has its lighthearted moments - every so often an episode will feature a famous character, such as Nikola Tesla or Mark Twain - and I'm hoping that will be a feature of Frankie Drake. It makes Murdoch feel more like a classic sort of adventure story, a little Dick Barton, perhaps, and I'd say a show about a crime-solving former espionage agent definitely needs a dose of derring-do.

Frankie Drake starts on Alibi on Tuesday 23 January, at 9pm. The series is 11 episodes long.

10 comments :

  1. I'd watch that just for the costumes!

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    1. Sometimes the ones on Murdoch look a bit cheap - though that's improved over time, presumably as they've built up a decent collection/got a bigger budget - but it'll be nice to see 20s stuff on telly even if it's not perfect.

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  2. oo, one to watch out for! Though I don't get Alibi alas. But maybe they'll do DVDs

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    1. It's pretty new, it'll probably end up on a channel like Gold at some point. (Is Murdoch Alibi-only?)

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  3. Sounds good, Mim. Thanks for the heads up. I'd watch it just for the costumes, too! One of my brothers has just recommended 'The Amazing Mrs. Maizel' which is on Amazon Prime. Set in the 1950s....

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    1. Erse, I don't have AP. I'll look out for it coming to one of the channels I do have. (I can't justify getting another premium channel; I have all the telly I can eat as it is!)

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  4. Somehow, I don't think this will make it to Belgium ... Would love to watch it, if only to drool over the clothes! xxx

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  5. I watched this last night and I have to say, I didn't enjoy it. All the way through I was getting more and more annoyed with the costume designers. So many of the outfits and hair dos were no way near authentic. Frankie herself looked like she was straight out of the 21st Century, especially in those trousers and shirt, or otherwise playing dress up in not very well thought out 1920s style clothes. There was the old genuine piece, but the majority of it was no where near authentic enough for me. When I watch a period based show or film I want to aspire to the costumes, not get annoyed by them! Sorry, rant over! :) xx

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    1. No, rant away! I thought Frankie was really badly dressed. I had wondered what the costuming was going to be like, as sometimes on Murdoch the outfits on minor characters can look like the cheaper end of the Victorian/Edwardian repro market, but the characters and stories are fun, so I overlook it. In this programme, a few of the hats struck me, but overall it didn't really feel right, and the story wasn't strong enough either.

      There were things I liked - a cameo from Murdoch Mysteries' George Crabtree, a diverse female cast, a plot that didn't revolve around murder - but the next couple of episodes need to be a good deal stronger to persuade me to carry on watching.

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