Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Longmire S1 Ep1: Pilot

"Walt whatcha doing?"
-Victoria 'Vic' Moretti-
I do that sometimes before I talk."
-Sheriff Walt Longmire-
This is a one off diversion for Musings Of A Sci-Fi Fanatic to shine the light on a man of few words, the laconic Walt Longmire and the quality series simply called Longmire (2012-present).

Can a man live on science fiction alone?

On this occasion an immersion into the world of Longmire, based on the Walt Longmire Mysteries books of Craig Johnson, has prompted this brief post in rousing support of this excellent series.

The following selected images have been taken from Longmire, Season One, Episode 1, Pilot.

The gorgeous film and photography work and close-ups are the handiwork of award-winning director Christopher Chulack.

Chulack was a significant player for TV series ER (1994-2009). Chulack would direct one or more episodes for every season of Longmire. The location work on the series is shot beautifully in general and leaves its own character imprint on the Longmire world.

We noted just how impressive this cast is for the series with the post, Longmire: A Science Fiction Odyssey? here. The series lead is Robert Taylor, a man from the land down under where vegemite is considered a taste treat. He is plays the cool American lawman Walt Longmire to perfection.

This leads me to a unique bit of commentary for this non-sci-fi piece.

Connections are a fascinating thing when it comes to the world of film and television hence my Before And After segments. If that wasn't true the whole idea behind The Six Degrees Of Kevin Bacon would never have come to fruition in the 1990s. If people weren't thinking about these interesting, incredible associations it wouldn't have to pass.

What amazes me most about some of these great American programs is the number of non-American actors ready and willing to fill the shoes of these roles.

Are there no real American men left? I hate to use a cliché from my childhood, but, you know, the kind of men when men were men and sheep were scared. Is it about cost in casting? I'm sure unions and other factors play a role along with economics. But clearly there has been a paradigm shift toward overseas talent over the years. It's not new but it does seem more prevalent now than ever. There are plenty of examples too. Too many to form a complete list.

Take Hannibal (2013-2015) starring Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen. The former hails from Staffordshire, England and plays Will Graham with precision, while the latter from Copenhagen, Denmark has sold me completely on his delicious take on the Hannibal character.

Season One of FX series Fargo (2014) leaned heavily upon the performance of Martin Freeman who turned in an unforgettable, note perfect performance as Minnesota's own Lester Nygaard. Freeman arrived by way of Hampshire, England.

Philip K. Dick's adaptation of The Man In The High Castle (2015-present) for Amazon original series stars Rupert Evans, like Dancy, also from Staffordshire, England. I think they may be growing them there. The aforementioned series also stars the always underrated Rufus Sewell (Eleventh Hour), an English brother from Twickenham.

Actor Naveen Andrews dropped his London born lilt to play heroic island survivor Sayid Jarrah in Lost (2004-2010) along with West German born English actor Dominic Monaghan as Charlie Pace, okay, a character who was English.

I won't even go down the road of the ladies. I won't mention titular hero Sarah Connor of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008-2009) featuring sultry English lead Lena Headey (Game Of Thrones). I won't talk of Stargate SG-1's beautiful English born Canadian actress Amanda Tapping. There's no need to discuss Australia's own Anna Torv as the lead on Fringe (2008-2013) (and that series also starred John Noble by the way, yet another quality lad from the land down under with no hint of an accent to be found). But again I'm not going to mention the ladies.

Sticking with the gents, Yorkshire, England's own Dominic West led HBO's mind-shattering The Wire (2002-2008) and more recently a restless red-blooded American male in Showtime's The Affair (2014-present). Let's not talk about the other lead in The Affair, English actress Ruth Wilson.

Not long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, did many a female fawn over red-blooded Caprican male heartthrob Lee Adama on Ronald D. Moore's Battlestar Galactica (2003-2009). London's own Jamie Bamber was a crucial player and component to the ensemble space epic and there was no bloody sign he was anything but Caprican.

Netflix has a hot new property in Bloodline (2015-present) and stars the always impressive Australian Ben Mendelsohn who I remember playing opposite Noah Taylor in the Australian coming of age classic The Year My Voice Broke (1987).

Stockholm, Sweden's Joel Kinnaman (Robocop) co-starred lead in The Killing (2011-2014). And like Longmire, hot off a run at AandE was also rescued by Netflix. Netflix comes through more than any other distributor for some great television another interesting new trend. Heck, Netflix exclusively distributed my Knights Of Sidonia so I love them.

Recently, SyFy's extraordinary Defiance (2013-2015) was fronted by an American lawman and sheriff in the form of Grant Bowler of Auckland, New Zealand.

And how is this for irony? Actor Matthew Rhys plays a Russian playing an American on FX series The Americans (2013-present) opposite the gorgeous Kerri Russell, but he's actually Welsh from Cardiff, Wales.

Apparently, looking outside of the states for actors to fill the shoes of strong American men is the way to go. And what does the future hold? Upcoming FOX science fiction series Second Chance (2016) will highlight two non-American leads. Actors from England, Rob Kazinsky, and South Africa will take charge of the latest effort to hopefully develop a hit sci-fi series.

We really could go on. And you likely could note some of your own.

Longmire's star traversed here all the way from Melbourne, Australia, but plays the American sheriff better than many American actors might. Having enjoyed his performance I wouldn't want to see anyone other than the Aussie in the part. Granted the Aussies can make a good Western. See The Proposition (2005).

So each of these amazing shows count on the talents of actors from outside the United States. And yes, I understand, this is why it's called acting.

These leads are all fantastic by the way. It's not a new development to be sure, but it has become an increasingly more popular option in recent years.

It should also be noted that Musings Of A Sci-Fi Fanatic is completely on board and endorse these selections and will in no way form a boycott group analogous to any group of lunatics making efforts to prevent ongoing casting calls based on race or country of origin.

All are welcome if you have the chops. Color, nationality or place of birth have no bearing on this particular matter for this writer.

Be sure to check out Longmire for something paced a little differently with its own unique myth arc style, style of which it has in spades.

The camera holds on a frame and visual details offer information about the characters.

No comments: