In the early period of the show, it's all about Roger and Elizabeth for me. A perfect gothic sibling dynamic, they feel like perfect inhabitants of Collinwood. I don't think any other characters have ever felt to me so much like they truly belong in that house as those two do in the first year of the show. These days, now that Julia has been given dues in Bloodline, they're the most apparent absence from the ongoing story. But would you recast them? Do you think there's a purpose to bringing them back that would justify it? And if you would do so, who do you think might be able to step into their shoes? I don't know what I think myself - if ever there was a storyline that might have warranted it, I think it would have been Roger returning for the wedding in Bloodline - but I'm curious to hear people's thoughts.
Funny this should come up, as I'm watching my way through the original series for the first time. Right at the moment, I can't imagine anyone else playing these characters. They're so uniquely painted and performed.
For Elizabeth you'd need to find an older actress capable of mystery and matronly, warm with just a touch of severe. For Roger you'd need an older man who could pull off that peculiar mixture of arrogant selfishness and thinly veiled cowardice.
Perhaps the trick is in the age -- in 1984, Louis Edmonds would have been 61 and Joan Bennett 74. Casting some actors in theirs 60s or 70s, who have a well-established vocal range, might work for re-inserting the eldest Collins generation.
I'm sort of on the fence about it, I wouldn't have recast Barnabas or Julia or Amy but I think all of these recasts have turned out very well.
I think Greg Patmore who was in the Carriage of the Damned audio struck several of us as someone who might be able play Roger, and perhaps Jon Culshaw might be someone who could bring Roger's character to life?
For the part of Elizabeth, I don't think anyone comes to mind, at least not easily.
The main reason Roger is my favourite character from the television show is because of Louis Edmonds, who was a riot in the role. For that reason, I would be against a recast. Having said that of course, I was never in favour of recasting the Third Doctor, and now I wouldn't be without Tim Treloar's version for anything. So who knows? However, whereas Louis was wonderful, Roger seemed (certainly once Barnabas arrived) to be relegated to occasional episodes where he would be outraged by something or another, and then disappear again. On reflection, I would say leave things as they are.
Elizabeth was less important to me in the show. Although played by a high profile actress, the actual character was never massively interesting to me (is that heresy? I hope not). So I would be less bothered if she was recast. It is a bit awkward in the wonderful DS audios to have her and Roger constantly 'away', but then Dark Shadows is a soap: how many times are characters mentioned in passing when they are obviously not in the episode?
So my answer is non-committal: I don't think the characters need to be recast (and I couldn't imagine who would play them), but if they deemed it justifiable, I would trust Big Finish to get it right.
Post by silverednickle on May 23, 2019 20:51:25 GMT
When Big Finish started, I was all for recasting characters left, right, and center. I felt that Stuart Manning, Joe Lidster, and company were being silly only bringing back characters they had the actors willing to act for. Over time, I have been impressed by the stories they have written for returning and new characters for Dark Shadows, how the different audios enriched both past plotlines and added new ones. While I do wish we could get a little with Liz and Roger in them, I've learned to trust in the Big Finish process. That and I'm not the best coming up with actors to play roles. I'm happy to hear which actors other fans think to do the roles.
Having said that, there is literally only person who could be Roger and that's Richard Crowest who played the guy playing Roger in The Darkest Shadow. I bumped into him at the BFI not long ago and he remembered to call me 'kitten'.
In fact to contradict myself even further I remember the one time I really tried to push to have an idea of mine made (as a full cast play anyway, I had a whole different idea for a short story reading) it would have had both Roger and Elizabeth in it as characters with actors and everything. It was seeing Richard when making The Darkest Shadow that gave me the idea.
So don't listen to me, I don't even always agree with myself.
I would be perfectly ok with recasts, but like others, I don’t feel that it’s absolutely necessary. I feel like Joe and David have kept Roger and Liz as viable characters in the audios anyway, via other characters’ imitations, phone conversations, frequently bringing their whereabouts and activities into the dialogue, and also through the wonderful short stories range. Colin Baker perfectly mimicked Joan Bennett’s clipped, icy, New England finishing school diction, even though he kept his male voice and just softened it a bit. Joan’s is really a lost dialect now. Many old Hollywood actresses of the silver screen era had it, but no one really does now. It was very proper sounding, with no contractions (except “cahhhn’t” and “shahhhn’t”) and NO slang, such as “ya”, “yeah”, woulda”, “hafta”, “gonna”, etc.) Also, Nancy Barrett, Kathryn Leigh Scott, and Marie Wallace have all spoken for Liz in the audios at one time or another, and were all excellent...most likely from their familiarity with her on the job. We’ve had Amber Benson as a young Judith (a different Joan character), and she was really good in the role also. For recasts besides the regular DS women, maybe Elizabeth McGovern....she is wonderful as American heiress Cora Grantham on “Downton Abbey”. Of course Meryl Streep can do EVERY dialect or accent, but she’s such a megastar she’d be way overpriced! English actors who I’m sure could pull off polished American, yes, Sarah Douglas, Carolyn Seymour...maybe even Louise Jameson.
For Roger, I agree....Richard Crowest, Greg Patmore, and my favorite, Matthew Waterhouse! Hell, with Alec Newman’s talent for accents, I’d bet he would be brilliant! Roger sounds like a sarcastic, bitchy American who spent a lot of his childhood in England and effects an interesting combination of the two.
But, also like others, I have complete faith in BF’s process, so can easily go with whatever they come up with. Even if it means keeping the characters in the background and giving us bits of their stories the way they’ve done thus far. Liz even had a whole short story about her, narrated wonderfully by Marie.
I may have posted this elsewhere on here, but at one point I half-heartedly pitched a story** set in a gender-flipped time-band, with Julius Hoffman (Julia-counterpart), Regina Collins(Roger-counterpart), Eli Collins (Elizabeth-counterpart). Someone like Amy or Carolyn would have crossed over and had an adventure there.
Basically it would have allowed for a story featuring all the characters where the actors were no longer available, but it would have also given an explanation of the phenomenon of Julia supposedly initially being called Julius/Julian (time-band trickery) - Taking a weird quirk of the show and making it into a starting point for a story.
But really - they'd be different versions of the characters, so the concept sort of defeats the original purpose. Still a fun idea.
**(pitched a story as in: annoyed Joe with unsolicited emails, which he politely tolerated)
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