Friday, August 5, 2011

The 10 greatest TV detectives of all time

OC Register, 8.4.11

Several weeks ago, the Watcher asked for readers’ help as he undertook the task of naming the 10 greatest detectives in TV history.

It turned out to be a much more difficult case than I had imagined. There were many opinions, and even more names to consider that were not nominated.

I set a few guidelines to help narrow the field.

First, I limited myself to American series, which probably knocked out many favorites, like Inspector Morse, Hamish Macbeth, Miss Marple and, most memorably to the Watcher, Sherlock Holmes as essayed by Jeremy Brett.

Next, no lawyers. A great case can be made for Perry Mason, but I think legal shows constitute their own genre. Maybe someday I will come up with a list of TV’s 10 greatest attorneys.

Third, the detectives could be cops, but their shows had to be primarily about solving crimes and pursuing mysteries. Serials set in police stations and other police-oriented drama – no matter how good – would be out of bounds. That’s why this list does not include Andy Sipowicz, Mick Belker or Joe Friday.

The remainder I passed through a sieve of reader opinion, historical significance and my own extreme preferences.

And so I settled on the 10 who follow, with apologies to Stu Bailey, Amos Burke, Robert T. Ironside, Joe Mannix, Harry Orwell and all six of “Charlie’s Angels.

excerpted -

2. Robert Goren (Vincent D’Onofrio), “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” 2001-11
The modern Sherlock Holmes, Goren is a character of massive brilliance and equally massive faults. D’Onofrio turned all of Goren’s habits and tics into compelling television, from his barely buried rage to his deprecating jokes to his always-amusing invasion of others’ space. How D’Onofrio avoided winning an Emmy remains an unsolvable mystery.

Order from Amazon:
Kill the Irishman [Blu-ray]
Kill the Irishman
Law & Order Criminal Intent: Season 6
free coupons


mauigirl said...

Nice to read this.
But, as to how he avoided winning an Emmy? Well, see, first you have to nominated for the Emmy.

Anonymous said...

I can answer why Vincent's never - and probably never will - win an Emmy/Oscar. It's quite easy really: he doesn't kiss Hollyweird's ass and does what interests him, regardless of the money (or lack of it!) on offer.

Reason number 404,362a why we love him :0)

judith said...

nice read.
Vicent is not 'showbisiy' enough and thats why the 'powers-that-be' never nominated him.

val said...

He doesn't play their game, and I admire him for it.

Who came first? I bet it was Columbo!

thereel said...

Yep, it's Columbo!

maculae said...

We are forgetting that he WAS nominated for Homicide.

samuela said...

What's really ridicolous is that Idris Elba was nominated for Luther after one season. Let me get it straight, gorgeous Idris is as charismatic as good in the show, he fills the scene magnificently. But I can't help but seeing how John Luther looks like a Londoneer version of Robert Goren, female nemesis included.
Anyway, Vincent took a purely literary character and give him full life. Played by anyone else it would be unbelievable. Played by him it became epic. That's what is left to us now and forever. A wingy piece of metal can't compare.

Kris Ann said...

Samuela, when I watched Luther, all I could think was "Ah, a London version of Goren, complete with his own Nicole - Luther's Alice."

Don't get me wrong, loved Luther, loved Idris. :) But clearly saw the parallels there. :)

[Browse Amazon]


List of films in production.

"In Dubious Battle" [2016]

"In Dubious Battle" [2016]
An activist gets caught up in the labor movement for farm workers in California during the 1930s. Vincent....Al Anderson


A story about the early life of Tennessee Williams

Directed by James Franco
Vincent D'Onofrio, Jacob Loeb

"American Falls" - [TBA]

In a rural town in Southern Idaho, the Suzukis, a Japanese American family, run a small motel. One night they get a strange visitor who sports ‘city’ clothes who turns out to be the first African-American man that Toru Suzuki’s children have ever seen. Yoshiko takes it upon herself to solve the mystery about this man, especially when 2 police officers come knocking on their door.

Short film produced by Erika Hampson.
Vincent D'Onofrio as Detective Foster.

'Purgatory' [TBA]

'Purgatory' [TBA]
Tagline: In the Wild West a lot of blood was spilled... but it didn't go to waste. Vincent....Dallas Stoudenmire

"A Fall From Grace" [TBA]

Detective Michael Tabb knows the city of St. Louis inside and out. He has felt its true heart, as much as its dark underbelly: but he does not know who, in both the dark and light - is taking the lives of young girls.

Director: Jennifer Lynch
Producer/Writer ...Eric Wilkinson

Vincent D'Onofrio ....George Lawson (GRACE's father)
Tim Roth.......Detective Tabb

Filming in St Louis - TBA

"Supreme Ruler" [TBA]

A man campaigns to become the leader of the Buffalo lodge.

Vincent D'Onofrio as Hank Dory
Ron Livingston as Steve
Marcia Gay Harden as Nancy

"The Monster Next Door" [TBA]

"The Monster Next Door" - Comedy Horror

Executive Produced by Dennis Johnson, Melanie Mohlman Produced by Eric Wilkinson, David Michaels
Written by Jim Robbins
Directed by Jennifer Lynch

Cast: Vincent D'Onofrio, Bill Pullman, French Stewart, Bill Moseley

'Down & Dirty Pictures' - [in Production - Filming TBA]

'Down & Dirty Pictures' - [in Production - Filming TBA]
Vincent......Harvey Weinstein

[Search This Blog]

[Google It]

  © Blogger templates Brooklyn by 2008

Back to TOP