Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Daring Decoy: Book vs. Episode

First off, YAAAY, we have some news! YES! Season 9 to start releasing on DVD in June! I am so there.

So on Tuesday morning MeTV will air The Daring Decoy. I always look forward to that, even in its chopped-up state. With it, I really am sure that they didn’t cut any of H.M.’s scenes.

I got curious a while back to know what differences there were in the book, so I looked it up.

Of course, I imagine that every one of the books gets seriously condensed in the television versions. They pretty much have to do that in order to fit into the time slots. There’s just too many plot twists and turns otherwise.

The book is . . . well, extremely different. So much so that while the plot is recognizable, those parts kind of get a bit buried under everything else that’s going on. I can’t say I necessarily like the sound of the way the book does it better than I like the television version, but Conway does have a great deal more “screentime” in the book. That, I most definitely like.

Note I call him by his last name. That’s because, among other things, his given name is different in the book. He’s Gerald or Jerry there, instead of Daniel. Just from the summary, I can’t really tell if his personality is the same, but if it is I think Daniel is a much more fitting name. Gerald seems a bit stiff, while Daniel seems sweeter and friendlier, matching his basically easy-going and kind personality in the episode.

Almost everyone gets a name change from book to episode, actually. The only character who keeps both first and last names is the victim, Rose Calvert. The elevator operator is Myrtle instead of Mavis.

Said operator has a lot bigger of a role to play in the book. Paul even seems to be dating her to try to get her to open up and cooperate. And she has some amusing eating habits. If you click the above link, just see what she thinks is a little bit of food!

She doesn’t seem to have the same personality as on television. I wasn’t sure I liked where it mentions that she laughs at Mr. Calvert. And she wants a fur coat in the epilogue. I like the cute, introverted, kind of plain girl with the amazing talent for recognizing shoes in the television episode.

And Mr. Calvert, by the way, must be a lot creepier in the book. Whereas it’s implied that the killing is an accident in the episode, in the book he doesn’t want anyone to have Rose if he can’t. He kills her in a murder-suicide thing, but then chickens out on killing himself. Good grief.

The character of Amelia Armitage seems to be completely absent. There’s no one really comparable to the role she plays in the episode. I’m glad they added her in the episode; I really like her. (And she has good taste in men.)

The mysterious woman who calls Conway on the phone, the wife of the Warner Griffith counterpart, actually seems to be trying to help Conway at first. But then she gets worried that she (not her husband) will get blamed for the murder and she sets about trying to frame Conway.

Instead of him finding the body when he goes to the hotel room, he finds her stripped to her undies and wearing a mud-mask, and they fight over the gun, with her wanting him to take it (although he doesn’t know she wants that). That … honestly sounds like one of the most bizarre scenes ever. Okay, so she wears a mud-mask to disguise her face, but … stripping down like that? Was that so he wouldn’t be able to recognize her clothes later? Even if that’s the answer, that is weird.

But, differences aside, I would definitely be interested in reading this book (or at least looking through it) if I ever run into it locally. Most particularly, I want to see how Conway’s personality in the book compares with Daniel in the episode.

1 comment:

  1. Even though she's well mud-masked, she stripped down to undies so he'd focus on her
    bodacious bod. This strategem doubles down on the mud-mask. Very clever lady