Friday, April 26, 2013


I did eventually finish and post that piece about Tobin Wade and company:
And this is the first part of it, from some time ago:

I always worry a bit when writing such pieces that the one hurt by the other will come off stubborn and for it to look terrible if they can’t readily forgive. But Aaron Stuart has every right to be struggling with it, after what was done to him and Marian. I still wanted a hopeful resolution, though.

I love how the episode shows what a great person he is in contrast with Tobin. The thought that he killed Tobin, even accidentally, is so sickening to him that he feels he can scarcely even begin to atone for it. Aaron is not a person who would deliberately harm anyone out of spite, no matter what was done to him first.

(And I find it amusing and interesting that Milton Selzer and H.M. Wynant appeared together in several other assorted episodes of shows. But they don’t share any scenes except in the Hawaii 5-O episode While You’re At It, Bring in the Moon. That’s a fun one.)

This past evening, faced with the choice of two episodes that don’t have Hamilton, on my local station and on Me, I finally chose my local station’s. It’s the last of the Chamberlin episodes, The Wintry Wife, so I decided to watch it and see if I could glean any inspiration for Chamberlin’s future role in The Malevolent Mugging, since he’s a supporting character in it.

I have the feeling that episode is one of the ones most heavily butchered. There were so many places where a scene and its music stopped abruptly, indicating a cut. I wonder if Chamberlin features into any of the clipped scenes.

Since that is the episode where we see him a lot outside of court, I paid special attention to how he was written and portrayed. And I was a bit surprised to note that in his first scene, when he talks to Perry in his office, he sounds a lot like Hamilton in season 1. He’s very formal with Perry (which is to be expected) and very stubborn about the case he’s setting up. Not that Hamilton isn’t always firm about his cases when he believes there’s enough evidence to substantiate them, but the actual stubbornness did lessen as time went on and he grew more willing to listen to Perry’s thoughts.

In court, Chamberlin is very businesslike in his approach, almost making him seem a bit detached from the situation. He definitely doesn’t have Sampson’s passion, and his approach doesn’t seem like Hamilton’s, either. So it’s nice to see that Robert Karnes did try to give him his own style.

Somehow now I imagine Chamberlin and Andy getting along particularly well, since Andy uses a businesslike approach himself.

I’m wondering if the way Chamberlin is written in his first scene has anything to do with the episode’s writer. It was Samuel Newman’s third Perry script. Perhaps the main episodes he was familiar with when he set about writing were from season 1. Those early episodes certainly are popular with fans. It’s not hard to believe that perhaps even while the series was originally running, those episodes could have been used as a guidepost for how to write the scripts.

Looking up his earlier Perry scripts, I’m intrigued to note that he wrote The Deadly Double, the infamous split-personality episode. Although dated now, and not an episode I often seek out, I’m still very impressed by Constance Ford’s performance as both girls.

The other script he wrote prior to this one is The Resolute Reformer, the season 4 episode featuring John Hoyt. And since it is one of the ones without Hamilton as well, that does mean that Samuel Newman’s only previous experience writing Hamilton came from season 1. It’s interesting that he went from that to being one of the champions of writing for the district attorney’s office, even penning The Fatal Fetish in season 8.

Out of curiosity now, I’m probably going to dig out my uncut copy of The Deadly Double and see how he wrote for Hamilton in that first attempt. There definitely were times in season 1 when Hamilton had awesome scenes, and it would be nice if Samuel Newman wrote a couple of them.

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