It was a gut-wrenching death on this week’s “Harper’s Island,” partly because it was gruesome, partly because you were forced to sit there knowing full well that it was impending and couldn’t be stopped, but mostly because it was a character we knew more about than just about anyone else on the show.
This is another one of those cases where, although I wasn’t rooting for this person to get the call from Karim, I was still very much looking forward to talking to the actor in question…and, in fact, I enjoyed the interview so much that, although I’m not going to mention the person until after the jump, I will at least say this much to random web surfers who happen upon this entry: you don’t have to be a dedicated viewer of “Harper’s Island” to click onward. You could just be a fan of the work of David Milch (“Deadwood,” “John from Cincinnati”), or of “Supernatural,” and you’d still enjoy reading what lies after the jump.
…I do have a teaser for my upcoming interview with Bill Pullman about his new film, “Surveillance,” which has a “Harper’s Island” connection.
I don’t think many people outside of the TV critic community are aware of this, but Harry Hamlin wasn’t the first actor to play the part of Uncle Marty in “Harper’s Island.” Several months before the series premiered, CBS offered up to critics what’s best described as the pitch reel for the show, giving an idea of how it would kick off and approximately what we could expect as far as the feel of the series. By the time the show actually premiered, however, some of the actors remained the same and some didn’t…and the most notable actor who didn’t make the transition was the first man to fill the shoes of Uncle Marty: Bill Pullman.
Back in January, series producer Jon Turteltaub referred to Pullman’s appearance in the pitch reel as “a ‘While You Were Sleeping’ favor,” referring to the 1995 Sandra Bullock film in which Pullman was directed by Turteltaub.
“He’s a great guy to work with,” Pullman told me. “I don’t know whether he had somebody else or what it was, but it was kind of at the last minute. Or maybe it’s because that’s the way those things happen. Maybe the money only came together at the last minute, TV being what it is. But he knew he wanted to get somebody, and he said, ‘Listen, there is no obligation to do anything with the series afterwards, but I just need something for now. If you do it, fine, if you don’t do it, fine, too.’ But I loved the chance to go up there, and, you know, it was kind of a whacked character. I had a good time, and the actors who were there were good. I really liked Elaine Cassidy.”
So there you go: a “Harper’s Island” factoid you may not have known before. Hopefully, that’ll hold you ’til Wednesday! And as a bonus, here’s the trailer for Pullman’s film, “Surveillance,” which is pretty creepy in its own right:
First off, my apologies for the delay in getting this week’s interview onto the site, though in my defense, today is the earliest it possibly could have gotten up. Saturday night’s victim was out of town on Monday, which is now my new day to do the Victim of the Week interviews, so our conversation had to be bumped to Wednesday instead.
On a related note, please be aware that there will be no interview next week. Why? Because there’s no episode of “Harper’s Island” this Saturday. And why isn’t there one? Because CBS is opting instead to show a rerun of “The Mentalist.” As for why they’re doing such a thing, your guess is as good as mine. I can’t imagine I’m the only person mystified by the maneuver. I mean, presumably, it’s a way to gauge if the “Harper’s Island” fans who’ve followed the show to Saturdays and aren’t watching it on DVR or TiVo will come back if they skip a week, but, damn, come on, CBS, you’ve already annoyed us by shifting it to the weekend. Can’t you at least just run the remaining episodes uninterrupted? Surely we deserve that much.
And just one last thing before we get to our interview: when the show does return, the Victim of the Week interview won’t happen on the following Monday, because that’s Memorial Day Weekend. It will instead take place on Tuesday…and since I’ll be out of town on Tuesday, it remains to be seen if I’ll even be able to do it.
Damn. “Harper’s Island” fans just can’t catch a break…