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vald 10th Jun 2008 1:03

Top Ten Detectives
Having just mentioned Peter Falk in the decent TV thread, for his portrayal of Columbo, how about a top ten of detectives? They can be book, tv, or film ones, but not real ones, (that's too gruesome, I only like fictional crime!) Here's my 10, not in any particular order, but they're all great.

1. Columbo - of course. I love the way he nabs his villains, always very polite, and acting like he hasn't got a clue. There's something very comforting about him.

2. Chief Inspector Barnaby - again, a very warm character, watching Midsomer Murders is like diving into a bath of marshmallows and know what I mean. It's pure escapist fluff, and if I was ever going to get my collar felt, I'd like it to be by Barnaby, but he has to have Troy with him, not one of the newer sidekicks.

3. Charles Paris - ok he's not strictly a detective, he's an actor, but he comes across a murder wherever he goes, and solves it with great humour. So he's an amateur detective, but very funny. (Simon Brett - author).

4. Sherlock Holmes - he has to be there of course, what more can you say about him that hasn't already been said? And we have the added bonus of Jeremy Brett's performance of the great man. Pure brilliance.

5. Hercule Poirot - What can you say? Eccentric, annoying, weird, precise, verging on the downright odd, but a great character, brought to life excellently by David Suchet.

6. Jane Marple - Never has the twitching of curtains by a nosey old bat been more useful. Joan Hickson reigns supreme.

7. Marcus Didius Falco - Ancient Roman detective, penned by Lindsey Davis. A kind of wisecracking, hard-boiled Marlowe type character.

8. Steve Martin (can't remember the PI's name, but the hilarious one in Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid, an inspired send-up of all those forties hard-boiled types.

9. Philip Marlowe - as played by Humphrey Bogart. Classic.

10. Inspector Lestrade - as written by M.J.Trow. A brilliant detective up against an inept Holmes, very funny.

Edit: I'm changing Falco for Dalziel. Reginald Hill's books of Dalziel and Pascoe are a world away from the tv series. They're very well-written, he's very erudite, and writes fantastic thrillers that knock spots off the dodgy tv adaptations. That goes for Caroline Graham too, who wrote the original Barnaby. The books are much better than the tv versions, although I do love John Nettles.

Ophelia 10th Jun 2008 1:04

Re: Top Ten Detectives
What, no Rebus?

*dies of shock*

BiNS 10th Jun 2008 1:08

Re: Top Ten Detectives
And no Morse??

Or Sledgehammer, my personal favourite.

Ophelia 10th Jun 2008 1:16

Re: Top Ten Detectives
Trust me; I know what I'm doing.

vald 10th Jun 2008 1:30

Re: Top Ten Detectives
Doh...I should have made it top 15...How can I forget Morse and Sledgehammer? I have to say though, I always preferred Lewis to Morse, he was such a grumpy old git, and Lewis was often onto the solution way before his boss. Sledgehammer was great, but not as great as Frank Drebin...damn, there's another one I forgot. All together now....let's hear it for Police Squad..da da da, da da da da da da, da da da, da da da da da da, :lol:

Edit: Rebus is ok, but only watchable for the great Ken Stott.

BiNS 10th Jun 2008 1:45

Re: Top Ten Detectives
In no particular order (apart from #1)
  • Sledge Hammer! I don't know if it was because I had generally had a few beers when this showed on a Friday night, but it always made me laugh, shame none of the cable channels have re-run it.
  • Sherlock Holmes - It all started here didn't it?
  • Jane Tennisson
  • Cracker
  • Rebus - If Ken Stott had had the role from the start, I'd feel more comfortable.
  • Elvis Cole - Wisecracking hero of several Robert Crais books.
  • Charlie Parker - Complex character from Ireland's John Connolly.
  • Sam Spade - Could have been written for Bogart. Just found out Bogart's Maltese Falcon was a remake
  • Harry Bosch - Michael Connelly's world weary LA detective.
  • Morse - Couldn't get on with the books but loved the TV versions.

Noumenon 10th Jun 2008 2:45

Re: Top Ten Detectives (no particular order for me)
I'm sure I'm missing out important names, and Sledge Hammer is only one of them...
  • Sherlock Holmes
  • Columbo
  • Popeye Doyle (The French Connection)
  • Magnum P.I.
  • Jim Rockford (The Rockford Files...)
  • Philip Marlowe (Elliot Gould version)
  • J.J. "Jake" Gittes (Chinatown)
  • Rick Deckard (Bladerunner)
  • Inspector Morse
  • Dash L. Hammered (plug plug)

Beth 10th Jun 2008 2:54

Re: Top Ten Detectives
That last one's enough t'make a dame swoon. :-)

kirsty 10th Jun 2008 10:12

Re: Top Ten Detectives
Morse will always be number one for me (more the TV series than the books, I confess, with which I have a love-hate relationship), but I must say that the two series of Lewis so far have been top notch. I have them all on DVD already, and I can't recommend them highly enough.

Also, and I know they aren't detectives, but I have been *loving* the ITV4 repeats of The Professionals recently. Martin Shaw... *swoon*. Even with that curly hair. *sigh*

Hinton 10th Jun 2008 14:09

Re: Top Ten Detectives

Originally Posted by vald (Post 92886)
8. Steve Martin (can't remember the PI's name, but the hilarious one in Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid, an inspired send-up of all those forties hard-boiled types.

What are you doing?

Adjusting your breasts.

A couple of my own favourites are stuck in the written word at the moment - no one having seen fit to give them the screen time they so obviously deserve.

Firstly there's Robert Rankin's Lazlo Woodbine. All hard-drinking, gun-waving man Lazlo (some call him Laz) is the genre detectives genre detective. He works in four classic locations - his office, where he slugs back the booze and hears the woes of clients, the bar where barman Fangio and he chew the fat, an alleyway in which shootouts take place and a rooftop on which the grand finale goes down. There's also a talking sprout named Barry, but like all truly great men Lazlo is guided by the rules, not bound by them.

Second there's Louie Knight, the only private eye to be found in my old stomping ground of Aberystwyth. A man plagued by corrupt druids, sinister cleaning ladies and his love for the doomed Myfawnwy.

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