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Saturday, August 23, 2003

Get Quinn Martin on the Phone!

(I wasn't going to post this, but I thought mocking it would make jkrank feel better.)

The post below gives me a great [well, maybe not] idea for a TV series.

A rich, eccentric man, not in the best of health, collects postcards. Unlike most other collectors, he collects cards from a certain (rather wide) time range---based on the message on the back. If a card interests him, he investigates---who's the sender and the recipient, and what are they to one another? What were their fates?

He does this because he's looking for something. He made his fortune long ago in some mysterious, almost certainly illegal way. Whatever it was, it involved a lot of coded postcards---not all of them sent by him. He's trying to track someone down...but why? Revenge? Reward? Reunion? That'll be part of the puzzle.

But while he's looking for clues to his own mystery, he solves those of other people.

I'm thinking the Vietnam War should have something to do with it---maybe arms smuggling. It will involve a lot of different countries around the Pacific Rim.

Since he can't get out much, he'll need a mis-matched team of male and female assistants that will try hard not to fall in love. There might be an annoying reporter on his tail, and definitely government agents and other shady types from his past will turn up from time to time, wanting favors. Then, of course, there are the people he finds and reunites or brings to justice or whatever, plus the colorful world of postcard collecting. [Ahem. I have no idea whether postcard collecting is indeed a colorful world. But the book sales I went to in NoCal sure were "colorful". I think there's something about collecting anything that brings out the creepy obsessive in us all.]

Not all of his researches have happy endings, by any means.

Think of it as The Equalizer coupled with The Finder of Lost Loves, with maybe a bit of Nero Wolfe thrown in.

This show would've been golden back in the late '70s or early '80s, when people were happy to watch geriatric detectives toddle about the landscape (see, e.g. Barnaby Jones or Murder, She Wrote.)

[Turn's out Quinn's dead. Bummer.]