"Skinwalkers" on PBS

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I can't find the post but I know that someone just mentioned that they were a Tony Hillerman fan. "Mystery" on PBS is going to be doing "Skinwalkers" on November 24th. Robert Redford is the executive producer and the script was done by his son James. What makes this project unique is not only does it feature Native American actors, but the director and cameramen are NA as well.

Here's a link to an article with the details. "Skinwalkers" was the first Hillerman novel I read, so I'm excited.

Skinwalkers on PBS

-- Anonymous, July 31, 2002


That was me, Sherri. Thanks for letting me know. Going by my master schedule; it looks like I'm off that night. I've got a love/hate relationship with books into movies. Gone With the Wind wasn't bad, North and South was actually better than the book and I've seen several stage productions of One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest and those ranked from good to brilliant. This one looks like it's going to fit in the same mold with the TV show Spenser For Hire - I don't know who those two guys in the picture are supposed to be; but they ain't MY idea of Leaphorn and Chee! Too young on Leaphorn, too buff, too blow- dried of a look; that suit? Leaphorn would never wear that suit!! And Chee's too buff and not lanky enough. Their posture, the way they are looking out of that shot is all wrong. Navaho's don't stare. It's rude. And for that matter, those guys aren't even Navaho. Ah well. Watch it I will, if I am really off work.

I've actually been re-reading all my Hillerman's this week; looking for one specific scene. It must be in Ghostway, because that's the only one I can't find. Gotta hit up the UBS, I guess. And quit loaning my books out - though, truth be told, it's probably in one of those many boxes, waiting to be put on the shelf. Another chore for the winter to-do list!

-- Anonymous, July 31, 2002

I always liked Tony Hillerman's books. If Redford is directing it, it has a chance of being an authentic teevee experience. I'll watch it.

-- Anonymous, July 31, 2002

I pictured Leaphorn as older than the actor. Also, Chee (to me) should be more gangly and contemporary (or maybe it's the uniform).

Hope they show LOTS of scenery!!!!

-- Anonymous, July 31, 2002

I'm a big Tony Hillerman fan, too, and Skinwalkers was also his first novel that I found. Then I went back and read all the ones previous to that, and I get each new one when it comes out. The Wailing Wind is coming out soon. The libraries already have it, and I've got my name on the waiting list. That way, I can read it, but wait to buy the hardcover copy when it is about to come out in paperback -- get the hardcover for cheap then.

Robert Redford is NOT directing -- he's executive producer. None of these sites seem to mention that he has ALREADY done a version of one of Hillerman's books -- The Dark Wind. Executive producer in that case as well. Theatrical release -- flop. I found it disappointing. Lou Diamond Phillips played Chee, which SHOULD have been fine since he's a good actor. I don't know what were thinking of with that screenplay! AND they put Leaphorn into the movie (wasn't in the book) in the Captain's role. Total waste of the character, who bore no resemblance in personality to Joe Leaphorn. Fred Ward played the part. It sucked, but I don't blame Ward so much as the writers and the director. >:-(

So, I await Skinwalkers with both anticipation and trepidation. I also fear, based on past experiences with PBS productions, that they will leave out a VERY important player -- the Desert Southwest. Well, of course, the can't leave it out entirely, but the region is SO much a part of the stories that giving it short shrift will hurt the production, IMO. I've been REALLY spoiled by Fellowship of the Ring, with their attention to detail in sets and scenery. I notice now, if things look to new, too just made, too cheesy, etc. {sigh}

Neither of the principal actors looks like a Navaho to me, but I guess I can live with that. I've not seen Adam Beach in anything, but I really like Wes Studi (probably best known for playing Magwa in "The Last of the Mohicans" -- Daniel Day-Lewis version). Excellent actor.

I put the show on my reminder calendar so I will remember to watch it in November. I could easily forget it at that time of the year, what with holidays coming up and the extended-version DVD of FoTR coming out around then. I'm also bookmarking this site:


which will have more information on the program earlier in November.

-- Anonymous, August 01, 2002

Hillerman is my very favorite mystery writer. Very interesting descriptions of the Native American customs and lifestyles.

I won't be seeing the TV movie, alas, as I gave away my boob tube in 1973, when I realized I had become a vidiot...

-- Anonymous, August 01, 2002

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