Currently available projects: The Clinic on DVD/Blu-ray & Legend of the Seeker in re-runs

Friday, May 13, 2011

Poe - About Tabrett's role and the show's chances

The first time we heard about the pilot we couldn't be sure about much, and I got some facts wrong too but I removed the incorrect details some time ago. They haven't talked much more about the story or the characters since then, but here's what can be known for sure, hopefully we'll find out more in time.

As you can see above, Poe was not picked up. Sad news, but if you still want to know what the show would've ben about, you'll find everything below.

Update: Read the first comment to know all about Tabrett's role!

The main cast:
Tabrett Bethell - Sarah Elmira Royster
Christopher Egan - Edgar Allan Poe
Natalie Dormer - Celeste Chevalier
Kevin McNally - Police Commissioner Kyle Kilpatrick
Leslie Odom, Jr. - Julian "Jupiter" Noble, a doctor at a free clinic who helps Poe
(Fun little note: IMDb lists Tabrett after Natalie and before Chris.)

You can read a review of the pilot here, but there's no mention of Tabrett's character. I think, even though Poe himself wasn't exactly what some people were hoping for, it sounded like a pretty good show, and they could've made changes to the character later on.

And here's a site that has pictures from the set (none of Tabrett, she was only seen on the streets of Toronto once).

More inside.

About the show:
"Poe" is a crime procedural TV series that will follow Edgar Allan Poe, the world's very first detective, as he uses unconventional methods to investigate dark mysteries in 1840s Boston.
It has an element of Guy Ritchie’s version of Sherlock Holmes, an element of steampunk and a real sense of fun. This is before Poe’s darkest days. He has a sense of humor; he’s a believer surrounded by skeptics. The show in some ways bears a resemblance to Castle.

Tabrett's character is a museum curator, Poe's muse and former fiancĂ©e (we can expect some sexual tensions), but she's engaged to someone else (played by Marco Grazzini) now. Sarah has a lot of intrigue to her, and her role gets much more prominent toward the end of the pilot, she’s in several scenes, and definitely set up to be an integral character in the series. Tabrett's role is an important side storyline that will go throughout the series and may also get looped into the overarching plot of the series. Her screen time should be pretty decent in the pilot, according to those who read the script.
Thank you to the people who shared these little bits of info with us, the fans! Here's one last morsel: "Maybe the producers are familiar with some of Tab's previous work. I'll leave you with two words: bath tub."

Feedback from various entertainment sites:

New York Magazine:
"And against all odds, many insiders believe ABC will actually order Poe, its wacky drama in which the famed scribe plays detective."

"No Edgar Allan Poe-style mystery here: word is the 1840s crime drama is one of ABC topper Paul Lee's favorite pilots"
But their latest word is: "1840s detective show POE has been fading" :(

Entertainment Weekly:
"Star power: Tabrett Bethell, who reportedly plays Poe's muse, Sarah, has a bit of a cult following from her time on Legend of the Seeker, and a few might remember Egan from his short-lived NBC series Kings. Otherwise, Poe's working with a relatively unknown cast.
Why we're excited: The possibilities are endless with the king of macabre.
Earlier from them:
"James’ current obsession, the Edgar Allan Poe-as-crime-fighter-drama called Poe, is getting a lukewarm reception, with Chris Egan looking inappropriately hot in the lead (Counters Lynette: Is that really possible?)."

TVGuide says networks might take more risks this year, going for more interesting programming. This could work in Poe's favor.

The Hollywood Reporter: "sources suggest Poe is still in play"

A TV Calling:
"Is this Sherlock Holmes: The TV Show? Pretty much.
Still, you’ve got to give props for developing what some might consider a niche show, but is actually much more universal. The mysteries (and techniques employed) end up being almost timeless, and so do the characters. It may be another modernization of classics, but it’s done so well that you can’t complain. Fans of Poe will also be delighted with the many visual shout-outs.
Going to series? - Possibly. ABC might want to try something new by picking this up, and with Sherlock Holmes having a sequel released, the timing is perfect.

"Possibly our favorite (and the most ridiculous premise) pilot of the season. Edgar Allan Poe is a crime fighting poet in the 1840s. And according to the rumors, it's ABC's favorite new series for the Fall."
Here's what they'd like to see.

Zap2it says Poe could be aired on Fridays or as a midseason show, if it gets picked up.

Headline Planet says: "ABC’s own pilot “Poe” is still in contention."

Media Life Magazine has an article on what ABC needs to do to increase ratings overall. It seems to suggests nurturing new shows and cutting the safe. It also says: "Poe is considered a strong contender for fall."

"The fantasy-mystery vehicles "Once Upon a Time," "The River" and "Poe" are all said to have been well received by ABC brass, but there's concern about the costs and whether the shows have the potential to cross over beyond genre fans."

The TV Chick:
"One of the most interesting new dramas to be presented this season. The plot is certainly enough to hook us in, and the top-lining cast of Bethell and Egan will no doubt resonate with younger viewers. This is yet another show that could be ABC’s ticket to a fantasy hit, as long as the stories are interesting enough to keep an audience. It’s one that I really am excited to see come to fruition. The concept is fun and interesting, and being a big fan of Bethell from her Legend of the Seeker days, I know she’ll give a top-notch performance."

Comments from random people on articles mentioning the show or at forums and other places are mixed, some loved the script, some found it weak. Since this is admittedly a quirky kind of show, perhaps it's not for everyone.

The show has a chance to be picked up, but since it started out as a favourite and now sources are saying it's fading, I don't know what to think. Let's hope ABC will order and air at least a couple of episodes! It could be a great opportunity for Tabrett to show what an amazing actress she is to more people, including viewers and industry people too.


  1. Hey there, Dark here. Figured I'd bounce over here to elaborate more than Twitter will allow in 140 characters.

    Here's what I remember of Sarah in the pilot: Poe goes to a dance she's attending, manages to get a dance with her over the protests of her new military fiancee. Their conversation is the basic 'be with me' 'no, you're obsessed with your work' stuff.

    Later, it turns out that Sarah's new fellow is the final target in the string of murders Poe's investigating. There's a bit more interaction when Sarah walks into Poe's living quarters and catches him and Celeste in what appears to be a tender scene, but isn't. There's some reiteration of the 'look at all this stuff, no wonder we didn't work out, you're so obsessed with all this' and that's pretty much that for Sarah except for a scene where Poe sees her off, I believe. (My memory isn't perfect, and this was two weeks ago.)

    Tabrett's job in the pilot is to look pretty and repeatedly tell Poe he's too obsessed with his work. For the plot, it's intended to give Poe a drive to find the answers he's looking for (something supernatural killed his mother and sister) so that he can quit and perhaps be with Sarah. For the viewer, though, there's nothing beyond her beauty to impress them enough as to why Poe is so completely obsessed with her. Celeste is also gorgeous, and is clearly interested in Poe, yet he never notices because Sarah, Sarah, Sarah.

    Tabrett does a fine job, but she's basically eye candy with a very small plot-related job. The script doesn't give her (or anyone, honestly) enough depth to work with to be anything besides a very beautiful society girl of the 1840's, engaged to a young, handsome, military man.

    Of course, she's not alone, as I said in my review. No character has any depth whatsoever, even Poe, who is supposedly haunted by his past yet never looks worse than if he's had some bad chicken salad that's given him some gas.

    I've no doubt that Tabrett is a fine actress, but it's for the best that Poe didn't go to series as it stood in the pilot. It required a great deal of tinkering and recasting of the lead to have -any- hope of surviving the tough US network television business. If they kept Sarah as she was, Tabrett wouldn't have had much to do beyond looking pretty and leading Poe along. This frees her up to find better roles.

  2. Thank you very much for sharing! You're right, this would've been a waste of her talent... :(