Lord Peter Wimsey

For anyone who is a fan of the Lord Peter Wimsey books and films, does anyone think it's time for a new series adaptation of Wimsey films? I know the most successful Wimsey productions were the ones from the 70's with Ian Carmichael and the ones from the 80's with Edward Petherbridge. But does anything think it's time for a new actor to put on the monocle and play Lord Peter Wimsey and star in ALL of the books and the short stories.....including the last book in the series "Busman's Honeymoon" which unfortunately was not adapted when Petherbridge played the role. 


  • GKCfanGKCfan Wisconsin, United States
    Yes, I would like to see more Sayers adaptations.
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    Yes it is High time we had a new Sir Peter Wimsey.
  • Who do you think should play Lord Peter Wimsey? 
  • Tom Hiddlestone.
  • Does anyone know if Hollywood still holds the rights to Busman's Honeymoon? This is why it was never filmed in the Edward Petherbridge portrayal of Wimsey. 
  • Actually, for the Peter Wimsey books, except for "Busman's holiday", they did series of all of my favorites - Clouds of witness, The Nine Taylers, Murder must advertise and Gaudy Night. What I would like is more Ngaio Marsh (Inspetor Alleyn) series - specifically Grave Mistake, Night at the Vulcan, False Scent and a few others. In that series I was really disappointed at their choice of books, they did some of the less interesting (like Nursing Home Murder) and missed some of the better ones IMHO. However, in both series the female main interest was "modernised" - both Harriet Vane in the Wimsey series and Agatha Troy in the Alleyn series are portrayed as much more self-confident, both as creators and as women, and much more spicy than in the books - I think, for instance, it would be difficult to make "Busman's Honeymoon" that would both be faithful to the book and follow the old "Gaudy Night" series. 
  • @taliavishay-arbel: Many years ago I tried to read Ngaio Marsh and read A Man Lays Dead which is the first book in the series, but I didn't like the way the book was written and it left me a little confused in some places. I read the book when I was younger so maybe things would change now if I read it again. I'll return to reading Ngaio Marsh again but this time with a different book. Which one would you recommend? 
  • Well I know that when Edward Petherbridge made "Gaudy Night" there were a lot of people who like the movie but didn't think it was the best because there were significant changes from the novel and left out several elements and subplots. I know that the book was a really, really long one and probably one of Dorothy L. Sayers' best, probably her magnum opus, so there was a lot of expectation and a lot to live up to and I think the fans expected a little bit more than what they got. I just wish that "Busman's Honeymoon" was filmed. The fans who felt a little let down by Gaudy Night probably would have had their spirits lifted up a bit by "Busman's Honeymoon"......it would have been a better closure for the series than ending it with Gaudy Night.
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    Good Idea Griselda.
  • Hmmm.....Tom Hiddleston. I'm a little on the fence with this pick. I look at some pictures and he kinda favors a Lord Peter Wimsey but then again I wonder how he would play the role if he were given that opportunity. 
  • I guess he would play it with charisma, and feeling. If he is going to be the next James Bond, he won't make a good Lord Peter, as we'll all identify him with the spy supremo and not shake that vision off. He would gather fans young and not so young to watch him, but I think you are probably right that there is an exactly the right choice there who isn't him. I did make the suggestion a bit off the cuff.

    What about Jack Davenport - I think Tommy likes him.
  • AnnikaAnnika United States of America
    I would love to see new adaptions of the Peter Wimsey books. I like Griselda's idea of Tom Hiddleston but think Matt Smith would also make a great Wimsey. For Harriet Vane I would like Carey Mulligan, Tuppence Middleton or Adelaide Clemens.
  • If Lord Peter Wimsey was filmed today, I would be a little nervous about it considering the atrocity that I've seen with some of the later Poirot's, with the insignificant changes and additions to the films. If the filmmakers didn't have much respect to Agatha Christie's material, I don't see much for Dorothy L. Sayers either. They are so set on modernizing the material and it's so senseless and unnecessary. Mind you, I expect changes and omissions in adaptations but only when its necessary and sensible. I don't see much hope for faithful adaptations like we use to get......I'm not saying all the adaptations in the past (specifically the 80's and 90's) were faithful. Those days seem to be over. I hope not but it seems to be. I haven't found one adaptation from the new Miss Marple series that I like and in the later Poirot's there were more misses than hits. And the new Sherlock Holmes series is a horrible abomination and I don't see the need to put Sherlock Holmes in the 21st century. And the Tommy & Tuppence series that recently came out and just ended just didn't keep my eyes peeled to the screen. 
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    I think Tom Hiddleston could play the Serious side of Wimsey but what about the Clipping language? What about JJ Field or is he too old now?
  • edited June 2016

    ChristieFanForLife, about Ngaio March books: It is very apparent that her earlier books were more "puzzle books", while later she is much more serious about developing characters and dynamics. In general I'd divide her books into 3 groups (partly overlapping chronologically) - the early "puzzle" types which I'd give a miss, the middle ones in which there is a clear puzzle but the characters are well defined and the drama is sparkling - of these I'd recommend "Death in a white tie", "Scales of Justice", "Overture to death", "Opening night" and "Spinsters in Jeopardy", and the later books, with more atmosphere and deeper characterization, which I also liked: my favorites from this period are "False Scent", "Dead Water", "Clutch of Constables", "When in Rome", "Black as He's Painted" "Last Ditch", "Grave Mistake" and "Light Thickens". For lighter reading I'd start with "Death in a White Tie" and "When in Rome". for more intense reading I'd reccomend "Opening Night" and "False Scent".

  • Griselda said:
    I guess he would play it with charisma, and feeling. If he is going to be the next James Bond, he won't make a good Lord Peter, as we'll all identify him with the spy supremo and not shake that vision off. He would gather fans young and not so young to watch him, but I think you are probably right that there is an exactly the right choice there who isn't him. I did make the suggestion a bit off the cuff.

    What about Jack Davenport - I think Tommy likes him.
    No, what you said wasn't off the cuff at all. I was thinking about it for a bit and Tom Hiddleston looks like he would be a good choice to play Lord Peter Wimsey. 
  • Anyone have any favorite Lord Peter books/short stories?

  • Mine are "Murder must Advertise" and "Gaudy Night". Second place - "Nine Tailors" and "Clouds of Witness". 
  • GKCfanGKCfan Wisconsin, United States
    "Strong Poison" is my favorite.
  • edited June 2016
    @GKCFan: Mines too. I love how the book begins; it's so descriptive: 

    There were crimson roses on the bench; they looked like splashes of blood.

    The judge was an old man; so old, he seemed to have outlived time and change and death. His parrot-face and parrot-voice were dry, like his old, heavily-veined hands. His scarlet robe clashed harshly with the crimson of the roses. He had sat for three days in the stuffy court, but he showed no sign of fatigue.

    He did not look at the prisoner as he gathered his notes into a neat sheaf and turned to address the jury, but the prisoner looked at him. Her eyes, like dark smudges under the heavy square brows, seemed equally without fear and without hope. They waited.

    "Members of the jury—"

    The patient old eyes seemed to sum them up and take stock of their united intelligence. Three respectable tradesmen—a tall, argumentative one, a stout, embarrassed one with a drooping moustache, and an unhappy one with a bad cold; a director of a large company, anxious not to waste valuable time; a publican, incongruously cheerful; two youngish men of the artisan class; a nondescript, elderly man, of educated appearance, who might have been anything; an artist with a red beard disguising a weak chin; three women—an elderly spinster, a stout capable woman who kept a sweet-shop, and a harassed wife and mother whose thoughts seemed to be continually straying to her abandoned hearth.

    The book has Harriet Vane, a great mystery to boot, and we see a side of Lord Peter Wimsey that we haven't seen in the previous stories--he's beginning to fall in love.

  • Has anyone read the books that Jill Paton Walsh continued in the Wimsey series?

    • Thrones & Dominations (Paton finished Sayers' unfinished Wimsey book)
    • A Presumption Of Death
    • The Attenbury Emeralds
    • The Late Scholar
    If so, which one did you read and what is/are your opinions of it? 
    If you haven't read either of the books, how do you feel with another author continuing on with the series? 
  • I read the first two. They were very good, very much in the style of Dorothy Sayers and continuing her characters. The first one SPOILER was tragic - I never went back to it. The second one is set in the Tallboys neighbourhood during the war, and I enjoyed it and went back to it. The third one goes back and forth from the present to the old Attenbury mystery (which is hinted in the DS books), and I found it confusing. The writing is superb, and the characters are really a development of the original characters. I strongly recommend these books. 
  • @taliavishay-arbel: Surprised to hear of someone who really liked these books and didn't have much of a problem with them. The reason why I asked that question was that many didn't like Sophie Hannah taking over Agatha Christie's Poirot character and I know that for hardcore fans of a particular author doesn't like it when another takes over a deceased writer's series. 
  • edited June 2016
    ChristieFanForLife: I absolutely agree with you. I've tried several "continuing" books - the Pollyanna series, sequels to Jane Austen Books, to Sherlock Holmes and others, and usually I really disliked them.  (I did like the Doyle jr. and Carr book of Sherlock Holmes stories, but not the Anthony Horowitz book, that was sanctioned by the heirs to the Doyle estate) My three exceptions are Jill Paton Walsh's Whimsey books, Charles Tritten's Heidi books (a bit different but good) and Pamela Cox's sequels to Enid Blyton Malory Towers series - all are good reading and don't do violence to fans' love of the originals.
  • GKCfanGKCfan Wisconsin, United States
    I would be very interested to learn where Sayers' original manuscript ended and where Paton Walsh took over Thrones.  I want to read the original WWII-era Wimsey Papers some day, because I know they inspired Presumption.  I haven't read Scholar yet, just the first three.  One problem I had with Emeralds was that the Wimsey sons hadn't heard about their mother being tried for murder until they were nearly grown.  Now, with Harriet being a famous mystery writer, I'm sure they would have come across some newspaper article that said "Harriet Vane, the bestselling author who was acquitted of murder..." much earlier.  Plus, one of their schoolboy friends would have known about it and mentioned it.  And I just know that their "beloved" Aunt Helen would have mentioned their mother being tried for murder at Christmas dinner at some point earlier in their lives.
  • @GKCfan: I have heard that with The Late Scholar, the material in the book isn't based on the Wimsey papers. I think Jill Paton Walsh is on her own now to come up with her own original Wimsey stories. 
  • The wikipedia article, 
    gives some information about what Sayers did towards "Thrones, Dominations".

    I'm just reading "The late scholar". So far (about a third of the way through) I'm loving every word.
  • @taliavishay-arbel: Glad to hear. I need to get my hands on The Late Scholar at some point. And the writing style is similar to Dorothy L. Sayers? 
Sign In or Register to comment.