While the world awaits the big-screen premiere of the return of Miss Phryne Fisher (Essie Davis) in Miss Fisher & The Crypt of Tears — with her pearl-handled Smith & Wesson in one hand and cocktail in the other — the producers have an early Christmas present awaiting fans of the series in the form of a spin-off, Ms Fisher’s MODern Murder Mysteries.
Producers originally pitched a prequel series in the Endeavour / Inspector Morse mold that was to have focused on Miss Fisher’s younger years. What we now have is more in the Austin Powers vein with Ms Fisher’s MODern Murder Mysteries set in the swinging ’60 in Melbourne. Screen Australia and Every Cloud Productions said the following in a media release about the forthcoming series:
Set in 1964, audiences will meet the gorgeously reckless Peregrine Fisher who inherits a windfall when the famous aunt she never knew goes missing over the highlands of New Guinea. Peregrine must prove herself brilliant enough to become a world class private detective in her own right.
“Ms Fisher, next generation, will be as glamorous as her aunt, brandishing her signature pearl-handled pistol and bantering endlessly with the main man in her life – but her stylish apartment, her sleek sports-car and her cutting-edge wardrobe have certainly moved with the times,” said Deb Cox, Every Cloud Productions and Ms Fisher’s MODern Murder Mysteries co-creator. Cox’s series co-creator Fiona Eagger added that “The series will be full of the usual three F’s our fans have come to expect – feminism, fashion and fun!”
The “new” Miss Fisher will star Australian actress Geraldine Hakewill in the title role as Peregrine (Wanted). Starring alongside Hakewill will be Catherine McClements (Rush) and Joel Jackson (Peter Allen: Not The Boy Next Door) as Detective James Steed, Fisher’s semi-love interest.
The original Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries was based on the Phryne Fisher Mystery Books by Kerry Greenwood. The newest iteration of the series has her full support. “To see fabulous Phryne inspire a whole new generation of murder mysteries and for the Fisher family to expand in this way gives our lovely fans even more of what they crave. The 1960’s was another decade of exciting change for women and we’re all in for a real treat,” said Greenwood.
The big question that remains as we tune in to Ms Fisher’s MODern Murder Mysteries is whether or not the 1920s feminist icon and aviatrix has taken a page out of the Amelia Earhart playbook, as she seemingly disappears over the highlands of New Guinea. Fortunately, we still have Miss Fisher & The Crypt of Tears to look forward to in late 2019.