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Nero Wolfe Featured on Russian TV
RUSSIAN TV SERIES
Series 1 (2001-2002): Before I Die (Pictured to the right)
The Affair With the Cap (Disguise for Murder)
Poka ya ne umer (Trouble in Triplicate)
Resurrect to Die (Man Alive)
Flying Gunn (Gun with Wings)
A Voice From the Other Side (The Silent Speaker)
Teleplay written by Vladimir Valutskiy, who had previously written the Russian Sherlock Holmes TV series (around 1980). The Russian Sherlock Holmes series is considered to be one of Russia's all time TV classics.
Score by Vladimir Dashkevich, who also wrote the score for the Holmes series. He says he found it important for the Wolfe series to feature period music of the 1930s. Nevertheless, he "composed" the opening tune of the Wolfe series by simply playing backwards (!) his own opening tune of the Sherlock Holmes series of the 1980s.
During 2001-2002, A&E and the Russians were shooting Wolfe stories in parallel, although there are no know references to either team discussing the other's efforts.
The same actors play the roles in both Series 1 and 2:
Nero Wolfe: Donatas Banionis
Archie Goodwin: Sergey Zhigunov (also Producer)
Inspector Kramer: Sergey Parshin
Fritz Brenner: Sergey Migitzko
The Stars Donatas Banionis (born in Lithuanian 4/28/1924), is a legendary veteran actor whose most famous role was the lead in Andrey Tarkovskiy's Solaris (1973). Banionis's Russian pronunciation was not good enough for the Russian producers of Wolfe, so another Russian actor's voiceover is used in the final version. (The same procedure was applied in all Soviet-era movies that starred Banionis.) Banionis is still active as stage actor in his native Lithuania, and he speaks all his parts there in Lithuanian.