Television Q&A: More on ‘Transplant’

Emilee Geist

You have questions. I have some answers. Q: Do you have any info on one of our favorites, “Transplant”? It’s about a Syrian doctor and his younger sister arriving in the U.S. and adapting to life in general here and also working in a hospital. A: The series starring Hamza […]

You have questions. I have some answers.

Q: Do you have any info on one of our favorites, “Transplant”? It’s about a Syrian doctor and his younger sister arriving in the U.S. and adapting to life in general here and also working in a hospital.

A: The series starring Hamza Haq was originally made for Canada’s CTV network, then picked up by NBC to fill one of the gaps caused by pandemic-related delays in other programs. (Well, that’s my view. NBC says the show “continues its goal to bring the best entertainment to its audience through traditional and non-traditional pipelines.” It made a similar move in picking up “Nurses,” another Canadian import.) “Transplant” has done well enough in Canada for CTV to order a second season, and NBC plans to carry that as well.

Q: In the 1968 movie “Rosemary’s Baby,” is Tony Curtis the voice of the blinded actor, Donald Baumgart?

A: Based on the novel by Ira Levin, “Rosemary’s Baby” is considered a classic, creepy thriller — and a story that prompted a made-for-TV sequel in 1976, a miniseries reboot in 2014 and Levin’s own sequel novel, “Son of Rosemary,” in 1997. As for the 1968 film, according to the histories I consulted, Tony Curtis is indeed the voice of Donald Baumgart in a telephone conversation with Rosemary (Mia Farrow). An oft-told story is that director Roman Polanski wanted Farrow to seem confused in the scene, and he achieved that by using Curtis’ voice on the phone call without telling Farrow ahead of time.

Q: Do you know of any plans to make (remake) a film based on any John Updike novels?

A: I do not know of any plans. There have been a few adaptations of the works of Updike, one of the most admired American writers. There’s a 1970 movie of his novel “Rabbit, Run,” with James Caan, TV-movie “Too Far to Go” (1979) from Updike short stories, movies and TV productions inspired by the novel “The Witches of Eastwick” and a few shorter productions.

Shortly after Updike died in 2009 at the age of 76, Scott Timberg pondered Updike’s “dozens of novels and several hundred short stories” for TheWrap.com and saw several reasons why Updike did not make it to the movies much. One was style: “His writing is so visual, at the level of image and metaphor, it’s almost redundant to put it into a visual medium.” In addition, “‘The “American small town, Protestant middle class’ as he described his milieu, has not been of very big interest, personally or cinematically, to the Hollywood establishment.” (“The Witches of Eastwick” with its supernatural element was thought more accessible for audiences.) Nor has Updike had a film-industry champion eager to put his work onscreen the way some other writers of his era have, Timberg wrote.

Q: A long time ago I saw a TV movie, possibly a “Hallmark Hall of Fame” movie. James Garner was in it, and the storyline was about a Black man, a World War II vet who was very bitter. I can find nothing about this online. But you know all! CAN YOU HELP?

A: If you saw the file of reader questions I cannot answer, you would understand I do not know even half of all. Still, when we exchanged a little information (including a plot spoiler you mentioned but I am avoiding here), it turned out the film you sought is “Decoration Day.” It did air as part of “Hallmark Hall of Fame” in 1990 and the cast included James Garner along with Bill Cobbs and others. It had several Emmy nominations and Ruby Dee won for supporting actress in a miniseries or special. One place you can find it is on DVD.

Q: Do you know if and when Season 2 of “Bridgerton” will be on Netflix?

A: The costume drama from Shonda Rhimes’ Shondaland company will indeed get a second season on the streaming service, with production set to begin this spring and the focus on the character Lord Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey). Based on the novels by Julia Quinn, the series has been the biggest in Netflix’s history, the company says, watched in some 82 million households worldwide in its first four weeks on the air.

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