will harris ride with sharpe again?
NO TURNING BACK
Hopes have been dashed, the dream has died; rather emphatically, 'the powers' have declared that Sharpe will not be turning back the clock.
Awful to hear it direct from the horses' mouth, yet despite harbouring minuscule hope to the contrary, I knew this was the only possible outcome.
When 'Challenge' was first mooted 18 months ago, I asked Stuart Sutherland [Exec Producer, son of Muir] about the probability of the company producing Bernard's new Sharpe novels set in the Peninsula.
Fairly gently I was told there are two chances, slim and none.
He reasoned that the critics would slaughter the programme if Sean and Daragh were slapped with a ton of make-up, stuffed back into their costumes and went on adventures with dead Chosen men.
The ensuing reviews would discredit the programme and send ratings tumbling.
I, of course, argued passionately to the contrary. "Stuff the critics" I told him [Naturally a stronger word was used], fans of Sharpe will watch and the new generation of fans won't have the comparison fresh in their minds.
In the cold, harsh, bright light of day, 'the powers' are absolutely right.
All of us have thickened and wrinkled over the past ten years and judging from photos from the set of Challenge, us lot in costume would be way too much like Dad's Army.
More Warmington-on-sea, than Waterloo. [Non UK Harris fans see the web for 'Dad's Army' reference].
So it's official, there'll be no more Sharpe set in the Peninsula; looks like they will try and transpose all further episodes [if any] back in India.
Luckily Harris will live in through the video diaries series which still has more episodes up it's sleeve before the final curtain falls.
Jason 'Harris' Salkey
'Prima facia evidence looks bad!'