By Stacey Harrison
CLUE has had many different looks over the years. In addition to being a classic board game, one which seems to get a new look and design with every generation, it’s served as the basis for a musical, a 1985 feature film comedy (which spawned its own stage version), several video games and children’s books, as well as countless themed editions of the board game. Now The Hub is playing its own version, re-imagining it as a live-action family friendly TV series featuring several up-and-coming young actors.
Beginning at 8pm Monday with two back-to-back episodes, the network will air a five-part miniseries (over four nights) based on CLUE, featuring six young sleuths trying to solve an unbelievable crime that nobody believes they all witnessed. Each one corresponds with a character archetype from the game: Dmitri (Colonel Mustard) is the natural leader of the group who values a hard work ethic; Liz (Miss Scarlet) is the flirty free spirit with a mysterious past; Lucas (Professor Plum) is the resident whiz kid who struggles to fit in; Whitney (Mrs. White) is the optimistic do-gooder; Seamus (Mr. Green) is the arty rebel with an attitude; and Agnes (Mrs. Peacock) is the social media queen who knows all the gossip.
For one of the actors, Zach Mills (Super 8), playing the Professor Plum role allowed him to bring his own experience with CLUE to life.
“My family has family game nights every weekend,” he says. “We played CLUE and Sorry and games like that, and I always played as Professor Plum. Even before I knew about this [miniseries]. It was really cool to actually be a character I’ve been playing for quite a while now. I guess he was the one who looked most like me. ”
Producer Raven Metzner also counts himself a lifelong fan of the game, and sees the show as not being about crime or darkness — hence the lack of an actual murder — and more about “uncovering secrets.” That could be family secrets, treasure hunts, house secrets, company secrets — anything to add to a sense of adventure.
During the casting process, Metzner says the actors brought in were not told they were reading for Professor Plum or Miss Scarlet or Colonel Mustard, but for the roles of Lucas or Liz or Dmitri. He had certain ideas for the kind of kids he wanted, but says, “I knew exactly what I wanted, and was totally surprised to find that what I originally intended was not as good as I got.”
What he and the cast wants now is for CLUE to make the jump to a full-fledged series. The back story Metzner created that encompasses the characters and their histories, he says, “is really rich and goes really far. … I’m really excited to get into this, and have a chance to go deeper because it’s already there for the taking.”
The mystery of whether that happens will be answered this week. Don’t miss the first two episodes of CLUE tonight at 8, with the rest following on consecutive nights through Thursday.
Photo: Courtesy of The Hub