Back in August of last year, when we first reported on Every Cloud Productions' aim to bring a Miss Fisher movie trilogy into theaters, it was notable that the big screen version wasn't the only Miss Fisher-related production the company was looking to launch. There were also rumors producers that Deb Cox and Fiona Eagger were looking to find a way to bring the series back to TV, with talk of pitching a prequel series to Australia's ABC, focusing on Miss Fisher's younger years, not unlike the current Inspector Morse prequel Endeavour. At the time, the proposed synopsis was as follows:
That will be a younger Phryne Fisher. She is 18, her family has come into money, and she’s in the UK at a finishing school. She gets word that her best friend from Melbourne is charged of murder and is heading for the gallows. She escapes (from the finishing school) and comes back (to Australia) to save her friend. On the run is where she learns a lot of her (sleuthing) skills.
But then the Kickstarter for the Miss Fisher film happened, and in all the excitement of bringing Phryne to the big screen, the talk of a spinoff prequel was drowned out. But this didn't mean it disappeared altogether. It seems, like the movie, ABC was not initially sold on the idea of a "Young Miss Fisher" series. But instead of Kickstartering like they did for the movie, Every Cloud Productions merely shopped the idea around, tweaking it until they found a buyer. It wound up landing on The Seven Network, who quietly confirmed it had greenlit a new series back over the summer.
This week, the first trailer dropped ahead of the show's premiere in the new year. But this is no Edwardian set prequel series. Instead, it moves forward in time to introduce audiences to a whole new "Ms" Fisher.
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.
The new Ms. Fisher will star Geraldine Hakewill as Peregrine, best known as Chelsea Babbage from the Australian TV series Wanted. Costars include Catherine McClements, whom most Australians know for her starring turn in Rush, but Americans will recognize better as part of the original stage cast of Baz Luhrmann's Strictly Ballroom before it became a film. Fisher's semi-love interest will be played by Joel Jackson, who is best known as the title character in Peter Allen: Not The Boy Next Door.
According to Deb Cox, all the things fans love about the old Miss Fisher will transfer to the new, just set in a different era.
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.
Author Kerry Greenwood, who wrote the original Phryne Fisher books, has also given her blessings to this mid-century modern update.
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.
Ms Fisher's MODern Murder Mysteries does not yet have a specific release date, just a confirmation it will air in Australia in 2019. Hopefully, it will then travel to PBS stations - or some American outlet - soon after.