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Huinesoron 09-06-2021 08:56 AM

Orlando Bloom in Midsomer
Midsomer Murders is a delightfully bloodthirsty English crime drama/murder mystery series, set in the body-strewn villages of Midsomer. As a 2-hour show which doesn't take itself overly seriously, it's become one of our occasional evening watches - and since it's been running since 1997, we're not going to run out any time soon.

Last night, we pulled up the season 3 episode "Judgement Day". Up came the credits, scrolling by half-ignored, and then--

-- wait, did that say "Orlando Bloom"?

Yes, it did!

You see this all the time in British TV, often with detectives and police from one show showing up as suspects in another, but you don't expect it of a blockbuster movie star!

It was deeply weird watching Legolas play a 'rakish' youth who burgles large houses, especially once he got stabbed through the chest with a pitchfork. The episode was first aired in early 2000, so this is one of his first roles - an unknown actor, not a famous elf-slash-pirate.

And then the lead characters, the police detective and his sergeant, visit a large house named... Lothlorien.


DCI Tom Barnaby: Oh, Lothlorien. That's "Lord of the Rings, " eh?
Sergeant Gavin Troy: Huh?
Barnaby: J. R. R. Tolkien.
Troy: Oh, I've never read it. I started "The Hobbit" once.
Barnaby: And?
Troy: Well, it's all dwarfs and fairies. I like books that are a bit more - you know.
Barnaby: I can imagine.
This has no plot relevance. It is never referred to again. It seems to be pure, blind coincidence - but it can't be!

Well, it turns out, no it isn't. The episode was filmed in autumn 1999 - and filming on Fellowship began in October '99. Orli had just been cast, and this was essentially the last thing he did before heading off to New Zealand. Per an interview:


Bloom had just been cast as Legolas in Lord of the Rings – a role that would put the green actor on the map. The people casting Midsomer Murders asked him if he would like to ‘come and have a little go’ on the set of the thriller before he headed off to New Zealand to film the Middle Earth movies.
And so they decided to throw in a little reference to his far more famous role - almost two years before Legolas appeared on film! That's got to be the earliest homage on record.

(Unless you count Sir Ian Holm sneakily playing Frodo for the radio twenty years before becoming Bilbo!)


William Cloud Hicklin 09-06-2021 12:03 PM

There has long been in Britain a constant circulation between stage, film and television, far more than in the US (where an actor who moves on from TV to film has in effect been "promoted from the minor leagues" and never looks back, with rare exceptions). Whereas in the UK it's completely normal to see a star of the magnitude of Dame Judi Dench do a sitcom, or an actor with the stage resume of Patrick Stewart happy to do Star Trek.

And of course Bloom more recently has been starring in the TV steampunk fantasy series Carnival Row.

Galadriel55 09-08-2021 08:26 PM

A retrospective joke. Nice.

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