Nero Wolfe on A&E The Next Witness

What was the deal with the tricorner hat Wolfe had? Was that mentioned in the novel? Did people wear those in the 50’s?

I’ve got no answer to your question, but can I just say that I love Timothy Hutton as Archie? Letter-perfect.

I always thought of Archie as Bogart or James Garner. Sydney Greenstreet and Humphrey Bogart would’ve been perfect, but Hutton and Maury Chaukin (sp?) are pretty good. I also thought of Wolfe as more reserved and humorless, but I like the way Chaukin plays him.

It was mentioned in a book or two that Wolfe sometimes wore a “pirate hat,” and that’s what A&E came up with. I belong to a listserv that discusses the Wolfe novels (and now the TV show) and we’re pretty unanimous in our hatred of the hat and our love for the series. They really do a great job.

There are about a gazillion Yahoo Wolfe groups.
Which is it?

I agree with carnivor… in regard to the casting. I just feel that Hutton does not have the tough edge that Archie needs, and I also feel that Wolfe is far too thin and not really pompous enough but that being said: The show is one of the best book to television conversion that the U.S. has done although I did enjoy Hutton’s dad as Ellery Queen.

The thing I am most uncomfortable with is the non-regular supporting cast. As a former actor I will always appreciate a producer that will hire you again and again, but because they are doing the supporting players in rep their characters can get confusing and I tend to confuse them from week to week.

I agree, TV time, it’s “one of the best book to television conversions” I’ve ever seen.

Where else have I seen the guy who plays the reporter?

Most recently, he had a reoccurring role as Donnie the divorce lawyer who was engaged to Daphne on Frasier. Perhaps my favorite roll of his was on Star Trek the Next Generation where he was a collector of unique things and he “collected” Data. He was also the journalist who first followed around Richard Harris and then Gene Hackman in Clint Eastwood’s Oscar winner Unforgiven.

I like Hutton as Archie, but Chaykin’s interpretation of Wolfe doesn’t seem right. I formed my impression of Wolfe listening to audio versions of the books. I’ve got about six different readers doing them, and they all play Wolfe as dignified, reserved, and unhurried. Chaykin yells too much and is too petulant.

Personally I like Chaykin’s portrayal. I believe it is different from the books but I dig the infussion of someone who would probably normally be quiet and reserved but allows people to annoy him way too easy. I think Hutton/Archie plays the perfect foil to him with a knowing of how to get Nero’s goat if he has too, but is perfectly at ease following orders. Though Tim’s accent seems to have a will of its own sometimes (sorry Tim)

I got to say its a most enjoyable series. I am going to purchase the full length feature first episode on DVD today in fact.

I love the series, especially the bits where Archie has a bit of fun irritating Wolfe. Also, Kari Matchett is a cutie.

BTW, Chaykin may be an eensy bit too small for the role, but he’s not off by too much. Wolfe is described at least once as weighing a seventh of a ton; that computes out to 285 lbs.

It’s not a Yahoo! group. It’s at (you can subscribe by sending an e-mail to We’ve been around since 1996. We go through the corpus (the entire Nero Wolfe series) one book at a time (novels get two weeks, short stories one week). It takes about a year and a half to two years to get through the entire thing.

Right now, we’re pretty tv-centric. I don’t think anyone’s discussed this week’s story at all (I’m not even sure what it is right now). The tv show gets all the attention these days. Many of the members of the list are in the Wolfe Pack, the offical fan club (, which recently took a trip to the Toronto set. One of the writers on the show, Sharon Doyle, who wrote the last two episodes, joined the list at our invitation several months ago, so we sometimes get the inside scoop on the show.

We’re pretty enthusiatic about Wolfe and Archie, as you may have gathered from this really long answer to your very short question. :slight_smile:

Thanks, TV Time! I remember him now, in Frasier and in ST:TNG.