Life is all about how we relate to people, especially those who are different than we are. For Detective Bill Harris, the protagonist of the new web series THE LEGEND OF DETECTIVE HARRIS, relating to people is crucial to how he fits into a vastly changed environment. The series, written, directed and created by Dorian Dardar (a.k.a. BadNinja9) has aired five episodes so far on its official web site and Youtube pages (see links below), and a sixth is on the way. Roger Pfeiffer stars as Det. Bill Harris, who is more than just a cop on the beat – he’s also a regular guy with the same issues that men face on a daily basis, including relationships – and in his case, the one he used to have with his ex-girlfriend.
As the show’s five episodes unfold, Harris’ family life is also revealed, with his sister (Ronnie Hooks) and brother (Johnny Rock) introduced into the fold in the fourth episode. The series also stars Isobel Arnberg as Det. Harris’ ex-girlfriend Kate, Christopher McFarland as John, Harris’ rival and Kate’s new boyfriend (both Arnberg and McFarland appear in the second episode), plus Leroy Verdin as Harris’ partner, simply known as ‘Chief’, (appearing in the third episode), and Dardar, who appears in the fifth episode as the God of the wellspring, ‘The Fons’, and whom he describes as “the archetypal origin of ‘The Fonz’, the driving force of ‘Happy Days’, the Mr. Cool, who everyone pays respect to.”
Yet, Dardar says that the real catalyst for THE LEGEND OF DETECTIVE HARRIS was its star, Roger Pfeiffer. “Last winter I got a call from Roger, a guy who I have a respectable artistic relationship with, who’s been featured in scenes with both Sly Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and he said, ‘Dorian, I need more to do creatively, can you help me?’ So I took his character from THE LEGEND OF INDUSTRIAL GHOST WOLF (a feature length film directed by Dardar now available on Amazon.com), Det. Harris, and created a story around it to give him an opportunity to play with all his favorite people in the community,” he says.
The series’ cast is comprised of many of New Orleans’ best actors, some of whom have been part of major film and TV projects that have filmed there. “I met all these people by being on sets, playing in the background of the major motion pictures that get filmed around here, or by being in acting class. I’m a good judge of character. It’s a small community in New Orleans, and you find out real fast who the hardcore players are; (they’re) the people who really want to be a part of the show at any level possible, (and they are) the true auteurs,” Dardar says.
Filming each episode of the series was often a relaxed, yet efficient process despite some challenges. “Being on set was always cozy. I’m a hustler, and I move quick. South Louisiana is a popular studio film location, and everyone I play with has lots of set experience so there’s little struggle to get what I want from them. The biggest challenge for me is allowing guys like Roger and (Christopher) McFarland the space to goof and ad-lib; they like to jazz it up, and I can sort of be a tyrant, but I’m working on that,” Dardar says.
The series is also unique in terms of its storytelling structure, and its approach to its pacing. “This show is different from most of what’s out there, (and it’s) much slower plot wise and rhythmically, so it’s hard to compare. I’m not trying to fit (the series) into any mold so much as I’m trying to personally explore the modern ‘tube’ medium, where the average viewer’s watch time is around 2 minutes, in a very artistic and well composed way.”
THE LEGEND OF DETECTIVE HARRIS is, in a nutshell, a show about how one man tries to balance his career with the company he keeps. Says Dardar: “Overall, the show is about relationships, (and) how Bill Harris relates to his now ex-GF, her new beau, his brother and sister, and himself. It’s basically an exploration(al) story of a man and how he fits into his environment.”
ON THE WEB: badninja9.com/Harris.html