“Everybody counts, or nobody counts” — it's the credo of Harry Bosch, the relentless Los Angeles Police Department homicide detective in Michael Connelly's popular crime novels.
And every fan counts, too, because viewer feedback about a pilot episode will determine if “Bosch” is made into a series.
“This is like one giant focus group,” says Connelly spokeswoman Jane Davis, hoping viewers will watch the show on Amazon.com's streaming video service and then rate it. The pilot debuted Feb. 6 on Amazon; viewers have 30 days from that date to watch it for free.
In addition to being the hero of more than 16 murder mysteries, including “Angels Flight” and “The Black Box,” Bosch also appears in the “Lincoln Lawyer” courtroom procedural novels.
Connelly fans on Facebook already have had mixed reactions to changes necessitated by the screen adaptation.
Readers who have been watching Bosch since his first appearance in the 1992 book “The Black Echo” know the character is committed to pursuing justice even for the most marginalized crime victims, partly because his mother was a prostitute whose murder was not properly investigated. That aspect of Bosch's personality is intact.
In the novels, Bosch is a veteran defined by his experiences in Vietnam. In the TV show, he's a veteran of the first Iraq war and the war in Afghanistan.
The character's back story was changed partly to accommodate the best actor for the role, Titus Welliver, who is too young to be a Vietnam veteran.
Connelly, who has been heavily involved with the show's production, said actors of various ages were considered, but when Welliver auditioned, the producers knew their search was over.
“After he left the room, we all looked at each other and said, 'That was Harry Bosch, wasn't it?'” says Connelly.
Welliver was chosen because his body language effectively conveys the inner life of the character, who is not a talkative person.
“In the books, Bosch is a very internal guy,” Connelly says. “Obviously you can't have that onscreen. Titus reveals himself with his eyes, with looks on his face. That's the thing we were looking for, and Titus has that in spades.”
Other changes also were driven by the choice of actors.
In the novels, which have addressed accusations that the LAPD has racist practices, Bosch answers to deputy chief Irv Irving, who is white. Although the character in the TV version is played by Lance Reddick (“The Wire”), who is black, Connelly says Irving's relationship with Bosch remains true to the books.
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