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Fans of Louise Penny's popular Inspector Gamache mystery series often complain that the 2013 Still Life: A Three Pines Mystery production didn't offer what they'd hoped for in an adaptation of the series. Though English actor Nathaniel Parker (Inspector Lynley) is a talented performer and he delivered a solid performance as Gamache, many still hoped for another adaptation that would come a little closer to their expectations.
We're thrilled to be able to tell you the series is getting a new TV adaptation – and they've already begun filming.
What's Three Pines About?
If you're not familiar with Louise Penny's novels, they follow Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec as he investigates murders in the idyllic Canadian village of Three Pines. A native French speaker, Gamache is said to speak English with a British accent since he learned while at Christ's College, Cambridge. Well-educated and clever, Gamache sees things other investigators don't.
As mysteries go, these are gentle and character-driven, often exploring the relationships between regular characters. They're not quite true cosy mysteries since those generally feature amateur detectives – but they're free of graphic sex and violence.
Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache series has won numerous awards, including the CWA New Blood Dagger award and multiple Agatha, Anthony, Dilys, and Arthur Ellis awards.
What are the Filming Locations for Three Pines?
Three Pines is being filmed in Montreal and rural Quebec. Though they haven't specified which small towns will be used in filming, there are a few specific locations Louise Penny has cited as inspiration for the fictional location of Three Pines. We've included Google StreetView links for each so you can click through and virtually wander around the villages.
- Sutton: StreetView
- Sutton Junction: StreetView
- Knowlton (where Penny currently lives): StreetView
- North Hatley: StreetView
- Georgeville: StreetView
- Stanbridge East (where Still Life was filmed): StreetView
Who's Starring in Three Pines?
British-American actor Alfred Molina will star as Chief Inspector Armand Gamache.
TV Trivia: Alfred Molina was married to British actress Jill Gascoine (The Gentle Touch) until her death in 2020. They met in the 1980s when she was 49 and he was just 33, and she's quoted saying, “It was lust at first sight.” By all accounts, the two enjoyed a happy and devoted marriage until her passing.
Other Three Pines cast members named so far include Rossif Sutherland, Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, Marie-France Lambert, Tantoo Cardinal, Clare Coulter, Sarah Booth, Anna Tierney, Julian Bailey, Frédéric-Antoine Guimond, Pierre Simpson, Tamara Brown, Frank Schorpion, Marcel Jeannin, Georgina Lynn Lightning, Crystle Lightning, Isabel Deroy-Olson, and Anna Lambe.
Who's Producing Three Pines?
Three Pines is an Amazon Studios series, and it's being produced by Left Bank Pictures (the British production company responsible for The Crown, Wallander, Outlander, and DCI Banks).
Three Pines is executive produced by Andy Harries, Sharon Hughff, and John Phillips for Left Bank Pictures. Sam Donovan, Emilia di Girolamo, and Alfred Molina are executive producers.
Three Pines is adapted by lead writer Emilia di Girolamo, and Catherine Tregenna will pen two additional episodes.
Directors for Three Pines are Sam Donovan, serving as lead director, Mohawk director Tracey Deer, and Daniel Grou. John Griffin will series produce. Tracey Deer also serves as Indigenous consultant, alongside Katsitsionni Melissa Fox. IllumiNative will also consult on the series.
Christina Wayne, head of Canadian Originals at Amazon Studios, said of the series:
With Three Pines we continue to grow our slate of local originals, and overall investment in Canada. The series will be our first locally produced scripted drama, and we are thrilled to work with Left Bank to bring these layered characters, unique setting, and masterfully constructed mysteries that Louise created to Prime Video.
When Will Three Pines Premiere? And How Many Episodes Will There Be?
No official premiere date has been set (yet), but a 2022 premiere seems likely given their filming dates. The series is filming between August and December 2021, and it will launch exclusively on Amazon's Prime Video platform in Canada, the US, Ireland, the UK, Australia, Norway, New Zealand, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Greenland.
Elsewhere, Sony Pictures Television will handle distribution.
There will be eight one-hour episodes in Season 1 of Three Pines.
After founding I Heart British TV in 2016 as a resource for her granny, Stefanie has grown I Heart British TV into a resource that serves millions of British TV fans every year. When not writing posts or editing contributions to the site, you can probably find her working on the latest print edition of the British TV Streaming Guide.
I love the three pine mystery series and actually have watched Still Life the only other movie made from one of the books. I am so looking forward to the series. Thank you Amazon
I am looking forward to any good adaptation of the Gamache series.
Hope they develop more of Louise Penny books for TV.
I was so looking forward to Nathaniel Parker in this role. I will still watch Alfred Molina but hope it does not spoil my mental set up of characters.
i’m very disappointed that Nathaniel Parker won’t be Gamache. He is who I have in my minds eye as the inspector. I don’t know any of the other people in the list who are cast in the show.
What I wish is that Evelyne Brochu was in the cast. She is a classical actor, who has also done a lot of TV series work, in both Quebec and France. She is a Quebecer, so the French she might need to speak occasionally, as many of the characters in Penny’s books seem to need to do, would be legitimate Quebecois. But she speaks English like a Canadian native speaker of English, too.
Is she too beautiful for this role?
I just cannot picture Alfred Molina in the role. I am going to have to decide if I just want to keep the characters in my head or maybe mess it up by watching actors play my book friends. Mixed feelings!
Exactly. Also, the main characters are older.
Alfred Molina is the perfect choice for Gamache. He embodies all thed qualities mentioned in the series.
Alfred Molina is a brilliant actor and more than that, an intelligent, sensitive man. He was the strident lawyer who succumbs to beauty in Enchanted April. He was the gay partner of John Lithgow in another film. And he was a caring partner to his wife Jill Gascoine who suffered from dementia in her later years. I am looking forward to this production. I only hope the dialogue is more believable than Louise Penny’s incomplete sentences.
Why haven’t I kept up with this series? I have subscribed but love, love the Gamache series and Three Pines
I thought Colin Firth would be good in the Gamache role. I look forward to the series…I will have to decide if I can watch, or keep my images of the characters in my mind.
I feel the same way! He doesn’t look at all like I imagined! I thought of Jeremy Irons….looks much kinder!
He is an excellent choice! Look up all his roles and you’ll see that he is very good with accents and is extremely versatile. Yes, his is an “older” Gamache, but I feel he’ll be very, very good. Can’t wait to see who is playing who, as we have pictures in our minds of what they all look like.
wish they had given Nathaniel
Parker another shot at Gamache. He was
the only actor perfectly cast in the 2013 production.
I am loving the 3Pines audiobooks! The narrator does a perfect Gamache, (if only he were a fit for the series, sigh)
Haven’t seen the present shows, but will hope they’re available in Georgia.
I agree-love the audiobooks.
I wish there was a different actor playing Gamache. Alfred Molina is a good actor but diminishes the original character that the author depicted. The detectives attributes are honor, shows courage to his convictions, is French speaking,devoted to his job and family and this attraction shows in his looks differently than Molina.
Frankly, Nathaniel Parker is Gamache…most definitively tall, elegant, almost suave
…yet endowed with a quiet determination uniquely tempered by an inner soul that sees, hears and senses what others cannot. If the new series doesn’t set Three Pines as a purposely out-of-the-way village not listed on any map and with lousy cellphone connectivity….If the a
caste of characters who settle in with their own brand uniqueness, we’ll um, the series won’t come off as anything more than just another mystery series. It wasn’t Mr. Parker as Gamache that loused-up the first filming attempt of Louise Penny’s Still Life.
It was first, the setting. Three Pines wasn’t portrayed as a little hidden “refuge”. And, unfortunately, what made the personalities to Three Pines so intriguing never was fleshed out…. allowing the viewer to wonder, “Hey, if I’m careful as I cross over from Vermont to Quebec, maybe, just maybe, I’ll accidentally spot three pine trees, a bunch eclectic houses close by, and …
I don’t either. He is a good actor no doubt but Gamache has a gentle humble spiritual side to him that Alfred Molina does not have at all. Plus he is just too heavy and a little bit gauche. Not sure who I can picture in the role though. Maybe Molina will surprise! I am sure Louise Penney had some say so in who was chosen. So we will have to wait and see. Either way I am still watching. I love these stories!!
First, I think the one who plays Gamache should speak French. Second, while all the locations look nice enough, they sure don’t resemble the Three Pines I have in mind. I think if you get these wrong, you’ll wish you hadn’t, and destroy all of Mrs Penny’s years of creation.
I’m thinking maybe I don’t even want to watch the show. Three Pines in my mind doesn’t look like any of those pictures! And definitely not Alfred Molina! I love all the characters so much,….think I’ll just stick to the books!
I totally do! I think he will be great in the role.
I really don’t see Alfred Molina as Inspector Gamache 🤨🤨