As we approach season nine of Law & Order: Criminal Intent the fans are abuzz with trepidation and in some cases even outright hostility at the upcoming departures of Kathryn Erbe (Detective Alexandra Eames), Vincent D’Onofrio (Detective Robert ‘Bobby’ Goren), and Eric Bogosian (Captain Danny Ross) from the series. Cast changes are nothing new in the Law & Order franchise but the pairing of D’Onofrio and Erbe seems to have landed a special place in the hearts of the fans. This is likely due to the fact that the two have been there since the beginning which has allowed their characters to grow and develop the likes of which we haven’t seen since Jerry Orbach’s portrayal of Detective Lennie Briscoe in the original Law & Order series.
Taking the driver’s seat after the two-part season nine premiere will be Jeff Goldblum as quirky Detective Zach Nichols. Goldblum is returning for his second season, this time partnered with Saffron Burrows as Detective Serena Stevens. Well, Jeff certainly has some big shoes to fill and last week I had the opportunity to speak with him about the upcoming season of LOCI during a conference call. I specifically told him about the concerns of the fans and asked him if he had any reassurances he could give the viewers and here’s what he had to say:
"First I’ll say to them, I totally understand you’re upset. Those were as fantastic a bunch of characters as I’d ever seen. And fantastic actors as we’ve ever had individually or together. I’ll be watching for all of them wherever they go. As for what we’re doing, I’m doing my best and I’m enjoying it to no end. And I think the writers, who are terrific, have written different characters but fascinating characters, at least to me."
"I would recommend as part of this grief counseling of the loss of the old show and the old characters, I would recommend that they consider appreciating Saffron Burrows and Serena Stevens, her character. Saffron is such a uniquely beautiful actor inside and out. And wildly intelligent. She’s passionate and she’s been a movie star that I’ve been very interested in for a long time. We did a movie together called Fay Grim in Berlin some years ago with Parker Posey that Hal Hartley directed. And I’ve loved her in The Guitar and The Bank Job and Troy. So I would encourage people to really get into her and appreciate her."