Thursday, December 7, 2017

A reboot for "Cleopatra Jones?"

Image result for tamara dobson

Look. I'll be the first to admit that not all of the 70s trends were meaningful or enlightening. Take fabrics (early polyester) that didn't breathe and looked like furniture upholstery to hideous platform shoes that held goldfish in their see-through heels. BUT...I still adore the 70s and all its loopiness. Say what you will about blaxploitation in 70s films but those films were GOLD to my teenage eyes and soul. To see BLACK folk in starring roles, wearing fashionable clothes and talking back to da man without consequence?  Sign me up.

One of the pioneers in those films was Tamera Dobson. A gorgeous, long, tall drink of water from Baltimore. A former fashion model, who like Pam Grier, was snapped up for her "otherness" as it was a hot commodity at the time. Her contribution to blaxploitation was the portrayal of Cleopatra Jones a model-slash-spy who solved international crime. A sort of female James Bond. the series comprised two films, Cleopatra Jones and Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold. The second film didn't do as well as the first so the plug was pulled on subsequent ones. Much in the same way the series Get Christie Love! with Teresa Graves (which was a TV version of the Cleopatra Jones franchise) was given the boot after a short stint. The treatment mirrors the romance writing industry's in that a gazillion mediocre "mainstream" writers will luck out and pen one popular book, but then each one AFTER the "hit" will be a mediocre miss but they STILL continue to be published by their publishing house AND get reviewed by romance book blogs. I see it all the time. BUT non-White writers only get ONE shot at it, and that shot better go supernova or else they get cut.

But people see no bias in that. OOOOkay. Back to Tamera.

Anyhoo, due to the lower box office receipts of the second film to series was axed. Ms. Dobson returned to modeling, retired and then fell off the radar. Sadly, she passed away in 2006 at the young age of 59 from complications from several ailments.

A reboot of the film is in the works. Helmed by some folks from UNDERGROUND fame and others. I miss Ms. Dobson. Having her do a walk on would have been dynamite. Can't wait to see what this second chance will present and if a breakout star emerges.


  1. I love those films too. Even if the clothes looked a mess:) A reboot of Cleopatra Jones would be great. Frankly, I wouldn't mind a Netflix series based on Cleopatra Jones, or Shaft, or Coffy. Or a new one based on all the characters together but I digress.
    BTW, a bit of obscure SF trivia…Tamara Dobson was in the second series of Jason of Star Command.

    1. A Netflix series with all the OGs? I'm in. "Jason of Star Command?" Gotta look that one up and visit your blog. Thanks.