- The Frasier reboot pilot initially planned to feature Martin Crane’s funeral in Seattle with the original cast, but they decided against it to avoid the absence of Niles and Daphne, which would have been a major plot hole.
- Starting the Frasier reboot in Seattle would have made it difficult for Niles and Daphne to stay in the show, and it would have highlighted the absence of the original cast. Moving the show to Boston helped separate Frasier from them and create a new narrative.
- The Frasier reboot handles Martin’s fate by revealing enough information about his send-off in Seattle, allowing fans to understand his impact on the show. The legacy of Martin Crane continues to play a significant role as Frasier works on his relationship with his son.
The Frasier reboot pilot almost featured Frasier Crane back in Seattle with the rest of the original cast for Martin Crane’s funeral. When Frasier starts his next act in Boston, he is fresh from losing his father. Inspired by the demise of John Mahoney in 2018, the new Paramount+ show gets the news out of the way immediately, and while the revelation doesn’t bog down the episode, it looms large in it, especially since the Frasier reboot is about Frasier fixing his own relationship with his grown-up son, Freddy.
The Frasier reboot pilot features a Martin Crane tribute, which features a Mahoney post-credits scene lifted from the original show. However, the original pilot plan was to fully tackle the Crane patriarch’s funeral in Seattle. This would have featured the complete original cast as revealed by showrunners Joe Cristalli and Chris Harris in a new interview in Vulture. Read their full quotes below:
Joe Cristalli: We saw the funeral in one version of this show. We were still in Seattle and had the whole cast. One of the jokes was Bulldog walking up to the coffin and being very sad and saying, This stinks. This is total BS. I remember being furious that that wasn’t my joke. It was Chris’s joke.
Chris Harris: Joe’s the expert. He’s seen every episode multiple times. I’ll occasionally joke, “Yeah, who’s Gil Chesterton again?” We did have a whole Seattle first act, but it was right to move on from that and start the way we did. I think everyone felt a little sad that we didn’t give a moment to John Mahoney.
Joe Cristalli: It would’ve been too hard to have that funeral scene and not see Niles or Daphne. If you’re going to do the funeral scene, you have to see those people. It would’ve been heartbreaking and silly to try to explain it, “Oh, Niles is caught in a hot-air balloon somewhere and couldn’t make the funeral.” It never would’ve worked in the way we envisioned it.
Why Frasier Reboot’s Original Pilot Was Better Off Scrapped
As pointed out by the creative pair, it’s difficult to properly do Martin’s funeral without the appearance of Niles and Daphne. The Frasier reboot itself is suffering from their absence, with the show having to go to great lengths to get away with not featuring them. David Hyde Pierce has always been clear about not wanting to revive the show because he doesn’t want to risk ruining its legacy. Pushing through with Martin’s funeral without his complete family would have done that. There’s just no possible justified reason for them to skip it.
Beyond that, however, starting the Frasier reboot in Seattle would have been detrimental to the show overall. Assuming that Niles and Daphne agree to appear, it’s highly unlikely that they would stick around. This means that Frasier still needs to move to Boston in order to physically separate him from them. This would have only highlighted how much the original cast is missed in the Paramount+ revival. Narratively, it’s also not a good look that Frasier and Niles separate immediately after losing their father. Considering Frasier’s money, he could have stayed in Seattle and still lived a very comfortable life.
In hindsight, the Frasier reboot handles Martin’s fate in the best way possible. It revealed just enough information that offer fans an idea of the send-off the Crane patriarch had in Seattle. In any case, Martin’s life and legacy will continue to loom large in the new show as it draws parallels to how Frasier fixed his fractured dynamic with him.