Take One

UPDATED 06/04/1984 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 06/04/1984 at 01:00 AM EDT

Daryl (Splash) Hannah isn't the only mermaid to surface on the West Coast. Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre has cast Pam (Mork & Mindy) Dawber in the title role of the Little Mermaid, to air on Showtime in late '84. She falls head over flipper for a prince only to see him marry a fair maiden instead. "You can't duplicate how well Splash was done," concedes Dawber, but the Little Mermaid cast won't lack finesse. Leading contenders for the prince role include rockers Sting and Rick Springfield. The producers hope to reel in Sheena Easton as the maiden.

Laura Branigan's steamy new video, based on her hit single Self Control, was a little too hot for execs at Atlantic Records. A few seconds were snipped from the clip directed by William (The Exorcist) Friedkin. Branigan went along with the editing but defends the censored parts: "Self Control is not about not eating chocolates. It's about holding yourself back in a love relationship. It's a very classy, sensual video. But record companies don't like controversy." One of the scissored scenes shows Laura at a sex club, while another involves a masked lover who seems to be kissing parts of her body passionately. Branigan's fans will see more of her in the feature film Sea Trial, to be directed by Friedkin, with Michael (Flashdance) Nouri playing her lover.

Director Richard (Psycho II) Franklin started out to redo the 1949 film The Window, in which a boy witnesses a murder but nobody believes him because he fibs a lot. Franklin's remake, Cloak and Dagger, to be released Aug. 10, took on a new dimension after he cast Henry (E.T.) Thomas as the boy. When Thomas first met with Franklin and the producers, he showed them an adventure game called Traveller and, he recalls, "They got the idea in their heads to do something different with the script." Consequently, Thomas plays an 11 year old who's obsessed with a board game and its video counterpart called Cloak and Dagger. Ideal Toys and Atari will come out with their own versions this summer. But don't expect Thomas, 12, to add them to his collection—he doesn't play games anymore. "My friends asked me to play every day," he explains, "and I didn't have time for anything else."

Now that The Yellow Rose has wilted, a star of that NBC series. David Soul, is looking for greener pastures. He recently co-produced a music video with his ex-wife Karen Carlson, for Carlson's present husband, rocker Devin Payne; it will air this summer. Soul is also planning to produce and star in a feature film about Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German theologian who was executed by Hitler in 1945 for plotting against the Nazis. At a recent Seattle conference which dealt with the resistance efforts of German clergymen during Hitler's rule, Soul likened their experiences to his own hardships. He has completed a court-ordered treatment program stemming from complaints of abuse by current wife Patti (who has since dropped all charges), and the experience affected him deeply.

"My conscience was alive," he said during the conference. "Rather than cover those events and rationalize it, I chose to deal with it. I asked myself, what is God trying to teach me out of this struggle?" David's soul-searching has given him a heightened interest in acts of conscience and produced volumes of material on Bonhoeffer. Says Soul's spokesman about the film, "It's what Reds was to Warren Beatty."

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