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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Adaptations ? they don't work

I noticed a copy of Peter Robinson's Aftermath with a picture of Stephen Tomkinson on the front. My heart sank!

Peter Robinson is the author of an excellent series of books about Detective Inspector Alan Banks. Bank's is a London copper who moves to work in Yorkshire and there have been 18 novels in the series so far - Aftermath is the 12th.

My heart sank because most adaptations don't live up to the original - John Hannah as DI Rebus? ROTFLMAO on that one!

I remember finishing Robbert Goddards Out of the Blue and then watching the adaptation - it was laughable.

The adaptations change things. Lewis is the same age as Morse in the books, Hastings and Miss Lemon are seldom in the Poirot stories. Now those adaptations are actually well done and in keeping with the originals, just don't get me on ITV ridiculous Marple series!

The Sherlock Holmes (with Jeremy Brett) stories work so well becuase they are all short stories, novels usually need to get "cut". I think TV cops really need to be created for TV - if you've ever read the book you know they are different. In the case of Jack Frost with David Jason they frankly are so different as to make you think what's the point! The Frost series is actually well done but that's becuase they bare no relation to the original.

BBC1 adapted Alan Hunter's George Gently novels set in East Anglia and promptly moved him to the North East!

I am told there is one excellent adaptation of a police procedural that really works. It is of Henning Mankell's Wallander novels - I am not thinking of the adaptation with Kenneth Branagh but the swedish verion which is being broadcast on BBC4 on Saturday nights.

Sky are adapting MArk Billingham's superb DI Thorne series which according to the author has "signicant changes in character and story" - I could weep.

Tess Gerritsen says of the adaptation of her works "I think of them as a parallel world".

My own advice? Turn of the telly and curl up with the book!

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