Hello, my fellow bookworms and adaptation fans, today I am sharing my thoughts on the ten-episode, American mystery-thriller series, Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol (2021), that is based on Dan Brown’s 2009 novel. While not my favourite of the Langdon novels, I am a big fan of the majority of the Tom Hank’s film franchise which this has been billed as a prequel series to, so I was interested to see what they did with it.
Years before the events of The Da Vinci Code, we meet a younger Robert Langdon, when he is pulled away from his work at Harvard as a professor of symbology to give an impromptu speech at the Capitol for his eccentric, former mentor, Peter Solomon. However on arriving Langdon discovers that Peter has been kidnapped by a ruthless, mysterious man named Mal’akh.
Armed with his extensive knowledge of history, symbols, and dead languages, Langdon must work together with Peter’s daughter, Katherine and other allies to decipher a trail of hidden codes with the hope of finding an ancient wisdom the Freemasons have hidden away, the location for which Mal’akh demands if they wish to see Peter alive again.
What Dan Brown’s Langdon adventures are best known for are their intricate mysteries and clues, fascinating locations, and breakneck pacing… This series delivers the mystery, clues and most of the locations from the book, however with this series comprising of 10 episodes, which are 40-50 minutes long, the fast pace is pretty much completely lost! 🐢
What we get instead is a meandering mystery, that is packed out with a lot of flashbacks, discussion and reflection; which I wouldn’t have minded so much if they had included all the book details and locations. However, for me, they notably missed out the edge-of-your seat chase through Katherine’s lab and the fun fact about the Darth Vader gargoyle on the Washington National Cathedral.
On a positive though, I thought Ashkey Zukerman made a good, young Langdon and I liked Eddie Izzard as Peter Solomon, Beau Knapp as Mal’akh, Sumalee Montano as CIA officer, Inoue Sato, and Valorie Curry as Katherine Solomon; although she has been switched from Peter’s sister to daughter, so she can be a love interest for young Langdon. I even really liked the addition of Rick Gonzalez as Capitol police officer, Alfonso Nuñez.
So overall, I thought Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol (2021) was an interesting mystery with a good cast, and if you enjoy a longer, slower mystery series this might be for you. However if you are looking for a whirlwind Langdon adventure you won’t find it here. I can’t help but think this would have made a better four-part drama, rather than stretched to a series. Okay watch ⭐
Have you watched this? Or read the book? What did you think? Please let me know in the comments below!