Adaptations: April 2018

Hello my fellow bookworms and adaptation lovers, here are the adaptations I have been watching over the last month:

Troy: Fall of a City (2018)
Read     TV Series     Television

This year, the BBC aired a new ten-part ancient historical drama, based on the Trojan Wars of Greek mythology, which ambitiously spans the entire 10 year siege of the fabled city of Troy by the Greeks, after a Trojan prince steals away the beautiful Helen from her Greek husband. This sexy and stylish retelling of this tragic tale is brought to life by a great cast in brutally realistic detail, with no glossing over of the unpleasant truths of war. Good watch.


Peter Rabbit (2018)
Read     Film     Cinema

I simply had to go to the cinema to see this delightful, modern live action/animated film, inspired by my childhood favourite tales by Beatrix Potter. This mad-cap comedy begins with the arrival of old Mr McGregor’s nephew Thomas (Domhnall Gleeson). Who finds, to his horror, that his new garden, home and blossoming love with animal lover Bea (Rose Byrne) are unbelievably under attack by a band of audacious little rabbits! Good watch.


Ordeal by Innocence (2018)
Not Read     TV Series     Television

Also this year, the BBC aired a new stylish three-part crime drama based on Agatha Christie’s novel. In 1956 the wealthy, cold Rachel Argyll is murdered. Initially her delinquent son Jack is presumed guilty, but the appearance of a new witness throws that into doubt. This is a gripping, twisting mystery, peopled by a large, unpleasant cast of suspects. However the production has come under criticism for changes to the plot, but as I’ve never read the book I watched in blissful ignorance! Great watch.


And Then There Were None (2015)
Not Read     TV Series     Television

After loving the above drama, I watched this earlier three-part crime drama, based on another of Agatha Christie’s novels, which was available on BBC iPlayer. In 1939, eight strangers are mysteriously invited to a small, isolated island off the coast of Devon, only to find themselves being picked off, one-by-one! I loved this bloody, gripping mystery, with a host of British stars and an almighty dramatic twist, even more than the one above. Great watch.


That’s four new-to-me adaptations watched. I also re-watched the brilliant Thor (2011), the very cool Iron Man (2008) and the newer Conan the Barbarian (2011), while this is visually stunning it has not displaced the classic Arnie film for me. That brings my total to seven adaptations.

As for non-adaptations, I watched the heart pounding 7th series of US political drama Homeland and the fascinating documentary Jesus’ Female Disciples: The New Evidence, both on Channel 4.

Have you watched any of these? What did you watch in April?

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Adaptations: March 2018

Hello my fellow bookworms and adaptation lovers, here are the adaptations I have been watching over the last month:

Strike: Career of Evil (2018)
Not Read     TV Series     Television

I was thrilled to see private detective Cormoran Strike (Tom Burke) and his capable assistant Robin (Holliday Grainger) return to the BBC this year; for a new grisly two-part case based on the third novel by Robert Galbraith (aka J K Rowling). This was another dark, complex mystery with brilliant chemistry between Strike and Robin, which had me hooked… well until halfway through the second part, when the killer was glaringly obvious to me! Good watch.


The White Princess (2017)
Not Read     TV Series     Television

After I loved the BBC/Starz series, The White Queen (2013), I was keen to watch this new Starz solo-production, based on two of Philippa Gregory’s novels, which follows the tumultuous marriage of Elizabeth of York and Henry Tudor. A sumptuous, gripping series however, from what I have read, I found it hard to completely believe in Elizabeth’s ruthless actions and ridiculously low-cut dresses! Good watch.


The Tempest (2010)
Read     Film     Television

Finally, I got round to watching my recording off this stylish film adaptation of William Shakespeare’s famous tragicomedy, which sees the powerful sorceress Prospera (Helen Mirren) shipwrecking her traitorous brother Antonio, King Alonso and their whole ship; and so ensues a surreal, star-studded revenge-romp. Good watch.


Endeavour (Series 5)
Not Read     TV Series     Television

This year saw this nostalgic ITV crime drama, based on Colin Dexter’s characters and prequel to the Inspector Morse series, return for its fifth series. It is 1968 and young detective sergeant Endeavour Morse is investigating several new bloody investigations, as Cowley police station faces closure and race/gang tensions rise in Oxford. Another gloriously atmospheric and nostalgic series. Great watch.


North and South (2004)
Read     TV Series     Television

I was thrilled to finally have the chance to watch this much-talked-about adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell’s 1855 novel, which sees the lovely Daniela Denby-Ashe and the dashing Richard Armitage portraying young Southerner, Margaret and Northern industrialist, Mr Thornton, and their uneasy, growing attraction beautifully. The costumes, setting and supporting cast were also excellent. Great watch.


Shetland (Series 4)
Not Read     TV Series     Television

This year also saw this atmospheric BBC crime drama, based on Ann Cleeve’s characters, return for its fourth series. A cold case of a murdered teenager is re-opened when the chief suspect returns to the island… only for another young woman to be murdered. Thus Jimmy Perez and his team are drawn into another gripping, dark and twisting case, all set against the beautiful, rugged, isolated backdrop of Shetland. Great watch.


Electric Dreams (Episodes 7-10)
Not Read     TV Series     Television

At the end of February, Channel 4’s science fiction anthology, based on Philip K Dick’s short stories, returned for the final four episodes: The Father Thing, Autofac, Safe and Sound and Kill All Others – all of which boasted more big stars and intriguing premises. I enjoyed them all, however Autofac, starring Juno Temple, was by far my favourite. Good watch.


That’s a seriously impressive seven new-to-me adaptations watched! I also re-watched the brilliant Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016). While I also tried to re-watch the equally brilliant Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), but it was being shown late at night and sadly sleep won out before the end! That brings my total to nine adaptations – my cup runneth over!

As for non-adaptations, I watched the whole boxset of the BBC’s brand-new, chilling supernatural thriller Requiem, which follows a young woman as she digs up old, dangerous secrets in the small Welsh town of Penllynith. Watch if you dare!

Have you watched any of these? What did you watch in February?

Adaptations: February 2018

Hello my fellow bookworms and adaptation lovers, here are the adaptations I have been watching over the last month:

Howards End (2017)
Not Read     TV Series     Television

This month, I finally caught up with my recording of the BBC’s gorgeous new four-part adaptation of E. M. Forster’s classic novel, which aired on the lead up to Christmas last year. A touching and humorous tale of three families in the early 20th century: the bohemian Schlegels; the rich, capitalist Wilcoxes and the impoverished Basts. All brought to life by a wonderful cast, including two of my favourites: Hayley Atwell and Matthew MacFadyen. Good watch.


Brighton Rock (2010)
Not Read     Film     Television

Another recording I caught up with this month was of this British mobster thriller, which transposes Graham Greene’s 1938 novel to Brighton during the Mods and Rockers era of the 1960s. A stylish, dark, gritty film that follows the bloody, ambitious exploits of sociopathic gang member, Pinkie Brown (Sam Riley), who befriends and manipulates naïve witness Rose. Good watch.


Inhumans (2017)
Not Read     TV Series     Television

Over a week, I also caught up with my recording of new American TV series, based on the Marvel Comics’ characters created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. After a military coup, the Inhuman royal family escape from Attilan, on the moon, to Earth, where they must try to save themselves and their people. A fun series, but it pales in comparison to some of the great shows and films that were also released last year. Okay watch.


That’s three new-to-me adaptations. During February, I have also enjoyed re-watching The Hobbit film trilogy on ITV2. While not as great as The Lord of the Rings trilogy they are still fun films. And that brings my total up to six adaptations altogether.

As for non-adaptations, I became completely hooked on Sky’s new ancient historical drama Britannia (2017), so much so I downloaded and watched it in a row! After that I caught up with my recording of the BBC’s military drama Our Girl (Series 3), but sadly I was a little disappointed with it. Then I went to the cinema with a friend to see musical drama The Greatest Showman (2017) starring the brilliant Hugh Jackman – this hasn’t received the best reviews, but I thought it was really good fun.

Have you watched any of these? What did you watch in February?

Adaptations: January 2018

Hello my fellow bookworms and adaptation lovers, here are the adaptations I have been watching over the last month:

The Frankenstein Chronicles (Series 2)
Read     TV Series     Television

Last year this gripping period crime drama, inspired by Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel, returned for its second series on ITV Encore. After the shock at the end of series one, we return to John Marlott (Sean Bean) as he tries to find Lord Hervey before he can perform his diabolical experiment again. I didn’t love this second series as much as the first, however it was still an enjoyable, edge of your seat thrill. Good watch.


The Legend of Tarzan (2016)
Not Read     Film     Apple TV

When visiting my mum for my birthday, I was thrilled to have the chance to watch this stunning new action film, based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan stories, with my brother. Eight years after leaving the jungle Lord Greystoke (Alexander Skarsgård) must become ‘Tarzan’ again to save his friends. As well as a stellar human cast, I thought all the animal characters were digitally brought realistically to life. Good watch.


Cinderella (18.01.2018)
Read     Pantomime     Theatre

A good old, traditional pantomime, based on the classic fairy tale of Cinderella, which is laugh-out-loud fun for all the family. With a fabulous cast, including: soul-diva Beverley Knight, Strictly finalist Danny Mac, comedian Matt Slack, pop star Suzanne Shaw and comedy duo The Grumbleweeds. I went with friends for my birthday and a brilliant night out was had by all! Great watch.


That’s three new-to-me adaptations watched in January. I also enjoyed re-watching all of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, which was being re-shown on ITV2. That brings my total up to six adaptations altogether.

As for non-adaptations, I binge watched my recordings of the charming, historical drama Victoria (Series 2) and gritty, historical crime drama Peaky Blinders (Series 4). I also got hooked and downloaded the whole series of the new: explosive, crime thriller Hard Sun and the gut-wrenching, final series of Anglo-French crime drama The Tunnel: Vengeance. Finally, on my visit to my mum’s, I also watched the dark fantasy, adventure The Last Witch Hunter (2015) with my brother.

Have you watched any of these? What did you watch in January?

Adaptations: December & Christmas 2017

Hello my fellow bookworms and adaptation lovers, here are the adaptations I watched through December and the festive period:

Legend (2015)
Not Read     Film    Television

A stylish crime thriller film written and directed by Brian Helgeland, and adapted from John Pearson’s book The Profession of Violence; which follows the rise and fall of the infamous Kray twins in the criminal underworld of 1960’s London. It is worth a watch even just to see the brilliant performances of Tom Hardy as both Reggie and Ron Kray. Good watch.


Poldark (Series 3)
Not Read     TV Series    Television

This gorgeous period drama, based on the books by Winston Graham, returned to the BBC for its 3rd series back in June 2017. We re-join Captain Ross Poldark (Aidan Turner) and his family and foes, as the pressure of war and revolution presses down upon them. All of which was again brought to life by a strong ensemble cast, with stunning Cornish scenery and beautiful costumes. Good watch.


Justice League (2017)
Not Read     Film    Cinema

The fifth film in the DC Extended Universe, directed by Zack Snyder, brings together comic book heroes Wonder Woman, Batman, The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg. Who join forces, in the memory of Superman, to save the Earth from Steppenwolf and his army of Parademons. While this is another entertaining, CGI spectacular it isn’t as great as the solo outing of Wonder Woman from earlier in the year. Good watch.


Beauty and the Beast (2017)
Read     Film     Apple TV

Sadly I didn’t get to see this live-action version of Disney’s 1991 animated film, based on Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont’s fairy tale, at the cinema but I still loved it on the small screen. A sumptuous and magical adventure brought to life beautifully by Emma Watson (Belle), Dan Stevens (Beast), Luke Evans (Gaston) and a star-studded cast of voices too. Great watch.


Little Women (2017)
Read     TV Series     Television

Starting on Boxing Day the BBC aired this delightful, new three-part adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s much loved, coming of age tale of the four March sisters. This beautiful production was brought to life by a cast of new, young faces and held together by the strong performance of Emily Watson as ‘Marmee’. A perfect watch for over the holidays, but it hasn’t quite supplanted the 1994 film for me. Good watch.


The Miniaturist (2017)
Read     TV Series     Television

Also starting as part of the BBC’s Boxing Day programme of delights was this gorgeous new, two-part adaptation of Jessie Burton’s bestselling, debut novel; which takes us back to 1680’s Amsterdam, where me meet young Nella Oortman, her doll’s house and the web of dangers she finds herself within. All of which was recreated beautifully and faithfully in this production by a strong cast, authentic settings and sumptuous costumes. Great watch.


That’s another very impressive six new-to-me adaptations! Over the festive period I also enjoyed re-watches of the classic Ben-Hur (1959), the hilarious The Grinch (2000) and family favourite Big Hero 6 (2014). Bringing my total up to nine adaptations altogether.

As for non-adaptations, I tuned in each week to watch David Attenborough’s stunning and ground-breaking new documentary Blue Planet II. While over the holiday, I watched Transformers: The Last Knight (2017) with my brother and I went to the cinema to see the amazing Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017).

During these cold, dark months, I really do find myself wanting to curl up to watch more television, and knowing this I think the TV channels save some of the best shows and films for this time of year.

Have you watched any of these? What did you watch in December and over the holidays?

My Top 10 Adaptations of 2017

As 2017 comes to an end, it is time to reflect back on another great year of adapted films, TV shows and plays for me, with a round-up post of my favourite new-to-me adaptations. After a long, hard think here are my top ten adaptations (ordered alphabetically) I have watched this year:

~ 1 ~

Beauty and the Beast (2017)
Read     Film     Apple TV

Sadly I didn’t get to see this live-action version of Disney’s 1991 animated film, based on Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont’s fairy tale, at the cinema but I still loved it on the small screen. A sumptuous and magical adventure brought to life beautifully by Emma Watson (Belle), Dan Stevens (Beast), Luke Evans (Gaston) and a star-studded cast of voices too.

~ 2 ~

Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
Read     Film     Cinema

The highly anticipated sequel to the noir-science fiction Blade Runner (1982), which continues the story of Philip K. Dick’s original characters. KD6-3.7 (Ryan Gosling) is an obedient replicant whose loyalty is tested when his investigations take a personal turn and he meets Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford). A visually stunning film that compliments and extends the original.

~ 3 ~

Endeavour (Series 4)
Not Read     TV Series     Television

This year saw ITV air the 4th series of this nostalgic crime drama based on Colin Dexter’s characters and prequel to the Inspector Morse series. In 1960’s Oxford, we re-join young detective constable Endeavour Morse, as he throws himself into three new investigations and one cold case in the hopes of forgetting his broken heart. Another gloriously atmospheric watch.

~ 4 ~

Game of Thrones (Series 7)
Not Read (Yet!)     TV Series     Television

This year the 7th series of this epic fantasy drama, based on George R R Martin’s books, was the most ambition, so far! With the political intrigue, family rivalry and the bloody fight for the Iron Throne of previous series paling into insignificance now Winter has come and Death is on the march. How can I possible wait a year (maybe longer) for the final outcome?!

~ 5 ~

Inspector George Gently (Series 8)
Not Read     TV Series     Television

It felt like an inordinately long wait for the finale of this much-loved crime drama, inspired by Alan Hunter’s novels, this year, but what a finale it was! After tackling a case of wrongful conviction, Gently delves deeper into police corruption, which leads to a gut wrenching conclusion. A wonderfully nostalgic series with a grittier edge than before, which made for a fitting end.

~ 6 ~

Logan (2017)
Not Read     Film     Cinema

The long-awaited and final instalment in the Wolverine thread of the highly popular X-Men film franchise; based on the Marvel characters. After an apocalyptic style event, Logan is left with little to live for until he meets a young girl like him. A bloody, gritty and realistic film which is a serious and refreshing change from the regular comic book films.

~ 7 ~

Risen (2016)
Read     Film     Television

Biblical drama which follows Clavius, a Roman Tribune (Joseph Fiennes) as he hunts for the body of Yeshua, a crucified Jewish teacher, to quell dangerous rumours that he has risen from the dead. Along the way he is to face trials, failures and startling truths. A powerful and refreshing take on the story of Jesus Christ, his disciples and the Resurrection.

~ 8 ~

Sherlock (Series 4)
Read     TV Series     Television

This year saw the BBC air the long-awaited 4th series of this amazing, modern twist on the Sherlock Holmes works of Arthur Conan Doyle. Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Watson (Martin Freeman) return for three more thrilling and deadly mysteries, that are going to shake their worlds to the very core. I think this is perhaps the best series of them all!

~ 9 ~

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Not Read     Film     Cinema

The 3rd superhero film based on Marvel’s character Thor and I think the best! This is an adventure extravaganza, that sees Asgard itself threatened by Hela, the goddess of death, against whom Thor, the Hulk and Loki must band together against. As well as the amazing action and hilarious chemistry, I also loved the super-cool retro 80’s styling and music.

~ 10 ~

Wonder Woman (2017)
Not Read     Film     Cinema

The 4th film in the DC Extended Universe, which focuses on the Amazonian princess Diana who, believing it is her destiny, sets out to end World War I and in doing so becomes Wonder Woman. This is a CGI spectacular however what really makes it is Gal Gadot: she is perfect as the sensitive almost naïve Diana as well as the super, kick-ass Wonder Woman! You go girl!


With so many great adaptations watched this year honorary mentions must also go to films: Persuasion (1995),  Testament of Youth (2015), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) and The Monuments Men (2014); TV series: The Handmaid’s Tale (2017), Strike: The Cuckoo’s Calling & The Silkworm (2017), Vikings (Series 4 – Part 1), SS-GB (2017), The Last Kingdom (Series 2) and The Miniaturist (2017); and local stage production: Frankenstein (2017).

Have you watched any of these? What were your favourite adaptations you watched in 2017?

Finally, my reflection on the year will be completed on New Year’s day, when I will share some statistics and round-up my reading.

Adaptations: November 2017

Hello my fellow bookworms and adaptation lovers, here are the adaptations I have been watching over the last month:

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Not Read     Film     Cinema

The third superhero film based on Marvel Comics’ character Thor, created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby, and I think the best! This is an adventure extravaganza, that sees Asgard itself threatened by Hela, the goddess of death, against whom Thor, the Hulk and Loki must band together against. As well as the amazing action and hilarious chemistry, I also loved the super-cool retro 80’s styling and music. Great watch.


Electric Dreams (Episodes 1-6)
Not Read     TV Series     Television

Channel 4’s new science fiction anthology series based on the short stories of Philip K Dick has been much talked about; with each stand alone episode boasting some big stars and intriguing premises. I particularly enjoyed The Hood Maker, The Commuter, Real Life and Human Is, but I was a little disappointed with Crazy Diamond. So a slightly mixed bag, however I look forward to the next four episodes which are coming next year. Good watch.


Inspector George Gently (Series 8)
Not Read     TV Series     Television

I had to wait an inordinately long time from the first episode in May, to watch the final episode of this much-loved BBC crime drama, and what a finale it was! After tackling a case of wrongful conviction, Gently delves deeper into the corruption in the police force, which leads to a gut wrenching conclusion. Another wonderfully nostalgic series but with a grittier edge than before, which altogether made for a fitting, if very emotional, goodbye. Great watch.


Outcast (Series 2)
Not Read     TV Series     Television

Earlier this year, the second series of this American supernatural horror, based on the comics by Robert Kirkman and Paul Azaceta, premiered here in the UK. Kyle Barnes and Reverend Anderson continue to face the deeply rooted demonic presence in their small hometown. While Patrick Fugit and Philip Glenister gave two more strong performances, I still can’t watch this on my own! Good watch.


Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
Not Read     Film     Netflix

The highly anticipated sequel to the 2014 blockbuster based on Marvel Comics’ characters created by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. We re-join Quill and his gang of extra-terrestrial misfits, as he meets his father and has another hilariously catastrophic adventure across space. Although I didn’t love this as much as the first, it is still a brilliant romp, with amazing special effects and a cool soundtrack. Great watch.


King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017)
Not Read     Film     Netflix

This epic fantasy offering, inspired by Arthurian Legend, from director Guy Ritchie was not very well received when released earlier this year, but I still wanted to give it a go. Ritchie’s reboot is a fantastical visual delight with a star-studded cast, however the concept of Arthur being raised by prostitutes on the streets of Londonia into a ‘weezer geezer’, while sometimes funny, generally just didn’t work for me. Okay watch.


Altogether that’s an amazing six new-to-me adaptations! Also when I could, I have loved re-watching the odd episode of the BBC’s wonderful Merlin series, which is being reshown on the Syfy channel.

As for non-adaptations, I watched the BBC’s gripping and bloody Gunpowder (2017). A three-part drama starring Kit Harington as his ancestor Robert Catesby, who was an instigator in the shocking plot to blow up parliament. So all in all a great month of viewing.

Have you watched any of these? What have you been watching recently?