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?

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Adaptations: October 2017

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

Midnight, Texas (2017)
Not Read     TV Series     Television

New American supernatural drama, based on the books of the same name by Charlaine Harris, which introduces us to on-the-run psychic Manfred (François Arnaud) as he seeks refuge in the small, mysterious town of Midnight, whose inhabitants include: a witch, a vampire, a fallen angel, a demon, a shape shifter, oh and a talking cat! Lots of fun to be had here and I look forward to more. Good watch.


Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
Read     Film     Cinema

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


Child 44 (2015)
Read     Film     Television

Soviet Russian murder mystery, thriller film, based on Tom Rob Smith’s 2008 novel, follows the investigations of the disgraced MGB Captain Leo Demidov (Tom Hardy) into the deaths of over 40 children, that have been covered up as murder is a capitalist disease; not possible in a communist paradise. A thrilling production, brought to life by a stellar cast, but with many cuts and changes I felt the story was left feeling a little disjointed. Good watch.


Harry Potter: A History of Magic (2017)
TV Documentary     Television

Not an adaptation but I thought an honorary mention had to go to this BBC documentary about the myth, legend and magic that inspired J K Rowling when she was writing her magical series; made in-conjunction with The British Library in anticipation of their up-coming exhibition. With its rare books, film cast readings and personal insights from Rowling herself, this is recommended for HP fans, book lovers and curious minds. Good watch.


Altogether that’s three new-to-me adaptations. I also enjoyed re-watches of The Three Musketeers (2011), The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014) and the BBC’s amazing Bleak House (2005) series, all of which were being reshown on terrestrial television. So altogether that gives me a grand total of six adaptations and one honorary mention watched this month. Plus I started watching the second series of Outcasts and Channel 4’s new science fiction anthology series: Electric Dreams, which is based on the short stories of Philip K Dick.

As for non-adaptations, I binge watched three TV series I had recorded. First, Sky1’s new historical drama Jamestown released earlier this year, then the heart breaking fifth and final series of Ripper Street and finally, the gripping mystery drama Top of the Lake: China Girl (2017); a sequel which sees the return of Detective Robin Griffin (Elisabeth Moss) four years after her last, shocking investigation.

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

Adaptations: September 2017

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

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

The long-anticipated seventh series of this epic fantasy drama, based on George R R Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books, is 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?! Great watch.


The Leftovers (Series 3)
Not Read     TV Series     Television

Earlier this year, this drama with a supernatural twist, based on Tom Perrotta’s novel, returned for its third and final series. As the auspicious 7 year anniversary of the “Sudden Departure” approaches we see how those left behind finally come to terms with it. An interesting end to the series but I think as many new questions were raised as old were answered! Good watch.


Strike: The Cuckoo’s Calling & The Silkworm (2017)
Not Read     TV Series     Television

BBC’s new crime drama, based on the novels of Robert Galbraith aka J K Rowling, we meet private detective Cormoran Strike (Tom Burke) and his capable new assistant Robin (Holliday Grainger) as they tackle two cases. First, the apparent suicide of a young model and second, the disappearance of a controversial writer. I thoroughly enjoyed both these dark, complex mysteries and the brilliant chemistry between Strike and Robin. Great watch.


Altogether that’s four new-to-me adaptations, and with no re-watches, this is my lowest amount in months if not the year; probably because of all the time I have spent away recently. However I have also continued enjoying new series Midnight, Texas (2017) this month too – only the finale to go now!

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

Adaptations: August 2017

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

The Handmaid’s Tale (2017)
Not Read     TV Series     Television

The new, most-talked about series of 2017, so far, is based on Margaret Atwood’s dystopian modern classic. In a dark near future, fertile women are forced to bear children for the powerful elite in a totalitarian regime, in the former USA. A powerful, gripping and disturbing drama, brought brutally but beautifully to life through the eyes of one of these women, Offred (Elizabeth Moss). Great watch.


The Last Kingdom (Series 2)
Not Read     TV Series     Television

This epic, historical drama, based on Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon novels, returned for its second series earlier this year. We re-join Uhtred (son of a Saxon nobleman, raised by a Viking lord) as he rides north to rescue his sister and reclaim his ancestral lands of Bebbanburg. Again we were treated to stunning cinematography, great acting and gritty realism. Great watch.


Northanger Abbey (1986)
Read     TV Series     Television

One Sunday afternoon, I caught this charming adaptation (originally broadcast on BBC) of Jane Austen’s classic novel being shown on the Drama channel. I thought Katharine Schlesinger and Peter Firth did a lovely job of portraying Catherine and Henry, however the production made a few changes and was a little over theatrical at times. Okay watch.


Vikings (Series 4 – Part 1)
Not Read     TV Series     Television

Another epic, historical drama, inspired by the sagas of Ragnar Lothbrok, the legendary Norse hero and notorious scourge of England and France, that returned for its fourth series earlier this year. Another gripping, bloody and sexy adventure, as the bitter rivalry between Ragnar and his brother Rollo intensifies. I can’t wait for the second part! Great watch.


Altogether that’s four new-to-me adaptations. However, I have also enjoyed comforting re-watches of three more Harry Potter films; the last two Hobbit films and Pride and Prejudice (2005) on the television. That gives me a grand total of ten adaptations watched this month. Plus I still have some great adapted works on the go, including: Midnight, Texas (2017), The Leftovers (Series 3) and Strike (2017).

As for non-adaptations, I went to the cinema to see the amazing WWII drama Dunkirk (2017) and at home, I watched the sumptuous second series of historical drama Versailles. Plus I enjoyed watching Disney’s wonderfully funny animated films Finding Dory (2016) and Moana (2016) with my brother.

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

Goodbye July, Hello August 2017

Hello my fellow bookworms, I hope you are all well? Fortunately, July was a calmer month for me with the more relaxed wind down to the end of term and a quieter social life too. All of which left me with a bit more time for cooking, television and reading. Here’s what I managed to read:

Fiction: 4          Non-Fiction: 1

At the beginning of the month, during the run down to the end of term, I escaped into Wendy Darling, Volume 3: Shadow by Colleen Oakes; which was an enjoyable and satisfying end to this refreshing re-imagining of Peter Pan. Next, I started The White Queen by Philippa Gregory, the first book in her popular Cousins’ War series, however it wasn’t till the start of the holidays that I was able to fully throw myself into this fascinating look at the life of Elizabeth Woodville. Once I could though, I was magically transported back in time.

I continued the magical theme, with The Lioness and the Spellspinners by Cheryl Mahoney, a witty and charming prequel in her wonderful Beyond the Tales series, that gently pokes fun at the traditional fairy tale tropes. Finally, with only a day to spare, I finished listening to the audiobook of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J K Rowling, which was read by the hilarious Stephen Fry. My full thoughts on these last three books are still to be posted, so keep your eyes peeled for them in August. Also I am still making good progress with the 10 Books of Summer 2017 challenge, with three of these books being off my list; meaning only three more to go!

Alongside these fictions, I also finished reading naturalist and TV presenter Chris Packham’s memoir Fingers in the Sparkle Jar. It was back in May, I actually started reading this, so not a quick read but I found I needed to take my time with this vivid, touching and candid recount of Chris’ childhood as an introverted, nature-loving boy in a world that didn’t understand him.

Pick of the Month: Fingers in the Sparkle Jar

Altogether that is five books completed in July, that is one more than last month and I am thrilled to say the quality has remained just as high – so much so it was hard to choose just one for my ‘pick of the month’! During the month, I have also continued to read the classic North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell and I started a re-read of Northern Lights by Philip Pullman.

In August, I look forward to my friend’s wedding; helping with my church’s kids club; a holiday to Rome and hopefully some lazy days of reading too!

What did you do and read in July? What are your plans for August?

Adaptations: July 2017

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

Kidnapped (1960)
Read     Film     Television

One weekend, I accidentally came upon this colourful Walt Disney screen adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic adventure being shown on BBC 2. Whilst this hasn’t been as well thought of as Disney’s earlier adaptation of Treasure Island (1950), I thought it was a perfectly adequate, faithful and charming film – good for a lazy Saturday afternoon. Okay watch.


Grimm (Series 5)
Read     TV Series     Television

Finally, I got to catch up with series 5 of this crime drama with a dark, magical twist, whose characters and creatures are based on Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Another fun and twisting series that had danger and new enemies round every corner, but it has kept its great cast of core characters, who have brilliant chemistry. I look forward to catching up with series 6, which sadly I believe is the last! Good watch.


The Monuments Men (2014)
Not Read     Film     Television

Interestingly, this WWII film, loosely based on Robert M. Edsel’s and Bret Witter’s history book, follows not soldiers but instead a passionate band of art lovers – who bravely went to the frontline, risking their own lives, to rescue the hoards of art stolen by the Nazis. A fascinating film, with beautiful moments of humour and sadness, and a great ensemble cast. Great watch.


Mirror Mirror (2012)
Read     Film     Television

At the start of my summer holiday, I found this bright, colourful screen adaptation of the Brothers Grimm’s Snow White being shown on Film4. This is a refreshing take on the classic tale, that sees Snow White (Lily Collins), with the help of seven dwarves, take on the wicked queen (Julia Roberts) and save the prince! A super fun and chilled holiday watch. Good watch.


Altogether that’s four new-to-me adaptations. However, I have also enjoyed comforting re-watches of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012); both being shown on ITV. Which takes my total up to a grand total of six adaptations watched this month. Plus I still have some great adapted works on the go, including: The Handmaid’s Tale (2017), Vikings (Series 4 – Part 1) and Game of Thrones (Series 7)!

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

Adaptations: June 2017

Hello my fellow bookworms and adaptation lovers, here are the adaptations I watched during June:

Wonder Woman (2017)
Not Read     Film     Cinema

After enjoying Batman vs Superman last year, I have been looking forward to this 4th instalment 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!

***


Return to Cranford (2009)
Read     TV Series     Television

A Christmas special of the BBC’s popular period drama, inspired by Elizabeth Gaskell’s Cranford Chronicles, which sees Judi Dench and a wonderful ensemble cast return to the small, rural town of Cranford for more nostalgic and touching stories. While there are a lot of changes and additions from the original, this series does capture beautifully the mood and atmosphere.

**


Sleepy Hollow (Series 4)
Not Read     TV Series     Television

This is the fourth and final series of this supernatural crime drama, which is loosely based on Irving Washington’s short story. Even more loosely based than usual as this series saw the action move to Washington DC. While I still loved our hero Ichabod Crane and all the different monsters and myths he faces, I was less keen on his new companions. I missed Abi! Looks like I wasn’t the only one because the fifth series has been cancelled.

*


Also ITV3 have been re-running the nostalgic crime series Endeavour, so I have been able to enjoy re-watches of the pilot episode, series 1 and 2. On the same channel, I was also able to finally watch one of the illusive episodes of crime series Lewis that I missed first time around. While on the BBC I enjoyed a brilliant re-watch of Daniel Craig’s first Bond film, Casino Royale (2006). Altogether that’s seven and a bit adaptations watched this month!

As for non-adaptations, I watched the heart pounding 6th series of US political drama Homeland and the rollercoaster 10th series of Doctor Who, which is the final run for the 12th Doctor: Peter Capaldi. Now, the big question is who will step into the Time Lord’s shoes next?!

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