Adaptations: January 2017

blog-adaptations-update

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

Sherlock (Series 4)
Read     TV Series     Television

The long-awaited 4th series of this amazing BBC production which gives a modern twist to 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 of series of them all!

***


The Last Dragonslayer (2016)
Not Read     TV Film     Television

On Christmas day, Sky1 aired this magical family romp through an alternative England where magic is real but slowly running out and only young Jennifer Strange can fix it; based on Jasper Fforde’s fantasy novel. A fun watch with an all-star cast, including: Ricky Tomlinson, Nina Wadia and Pauline Collins.

**


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.

***


Alongside these three new-to-me adaptations, I have also enjoyed re-watches of two of The Hunger Games  films and two of The Hobbit films. So altogether that’s an impressive seven adaptations watched this month.

As for non-adaptations, I binge watched recordings of Channel 4’s gripping, science-fiction drama Humans (Series 2) and the tense ‘Manson Murders’ inspired Aquarius (Series 2), starring the brilliant David Duchovny. I also went to the cinema to see Kate Beckinsale in her iconic vampire role in Underworld: Blood Wars (2016).

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

Adaptations: December & Christmas 2016

blog-adaptations-update

Hello my fellow bookworms and adaptation lovers, here are the adaptations I’ve watched on the big and small screen through December and over the festive period:

Shadowlands (1993)
Film     Television

A beautiful biopic of C S Lewis’ passionate but doomed love affair with American poet Joy Gresham. Directed by the late, great Richard Attenborough and starring the equally great Anthony Hopkins. Not technically an adaptation, however I thought it a worthy mention as these events heavily influenced Lewis’ later writing. Warning: tear jerker!

***


Poldark (Series 2)
Not Read     TV Series     Television

A BBC costume drama which follows Captain Ross Poldark (Aidan Turner) and his family; based on the books by Winston Graham. A harrowing and stark tale of mining, smuggling, love, death and war in 1700’s Cornwall. Brought to life by a strong ensemble cast, with stunning scenery and beautiful costumes.

**


Doctor Strange (2016)
Not Read     Film     Cinema

This is the 14th film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which introduces us to acclaimed surgeon Dr Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch). Who after losing the use of his hands in an accident travels across the world to learn the mystic arts. Another fun, action-packed superhero blockbuster with stunning visuals and a touch of surrealism.

**


Black Sails (Series 2)
Read     TV Series     Television

The exciting second series of this swashbuckling prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, which follows the fearsome Captain Flint and newcomer John Silver as they try to get their hands on the gold of the Urca de Lima, a Spanish treasure galleon. A rip-roaring adventure with some beautiful settings, bloody battles and some adult content.

**


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016)
Not Read     Film     Digital Copy

Superhero comedy sequel to the 2014 film; inspired by the characters from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book series. Shredder and his new sidekicks, Bebop and Rocksteady, are causing havoc and mayhem all over town, and only our ‘heroes in a half-shelf’ can stop them! Not a ground breaking film but it is a fun, spectacular CGI bonanza.

**


The Jungle Book (2016)
Read     Film     Television

Visually stunning live action/CGI film based on Rudyard Kipling’s short-story collection and inspired by Disney’s 1967 film. That follows the young, man-cub Mowgli in his adventures with his animal friends, but not everything in the jungle is friendly! Utterly charming and simply beautiful.

***


Then on the lead up to Christmas I enjoyed re-watches of Alfred Hitchcock’s atmospheric classic Rebecca (1940) and childhood favourite Hook (1991). Then over the festive holiday I enjoyed re-watches of Christmas favourites The Grinch (2000) and all of the Harry Potter films. So altogether that’s 16 adaptations and 1 honorary mention watched!

As for non-adaptations, I watched ITV’s sumptuous period drama Tutankhamun (2016), HBO’s amazing new science-fiction series, Westworld (2016) and the BBC’s super gripping The Missing (Series 2). I also went to the cinema to see the absolutely awesome Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016).

Have you watched any of these? What did you watch over Christmas?

My Top 10 Adaptations of 2016

blog-2016-adaptations

Hello my fellow adaptation lovers, 2016 has been another great year of adapted films, TV shows and plays for me. Now it is time to round-up my favourite 10 adaptations from the past year; these are new-to-me but were not necessarily released in 2016. It took some time to whittle it down to just 10 however here’s my final choices (ordered alphabetically):

~ 1 ~

Endeavour (Series 3)
Not Read     TV Series     Television

ITV crime drama based on the characters of Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse novels, and a prequel to the ITV Inspector Morse (1987-2000) TV series. We re-join young detective constable Endeavour Morse in Oxford of the late 1960’s, as he solves some of his earliest cases. Another atmospheric and nostalgic series full of bloody, cryptic and surprising murders.

~ 2 ~

Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)
Read     Film     Television

A stunning, star-studded biblical epic from legendary director Ridley Scott. In beautiful, touching and gritty detail we get to see the life of Moses (Christian Bale), the 10 plagues of Egypt, the exodus of the Jews, and finally the awe-inspiring parting of the Red Sea. I loved how Scott brought the glory of Ancient Egypt and this dramatic story back to life.

~ 3 ~

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)
Read     Film     Cinema

The long awaited, spin-off prequel to the Harry Potter film franchise, which is inspired by J K Rowling’s fictional textbook. We travel back to the Wizarding World in 1936 to follow Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and his case of magical creatures in their extraordinary adventures in New York. A truly wonderful, fantasy romp with a more adult edge, which had me grinning from ear-to-ear!

~ 4 ~

Game of Thrones (Series 6)
Read     TV Series     Television

The lavish 6th series of this epic fantasy drama, based on George R R Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books. Another gripping and twisting adventure full of war, intrigue, family, politics, death, faith, love, lust, lies and dragons! Phew, this was one rollercoaster of a ride and, I think, the best season so far!

~ 5 ~

The Help (2011)
Not Read     Film     DVD

American Civil Rights era drama based on the bestselling novel by Kathryn Stockett. A young white woman “Skeeter”, a budding journalist, befriends and shares the stories of two black maids. A touching, funny and heart breaking tale of the ingrained prejudices in a small community in Jackson, Mississippi in 1963; with a wonderful ensemble cast.

~ 6 ~

The Jungle Book (2016)
Read     Film     Television

Visually stunning live action/CGI film based on Rudyard Kipling’s short-story collection and inspired by Disney’s 1967 film. That follows the young, man-cub Mowgli in his adventures with his animal friends, but not everything in the jungle is friendly! Utterly charming and simply beautiful.

~ 7 ~

The Martian (2015)
Read     Film     Television

Science-fiction drama, based on David Weir’s popular 2011 novel, that chronicles the heart-racing, against-the-clock race to rescue astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) from Mars. A visually stunning film with a stellar ensemble cast, which made me gasp and laugh in equal measure!

~ 8 ~

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016)
Not Read     Film     Cinema

Fantastical zombie romp through Regency England, based on Seth Grahame-Smith’s parody novel of Jane Austen’s classic. Elizabeth Bennet and her sisters look for love whilst also fighting off hoards of the undead! A gory, clever and highly amusing film; I particularly enjoyed Elizabeth and Darcy fighting and smashing up Parson Collins parlour!

~ 9 ~

Sherlock: The Abominable Bride (2016)
Read     TV Film     Television

The cast of the BBC’s amazing, modern series take a trip back in time for a mystery on the foggy, lamp-lit streets of Victorian London; based on the works of Arthur Conan Doyle. Mystery, ghosts, murder, dark humour and the brilliant chemistry of Cumberbatch and Freeman; what’s not to love?

~ 10 ~

Shetland (Series 3)
Not Read     TV Series     Television

Atmospheric BBC crime drama based on the novels of Ann Cleeves featuring Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez. After a mysterious death on the ferry to the island, Perez and his colleagues are drawn into a dark, complicated and dangerous case. Another gripping series with a great cast and set on the isolated, lonely and beautiful islands of Shetland.


With so many great watches in 2016 honorary mentions must also go to films: Batman v Superman (2016), Cinderella (2015), The Revenant (2016), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (2015), X-Men: Apocalypse (2016), Suicide Squad (2016), Everest (2015); TV shows: The Frankenstein Chronicles (2015), The Night Manager (2016), 11.22.63 (2016), Penny Dreadful (Series 3) and Vikings (Series 3); and plays: Graeme of Thrones (12.05.2016) and The Woman in Black (17.09.16).

Have you watched any of these? What did you watch and love in 2016?

Adaptations: November 2016

Blog - Adaptations

Hello my fellow bookworms and adaptation lovers, here are the adaptations I’ve watched on the big and small screen during this month:

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)
Read     Film     Cinema

The long awaited, spin-off prequel to the Harry Potter film franchise, which is inspired by J K Rowling’s fictional textbook. We travel back to the Wizarding World in 1936 to follow Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and his case of magical creatures in their extraordinary adventures in New York. A truly wonderful, fantasy romp with a more adult edge, which had me grinning from ear-to-ear!

***


Dark Angel (2016)
Not Read     TV Series     Television

A gripping, two-part historical drama starring Joanne Froggatt as the serial killer Mary Ann Cotton, who is feared to have poisoned up to 21 people with arsenic; adapted from a criminology by David Wilson. Froggatt is stunning in this dark, twisted tale of love and betrayal, and worst of all it’s true!

**


Victor Frankenstein (2015)
Read     Film     Television

Fantasy, horror film, based on Mary Shelley’s eponymous character, that imagines how radical medical student Frankenstein (James McAvoy) works with circus hunchback Igor (Daniel Radcliffe) to create a monster! On release this received negative reviews, but I am glad I gave it a go as it is a bit of fantastical fun.

*


That’s three new adaptations watched. However I have also started watching the highly anticipated and controversial second series of the BBC’s Poldark.

As for non-adaptations, I watched the second series of the BBC’s Our Girl; a gripping army drama starring Michelle Keegan as new character, Lance Corporal Georgie Lane.

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

Adaptations: October 2016

Blog - Adaptations

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

Wayward Pines (Series 2)
Not Read     TV Series     Television

A science-fiction drama, produced by M. Night Shyamalan and based on the novels by Blake Crouch. The small, mysterious town of Wayward Pines has a new resident and a threat from the outside world threatens its very existence. Slightly less mystery to this 2nd series but still a gripping tale which is full of twists and turns.

**


Wuthering Heights (1939)
Read     Film     Television

A classic adaptation of Emily Brontë’s novel, which follows the stormy relationship of Cathy (Merle Oberon) and Heathcliff (Laurence Olivier). I loved the cinematography and moody atmosphere of this film but I was a little disappointed that the children/next generation were left out completely.

*


The 5th Wave (2016)
Not Read     Film     Cinema

Science-fiction, thriller based on Rick Yancey’s popular, young adult novel, which follows Cassie (Chloë Grace Moretz) as she tries to survive the five deadly waves of attacks on Earth from a hostile alien race. This didn’t have a very good rating one Sky, but I am glad I gave it a go because I thought it was an exciting, fun watch.

**


Inferno (2016)
Read     Film     Cinema

The third Robert Langdon thriller based on the bestselling novel by Dan Brown. Langdon finds himself in a race against time, following clues based on Dante’s Inferno, to stop a deadly virus being released. A thrilling adventure, in stunning locations, with another great performance from Tom Hanks. Sadly, they changed the ending!

**


During October, I also enjoyed hilarious re-watches of Clueless (1995) and Deadpool (2016) , which means altogether I have watched 6 adaptations – a good month.

As for non-adaptations, I watched the fourth series of the brilliant Ripper Street, a Victorian crime series set on the streets of Whitechapel, in the East End of London. Another gripping, bloody series which had the most almighty cliff hanger ever!

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

Adaptations: September 2016

Blog - Adaptations

Hello my fellow bookworms and adaptation lovers, here are the adaptations I’ve enjoyed during September on the stage and small screen:

Outcast (2016)
Not Read     TV Series     Television

American, supernatural horror based on another comic book series from Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead). This new series takes us to a small, US town where Reverend Anderson and outcast Kyle Barnes fight a plague of demonic possessions. A gripping and chilling drama that had me on the edge of my seat – I don’t usually watch shows this gory (I didn’t watch it alone!) but I was drawn in as it stars the brilliant Philip Glenister.

**


The Woman in Black (17.09.16)
Not Read     Play     Theatre

I snapped up tickets earlier this year, as a gift for my father, for a local theatre where the official tour of this hugely successful, West End production was visiting. A gothic, two man (one ghost) production which had us laughing, on the edge of our seats and jumping all over the place! Just brilliant, but not for the faint hearted!

***


The Secret Agent (2016)
Not Read     TV Series     Television

An Edwardian espionage, drama from the BBC, based on the novel by Joseph Conrad, which looks into the struggle and double playing between the police, politicians, Russians and a small group of anarchists in London. A well-crafted production with a great ensemble cast but sadly, it just didn’t grab me as much as I thought it would.

*


That’s 3 adaptations watched in September – not my lowest month but certainly not my highest either! However, I have also been watching the second series of Black Sails and I am looking forward to starting the second series of Wayward Pines.

As for non-adaptations, I watched the new, sumptuous, period drama Versailles which premiered, here in the UK, on BBC2. I’d recorded the whole series so I was able to watch it pretty much back-to-back and I can hardly wait for the 2nd series!

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

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Favourite TV Shows

Blog - Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. If you love books and making lists, this is the meme for you! This week’s topic is:

In honor of Fall TV, do a TV-themed topic!

It is so true that autumn, with its cooler weather and darker nights, often brings with it an abundance of good television shows for us to snuggle down to watch. For this week’s TV topic I have decided to share with you ten of my favourite TV shows. It was sooo hard to dwindle it down to just 10 but here goes (ordered alphabetically):

~ 1 ~

Band of Brothers (2001)

A stunning, dramatised account of “Easy Company” who are part of the US Army’s 101st Airborne Division during World War II. It is based on historian Stephen E. Ambrose’s 1993 book and it was produced by Stephen Spielberg and Tom Hanks. I just love the camaraderie between the characters and they are brought to life by a great cast, including: Damien Lewis, Ron Livingston, Donnie Wahlberg and many now big names in smaller roles; see if you can spot them!

~ 2 ~

Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009)

Epic reboot of the 1970s science-fiction series where we see the remnants of the human race fighting off their own deadly creations; the Cylons. I always tell people you don’t need to love sci-fi to enjoy this show – it is like the best, grittiest, human drama you can think of but which also happens to be set it in space with evil robots. What’s not to love?!

~ 3 ~

Blackadder (1983-1989)

A hilarious comedy romp which takes us from Medieval, to Elizabethan and Regency England and finally to the front of WWI. Written by the geniuses Richard Curtis and Rowan Atkinson and each series also starred Atkinson as Edmund Blackadder and Tony Robinson as Baldrick. A hysterical series with a lot of home truths and a poignant end.

~ 4 ~

Being Human (2008-2013)

A quirky, British supernatural drama which saw a vampire, a werewolf and a ghost house sharing in Bristol. Starring, the then, new faces of Aidan Turner, Russell Tovey and Lenora Crichlow. I thought this was such a cool show! There was an American version made but I won’t be watching it as I don’t think you could ever match let alone beat the original.

~ 5 ~

Doctor Who (2005-Present)

Does it really need any introduction? The longest running British science-fiction show, that sees the ‘Doctor’ and his companion flying through time and space in a blue police box. I can’t speak for the earlier series but I have loved and religiously watched this show since it was rebooted in 2005. We’ve had 4 ‘Doctors’ since then of which I think David Tennant is my favourite.

~ 6 ~

Dad’s Army (1968-1977)

A classic comedy which follows the exploits of the bumbling, Walmington-On-Sea platoon of the Home Guard during WWII. A funny and touching account of those who were too old or young to fight but still wanted to do their bit.

~ 7 ~

Emma (2009)

A sumptuous BBC period drama, based on Jane Austen classic novel, starring Romola Garai, Jonny Lee Miller and Michael Gambon. A touching and witty tale of a rich, young lady’s misadventures in rural community in Regency England. A beautiful and comforting watch which I will never tire of.

~ 8 ~

Game of Thrones (2007-Present)

A lavish, epic-fantasy drama based on George R R Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books. A gripping, twisting and rollercoaster ride of an adventure – full of war, intrigue, family, politics, death, faith, love, lust, lies and dragons! (I previously did a TTT post of why I love this series so much!)

~ 9 ~

Lewis (2006-2015)

An atmospheric crime drama set among the soaring spires and universities of Oxford; a spin-off from the Inspector Morse series. While there are many ingenious murders to solve, what I love most is the funny and touching relationship between Detective Inspector ‘Robbie’ Lewis and his sergeant James Hathaway. When ITV3 re-show this I can’t help turning it on.

~ 10 ~

Merlin (2008-2012)

A BBC fantasy drama, loosely based on the Arthurian legends, about a young wizard Merlin and his friendship with Arthur, the prince and future king of Camelot. Thrilling and fun adventures abound however what really makes this show is the hilarious chemistry between Merlin (Colin Morgan) and Arthur (Bradley James).

~ 10 + 1 ~

Strictly Come Dancing (2004-Present)

Okay, okay yes this technically cheating but how can I not mention this sparkling dance competition, as it has just introduced its new batch of brave celebrities for the 14th series! So top up your tan, grab your dancing shoes, throw on some sequins and keeeeep dancing!

Watched any of these? What are some of your favourite TV shows? Also, link in the comments if you have also taken part in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic.