Adaptations: November 2015 (1)

Adaptations #2

Hello my fellow bookworms and adaptation lovers, here are the adapted films and TV series I have watched so far this month:

The Four Musketeers (1974)          Read     Film     Television
Swashbuckling sequel to the 1973 film and based on the 2nd half of Alexandre Dumas’ classic novel. The famous musketeers must help their young friend D’Artagnan evade the vengeful plans of the deadly Lady de Winter. I grew up watching these wonderful films and this was a fun and colourful re-watch. I have a real soft spot for Athos and I think Oliver Reid is still my favourite. Great watch.

Lewis (S9 – 2015)          Not Read     TV Series     Television
Series 9 of ITV’s long-running detective drama and spin-off from the ever-popular Inspector Morse series, based on Colin Dexter’s crime novels. Detectives Lewis and Hathaway take on three more interesting cases: ‘One for Sorrow’, ‘Magnum Opus’ and ‘What Lies Tangled’, all in the beautiful setting of Oxford. I have grown up watching Morse and Lewis, and this was another comforting series and great chemistry between the main characters. Good watch.

Lady Chatterley’s Lover (2015)          Not Read     TV Film     Television
BBC costume drama, based on D H Lawrence’s novel, part of the BBC’s 20th-century literary adaptations series. Lady Chatterley’s husband comes back from war a different man. Now trapped in an unfulfilling marriage she begins an illicit affair. A beautiful series, a touching story and a strong ensemble cast. However, I haven’t read the book, a friend tells me they have changed the ending. Good watch.

Wild (2014)          Not Read     Film     Television
Powerful, true-life drama based on Cheryl Strayed’s memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. Since the death of her mother Cheryl’s life has gone off the rails so she sets off on an epic and harrowing 1,000 mile walk to find herself, along the Pacific Crest Trail. I thought this was a really moving and inspiring film, with stunning visuals, and excellent performances from Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern. Great watch.

Spectre (2015)          Not Read     Film     Cinema
The 24th James Bond thriller, starring Daniel Craig, based on Ian Fleming’s Bond characters. Agent 007 is forced to go rogue to take down Spectre, a dangerous international organisation, who are always watching and listening. The leader of which is an old nemesis. Amazing drama, special effects, fight sequences and cast. Great watch.

November has been a brilliant month for old classics and exciting new releases, and the month’s not even over yet! I am very close to finishing Sky’s new series Zoo (James Patterson) and I am well into the BBC’s amazing new series The Last Kingdom (Bernard Cornwell).

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

Adaptations: October 2015

Adaptations #3

Hello my fellow bookworms and adaptation lovers, here are the adapted films and TV series I have watched this month:

Pride and Prejudice (1995)          Read     TV Series     Television
The BBC’s classic adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel. I love the 2005 film however I have for some time longed to watch this too. The Drama channel has been showing the whole series back-to-back, with the colour beautifully remastered, for its 20th anniversary. I found it a charming watch, and Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle make an excellent Darcy and Elizabeth. Great watch.

Midwinter of the Spirit (2015)          Not Read     TV Series     Television
A new three-part, supernatural-drama from ITV based on Phil Rickman’s novel. Country vicar Merrily Watson, a newly qualified exorcist, is thrown into the deep end with a grisly murder, a desecrated church, Satanists, and an evil, haunting spirit. A dark and gripping series; starring the wonderful Anna Maxwell Martin and David Threlfall. Great watch, and perfect for autumn and the R.I.P event.

Emma (1996)          Read     TV Series     Television
I love the BBC’s 2009 series, however I had heard of this earlier star studded film adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel. I was pleased to spot this was being shown on ITV3 one weekend. A colourful, witty and charming film. Not all the casting choices quite fitted for me but Gwyneth Paltrow is a sweet Emma. Good watch.

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)          Not Read     Film     DVD
A ‘cult classic’ prison drama, based on Stephen King’s novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, which I have wanted to watch for years! A dark tale of the violence, injustice and institutionalisation of a corrupt American prison. Where one man starts to bring friendship, hope and redemption to others through his positive actions. Powerful cinematography, soundtrack, message and performances from Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. Great watch.

Black Sails (2014)          Read     TV Series     Television
A new swashbuckling prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, which made its UK TV premiere this year (2015) on the History channel. Two decades before the original adventure the fearsome Captain Flint makes an uneasy alliance with newcomer John Silver to hunt down the Urca de Lima, a Spanish treasure galleon. Stunning visuals and a rip-roaring adventure, however for me could have had stronger characters. Good watch.

October has been a great month for adaptations for me. I managed to watch some classics I’ve wished to see for ages and caught some interesting new shows too. Still many, many more adaptations to look forward to and share with you though. As I have continued watching Sky’s new series Zoo, and I still have the BBC’s new TV films Lady Chatterley’s Love and An Inspector Calls to watch. Plus I am looking forward to the return of American supernatural series Sleepy Hollow and Grimm.

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

Adaptations: September 2015


Hello my fellow bookworms and adaptation lovers, here are the adapted films and TV series I have watched this month:

Around the World in 80 Days (1989)          Read     TV Series     Television
A three-part family adventure based on Jules Verne’s classic novel. English gentleman, Phileas Fogg, takes a bet that he can travel around the world in just 80 days. This adaptation changes the route somewhat, throws in some more drama, and some famous faces too; but it is all in good fun. Peirce Brosnan makes a charming Fogg and Eric Idle a very amusing Passepartout. Okay watch.

Penny Dreadful (2015)          Read     TV Series     Television
The 2nd series of this chilling thriller, which draws upon the characters of Oscar Wilde’s, Bram Stoker’s and Mary Shelley’s classic, horror novels. Miss Ives and her friends are still not safe. This time they find themselves the prey of a coven of powerful witches. Another lavish, gory, sexy and grotesque series. With a strong ensemble cast; including Eva Green, Timothy Dalton and Josh Hartnett. Good watch.

The Scandalous Lady W (2015)          Not Read     TV Film     Television
BBC’s sumptuous and raunchy, true life drama; inspired by Lady Worsley’s Whim by Hallie Rubenhold. In 1781 Lady Worsley caused the scandal of the age, by daring to leave her husband for her lover; Captain Bissett. The ensuring court case airs all the sordid details of their failed marriage to the world. I loved the history and the drama of it. The beautiful Natalie Dormer takes the lead, with Shaun Evans as her husband and Aneurin Barnard as her lover. Great watch.

Hannibal (2015)          Not Read     TV Series     Television
The 3rd series of this psychological thriller, based on characters and elements of Thomas Harris’ Red Dragon. Will Graham and the FBI are not to have any rest. First they must hunt down Hannibal in Italy and then a new killer comes on the scene. A gorgeously grotesque series, which is even more gory and surreal than ever before. Still very watchable with great performances by Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen. Great watch.

Another good adaptation month, in which I have finished watching some longer TV series I have had recorded for a while. I still have plenty more recorded though! I am currently watching Sky’s new series Zoo, that is based on the novel by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge. While I still have Black Sails to start watching. Plus I have the BBC’s new TV films Lady Chatterley’s Love and An Inspector Calls; both of which I am super excited to watch. I look forward to sharing my thoughts on some of these with you next month.

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

Adaptations: August 2015

Adaptations #2

Hello my fellow bookworms and adaptation lovers, here are the adapted films and TV series I watched during August:

Gone Girl (2014)          Not Read     Film     Television
Psychological thriller based on Gillian Flynn’s bestselling novel. Nick Dunne becomes the prime suspect and America’s most hated man overnight. When his wife, Amy, goes missing on their 5th wedding anniversary. Wow…this is one twisted story; gripping but also seriously messed up. With great performances from Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. I had to keep watching because I really couldn’t believe what would happen next. And what about that ending?! Great watch (although I don’t think I could put myself through it again).

Ella Enchanted (2004)          Read     Film     Television
Fantasy, family fun, loosely based on Gail Carson Levine’s novel. Ella has been cursed with the ‘gift’ of obedience. With the help of elves, giants, fairies, ogres and a magical book she tries to break the curse and save the prince.  A little cheesy, but a fun and easy watch which cheered me up on a dreary day. With sweet performances from Anne Hathaway and Hugh Dancy. Okay watch.

The Leftovers (2014)          Not Read     TV Series     Television
New American drama with a science-fiction twist, based on Tom Perrotta’s novel. We join the drama 3 years after a global, ‘Rapture’ like, event which saw 140 million people inexplicably disappear. It is a tense and heart-breaking look at the fall out for those that are left behind. Great ensemble cast; including Christopher Eccleston and Liv Tyler. Good watch.

Another good adaptation month. Although less completed I have been watching some longer TV series. I am now about mid-way through the 3rd series of Hannibal, and I’m near the end of the 2nd series of Penny Dreadful. Plus I squeezed in another re-watch of the delightful film, Pride and Prejudice (2005) a happy coincidence for the Austen in August event. I hope to have plenty more to discuss with you in September. With a few series to finish off and brand new Black Sails and the BBC’s drama The Scandalous Lady W still to begin.

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

Adaptations: July 2015

Adaptations #3

Hello my fellow bookworms and adaptation lovers, here are the adapted films and TV series I watched during July:

Grimm (2015)          Read     TV Series     Television
The 4th series of the fantastical, crime drama inspired by the Brothers Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Nick Burkhart and the Portland police force not only need to tackle human criminals, but also fairy tale and mythological creatures. Likeable characters, and interesting creatures and crimes. On top of which this series had some real, shocking twists and turns. Good watch.

Jurassic World (2015)          Not Read     Film     Cinema
The 4th science fiction blockbuster in the Jurassic Park series, based on Michael Crichton’s novel. I have loved all of these films, and this new one was no exception. This time they’ve not just got a park but a whole resort-styled world of dinosaurs. However a new genetically modified creature is to cause mayhem. Great characters, action, and CGI; then you have that classic theme music. Don’t blink you might miss something! Great watch.

Dracula Untold (2014)          Read     Film     Television
Fantasy, horror prequel to Bram Stoker’s classic novel. Prince Vlad, wishing to protect his family and people from the Ottoman empire, seeks the help of an ancient and evil power. A lavish historical drama, with spectacular fight scenes, and great performances by Luke Evans, Dominic Cooper and Charles Dance. Great watch.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (2015)        Not Read     TV Series     Television
Fantasy BBC costume drama based on Susanna Clarke’s novel. During the Napoleonic wars, Strange and Norrell, two magicians work to bring magic back to England. A lavish and fascinating series with a surreal twist. There is also a great ensemble cast. Featuring Marc Warren, one of my favourites, as a scheming fairy. Great watch.

Wayward Pines (2015)          Not Read     TV Series     Television
Science-fiction drama based on the novels by Blake Crouch. Agent Ethan Burke awakes in a mysterious, small town after a car accident. To find he can neither leave nor contact the outside world. A gripping series, full of twists and turns, starring Matt Dillon, Toby Jones and Juliette Lewis.Warning: serious cliff hanger ending! Great watch.

I have had a great adaptation month, with great quality and quantity. As well as those featured above I also re-watched the final Harry Potter films; shown by ITV on Saturday evenings. Again no write-up because I re-watch them too often, and you’d be sick of the sight of them!  Then I still have the 2nd series of Penny Dreadful and the 3rd series of Hannibal to start. Plus brand new series Black Sails, a prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. So hopefully plenty to share with you again in August.

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

New Read: My Autobiography (Guy Martin)

My Autobiography

I have rather a soft spot for Guy Martin, and knowing this a family friend lent me her copy of My Autobiography. After the disappointment of the last biography I read I didn’t wait long to start this, and timed it almost perfectly for the Isle of Man TT.

Guy Martin is a road racer, TV presenter and truck fitter; if you asked him though he would probably say truck fitter. Guy is a ‘grafter’ and it is his day job that has kept him sane, grounded, fit and initially paid for his motorcycle career. It was while racing at the Isle of Man TT that Guy took part in the filming of a documentary, Closer to the Edge, about the legendary event. Overnight he became a household name. Not only getting recognised at races but offers came in to do more television. I must admit I know him best from his television documentaries; including The Boat that Guy Built (2011), Speed with Guy Martin (2013), Guy Martin’s Spitfire (2014) and Our Guy in India (2015).

This biography starts with Guy’s childhood which he spent with his parents and three siblings in a small, rural community in North Lincolnshire. From an early age guy was mad on engines. Working hard he saved up his money for engines, bikes and cars. While Guy is best known for racing at the Isle of Man TT. He has had a successful career and raced at many other events; including Cock ‘o the North, Oliver’s Mount, North West 200 and the Ulster Grand Prix. Guy has also now diversified into endurance mountain biking and took on many challenges, for Speed with Guy Martin (2013), such as tobogganing, gravity racing, hydroplaning and even a human powered aircraft.

If you hadn’t guessed already this was a fascinating read. I love the humour, candour and down-to-earth nature that Guy brings to this biography. Plus the history and details he gives you about how everything works. Basically everything that makes him a great TV presenter, is brought to make this a great biography. Guy is also very candid about his relationship with his family, friends and girlfriends, the mistakes he has made, and after struggling with his fame his subsequent diagnosis with Asperger’s Syndrome. This biography has no airs and graces but in fact feels more like you’ve sat down with Guy for a chat over a cup of tea; and with it being Guy it would have to be a proper ‘builders brew’ (strong tea).

My Autobiography is a funny and honest read, packed with fascinating facts and interesting events. I highly recommend if you are a fan of Guy Martin, and/or love engines, machines and history. Great read.

Have you read this? Are you a fan of Guy Martin and his TV shows?

Adaptations: June 2015


I absolutely love adaptations. I know this can sometimes be a controversial subject with book lovers but not for me. I think my real love of them came from my time studying performance at university. There I became fascinated with taking a story and telling it through a different medium; whether that be book, film, TV, or on the stage.

Here are the adaptations I watched during June:

Sleepy Hollow (2015)          Not Read     TV Series     Television
The concluding half of series 2 of supernatural drama, based on Washington Irving’s short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. An up-to-date retelling where the headless huntsman, demons, witches and ghosts meet the modern world. I still loved the camaraderie between Ichabod Crane and Lieutenant Abigail Mills, but there were some weak episodes. Okay watch.

Game of Thrones (2015)          Not Read      TV Series      Television
Lavish fifth series of this epic fantasy drama, based on George R R Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. Another gripping series of war, intrigue, family, politics, love, lust, lies and dragons! This would usually be a great watch for me but by the end of this series I was left with an overwhelming sense of sadness, and for that reason this time it is a … Good watch.

Looking at this it doesn’t look like I had a very good month of adaptations in June. At the time though it didn’t feel like that though. I’ve just been watching several long TV series. I also re-watched a couple of Harry Potter films, which ITV has been showing on Saturday afternoons/evenings. I didn’t do a write-up though because I re-watch them too often, and you’d be sick of the sight of them! I am still watching the epic, 4th series of Grimm and the BBC’s new drama Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. Then I have the 2nd series of Penny Dreadful and the 3rd series of Hannibal to start. So hopefully plenty to share with you in July.

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