Do you love to watch a good adaptation of a novel on TV? I have recently been indulging myself with some nice viewing, so can recommend a few programmes.
Netflix has the delightful Ladies in Black based on Madeleine St John’s 1993 novel The Women in Black. I loved The Queen’s Gambit, though have not read the 1993 novel by Walter Tevis which inspired it. Nor have I read the novel The Dig by John Preston (2007) but I loved the movie. Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy is a visual treat with all those amazing scenes in India and, as far as I can remember, the script is faithful to the book.
Britbox has All Creatures Great and Small, based on James Herriot’s bestselling series of books – both the beloved 1978 TV series, and also the 2020 version. I enjoyed the new version, but it somehow lacked the sheer magic of the earlier series. At least I could still admire glorious Yorkshire Dales scenery at a time when I still can’t travel to see it in person.
And Jane Austen continues to attract film directors. Her unfinished novel Sanditon was filmed but it frustratingly left viewers high and dry at the end, because a second series was planned. Then those in charge canned the planned second series, but the resulting protests were so loud that they have now changed their minds. Series 2 and Series 3 are in the pipeline, though without Theo James in the lead role, so goodness know what that will do to the ending Jane Austen planned for her novel. And there will be a new film of Persuasion at the movies, with Sarah Snook as Anne Eliot. Netflix is planning a modern re-telling of Persuasion too, with Dakota Johnson as the heroine.
I have just finished reading The Trip to Echo Spring: On Writers and Drinking by Olivia Laing. Some months ago, I recommended her book To the River about the Ouse River in Sussex, in which she is walking in the footsteps of Virginia Woolf. I love Laing’s writing style – it is erudite and thought-provoking – and The Trip to Echo Spring was no exception.
Have you enjoyed these TV adaptations? Can you recommend something for me to watch? Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment.
The Women in Black by Madeleine St John
The Queen’s Gambit by Walter Tevis
The Dig by John Preston
A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot
Sanditon by Jane Austen
Persuasion by Jane Austen