Monday, June 6, 2011

'Case Histories' TV Adaption- Review

Yesterday I mentioned feeling nervous about watching the first episode of 'Case Histories' a T.V adaptation of a Kate Atkinson book, of the same name. Well, I'm pleased to say that so far, this adaption is a success.

The first programme saw the introduction of Jackson Brodie, a private investigator who, whilst helping an eccentric woman called Binkie Rain find her missing cat, becomes inadvertently involved with the search for Olivia, the youngest of the Land sisters. Whilst clearing their deceased father's house next door, sisters Amelia and Julia, find a blue rabbit belonging to their sister who has been missing for over 30 years. This provokes them into reopening the case, to find out what happened to Olivia.

Also, a man named Theo Wyre employs Jackson to find the person who killed his daughter Laura, during an incident with a person who burst in her father's office looking for Theo.

Throughout all of this, we see Jackson struggling to look after his daughter, keep on good terms with his ex-wife Josie and also to fulfill his personal mission, to find out who killed his sister.

Before watching this, I was concerned that the producers of this series would change the multi-layered plot of the book, to a more conventional linear story. I'm pleased to say that they did not shy away from this and I found the first episode extremely compelling. The story stuck quite closely to the text and it didn't feel, as a Jackson Brodie fan, that I was being cheated in any way. The only thing that I would say, is that although the plot kept the multiple plots that the book has, at times it felt a little rushed. However, due to the time constrains of an hour per programme, it would have been impossible to explore every element of the story, as thoroughly as the books. I also felt that this was beautifully shot.

What stood out for me, were the characters. They stuck closely to the original text and I think that Jason Issacs is a perfect actor to play Jackson Brodie. He's both sensitive and tough, with the same sort of humour as the 'Jackson' in the books has. I particularly liked the relationship that Jackson has with his daughter Marlee. I also found Jackson Brodie to be rather sexy, an element that isn't particularly shown in the it all right to fancy a fictitious character?!

The television version of 'Case Histories' is never going to be as good as the book, due to the quirky nature of Kate Atkinson's writing, but I'm really happy to say that the series is doing the novel justice. For those who haven't read 'Case Histories', I would suggest that you read it before watching this, because I think if you are not familiar with the characters, you may be a bit confused.

Overall, this is a compelling entertaining adaptation of 'Case Histories' and I'm looking forward to the second episode tonight.


  1. Have neither read the book nor seen the film - shame on me! Must add the book to my reading list of summer books. My sister has read the book. Shall direct her to this review. See if she agrees;-)

  2. I'd recommend reading any Kate Atkinson novel, she's a great writer. You don't even need to be a fan of other crime fiction writers, in order to enjoy the 'Jackson Brodie' books.

    I'd be interested to hear your sister's thoughts on both the tv and book versions of 'Case Histories'. Thanks for your comment.

  3. I haven't read any Kate Atkinson but I'm intrigued by your description of the television show. I don't think they are airing it in the states. Enjoy the series! I hope it lives up to your expectations!