Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sunday Snippet - Kate Atkinson Special

I have a mixture of excitement and nerves this morning. The reason is because tonight on BBC 1 (9pm U.K time) sees the start of a 4 part series of TV adaptations of 2 Kate Atkinson books.

I'm always a bit skeptical when books are adapted for either the big or small screen. The reason is because very rarely have I seen a T.V or film adaptation, which has been as good as the book. Whether it's because the actors cast for the characters are wrong or the directors of the works have committed the ultimate crime, of vastly changing big chunks of the original text, I've never felt satisfied with the result.

Kate Atkinson is one of my favourite writers, so I'm nervous about how her intricately woven plots and subtle humour is going to come across on screen.

With this series, what I'm particularly worried about, is that these books are going to be changed into conventional crime stories. Not being a fan of traditional crime/mystery novels like those written by Agatha Christie or Ruth Rendall, I love Kate Atkinson's 'Jackson Brodie' series because they are full of humour and a great insight into people. Where as most crime stories use a detective such as Poirot or Wexford to solve the crimes, Brodie accidentally finds himself involved in the situations in each book and in essence, is a normal man trying to get through a messy divorce and bring up his daughter Marlee.

The first two programmes in the series, are going to focus of Atkinson's book 'Case Histories'. The story centers around an investigation into the disappearance of three-year-old Oliva, after 30 years and the death of a young secretary. Bringing these two events together is Jackson Brodie, a private investigator with a complicated personal life.

Playing the role of Jackson is Jason Issacs, who Harry Potter fans (of which I'm one) will know, that he plays the evil Lucius Malfoy in the series.

I think that this is a good choice of actor, because in my opinion he is a great actor and he fits the image I have in my head of Jackson. Only time will tell whether he and other actors cast in this, will suit their characters.

In anticipation for each of these programmes, there will a special series of 'Sunday Snippets' which gives a taster of the two books which have been adapted. Here's the first 'snippet':

Page 1: 'How lucky were they? A heat wave in the middle of the school holidays, exactly were it belonged. Every morning the sun was up long before they were, making a mockery of the flimsy summer curtains that hung limply at their bedroom windows, a sun already hot and sticky with promise before Olivia even opened her eyes.'

'Case Histories'- Kate Atkinson

I apologize to those in the U.S who are reading this and are unable to watch this series. I hope that this set of programmes will be aired where you are soon.

Nevertheless, every Monday I will be posting my thoughts on each episode, so you won't miss out.

What are your thoughts on this series? Will you be watching? For those who can't watch this, what do you think of book adaptations in general and which has been your favourite?

Happy Sunday!

1 comment:

  1. I shall await your verdict eagerly as I do not have access to the programme. It will be interesting to see how well they do it.