Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Books Made in to Films, TV Series: Which Works Best, the Book or the Film.

I am rereading and watching the Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell which is quite topical as the series has just started. Not quite fantasy but not far off it either, with sorcerers (skalds) and plenty of gods. I am always amazed how dissimilar films and TV are when compared to the books. I don't always understand though why a TV series or film is made based on a great book, which is then rewritten! Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

Last Kingdom is all about Uhtred, a Saxon boy, who is captured and brought up among Danes whereas the TV series after episode 2 has him grown up already. I'm interested to see what is left in the book that they can use to make 3 more of the series. Having said that, the TV series is good and made me want to reread the books so that's also good. Imagination is great and I always think books are better than films but occasionally a film (eg Lord of the Rings) really works and it is incredible to see things become real.

I think you can't beat your own imagination and a book always wins out. However, occasionally it's the other way around and Stardust is my favourite movie and I wasn't enthralled by the book. Does that depend which you see/read first?


  1. Concerning the question about why books and movies/TV shows are different, I know that what works in a book doesn't always work on the screen, whether big or little. It's easier to describe the emotions a kid has while growing up than it is to find a kid who can believably portray those emotions when the script says they need to.

    As for which you like better, sometimes it depends on which you see first. Sometimes it depends on which is better written. Sometimes it depends on which can give more details. So it really varies. At least that's my experience. {Smile}


    1. I agree and people sometimes agree that it depends on which you see first. For me the book wins usually as your imagination is better than the screen. However, there is something awesome about seeing fantasy on the big screen. The one occasion where the film worked better than the book was Stardust which is a great fantasy film