Books adapted for the Small Screen
Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
After telling the Edinburgh book festival of how she plans to conclude her Tudor trilogy, the BBC have confirmed that BBC2 will make an adaptation of the award winning books by Hilary Mantel in late 2013. Wolf Hall (which won the 2009 Man Booker prize) and Bring Up the Bodies follow the fictionalised life of Thomas Cromwell and will be turned into a six-hour adaptation. Peter Straughan, who wrote the screenplay for the recent Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy movie. This also leaves the way open for the third party of Mantel's Tudor trilogy (the yet to be published The Mirror and the Light) to be filmed as a standalone drama.
The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell
Big news out is that the hugely successful prequel to Sex and the City, The Carrie Diaries has been given the green light for a pilot by America's CW network. Written by Candace bushnell, The Carrie Diaries is based on Carrie Bradshaw during her senior year of high school and set in the early 1980's - I can just imagine the fantastic fashions. At this stage don't expect to see our four favourite gals, instead Blake Lively, Elizabeth Olsen and Selena Gomez are in the spotlight for the lead role.
Phryne Fisher by Kerry Greenwood
Get ready to immerse yourself in the opulent, exciting world of Australia's leading lady detective Phryne Fisher (Essie Davis) in Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries. Phryne is a glamorous and thoroughly modern woman of the 1920s. Our lady sleuth sashays through the back lanes and jazz clubs of Melbourne, fighting injustice with her pearl handled pistol and her dagger sharp wit. Leaving a trail of admirers in her wake, our heroine makes sure she enjoys every moment of her lucky life. But behind the fašade of elegance and charm are the scars of the past which drive Phryne to find justice for those who can't help themselves and to pursue the truth of her own dark history. Also stars Nathan Page, Hugo Johnstone-Burt, Ashleigh Cummings and Miriam Margolyes. Produced by Fiona Eagger and Deb Cox. An Everycloud Production in association with ABC TV, Screen Australia and Film Victoria. Keep up to date with the Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries on Facebook.
Puberty Blues by Kathy Lette
Puberty Blues, the iconic 1980s Australian film originally written by Gabrielle Carey and kathy Lette about two 13-year-old surfice chicks from the Sutherland Shire is being turned into a TV series and is being filmed in and around Sydney's beaches.
Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
A Game of Thrones has been a hugely successful series by George R.R. Martin and has been turned into a TV Series on HBO. Season One was relatively close to the book, but I felt there was so much missing, a couple more episodes may have allowed some of the political treachery plots to be explained in more detail. It was obviously popular with the critics as Peter Dinklage won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor. Season Two has also been filmed and promises a lot more bloodshed and more romance. Filming has also been done in Croatia, Iceland and Northern Ireland, so the scenery should be spectacular. Season Two starts on HBO on 1 April 2012.
Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose
Band of Brothers is one of those rare instances where the movie/TV show adaptation is as good, if not better than the book. A 12 part HBO TV series, Stephen Spielburg and Tom Hanks certianly didn't shy away from realistically depicting the harsh reality of war. Incorporating real life testimony from the men who were part of Easy Company, the series depicts the countless battles they went through, from D-Day to the Battle of Bastogne, from the liberation of a concentration camp to the capture of Hitler's Eagle's Nest. More than anything, this story shows the great comeraderie of the men, their unwavering loyalty to their commander, Lt Winters and each other as well as the senslessness of war. This is a fantastic series that doesn't gloss over some of their achievements like the book does. The episode entitled The Reason Why We Fight is guaranteed to have you reaching for the tissues. Definitely worth watching.
Generation Kill by Evan Wright
Generation Kill is a fantastic 7 part TV series that is the perfect accompaniment to the book. While the TV series helps make sense of who's who, the book gives you more detail into the missions these Recon Marines carried out. What makes the TV show great is the dialogue and actions of these men. It is truly hilarious the things these guys talk about when moving in a convoy towards a target that seems on the whim of a commander seeking medals. It gives you a great appreciation of how close they become and how protective they are of each other. Some of things these guys had to put up, even from within their own military is eye-opening, but the support and friendship they offer each other is inspiring. The TV show features 2 of the real life recon marines, one playing himself and another in a more minor role. Their involvement only adds credibility to what is a fantastic TV series. Oh and this also features the gorgeous Alexander Skarsgard (from True Blood) in his first major US role. Check it out to learn something about the first troops into Iraq after 9/11...you might be surprised.
Sex And The City by Candace Bushell
Originally starting out as a book it has since spawned a prequel with The Carrie Diaries, a hugely successful TV show and 2 average movies. Running for 6 seasons, the TV series was without a doubt, fantastic. Dividing us into Team Aiden and Team Big, the series kept us laughing, crying, sighing and wondering if Carrie would ever find true love. Although some of the early documentry style interviews with random New Yorkers was left out of the later seasons we did instead get some great laughs from "he's just not that into you", "dicklicious" and of course "I'm sorry, don't hate me". A great show that ended in it's prime, watching re-runs is the perfect way to spend a lazy weekend or a girl's weekend.
True Blood by Charlaine Harris
The True Blood book series currently stands at 10, with an 11th out in May 2011. The TV show is at 3 seasons with a 4th out later in the year. While the books are starting to lag and become repetative, the TV show is only getting better. Loosely following the plot of the books, there are minor changes that only enhance the story. The biggest selling point (aside from the visual eye candy - Eric you are perfect!) is taking the focus away from Sookie. While all the books are told first POV from Sookie, the TV show lets every character play a part. Alan Ball, the creator has also introduced us to some new characters (Jessica, you are fabulous) and removed some of the ones that could have been really stupid (Bubba - yep he had to go). If you are looking for some light holiday reading, then pick up the books, but if you want a really clever, funny and hot night in front of the box, then get yourself the DVD collection of this series. You'll want a hit of V before you know it!
The Vampire Diaries by LJ Smith
When this TV series first debuted, fans around the world screamed outrage at the obvious Twilight knock-off. Afterall you had two hot supernatural guys competing for the gorgeous mortal girl in a town where vampires and werewolves lived hidden from the world. What people failed to release was that The Vampire Diaries was written years before Twilight ever was. And boy is it better. Not only does it feature fang-baring vampires who actually drink human blood and don't sparkle in the sunlight (come on, everyone knows they go up in flames), but it has better writing, better acting, a better soundtrack and a better cast. More so, the love triangle isn't as tormented or desperate, the eye candy and make-up is loads better and the storyline darker and more believable (yes I know it's a vampire story). The book series spanned 7 books with additional diaries by Stefan and others, and while the storyline is said to be different to the TV series, the overall themes are the same.