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Books and TV

I’d picked up a couple of boxes of When the Boat Comes In, a fabulous series from the 1970s starring James Bolam. I put the first disc in my computer to watch while doing some other stuff and became totally distracted when Susan Jameson popped up. Who? Susan Jameson and James Bolam are married and were two of the main characters in New Tricks, a recent classic series from England. I let my fingers do the walking and found various things I didn’t know. Apparently they’ve been in several series together including Grandpa in My Pocket, but what really caught my eye when I was looking at Jameson’s body of work were some books.

Archer’s Goon is a book written by Diana Wynne Jones, it’s a fantastic little story and it seems it was made into a TV series in 1992 with Jameson as Catriona Sykes. The previous year she was in another series called Woof! based on a book by Allan Ahlberg.

That’s when it gets a little complicated and possibly even timey wimey. Woof! has Anthony Head, Sarah Smart, Stephen Fry and a cast of other talented people I’ve seen before, even Michael Troughton who is the son of Patrick Troughton. Sarah Smart? I first saw her on At Home with the Braithwaites a rather off beat series which is definitely not for the kiddy winks.

I’ve managed to find all six episodes of Archer’s Goon on YouTube and I’ve managed to watch them all. If I work a little harder I can possibly see some of Woof! but that might be harder as I’m not located in the UK.

Episode 4 of Archer’s Goon showed me Annette Badland, looking through her list of credits I found a goldmine. The Worst Witch (1998 – 2001) written by Jill Murphy, Blackhearts in Battersea (1995-1996) written by Joan Aiken, Gulliver’s Travels (nine times from 1902 to 2010) by Jonathan Swift. I’m not forgetting All Creatures Great and Small from 1978 – 1990 written by the inimitable James Herriot.

There’s a wealth of other books that have been turned into movies or into TV series. I’m not mentioning any of the Narnia series or Divergent, nor even Game of Thrones.

I’m suggesting a little game here. Can you name five books that have been turned into movies or serials for the TV? Just to make it a smidgeon harder I’m going to ask you not to repeat any I’ve mentioned and don’t repeat any the previous commenters mention. I’ll do my best to watch all you tell me about.

6 Responses to “Books and TV”

  • Jen:

    I remember When the Boat Comes In- and arguing with Mum, who wanted to watch it (and won) vs me wanting to watch either Wonder Woman or The Bionic Woman on another channel.

    Books into series? How about Catweazle? Or I know… Anything by Jackie Collins, or Harold Robbins… Judith Krantz wrote I’ll Take Manhattan, and Shirley Conran wrote Lace…

    But the series I’ve bated my breath for starts in the US on August 9: Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series.

    • mattling:

      Yep, to all of the above. Now you’re just making it harder for everyone else.

      • Jen:

        not my intention! I only wanted to see if you were able to access videos/files/downloads/whatever of all of the ones I mentioned, since you said you’d be trying to watch them all!

        • mattling:

          Good question. I’ll have a look. The video shop down the road will be my first stop this afternoon when I venture out.

          • mattling:

            If I believe IMDB nine of Jackie Collins’ books were turned into either TV movies or miniseries.

            Harold Robbins wasn’t terribly prolific but he didn’t need to be as 15 of his popular books were put on screen. He wrote King Creole which was a movie showcasing Elvis Presley’s singing.

            Judith Krantz didn’t do too much but I’ll Take Manhattan is one of those classics.

            I had totally forgotten about Shirley Conran, two of her books were put on screen, Lace and Lace II. I’ve had one of her non-fiction books in my hands, Superwoman.

            Out of all of these, the one that appeals the most is Mists of Avalon, although I have seen King Creole. Made into a TV series two years after she died, it makes me wonder if any of her other books will have the same treatment; there’s certainly enough material there.

            One of the places I look is Lost TV Shows, I have absolutely no idea why as it doesn’t actually have anything useful. As you’re now able to get long videos on YouTube I also look there, I’ve watched whole movies on YouTube and did manage to get Catweazle there. If you want to download for watching later I suggest using Firefox and adding Downloadhelper. The video shop can sometimes be good, as can checking out the cheap videos at the supermarket, I picked up Rumblefish for $2 a few days ago. I couldn’t possibly suggest The Pirate Bay or other torrenting sites as they could be deemed illegal.

            I didn’t get to the video shop to check them out but I will.

  • Jen:

    Oh, and didn’t they make a series of Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Mists of Avalon?

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