These TV adaptations bring great books to fans and new audiences alike.
“The book is better.”
It’s a sentence you hear often when it comes to adaptations of books for the screen, and sometimes it is definitely true. But, and we say this as fans of books, there are plenty of TV adaptations that are as good as the books they’re based on, and some (and you might want to whisper this) are even better than their source material.
The long form nature of television means it can be better suited to adaptations than films, where you need to squeeze everything into a couple of hours. With television, you can spend episodes getting to know characters and their motivations, and really get a feel for the world they live in.
Book adaptations have become must-see TV, from Game of Thrones to The Handmaid’s Tale and beyond. And it’s not just modern television where book adaptations shine, with classic series like the 1995 Pride and Prejudice still standing up to today’s viewing.
Sally Rooney has published two books, and is already being hailed as a great new voice in fiction, so we’re really excited about seeing an adaptation of her second novel. Normal People, which will air on BBC Three, is the story of Marianne and Connell, who are from very different backgrounds and who become unlikely friends, and then more. Normal People will be directed by Lenny Abrahamson, whose previous work includes Room and The Lobster.
Where to watch: Normal People will premiere on BBC Three and air on BBC One in the UK and Hulu in the US in 2020.
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries
His Dark Materials
This Is Going to Hurt
A series of diary entries by a junior doctor may not have seemed like a winner, but Adam Kay’s This Is Going to Hurt was a huge success. Kay, who has left the medical profession behind and is now a comedian, wrote a hilarious, engaging and ultimately moving memoir which gave an insight into the work junior doctors do. The book is being adapted by the BBC into an eight-part comedy-drama, and we’re sure it’ll make us laugh and cry, just like the book did.
Where to watch: This Is Going to Hurt will be on BBC Two. Further details are to be announced in due course.
The Handmaid’s Tale
Game of Thrones
Picnic at Hanging Rock
Big Little Lies
Pride and Prejudice
A Discovery of Witches
Orange is the New Black
Sherlock and Elementary
War and Peace
The Night Manager
My Brilliant Friend
Images: Netflix / courtesy of publishers