Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Adaptations are funny old things except, sometimes, when they are supposed to be. There's a TV company who's name I can't be bothered to look for, who have adapted Terry Pratchett's Hogfather and The Colour of Magic/The Light Fantastic . The Hogfather adaptation was actually pretty good and it was presumably the success of that that got them the second gig. TCoM ? Not so much. It read as though it was adapted by accountants, who priced every scene and joke so excised stuff based on cost and not whether the pun was amusing any more. There were some incredibly belaboured scenes, and not in the 'David Jason visual humour' department alone. A short scene in the book which introduces ancient barbarian Cohen the Barbarian takes only a minute or so on screen but is done in such a way that it feels much longer. I wonder whether part of the technique for these is to write the screenplay based on the constraints of time, money, cast and then go back through and drop in the jokes from the books where possible, rather than the other way around. A good few years back Cosgrove-Hall did animated versions of Wyrd Sisters and Soul Music , the former was very faithful and dull as ditchwater, the latter fun and IIRC, took a few more liberties but still had the story to heart.

BBC7 have a few audio Pratchett treats to celebrate the fella's 60th birthday. From what I remember the adaptation of Mort falls into the 'leaden, dull' category but Small Gods is great fun, not least because of Patrick Barlow as the tetchy and currently-incarnated-as-a-pompous-tortoise god Om. It's brilliant acting from the man who gave us Desmond Olivier Dingle and is one of the many criminally under-appreciated comedians in this country. I haven't heard The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents yet and will be interested, especially as David Tennant is involved.

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