2 December 2014

SF from the Beeb

There are a couple of things I'm looking forward to from the BBC.

Good Omens radio play
Radio 4 will be broadcasting an adaption of Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman each evening during Christmas Week. I've said here before how much I love Good Omens. Obviously I'm pretty excited about this, I've memorised bits of this book through rereading it so much. I'm working two days that week so I might well have to catch up on the first few episodes.

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell TV series
Next year there's going to be a TV adaption of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke, which I read and enjoyed years ago. I still have my copy, which is a very large hardback, possibly explaining why I haven't reread it. Though I don't do much rereading anymore. There isn't a release date for the TV series yet, and it's supposed to premiere on BBC America, but hopefully it'll be on over here at around the same time. It's period drama, which the BBC does well, but with fantasy too. I'm rather excited that Eddie Marsan is going to be playing Mr Norrell, he's one of those actors who pops up all over the place in TV and film. I've seen him play a variety of roles, including period drama, so I'm sure he'll be good here.

The BBC's last few forays into TV sci-fi haven't gone so well (I'm not counting Doctor Who that's kind of a given and not new anymore). Outcasts was interesting but also slow and weird (but not weird in an engaging way). Hyperdrive was terrible, but sci-fi comedy is tricky, even Red Dwarf is pretty hit and miss. I quite liked the Dirk Gently TV series they did, but understand why big fans of Adams and the original books didn't. The last real hit I can think of is Life on Mars/Ashes to Ashes, which were more police shows with vague SF elements. Perhaps fantasy will be a better direction, and a well-made adaption will bring in a preexisting audience. It's not like they can't do this stuff well, look at In The Flesh.

I do have one request, and it's not even SF. Can they bring back Up The Women? There was talk of a 6-part 2nd series on BBC2 last year, and then nothing. I liked that, it was funny and clever.

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