On the Sci-Fi Channel, reviewed by Fiona Y-B.
Learning that a book series which
you love is to be made into a movie or a TV serialization is
always a bittersweet discovery. So much of a novel is our
own personal interpretation of the story that another
person’s version is sure to disappoint on some level, plus I
am an absolute stickler for detail and see no reason to
change those written minutia which help define a character.
For the most part, I have to view filmed versions of books,
or even remakes of films or TV Series as entirely different
I read the first of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series last fall, and proceeded to read the first four books within the space of a week. Since then I’ve taken a break and will return to the rest shortly, but in the meantime, Sci-Fi started running previews of a Harry Dresden series and I was assured by those in the know (ie. my husband, B-Movieman) that creator Jim Butcher was very pleased with the show. Nicolas Cage is among the Executive Producers, a fact that I still can’t decide whether it’s good or bad (his most recent movie choices have not exactly been stellar, and don’t even get me started on his choice of baby names!) Production aside, what about the show?
If you are a fan of the books, you may have found yourself distracted by the details that were wrong. Murphy is a blonde and more tomboyish (and why give her a child?) Harry waking up with a waitress? This is a guy in the books who barely has money to live on or clean clothes to wear. He can’t be around electricity but that’s glossed over. So on and so forth. These were the sort of things that distracted me so much, I had to rewatch the first episode, and I actually quite liked it. As a Brit, I recognize Paul Blackthorne (Harry Dresden) from his early days in commercials. I like how the show has decided to portray Bob, the book’s talking skull and they have chosen someone with some seriously impressive acting chops to play the role (Terrence Mann) although so far, I haven’t seen as much of Bob’s dry wit as I would like. While I wasn’t overly impressed with the special effects on last night’s episode (#2), ghosts are one of those things that always come across as a little cheesy when you try to represent the on screen.
All in all, I think The Dresden Files shows promise. If the little details start niggling you, just do what I do and keep the book and the show separate.