Thursday, July 15, 2010

From Book To Screen

The filming of 'Thorne: Scaredy Cat' wrapped in London recently and author Mark Billingham posted this interesting tidbit on his website about the screen adaptation of his books and what we can expect from it:

Mark Billingham and Sandra Oh on the set of Scaredy Cat in July in London.
Filming is now complete on ‘Thorne’ the TV series, which will be shown this Autumn on Sky One. The six episodes are based on the first two novels in the series – Sleepyhead and Scaredy Cat – and I am thrilled with how it has turned out. Aside from the wonderful David Morrissey, who has always been the actor I wanted to play Tom Thorne, the series features Aiden Gillen, Eddie Marsan, Natascha McElhone and Sandra Oh: an amazing cast!

Click here to see an exclusive extract from the Sleepyhead TV seriesIt remains to be seen if the TV incarnations of Thorne, Hendricks, Holland and the others will change the way that readers see these characters when they are reading the books. After all, it is almost impossible not to associate John Thaw with Inspector Morse, however much he might differ from the character in Colin Dexter’s books. It’s certainly not changing the way I write, which is the most important thing.

As with any adaptation of a book, there have been a number of changes in bringing these books to the screen, but I am happy with all of them. There are things you can do in a book that simply will not work on screen and it is impossible to make a four hundred page novel into three hours of television without condensing and cutting. So, there will be significant differences in story and character, but I hope the programmes are not judged in comparison with the novels but as a series of films in their own right. Even if Thorne’s cat does not make an appearance.

Another performer not making an appearance is the author himself, whose cameo as ‘unnamed detective in the back of shot’ did not make the final cut. This is why I gave up acting and became a writer…

Sandra Oh's character Sarah Chen (aka Sarah McEvoy) is a very interesting character in the books, so let's hope that she is just as fascinating to watch on the screen.
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