David Brider (davidbrider) wrote,
David Brider

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I note that the Wikipedia entry for The Box of Delights says that it, and its prequel The Midnight Folk, will be adapted (in the case of Box, again) for TV broadcast around Christmas 2010.

Mind you, it also says there'll be an announcement about the project in January 2009, and there hasn't been, so it might be a lot of guff, but...

It's odd, for some time (possibly since about 1984) I've been thinking that certain aspects of the original Box of Delights adaptation, i.e. the special effects, look a bit dated and it could do with a modern remake (in fairness, it starts off well - and the combination of live action and animation works a treat - but by the final couple of episodes it's as if we've hit "Doctor Who end of season budget fail" territory, with Kay's journey through time being represented by cardboard cutouts and his arrival in Troy being shot on a really really duff CSO stage with an equally duff backdrop). Also, the two adaptations I'm familiar with (the TV one, and the mid-90s radio adaptation with Spike Milligna, the well-known typing error, as Arnold of Todi) make rather extensive and often similar cuts to bring the book down to a reasonable running length, and I've often thought it would be nice to have a fuller adaptation including the material that was excised from the earlier adaptations. (OTOH, the fact that the cuts were similar could be an indication that Masefield quite often wrote material that was either a. twee, b. waffly, or c. both. Or in fairness, d. overly poetic and not really suited to a dramatic adaptation.) Even now, when a re-read of the novel is at least an attempted annual thing, I still find, for example, the different resolution of events when the kids are nearly trapped at the mill stream, or the different sequence of events between the last couple of chapters of the novel and the last episode of the TV serial, to be rather jarring - because it was the TV version I was first familiar with.

So...yes, it could definitely do with a fresh adaptation (and if The Midnight Folk were adapted too, it would make rather more sense of the fact that Kay and others are familiar with Abner Brown and Sylvia - in the 1984 adaptation it's just taken for granted with precious little explanation). But OTOH part of me is just dreading the possibility of it being ruined.

Och well. You can't make an omelette, etc.

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