I read in this article that Harvey Weinstein (the US TV mogul/producer) plans a collaboration with the BBC on an adaptation of A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens). A follow up to the recent effort on War and Peace (Tolstoy). I tend to be about 5 years behind, but I’m looking forward to catching up on both of them.
What particularly caught my attention was the suggestion in Weinstein’s remarks that there might be a structural change taking place in the way that people watch drama – away from films and towards big budget/long running TV productions (thank you, Game of Thrones). So perhaps we can expect many more “classic novels” adapted for TV and running over several hours.
“I want to be at the centre of this revolution in the way we are watching now,” he said, adding that drama box sets were a key way to tell intelligent stories. “We all love binge-viewing on great new shows.”
There’s no substitute for reading the book, but I know from my time in the book trade that film and TV adaptations of novels have a big impact on sales – often lasting years. So if there are more coming, that’s good news as far as I am concerned.
Finally Weinstein said:
“The BBC is an institution that is venerated around the world, and it needs to continue. It is a beacon and I hope it will stand as long as the Washington Monument.”
I agree – though the BBC isn’t that much younger than the Washington Monument (c.40 years between them). The Monument was built to commemorate George Washington. Perhaps that comment is a subtle hint that we might expect a forthcoming sumptuous box set series on the American Revolutionary War? Those troublesome colonists. I’ll get the popcorn.