Page to Screen: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (1988)

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
based on The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

Once upon a time, flipping through channels, I encountered the end credits of what appeared to be an adaptation of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; the Pevensies were walking across snow, followed by the beavers. In my memory, however, the beavers were of a regular-size, unlike the beavers that appear in the 1988 BBC television adaptation I found at my local library, so perhaps it’s not the same adaptation at all—but I can’t think of what else it could have been, being live-action. In any case, I picked it up to have something to watch while I did chores, which turned out to be a good thing; I don’t think I would have ever sat through this otherwise.

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Page to Screen: Sherlock – Season One (2010)

based on the Sherlock Holmes canon by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Fandom, thou cruel mistress. Over the summer, everyone in the Doctor Who fandom turned their attention to Steven Moffat’s newest project, Sherlock. To a woman, they loved it–and thus began my desperate attempts to plug my ears until it came Stateside, no matter how tempting or lovely the outpouring of fanworks looked. (Sometimes the old Anglophilia is a curse.) But finally, I got a chance to see it; during the end of October and beginning of November, PBS aired all three episodes of Sherlock’s first season. (American television seasons are, naturally, foreign to British television; a season or series of Sherlock is composed of three ninety-minute stories.)

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Page to Screen: Ivanhoe (1997)

Ivanhoe (1997)
based on the novel
Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott

Despite its length, Ivanhoe is actually a fairly compact story–feast, tournament, feast, capture, containment, battle, more containment, trial. Sure, there’s a lot more background, but a particularly ruthless screenwriter could adapt it quite well. I knew of the 1952 film, featuring Elizabeth Taylor as Rebecca, but as I was shelving at the library, I discovered a 1997 BBC and A&E adaptation of Ivanhoe. It involved Christopher Lee. How could I resist?

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Page to Screen: The Mists of Avalon (2001)

The Mists of Avalon
based on the novel The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon is absolutely huge, when it comes to feminist retellings of legends, giving voice and dignity to the oft-maligned Morgaine le Fay. And I mean huge in all senses of the word–not only was its impact huge, but it’s also over nine hundred pages long. When I came across the TNT miniseries adaptation at my school library, I was downright curious about how such an adaptation would even be feasible. So I picked it up.

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