Candice: I’ve just spent a long but fun day on the set of Series 3 of Father Brown. This light, afternoon show is based on the stories of G K Chesterton, of which there are a number, but not a many as the episodes from the three series that have been made. So where do these extra story lines come from?
The description of the show says that they are based on the characters but new story lines, in the same vein as the books. But they have moved the stories to the Cotswolds and cast a man who must be 6 ft in the role of a ‘short,stumpy’ character. Hum.
Then take James Bond, an extremely famous set of books which have been expanded in to many films. How many of those are based on the actual books and how many ‘expanded in the same vein’? There have even been additional books written by others including Sebastian Faulks, described as continuation books. Faulks wrote the book in the style of Fleming, and the novel carried the credit “Sebastian Faulks writing as Ian Fleming”.
So, where do you go when you have run out of source material? You obviously get someone to interpret it themselves in the style of. But I question whether this really works? If the original author knew the character and the concepts, and that is all they wrote, should you really take it on yourself to make something else when they never did?
As a purist I’m not sure I am a big fan of taking things further, and I dont always think it works. You often lose the real sense of the characters and the way the story will flow. I know we have ideas for up to seven books with Kate and Dave, but if we don’t get past two or three before we decide that enough is enough, well then thats fine. The characters have told their story.
When Bond returned to the screen with Daniel Craig, Casino Royale was based on a Fleming story but Quantum of Solace and Skyfall arent. The first is a great film, the other two ok and totally different in style. Skyfall particularly gives you a completely different Bond. I have to say I wasn’t sure if it was my thing. The question I want to ask was, would the original author approve.
I do wonder with all of this if it is all about money rather than staying true to your characters. I’d love to be in a situation where someone offered me money to carry on our stories, but I’d also like to say ‘enough is enough’.