TV shows based on books

There’s been a bit of chat on other posts about Outlander, a TV series based on the hugely popular books by Diana Gabaldon.
There’s a bit of timey wimey business, hot-blooded romance, blokes in kilts, fab production values, great character acting and historic costumes but it’s definitely not a bonnet drama.
The first season is screening on SBS at the moment so it’s not too late to jump aboard if you’re interested. The first episode is on Catch Up right now.
What other TV shows sparked by books do you enjoy watching?
Game of Thrones would be my top choice, although since I started with the books I would always pick the thrill of racing through a book over the TV version, as excellent as it is.



  1. The Wrong Girl? It’s a bit up and down but growing on me.
    Orange is the New Black.
    The Night Manager. I can’t wait for that one. Tom Hiddleston, you know.

    • Bob speaking of The wrong girl, I went and saw Girl on a train after reading the book and I didn’t enjoy it at all.
      Not sure if it was because I had read the book or just found the movie slow and boring.
      Enjoyed both book and movie of The Wrong girl.
      I will take a look at The night manager now you have mentioned it.

      • I have recently heard a number of people say they didn’t enjoy The Girl on the Train movie after the book. Apparently the book is more nuanced. I get that. It’s hard for a movie to live up to a good book.
        And … just Tom. *heart takes a little skip*

    • You won’t believe, (I couldn’t) I found The Night Manager, first series, six episodes last night on Foxtel. So it’s all taped this morning, waiting for me to have a feast.

  2. Poldark caused a furore in the UK this week, with the airing of episode 8. We are only coming up to episode 6 so will wait to discuss in a couple of weeks.

    • I don’t think it would be a spoiler to discuss it now as it has been all over Fairfax and the Guardian and perhaps it could be an interesting topic as to whether it is problematic to translate certain events to the screen.

      • Yeah, discuss away. I don’t watch it (although I like Aiden Turner from Being Human days) and even I have heard about the upcoming event.

    • I’ve commented fairly lengthily on other threads, so I won’t go too deep.

      I suppose my viewpoint is that historical fiction shouldn’t be filtered through modern politically correct viewpoints with the expectation that the book/show be changed so as not to offend some people. I understand that those who have had traumatic personal experiences (such as rape, or maybe not rape) may find it diffcult to read/watch the same experience in a fictional setting, but that could be said for any personal experience. There are certainly some novels that I can’t read because the content covers my own traumas.

      One of the beauties of Poldark is that Winston Graham intended the Ross-Elizabeth incident to be ambiguous, and then laid many, many clues in the later books to show how he considered the incident to be viewed. The TV show consulted with Graham’s son, who advised them that because the later books show that the incident was not rape, that they needed to convey that, so that later series would not be compromised. I accept his viewpoint.

      • I remember WB re-released some of it’s vintage, old cartoon shorts recently (that featured some very politically-incorrect subtext), but they didn’t change anything and added a disclaimer that, “These portrayals were wrong at the time, and they’re wrong now, but treating them as if they never happened is doing a disservice to everyone.” I thought that was classy.

  3. I thought the TV show of Game of Thrones is better than the books.
    Loving both TV adaptations of Poldark and read all the books. I’ll give Outlander a go.

    • I do like that TV Game of Thrones is changing some of the character arcs, like making Sansa stronger. Is anyone here watching The Walking Dead (based on the comic books? I just saw the season 7 premiere which resolved a “who died?” cliffhanger.

    • You are in for a treat, Lola. Just make sure (like I tell everyone) that you follow Outlander at least until after the time travel occurs. There is a bit of other stuff which lays down the story, which some people think is a bit slow (not me, though!).

  4. I wish I enjoyed that genre of show but sadly for myself I don’t. 🙁

    I shall stick with reading all of your comments.

      • Reminds me of Nellie Oleson from Little House on the Prairie, speaking of tv shows that I got seriously addicted to.

        • Oh yes. Obviously there is a category of child actors who can do this look.

          Been reliving LHOTP recently, as I have successfully addicted the 15yo to it. She’s also addicted to 7th Heaven and Full House.

    • The Bad Seed scared the you know what out of me, not only when I was a child but when I grew up as well. She is one evil, scared little kid.
      The funny thing is the kids of today would probably watch it and think it was boring.
      I remember getting my kids to watch The Birds (Hitchcock) and they hardly blinked an eyelid. Whereas when I was there age, young teenager it freaked me out……

  5. Those early morning televangelist shows based on The Bible always give me a laugh. You see some good acting, too, when the hosts ask for money,

  6. The controversial Poldark episode is on here tonight. It will be interesting if there is negative comment this week.

    • I haven’t been keeping up with Poldark. I think I’m on episode 3 or maybe just 2 from the second season. I’ll have to try and catch up.

      • I didn’t get into the casting from ep 1, Smythe. Prefer the casting in Jamaica Inn. I liked the casted in the original Poldark.

  7. Just read that it should be on Netflix everywhere – should be also on Australian Netflix then.^^ Netflix gives me some hope they will continue the show if ScyFy drops the show. They have a habit of canceling their good shows way too early.

  8. I finally watched the first episode of Jamaica Inn, and I liked it. I agree (with someone’s hubby?) that it is quite slow, with lots of walking across the moors, but that is OK.

    It has been a while since I last watched an historical drama where I didn’t know the story ahead of time. I really hope Jem turns out to be a goodie, not a baddie. And I will enjoy Joss and the baddies getting caught, if that happens.

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