Saturday, August 11, 2007

tonight's TV nuggets

I've just caught, pretty much by accident, an adaptation of John Wyndham's short story Random Quest on BBC4. It was fine, not the greatest thing ever filmed, but quite good. Starring Samuel West and the lovely Kate Ashfield, who I last saw in Shaun Of The Dead - since then she appears to have changed her hair colour from blonde to black (for dramatic purposes no doubt) and given up eating (presumably not). Seriously, love, eat some pies, you'll feel better for it.

It's nice, though, to see that BBC4 are still producing "serious" drama. The adaptation updates things a bit (the original story would have been published back in the 1950s) by slotting in a few modern references like Condoleeza Rice being US President. It's certainly not the most interesting of Wyndham's short stories, but it's an interesting (if much-used) premise, the whole parallel universe thing. I have the story in the collection Consider Her Ways And Others; I would suggest if you want a seriously good Wyndham parallel-universe story you should go for Pillar To Post in the collection The Seeds Of Time. And if you want a Wyndham novel, you should shun the better-known stuff like The Day Of The Triffids and The Midwich Cuckoos and read The Chrysalids. That's if you only want one; I'd seriously suggest reading all the above, plus The Kraken Wakes.


everlands said...

Yes "The Chrysalids" is definitely the best of the lot. Let's all emigrate to New-Sea-Land!

And I have to say, it's not often you mention a list of books / stories and I've actually read the lot! Well done!

electrichalibut said...

One slightly odd thing about my old Penguin copy was the picture on the front. I'm pretty sure there weren't any armour-plated green bearded lobsters in the book. Then again it was a while ago that I read it last.