Book To TV Adaptation - The Casual Vacancy

07:27 Lisabella Books 0 Comments

I recently read The Casual Vacancy by J.K Rowling, including in my February wrap up here, just as it was showing on TV. I finished the book first as I didn't want to spoilt anything by watching the TV adaptation. Whilst watching the BBC adaptation of it, I found myself comparing it a lot to the book.

First of all, I was pleasantly surprised to see Michael Gambon starting as Howard Mollison, one of the council members who wants Pagford to cut all ties with The Fields. It was so nice to see Michael in another J.K Rowling adaptation, although I did find it shocking at first when Dumbledore was cursing at young children outside his butchers.

There were a few minor changed in the TV shows that didn't bother me at all, like two of the characters in the book who had no relationship with each other were half brothers in TV versions, and one of the main teenagers in the book, although she appeared in the show, had no story line at all and didn't even speak until the end of the last episode.

There were two changes that did bother me in the adaptation. First of all Collin Mollison, Howard's son, in the book was pompous and knew what he wanted. This created a lot of clashes and fights between him and his equally head strong wife. However in the BBC version Collin was very timid, and did whatever his mother and father told him to do. Although this created friction between Collin and Samantha too, it didn't have the same intensity as the book as Collin would not fight or argue back.

The change that bother me the most happened at the end of the show and book. I will be a vague as possible as to not give any spoilers to those of you who may be interested in reading the book or watching the show. Therefore this next part may be very confusing to those of you who have no idea what happens in the story. For those of you who do, I hope you're able to follow. 

The dramatic and heartbreaking event that happens at the end of the story in the book that involve two people had been changed to only involve one. I felt by taking one person out of the situation made the event a lot less heartbreaking and, although still extremely sad, i did not have the same strong emotions when watching it happen on TV as I did when reading it. I also found that by excluding the other person from this and removing everyone out walking as they were in the book, the overall life lesson in the book was not felt in the TV show. I felt that the book was teaching us not to ignore the ugly in order to keep your life pretty, but that climax was never reached in the TV adaptation.

Overall however I did think that this was a very well done book to TV adaptation. Despite the few changes, it followed he book very closely and most of the characters, not Collin, were exactly as I had imagined them to be when reading. 

If you want to read the Casual Vacancy by J.K Rowling then click here to buy the book.
If you want to watch The Casual Vacancy then check if it is still available on BBC iPlayer, it may not be but as it was shown a few weeks ago.