The book is powerful and heavy but iconic. However, if you are adapting 'Birdsong' for TV it has to have essential qualities that cannot be found in a book; that is why some reviewers are being ridiculous in their analysis. First of all, it has to have beautiful visuals and this production provides them at the highest level. The visuals include magnificent sets especially the war scenes which are very disturbing and real - they take you right into the heart of the book. Then there is the love story - an exquisite love story of the most passionate and powerful nature; between an early 20th century repressed British man and his forbidden love for a married French woman - the production casts two beautiful and gifted actors and they give us a top class performance that is real and heartbreaking. I cannot praise this television production enough. It is television at the highest level - well done to the BBC. It is dismaying to find people who are not happy with such beautiful and poignant productions for mainstream television. If you see the trash that is on most of the time - Birdsong transcends the ordinary and that is what the book does too. They are a perfect match.