21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Superficial treatment shames an excellent writer,
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This review is from: Case Histories - Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
Isaacs does indeed make an excellent Brodie, and most of the other characters (Julia, Amelia, Louise Monroe and Reggie in particular) are superbly cast, but having read all KA's books I was disappointed by the series, especially the first two episodes. They were just too superficial. There's so much meat in Case Histories alone, not to mention the opportunity for fantastic character development, that I was dismayed to find the various threads rushed through at breakneck speed. The first book alone would have merited 6 episodes. The last two episodes were the best, but I noted that by then ratings had dropped off. Perhaps others also felt the previous four were skimming the surface. Irritatingly, what the BBC has done is block any leisurely and deeper interpretation of the books in favour of slick, quick entertainment that does not ultimately satisfy. If you really want to dive into the depth of Atkinson with all the pathos, humour and sheer skill she is blessed with, I recommend you listen to the talking book of Case Histories. Once again, television has ruined what could have been a truly excellent series: the germ is there, pity it wasn't allowed to ripen fully.
If, of course, you haven't read any Atkinson, and take the series as stand alone entertainment, you might enjoy it and think it well done. I just lament the missed opportunities- in short, I wanted more, but an authentic 'more'! Shifting the whole thing to Edinburgh, when the first book was set in Cambridge, was also a detraction as were the several outrageous liberties taken with the plot. This is always a problem for well-loved books adapted for television. It must be emphasised that books and the 'film of the book' is mostly oxymoronic, so perhaps I should have known better than to expect a true and considered rendering!
Enjoy for its own sake, but this DVD does not follow Kate's books, just uses them, pick and mix style, to create a new drama.