Episode 647 - characters screwed over by adapters

Aug 7, 2023

We're having a chat about characters that differ from the source material and turn out crap because of it. Characters where the people adapting them didn't care, understand, or even take time to read the original stuff because they thought they knew better.

Topics and Show Notes

There are a lot of instances where characters are adapted from source material and get totally messed up because the writers either don't understand or care about the source material they're taking from. Were not talking about being exactly true to a book, we're talking about understanding and respecting the characters so you can translate them to another medium and still have them recognisable and be themselves.

There are many examples of poor character translation… apparently this is what happened with The Witcher in the 3rd season of the show. The story is that the led actor, Henry Cavil is a fan of the character from the books and games and took exception to the character's dilution and sidelining as the series progressed. We've been told that the writers for the show would openly laugh at the source material, something they're not really qualified to do since even the well regarded first series is extremely badly written and only gets the praise it does because of Cavel's portrayal of the lead character.

An example that's very near and dear to me is the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie. This is a sort of a special case since the author had SOME involvement in it before he died but not enough apparently. the characters of Arthur Dent as played by Martin Freeman and Ford Prefect by Mos Def are terrible interpretations, so much so that they end up actively damaging the movie and harming the story. The essence of Arthur's character is a bemused, suburban British superiority: He has an expectation that as a British citisen his rights should be respected, his opinion should be listened to, people should understand his language, and things should conform to his suburban understanding of what is normal and good, all this is signaled by his wearing of Pajamas, a dressing gown and slippers the whole time. Whereas Martin Freeman's version simply doesn't understand what he's seeing and goes through the whole movie with an affronted frown on his stupid face. This is absolutely incorrect! Rather than not understanding anything Arthur is suppose to believe that he understands everything, but only in simple, suburban British terms,so that he can go through the story with a sense of befuddled superiority.

Ford Prefect is supposed to be cool. He's easy going, and just meshes with whatever situation he's in, even if he doesn't understand it. He's very smart and quick to adapt. Mos Def's version is just a moron who looks good. All that said,Sam Rockwell's version of Zaphod was more perfect than perfect, and Zoe Dashenell was perfectly fine as Trillian, but that character was never ever written well to begin with in the original.

What characters do you think with translated poorly in an adaption? Adam West's Batman? Hernry Cavil's Superman? Who?

This week Gunwallace has given us a theme inspired by Oi Tales of Bardic Fury - A Jangling, reverential, exotic, evocative sound of places far away, the smell of sweet spices, mulled wine, and cured meats on the warm breeze in the salty air…

Topics and shownotes

Future cast: TRON and TRON 2


Featured comic:
RATKIDS - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2023/aug/01/featured-comic-ratkids/

Featured music:
Oi Tales of Bardic Fury - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Oi_Tales_of_Bardic_Fury/ - by Omeow, rated E.

Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
Tantz Aerine - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/

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