Plenty of great telly comes from literature; Game of Thrones, The Witcher, The Handmaid’s Tale, Outlander, et cetera. Edge writers have collected below to write on unadapted books they’d love to see get the small-screen treatment.
Skulduggery Pleasant (Derek Landy)
A talking, suit-wearing skeleton who wields a revolver and drives a Bentley whilst uncovering the mysteries of a hidden fantasy world (and can also throw fireballs from his hands), Skulduggery Pleasant is a book character simply destined for the screen. The titular character of Derek Landy’s popular series, the wise-cracking detective would make for an ideal television presence whilst the books’ dark but dry tone, inventive magical aspects and stunning array of characters could provide the resources for the next great series.
Alongside Skulduggery there is Valkyrie Cain, a young girl who starts training and honing her elemental skills under his wing. Making for a compelling audience surrogate, Valkyrie’s dangerous journey in the books takes numerous twists and rug-pulls, and the longer runtime that a television show can offer would remedy the depth and intimacy needed to make her story work. It has been a while since there has been a new fantasy world and the Dublin-based location of Skulduggery’s detective work opens the possibilities for a European Gotham equivalent, filled with unique lore and potentially jaw-dropping action scenes. A television series would be pleasant indeed.
– Jacob Hando
The Axeman’s Jazz (Ray Celestin)
The Axeman’s Jazz by Ray Celestin is set in 1919 New Orleans. Based on real events, it follows the Axeman, a serial killer who’s one request is that everyone plays or listen to jazz, or else they risk being the next victim. Although it was set to be turned into a Channel 4 television show back in 2015, nothing really came of this, which has left fans like myself dreaming of a TV adaptation even more. It’s a great piece of literature, full of murders, mystery, clues and jazz – what more could you ask of a whodunit-style show? Let’s not forget the wonderful setting of New Orleans, the home of jazz, which would make for a stunning backdrop to watch these crimes unfold. Let’s just hope The Axeman’s Jazz finally gets the television adaptation that it deserves, so that fans like myself can see their imaginations of this crime-thriller materialised.
– Maddie Lock
The Book of Lost Things (John Connolly)
We’ve all seen how the world of fairytales, myths, fantasy makes for great TV, but there’s something inherently more unique about the world in The Book of Lost Things that teems with potential and adaptable material. It follows the story of David who leaves his world of war-torn Britain in search for his deceased mother in a fantasy world filled with childhood myths and stories which collide in unique and memorable ways.
From a morbidly obese Snow White accompanied by the Seven Dwarves who actually tried to poison her, to a psychotic huntress fusing children’s heads to animal’s bodies; the world Connolly creates is meant to be uncanny as it explores the stories we knew as children before warping them into something unrecognisable to the adult eye. It’s a book filled with stark imagery, poignantly hilarious moments and packed with potential visual pop, that in the hands of the right production company (*cough* HBO *cough*), The Book of Lost Things could quite easily become one of the most unique adaptations to hit small screens.
– Sam Pegg