What's on your 'wish list' for the new BBC series?

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Olivia_y
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What's on your 'wish list' for the new BBC series?

Postby Olivia_y » Fri Jan 20, 2017 1:39 pm

Last year it was announced that a new television series of Les Misérables will be produced by the BBC, adapted by Andrew Davies (famous for his other TV series such as Pride and Prejudice (1995) and more recently, War and Peace). As far as I can tell there hasn't been too many details released nor has casting been announced. The only thing that's certain is that there will be no singing; in fact Andrew Davies has practically gone out of his way to emphasis how non-musical this series will be...but let's put that aside for the moment.

So, since it'll be a while until we get the finished product, it might be fun to speculate and talk about what we'd like (and won't like!) to see, which parts of the book you feel MUST be included, maybe suggest who we'd cast if we were in charge, etc etc...

(Might also post updates here as details get released).

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Re: What's on your 'wish list' for the new BBC series?

Postby 23623 » Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:13 pm

I'll come up with a serious wish list next time. For now let me just say that I'm really looking forward to Javert's suicide scene. :D The only screen adaption of Les Mis I've watched is the 1971 Spanish TV series. It has a thread in this section. Check it out if you're interested! In this adaption Javert writes down his final words on a piece of paper (something like "I've been a public servant for 20 years, but now I must die because I've learned something I hadn't been able to discover", the exact quote is in that thread if you're curious) and shoots himself in his office. And in the musical, we see that he gets all emotional and rants on and on before jumping into the Seine. It's somewhat interesting to see just how many different ways to die there are in store for him. :mrgreen: So for the new TV series, I really, really hope Javert gets to die in the way Hugo has arranged, though I don't mind them being a bit...creative as far as suicides go. :mrgreen:
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Re: What's on your 'wish list' for the new BBC series?

Postby Olivia_y » Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:28 pm

23623 wrote:For now let me just say that I'm really looking forward to Javert's suicide scene.

That's such a difficult scene to translate to screen since everything is happening inside his head. The only versions I've watched are 1978 and 1998. The 1978 one was so ridiculous that it totally took me out of the seriousness of the scene, and the 1998 one was even worse.

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Re: What's on your 'wish list' for the new BBC series?

Postby 23623 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:06 pm

Olivia_y wrote:That's such a difficult scene to translate to screen since everything is happening inside his head. The only versions I've watched are 1978 and 1998. The 1978 one was so ridiculous that it totally took me out of the seriousness of the scene, and the 1998 one was even worse.


Let's give the poor guy a whole episode of monologue to sort things out! :D

Just kidding. Here's the serious wish list. I'm only basing this on the Spanish TV series I watched, which means I'll probably include something that's pretty common or absolutely impossible in screen adaptations. Sorry, I should probably watch more before actually making this list...

- A proper Gervais scene. Valjean almost bullying Gervais in that Spanish adaptation = WTF.
- More Fantine backstory like her friends and Tholomyes' friends going out together (the happiness is somewhat foreshadowing for us who know what's happening next!) Not sure if this could work but showing her letter exchange with the Thenardiers would be nice.
- Let Champathieu and the other prisoners speak in the trial.
- Do Fantine's death scene exactly as Hugo writes. Her death is one of my favorite chapters in the book. It's so tragic that I can literally feel my heart break every time I read it.
- More details about Cosette's stay at the Thenardiers'. Some adorable moments like Valjean asking Cosette to play with the doll and Cosette saying "oh but I am playing!" wouldn't be difficult to include.
- Give Gillenormand and Mabeuf some stage time. They are my no.2 and no.3 favorite character in the book actually. Cool old men deserve more attention. :)
- Don't be lazy about the Marius&Cosette romance. Seeing Cosette once, immediately falling in love with her and getting into her garden the next day works maybe in the musical but never in a TV series. Give Marius some time to stalk Cosette first. :P
- Gavroche should look and die like book-Gavroche. Also include scenes in which he takes care of his brothers. In the Spanish adaptation, Gavroche can almost pass as Marius (book-Marius is like 18 years old when he leaves Gillenormand right?) And he never goes to pick bullets. He just gets shot and dies. :shock:
- Keep Enjolras and Grantaire's death scene.
- This may be a bit weird but can we have the final scene like this: Valjean dies, *screen goes black* *sad music* and then Cosette and Marius visit Valjean's grave, with the Bishop reading the last chapter of the Brick in the background.

There may be more next time but this is all I can think of at the moment.
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Re: What's on your 'wish list' for the new BBC series?

Postby CC21106 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:56 pm

Getting out of and back into the convent via coffin. Red-blooded action suspense, which is somewhat rare in the book, at least proportionately. Another one was when they were trapped in the alley with policemen at each end and he has to climb up the wall using his convict escape skill. Good action suspense there, too.

I like old Fauchelevent's interview with the mother superior about burying the nun in the crypt.
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Re: What's on your 'wish list' for the new BBC series?

Postby 23623 » Fri Feb 03, 2017 4:38 am

CC21106 wrote:Getting out of and back into the convent via coffin.

Oh yes, this is a must! Also I like Fauchelevent asking the new gravedigger "hey man, where's your license?" and the newcomer being like "WTF?"

Valjean climbing up the wall is included in the 2012 movie I think. I love that scene! It would be even better if they include this:
Cosette: Where are we going?
Valjean: Shhhh...no more words! Javert... I mean, Mme Thenardier is after us!
Cosette: :shock: :shock: *immediately shuts up*
Valjean: *sighs in relief*
:lol:
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Re: What's on your 'wish list' for the new BBC series?

Postby Olivia_y » Fri Feb 03, 2017 2:07 pm

Goodness, I'd almost forgotten about this thread :oops: !

23623 wrote: Let's give the poor guy a whole episode of monologue to sort things out! :D

Oh good lord, I wonder if there's any actor out there who could pull that off! I'm really interested in who they'll cast as Javert, I imagine it'd be one of the trickier roles to cast. I'd really hate it if they made him come across as the villain, but I'm also not a fan of the 'woobificiation' of antagonists that seem popular in some fandoms. I thought Anthony Perkins ('78) was spot-on (albeit too old during the Toulon scenes), but he's not exactly an option anymore.

23623 wrote:More Fantine backstory like her friends and Tholomyes' friends going out together

I think that was mentioned in one of the interviews, that there'd be more Fantine stuff! So you're in luck :)

23623 wrote:Don't be lazy about the Marius&Cosette romance.

Yup! In fact, more Cosette in general would be good...and probably less Éponine (not that I dislike the character, but the musical does enhance her role a bit too much). I hope they don't cast someone too conventionally pretty for Éponine either, I mean I know beauty is subjective, but at least make an effort.

23623 wrote:Keep Enjolras and Grantaire's death scene.

I'm a bit torn on this. On the one hand, it'd be great to see it play out as it is in the book (one of my only complaints about the almost-perfect Arai Takahiro managa adaptation is that he didn't have Enjolras die standing up), but I also love the visual of Enjolras draped upside-down holding the flag. But given how much Davies hates the musical, I suspect he'll want to keep as far from anything remotely resembling it, so I'll put my hopes on the standing-up.

I don't know if this would be too much to hope for, but I'd like it if they had separate actors play young and old Valjean, especially if they include any backstory from when he actually stole that loaf of bread. 27 to 64 is a damn big gap and I've yet to see any old-age makeup that can pull that off. I know you can do some pretty amazing things with prosthetics these days, but natural would be so much better.

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Re: What's on your 'wish list' for the new BBC series?

Postby 23623 » Sat Feb 04, 2017 3:21 am

Olivia_y wrote:I don't know if this would be too much to hope for, but I'd like it if they had separate actors play young and old Valjean, especially if they include any backstory from when he actually stole that loaf of bread. 27 to 64 is a damn big gap and I've yet to see any old-age makeup that can pull that off. I know you can do some pretty amazing things with prosthetics these days, but natural would be so much better.


I second this! I actually have had the discussion about double casting musical Valjean with a friend several times. She insists that it's a good idea, but I don't think it really necessary in the musical. It will only make the plot more confusing for newbies, if anything. But double casting in a TV series is entirely possible and makes more sense. I wouldn't complain if they spend several episodes on Valjean's pre-breadstealing life (unless they screw it up, of course). Better than episode after episode of the Bishop backstory anyway, lol.

And hooray for more Fantine! :D
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Re: What's on your 'wish list' for the new BBC series?

Postby Olivia_y » Sat Feb 25, 2017 9:59 pm

Does anyone know if there's a release date for this?

If this series is good enough to please both existing fans (including fans of the brick!) and bring in new ones, I can overlook the comments about the musical.

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Re: What's on your 'wish list' for the new BBC series?

Postby Acaila » Sun Feb 26, 2017 10:14 pm

My main things:
Fantine's backstory
Marius' backstory
Lots and lots of Les Amis so you actually get a sense of their characters

I remember seeing a trailer for Desperate Romantics before it came out and thinking it was a bbc show just about Les Amis :(
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Re: What's on your 'wish list' for the new BBC series?

Postby Olivia_y » Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:06 pm

You know, as unnecessary as it is for the director to keep taking potshots at the musical, a silver lining might be that he would try to steer away some of the misconceptions people form about the story/characters after watching the musical.

For instance, give Éponine a role outside of 'pining for Marius', don't be afraid to show some of her flaws (e.g. don't make it out her motivations of finding Cosette or saving Marius was so selfless). Then there's Javert's obsession with stars...I mean, I love the song but people (and by that I mean some fanfic authors) seem to wrap his entire personality around it.

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Re: What's on your 'wish list' for the new BBC series?

Postby Morbidmuch_ » Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:21 pm

Acaila wrote:Lots and lots of Les Amis so you actually get a sense of their characters


This is probably the most important thing for me. Everything else in the musical is practically explained and makes sense, but Les Amis is just a group of students without distinctive personalities (Enjolras and Grantaire being exceptions). I'm looking forward to lots of Jehan poetry, Joly's hypochondria and Feuilly's love for Poland.
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Re: What's on your 'wish list' for the new BBC series?

Postby Olivia_y » Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:59 pm

Acaila wrote:Lots and lots of Les Amis so you actually get a sense of their characters

I'd like more Amis as well, at least compared to what's been featured in most non-musical movies so far, where they're essentially just randoms, even Enjolras barely has a personality beyond 'guy who speeches' in some of them! But probably in a way that's proportional to their presence in the novel - in the sense that, it shouldn't stray too far from JVJ for too long.

The difficulty I think would come from the fact a lot of what we know about the Amis' personalities etc. come from exposition, which can be awkward when trying to translate onto screen. Would they just have Combeferre randomly drawing moths in the background while Prouvaire tends to a pot plant? They could probably fill a series on their own!

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Re: What's on your 'wish list' for the new BBC series?

Postby 23623 » Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:15 pm

Hehe...not a huge fan of les amis but I'd be super happy if they could include this gem:

Ami (sorry, I can't even remember who he is): Hey, are you Marius?
Marius: Yes?
Ami: You skipped lecture today right? I somehow answered to your name in class and I answered again when the professor called mine. Then the professor got angry and kicked me out of school.
Marius: You...what? :shock: :shock: :shock:

I wish I had an ami who could do this for me when I skip lectures! :lol: :lol:
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Re: What's on your 'wish list' for the new BBC series?

Postby deHavilland » Fri Mar 03, 2017 4:13 pm

I'm kind of the opposite on this one: I know that no adaptation is ever going to live up to my perception of Les Amis, and I'd pretty much rather see them not attempt it than suffer through something I don't fully agree with.
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