Monday, 30 January 2012

TV Drama

I'm sure many of us have been watching Call the Midwife and Birdsong the last couple of Sunday evenings. What wonderful drama for cold winter nights. I haven't read the book on which the first is based but I can't imagine it would be any better than watching the characters' lives unfold, and the way it portrays the awful living conditions in which some people lived.

Although I'm thankful at how much medicine and treatment have moved on, there is something reassuring about the humanity, compassion and capability of those nurses that reminds me of the reason I went into nursing straight from school, many years ago. I only lasted half way though the 3 year training before discovering I dislike hopitals, but at least the whole environment and training was so much more regimented and particular than it seems these days. If anyone is interested in the campaign to make nursing standards higher again, please have a look at Frances Garrood's new blog.

I did read Birdsong when it first came out, as I was studying the period at the time. I loved the novel, and Sebastian Faulks' writing, although I thought some of the early scenes of passion between Stephen and Isabelle in the book were over written. I did understand the idea behind it, to show the two extremes of passionate love and horrific war. But I thought the TV drama was beautifully filmed and loved the way it took us from the dreadful trenches to the passionate love affair through Stephen's flashbacks.

Much as I adore reading, as a visual person it's a stunningly good drama or film that remains in my mind long after the final credits. Even better when both the book and film are memorable - and novels are certainly better for filling in the little details that have to be missed out in filming. Best of both worlds!

Rosemary

7 comments:

Frances Garrood said...

Oh Rosemary - I wish I could agree! I loved Birdsong (the novel) but found all that gazing in the TV adaptation just too much. But we only watched the beginning of last night's episode, so I'll give it another go.

Thanks very much for the blog publicity. I'm not sure it's going to last, though, as I really need some input from others. And there's the small matter of the WIP. We'll see...

Maggie May said...

I agree, Call the Midwife is brilliant drama. I can't stand Miranda in comedy, but she portrays the role of a hapless nurse brilliantly. I have to agree with Frances about Birdsong. I haven't read the book, but found the long gazes and lack of dialogue too melodramatic for words.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thanks for that comment, Frances - I know what you mean. It was too slow for my husband until the last bit!

Hi Maggie - I love Miranda in C the M. It's good to have different views about Birdsong!

Teresa Ashby said...

I have recorded Call the Midwife, but haven't watched any yet - and now I am itching to because everyone tells me how good it is x

Rosemary Gemmell said...

It really is that good, Teresa - characters, storylines and setting. But then it's based on a real-life memoir!

Frances Garrood said...

PS After you receommendation, I watched Call the Midwife on iplayer last night, nad loved it. Thanks so much for mentioning it, Rosemary!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Glad you enjoyed it, Frances!