The Dresden Files - Humble Suggestions and Praise for the Sci-Fi Channel

Rothgar

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We all know how impossible it is to capture the true spirit of a book and translate it to a tv screen. Personally I think the people at the sci-fi channel are doing a good job trying to stay true to the spirit of The Dresden books.

I started reading the books after I saw the first few episodes. At the moment I am almost finished reading all of the paperbacks. These have been the most enjoyable stories I have read in a long time.

The idea of this thread is to create suggestions and discussion of what would help the show translate from the books to the screen. Take the opportunity to mention what you think really makes the books click, and don't forget to list what you do like about the show (favorite moments etc.).

Have at it! :D
 

Talysia

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I'm the same in that I started reading the books after seeing the first few episodes. I'm glad that they kept the humourous moments, and I like the character of Bob. For a relative newcomer, it's taken a while to get used to the style, but overall...:)
 
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Highlander II

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I read the books first. I've been a Butcher fan since I first grabbed the Storm Front audiobook! :) Now, book 4 had just been released when I got hold of them, so I had 4 books to devour before I had to wait, which was nice. But one of the cool things about this series is that it got me excited about reading again and I was pouring through books like crazy (I've slacked off again in favor of some other things, but I still read).

I've known about the series for quite some time as well. I knew about the 'potential' 2-hr mini-movie several years ago when Morgan Gendel first mentioned it and Nicolas Cage was first mentioned as being associated with it (one of the perks of being on a mailing list where the author frequently posts little goodies *g*).

So, I was excited about seeing the book series brought 'to life' on TV. We waited and waited and waited and WAITED some more. I mean - we waited a LONG time. Then there was 'they've shot it!', followed by 'oh, wait, they're ordering enough episodes for a full season!', then, 'well, it's not gonna air over the summer because the pilot's not ready yet'. It was a LOT of waiting.

By the time the pilot aired, we were all mostly just glad the thing was getting on the air! ('we' is the mailing list folks).

I loved the first episode. There were things that bugged me a little, but there was enough 'flavor of the books' kept to the series, that I was highly impressed and definitely intrigued by what was coming up next.

They've kept the stories pretty consistent with the book 'themes' - which, to me, is far more important that following each book story letter-for-letter. A few changes that were mentioned made me go 'huh?' until I saw them on screen and saw why - then it was just 'yeah, okay, I get it'.

So far, the only episode I haven't liked AT ALL is "Storm Front" - which is disappointing, b/c it had the potential to be freakin' AWESOME and they goofed it up. ("Walls" was a crap episode, but not as bad as "SF".)

My advice would be - stick with what they're doing with a majority of the episodes and stay away from trying to directly translate Butcher's novels to the tv show, b/c it just won't work.
 

Rothgar

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I agree Storm Front was poorly done. One of my biggest problems with that episode was the way Susan was portrayed. I had a lot of trouble visualizing her as an investigative reporter with the way she was acting on the episode. I was also wondering why they haven't developed her in any following episodes, considering how important of a role she has in the first several books.

This goes along with my thought that they have turned Dresden into a lone wolf, while in the books it is his dedication to protecting his friends that drives a lot of what he does. Also it is his dependence on his very unique friends for the occasional aid that can make the story so much fun. I really think they need to tie in some of the other book characters with occasional appearances. Ebenezer, Michael, and Billy the werewolf would add a lot to the show.

Another thing they could tweak is the narrator voice. In the show they use it all the time to explain what is going on to the audience. I think they need to twist it so that he isn't speaking to us, but instead is talking to himself, as he is in the books. And once in a while he should answer himself out loud. It would really add to the -is he losing his mind- question.
 

dwndrgn

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I really like the show. I think yes, he needs more friends, Morgan and Ancient Mai are too regular on the show. It's quite possible that the young lady werewolf from that early episode will make another appearance at some point and he does have an acquaintance of sorts in the vampire community, but he doesn't have friends. It should have more variation I think. I also think that you can never go wrong when there's an animal around. Bring Mister back! Even if he is just a background prop - he gives Harry more of a human feel, plus it is someone he can talk to other than himself.

Rothgar, I like your narrator voice suggestion but I don't see it happening here.
 

Omega

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I'm a little confused here, since when are sci-fi channel actually writing these episodes? Sci Fi Channel and Sky are just the distributors. I think you need to brush up on how these series work and how they are distributed.
 

Highlander II

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I'm a little confused here, since when are sci-fi channel actually writing these episodes? Sci Fi Channel and Sky are just the distributors. I think you need to brush up on how these series work and how they are distributed.
The SciFi channel isn't writing them, however, this series IS being produced for the SciFi channel. It's being advertised as a 'SciFi channel original series'. And, as a network, it has a lot of control over what happens and how the series is presented - same that happens with regular network television.

And it's been shown that thanking a network or complaining to a network can have direct impact on a program.

Also, your tone is a little aggressive; please try not to be condescending in your replies. Not everyone is intimately familiar with all aspects of how television works.
 

Omega

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The SciFi channel isn't writing them, however, this series IS being produced for the SciFi channel. It's being advertised as a 'SciFi channel original series'. And, as a network, it has a lot of control over what happens and how the series is presented - same that happens with regular network television.

And it's been shown that thanking a network or complaining to a network can have direct impact on a program.

Also, your tone is a little aggressive; please try not to be condescending in your replies. Not everyone is intimately familiar with all aspects of how television works.
My humblest apologies for the tone of my post :D
 

WizardofOwls

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Having never read any of the books, I have nothing with which to compare the seres. However I must say that I have really enjoyed it thus far and may be looking for the books in the near future.
 

Highlander II

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It's not imperative to read the books before watching the series, or even to enjoy the series. As a matter of fact, having seen the series first, your point of view could be quite different than that of someone who read the books first (actually, your POV is probably markedly different). ;)
 

McHorde-Trooper

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It's not imperative to read the books before watching the series, or even to enjoy the series. As a matter of fact, having seen the series first, your point of view could be quite different than that of someone who read the books first (actually, your POV is probably markedly different). ;)
Although I haven't read the books I know what you mean by how POV is changed.

I read Jurassic Park before seeing the movie and imagined the character Malcolm as James Earl Jones (the voice of Darth Vader) not a youthful skinny white guy.

Any way it's really interesting to read about the differences.

I think the "lone wolf" Rothgar mentioned might be an attempt to mirror detective noir.
At least that's the impression I got when I first saw the show. In a way I think it's part of the appeal, but a bigger variety of friends would be appealing too. But hopefully it doesn't get too complicated.

I have to agree with dwndrgn that "Morgan and Ancient Mai are too regular on the show". They are supposed to by mysterious high ranking folk, but they associate a lot with Dresden who is gifted (so meriting some attention), yet an outcast.

I have to say I like the show, but the time slot is pretty bad. Yeah, not much on Sundays so no competition, but it's difficult to remember to tape. And the rerun schedule is not as clear as it could be.

One of the things that is a real challenge for the show is it's a bit of a detective show. It's magically big twist sets it apart from those shows. And its' unique style is charming. However, with so many Crime / Detective shows out there Dresden is going to really have to consistently be high quality to get and keep a good audience.

I do hope the show is a success.
 
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