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The Strike TV Series: Short Version Of A Complex Crime

September 29, 2017

 

While still waiting for news on publication date of the 4th J.K. Rowling (aka Robert Galbraith) book from the Cormoran Strike series, the first two have been already aired on BBC One. Thus the modern and most popular one-legged private detective Cormoran Strike finally acquired flesh and bone. And a face, of course.

 

The Strike Series was the last remaining J.K. Rowling creation not adapted on screen. But whether we can call it a qualitative production, the question remains open. Here's where a distinction between those who read the books and those who didn't steps in.

 

On August 27 BBC One started showing the 3 episode mini series based on the first Cormoran Strike novel The Cuckoo's Calling. Played by the actor Tom Burke, a private detective struggling to make a living in one of the most expensive districts of central London and an ex military police officer who happened to be blown up in Afghanistan and lost the lower part of his left leg is not the one you'd imagine while reading a book. However, after 15 minutes into the show your imagination suddenly falls into amnesia and starts unintentionally but approvingly nodding in favour of the actor's choice.

 

Though those big round innocent eyes can't be compatible with an unhappy grouch sinking himself in booze and despair and gradually going down with his ship. As well as that bloody prosthesis, which doesn't seem much of a problem, except several close-ups of a stump or Strike talking directly to it. Meanwhile in the book Cormoran is in great pain and long walks become unbearable troublesome activity. In the movie Strike doesn't even limp.

 

 

On the other hand, Strike's assistant Robin (actress Holliday Grainger) should satisfy book reader's expectations. An attractive redhead, independent and proactive - as she tells herself -  a truel "people's person".

 

However, the plot of the crime on TV is like a thin layer of butter put on a black bread. Everybody knows that J.K. Rowling is a master of detail and profound story-telling. But it seems that during the making of The Cuckoo's Calling the project scope was obligatory limited to 3 episodes and just cut off all the rest. Therefore, the story simply floats on the very surface, with loose ends and no idea how did they come up with a certain conclusion or how did they roll up the yarn ball straight to the real murderer. I'm not sure how those who didn't read the novel saw it but knowing the plot you noticed your forehead frowning and your thoughts travelling back to Agatha Christi's Poirot and Miss Marple where every detail matters. Hence the lovers of detective games had to abort their deductive thinking in the TV adaptation of The Cuckoo's Calling, though it would have helped while reading a book.

 

The second J.K. Rowling's book in the Strike Series, The Silkworm was cramped even further - up into 2 episodes, totally crossing out the initiation of relationship peripetias between Cormoran and Robin, which actually start bubbling in the book and make readers impatiently wait for some erotic upcoming. On screen, Cormoran Strike keeps rolling his big beautiful eyes and just dares to kiss Robin's hand in the end of the episode 2.

 

Moreover, this sullen bear named Cormoran whose charms are his downsides in the book, was somehow turned into an ordinary citizen of London, presumably suffering from his torn relationship with his ex. But wait, no time to contemplate or plunge deeper - episode 2 is closing up. Career of Evil, adaptation of the third novel, will follow later in 2018. Hopefully, in a larger scope than one episode.

 

 

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