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What should (or shouldn't) be expanded in a Netflix series?

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Re: What should (or shouldn't) be expanded in a Netflix series?

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Apr 19, 2019 1:25 pm

I agree that including the Narrator in some form would be wonderful in a new adaptation. That familiar voice is so absent in the Walden Trilogy, and it was one of the details from the surviving fragments of the 1960s ITV serial that I liked the best.

JFGII wrote:The only problem is how to deal with The Last Battle, where no one who knew Narnia is around for Lewis to interview - except for Susan, and she’s done with Narnia by that point in the book series. Do I sense a change in her character? Maybe a dream she had about where her family went after... (spoilers...). I don’t know, but Susan is the only main character to go back to an ordinary life, so, maybe Aslan gives her a sign of hope in the form of a story she tells Lewis. Only she thinks it’s all in her head, but he knows it really happened. How’s that?

That's an interesting idea. (I'm reminded a bit of The Great Divorce.) Maybe the interviewer is a relative of Polly, seeking to compile tales of Narnia from stories she told him and manuscripts she left behind, and so he meets with Susan to see what she may know about these "childhood games" that were the inspiration for what would become renowned author Polly Plummer's posthumous book series... and then Susan tells him the dream in startling detail and they both get an eerie feeling that the stories are more than just stories.

Something that makes the Narrator's identity a challenge for me, though, is I've always gotten the sense that they've been to Narnia — tasted the food, smelled the scents, seen the sights — and that they've somehow travelled through many eras of Narnia's history. This is largely due to the richness of Lewis's inner world, but every time I read the last lines of The Silver Chair, I get a little thrill and can't help but wonder (no matter how old I get) if Lewis was more widely-travelled then his biographers realize. ;))

So in that sense, if the Narrator had an identity that was not actually Lewis... then I tend to think only a Friend of Narnia would fit. And among them: Digory Kirke, or possibly Polly Plummer. (Think of her writing stories in her attic, described at the beginning of MN.) That said, since the Narrator is essentially Lewis to me, and since Professor Kirke is the closest to Lewis in the stories, I think I would prefer that the Chronicles be collaboration between all the Friends of Narnia but especially the older two members, with Digory acting as oral historian and Polly threading everything together.

If the adaptation portrayed grown-up Polly as a children's author (and I do expect for them to develop her character as an adult) then I can imagine someone (Susan?) finding the manuscripts to the Chronicles mysteriously tucked away in her writing desk after the train accident. Whether the completed stories had somehow come back to our world from Aslan's Country, or gone on writing themselves "by magic" after the train accident before arriving at The End — the viewer would be left to wonder.
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Re: What should (or shouldn't) be expanded in a Netflix series?

Postby narnia fan 7 » Apr 20, 2019 10:40 am

Honestly, I'm not sure I like the idea of having a narrator.

Personally I'm not the biggest fan of narration in film\tv. Obviously it can work in some cases, but in general I think it's too often used as a crutch to lazily explain the story to the audience. I'd probably prefer that the Netflix adaptations just don't use a narrator. In my opinion, it's a perfect example of something that works great in a book, but doesn't necessarily work on screen.

If they where to include a narrator, I'd want it to be used as sparingly as possible. And I definitely wouldn't want to actually have Lewis appear in the story, or have the characters telling him their stories, or anything like that. That'd be a little too meta for my liking. I know something like that is sort of hinted at in the books once or twice. But frankly, I'm not entirely sure I like it much there ether. ;))
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Re: What should (or shouldn't) be expanded in a Netflix series?

Postby jayce76 » Apr 22, 2019 2:58 pm

The Rose-Tree Dryad wrote:When the conversation about Narnia on Netflix got rolling, one of the first things I saw fans speculating about was whether or not a television adaptation would add a lot of filler.

My gut reaction is that blowing up the source material isn't a good idea, but thinking back to the Walden Trilogy, there are actually a number of expansions or additions that I liked: the big battle scene in LWW, for instance, which got very few lines in the book. I don't have a problem with additions like General Oreius; on the contrary I think he adds to the movie. But I also hate the idea of expanding so much on what Lewis wrote that it feels like every nook and cranny of the story is stuffed with fan fiction. So where do you draw the line?

Keeping that Netflix will let someone or someone's headline the books that certainly wants to do them proper and make a wonderful adaptations full of the values of CS Lewis, then color me excited.

I think a big Netflix series is the perfect place for Narnia and I'm surprised it wasn't picked up sooner by a big company. I think there are things you can do in a series that you can't in a big one-off film. And don't get me wrong I love those films.

I think that you actually have the opportunity to have less ( fan Fiction ) type of material to appeal or fill in a big screen movie and just focus and the book materials and characters in a more bit by bit fashion.
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Re: What should (or shouldn't) be expanded in a Netflix series?

Postby decarus » Jun 22, 2019 5:51 pm

I definitely think the only reason they do MN first is to make a grand arc for the stories. Maybe try to keep the white witch around popping up through all the stories as the foil of Aslan and I am not a fan of that. There is no grand evil that sits opposite Aslan. That is just completely against the integrity of the story and the truth that it is leaning against, so that just does not work for me.

Also, i think the best thing about them doing tv episodes is that they can have episodes that are more about one character. Like this is an Edmund episode. This is a Caspian episode. This is a Lucy episode. This is a Shasta episode. This is a Peter episode. This is an Avaris episode. This is a Susan episode. I actually think they can do a lot by having episodes without characters in them. If it is a movie, they have to pop back in to see what the other characters are doing every twenty minutes, instead of taking the time to focus on one character at a time.

I think if they have a final narrator of the story it should be Susan and she should be old and then at the end we see her die and end up at the door with Aslan and be reunited with her siblings, turning young as she goes through it.
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