Prince Caspian: What could Netflix do better?

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Prince Caspian: What could Netflix do better?

Postby Tumnus » Jan 20, 2020 8:08 am

After several viewings of the Walden Media movie and the BBC Miniseries episodes of Prince Caspian, it seems to me there is untapped potential that Netflix could tap with a TV series or miniseries that covers the chapters in detail, especially the following:

-The movie doesn't show the Dancing Lawn meeting, and only gives us the names of a few talking beasts e.g. Reepicheep and Trufflehunter. The BBC Miniseries names the minor character creatures but doesn't explore their personalities or mannerisms much. Netflix could explore the personalities and perspectives of the various creatures more to show the diverse beings and the wonderful world that the Narnians are fighting for rather than rushing on to the battles as Walden did.

-In the Walden movie, Caspian's army attempts to attack Miraz at his castle, while in the BBC miniseries Caspian's army stays at Aslan's How to battle the Telmarines. The miniseries follows the book's events, but it just shows us some of the combat and Caspian's forces clearly weakened and wounded but without a real sense of the strategy or details of the battle. I'd enjoy seeing an onscreen version of the attack in which Caspian sends Wimbleweather and the centaurs in and when the plan goes awry because Wimbleweather breaks out in the wrong place, he knows it's all his fault and that night his huge tears fall on the mice. This is a scene that's easy to gloss over to get to the big battle at the end, but it also is a wonderful exposition of the personalities of the Narnian characters and would create drama and tension by showing how badly the campaign goes for the Narnians before help arrives.

-The Prince Caspian season of the Lamp-post Listener podcast (highly recommended!) mentioned that the pages describing what Miraz does to eliminate any possible rivals in his effort to usurp the throne have as much Machievellian maneuvering as a whole season of Game of Thrones. If there was to be a TV series based on the Chronicles of Narnia, the various nobles of Telmar getting murdered, sent off to fight giants, and to explore the sea could be shown to viewers rather than just summarized. This would make for drama worth seeing by itself and would help to establish Miraz as a villain to be feared and hated so that the audience has all the more reason to wish him to lose the final duel against Peter.

It seems to me that Prince Caspian is an underrated entry in the Chronicles of Narnia. Its main problem is that there are so many threads to the story and so many characters and events introduced and described that many wonderful and exciting scenes are introduced but are then quickly gotten through to get to the final events at Beruna and Aslan's return. The short descriptions that leave us wanting more also give the reader more room to fill in the details with his or her own imagination, though, and if a TV series season of Prince Caspain showed these details well it could be incredible.

What do you think?
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Re: Prince Caspian: What could Netflix do better?

Postby Glenwit » Jan 21, 2020 11:17 am

NO SUSPIAN!

Just kidding.

No I'm not.

Anyways...
People have often referred to PC as the last cinematic book in the series. I think it has the potential to be very cinematic - it just needs to be given the right treatment.

Especially if it's a series, the events will definitely be more impactful if given the right breathing room. This includes finding a creative way to show Caspian's backstory without skipping over it (like the Walden film did) or whatever the heck that juxtaposition was in the BBC series (going back and forth between the Pevensies at the train station and Caspian in Narnia -seriously, I never understood that).

Also, both versions rather butcher the scene where Lucy sees Aslan and nobody else believes her, in my opinion.
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Re: Prince Caspian: What could Netflix do better?

Postby narnia fan 7 » Jan 21, 2020 11:48 am

While I have my misgivings about an episodic format, but if they where to go that route it would allow them to stick with the structure of the book.

The way the story is structured didn't really lend itself well to film, I think the way it was restructured for the Walden film: eliminating the flashbacks and shifting the timeline work pretty well. But as a consequence they had to cut basically all of Caspian's backstory and some memorable scenes like the Dancing lawn and Caspian and Cornelius on top of the tower. With a miniseries you could dedicate an entire episode or two to Caspians backstory.
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Re: Prince Caspian: What could Netflix do better?

Postby icarus » May 03, 2020 10:07 am

I've just been re-watching Prince Caspian for the first time in forever on Disney Plus, and im genuinely surprised at how well the movie holds up! (once you get over the kind of awkwardly jarring opening scene)

All of the scenes with Miraz, Glozelle and Sopespian are just genuinely just fantastic, with political intrigue and scheming that wouldn't feel out of place in an early Game of Thrones episode. I absolutely love the performance by Sergio Castellito too, so good. In a way, its a shame this movie came out 3 years before Game of Thrones mania really hit as I feel like audiences would really have responded well to this sort of complex scheming villainy nowadays.

Another really solid point for me was that the movie was largely shot on location, so its not like a lot of other modern films with ugly matte paintings and CGI vistas which date badly (LWW has a few). All the props and sets are also top notch - really high quality stuff. Admittedly, some of the early scenes in the Narnian forest feel a bit flat and lifeless, and could probably do with a tiny bit of CGI augmentation to make them feel more visually interesting, but on the whole you just can't beat real location shooting, i'd worry if Netflix could possibly support that on such a scale.

The editing, cinematography and all that sort of stuff are also pretty tight still (ropey looking "day for night" shots at the start aside). I was a bit worried that modern cinematic storytelling would have left the movie behind, like when you watch an old James Bond movie and the camera work, lighting and framing are all so dull and lifeless, but there's a lot of really interesting shots in Prince Caspian, and some great dynamic camera work in the fight scenes that really add to the tension.

I'd also forgotten how much of a great action set piece the Night Raid is, which again culminates in another heart-breaking scene which wouldn't of felt out of place in a Game of Thrones episode (Peter abandoning the Narnians trapped behind the portcullis to get slaughtered). I also really like the way it then dovetails into the White Witch ritual - another scene substantially upgraded from the book to really dramatic results.

All in all, watching this movie makes me all the more sad that they didn't continue with the path they were on, and I think any Netflix version of Prince Caspian would do well to borrow an awful lot of the modifications and upgrades they made to the story structure.
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Re: Prince Caspian: What could Netflix do better?

Postby starkat » May 13, 2020 9:12 am

If they go with an episodic structure like they've talked about, PLEASE take a note from the Focus on the Family Radio theater! It does follow the book pretty to the letter, but the way the "chapters" are broken up to fit on the original CDs may actually give a good structure to start with.

Or do something like introduce the Pevensies, transition to Narnia, and then use Trumpkin's story about Caspian's past and flesh it out in it's own segment. That way there's time to delve into the history of the Telmarines and how Miraz got there in the first place.

It would also allow the girls being separated and with Aslan to be it's own storyline and show how that develops into the arrival on the battlefield.
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Re: Prince Caspian: What could Netflix do better?

Postby Glenwit » May 13, 2020 10:34 am

starkat wrote:
It would also allow the girls being separated and with Aslan to be it's own storyline and show how that develops into the arrival on the battlefield.


I love that!

I also think it would be really cool to expand on Pattertwig's journey to Lantern Waste, and whom/what he found there, and how he may have arrived at the Second Battle of Beruna with reinforcements (potentially even Naiads/Dryads).
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Re: Prince Caspian: What could Netflix do better?

Postby Reepicheep775 » May 16, 2020 7:55 pm

I re-watched PC tonight and I agree, icarus! It holds up wonderfully and is a really beautiful-looking film. The first two films weren't perfect adaptations, but I would have been interested in seeing what Andrew Adamson would have done with the other five books...

Jumping onto the idea of fleshing out some of the backstory... what if there were two episodes - one about Caspian IX and Miraz, where we see Caspian IX being killed and the other lords being done away with, and the next would be basically the four chapter flashback. That would mean we wouldn't get to the Pevensies until the third episode.

I'm a little leery about expanding on Miraz's backstory because I'd be worried they'd try to turn it into knock-off Game of Thrones, but it could be interesting if done well... :-?
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Re: Prince Caspian: What could Netflix do better?

Postby Col Klink » May 16, 2020 9:03 pm

what if there were two episodes - one about Caspian IX and Miraz, where we see Caspian IX being killed and the other lords being done away with, and the next would be basically the four chapter flashback.


That would allow them to start developing the plotline of the seven missing lords pretty early. Personally, I'd prefer the different stories of each book to feel like their own story and not part of one big story. But if they're doing a tv series, that ship has already sailed arguably (no Dawn Treader pun intended ;) ) and I'm sure expanding on the seven lords could be done well.
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Re: Prince Caspian: What could Netflix do better?

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » May 17, 2020 12:40 pm

Reepicheep775 wrote:Jumping onto the idea of fleshing out some of the backstory... what if there were two episodes - one about Caspian IX and Miraz, where we see Caspian IX being killed and the other lords being done away with, and the next would be basically the four chapter flashback. That would mean we wouldn't get to the Pevensies until the third episode.

I'm a little leery about expanding on Miraz's backstory because I'd be worried they'd try to turn it into knock-off Game of Thrones, but it could be interesting if done well...


That whole paragraph in PC where Doctor Cornelius explains to Caspian how Miraz came to power could be an episode's worth of court intrigue, honestly.

I think it could work, though, if you also developed other characters like Caspian's Nurse and Doctor Cornelius. (Where did the Nurse learn the old Narnian stories and how did she end up caring for Caspian? What about Doctor Cornelius's ostracization and his friendship with Caspian's mother, e.g. "the only Telmarine who was ever kind to me"?) Light to balance the dark.

It would also provide an opportunity to develop the Telmarine culture and show just how messed up Narnia has become under Telmarine rule. The sameness, dullness, joylessness, rigidity. You're not even allowed to talk about fairy tales! That would beautifully contrast with the wonder of Caspian discovering the old Narnians and ultimately the reawakening and renewal of Narnia at the story's end.
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