Cable networks seem to be snapping up SF/F properties left and right ever since Game of Thrones turned out to be a massive success. Recently, the network SyFy has declared their plans to adapt a number of book series, and the series I am both most excited and most trepidatious about is Lev Grossman’s The Magicians.
I absolutely love that series. I first read The Magicians in paperback back in 2010, and I have since bought the hardcover and audiobook versions of all three. The audiobooks are particularly special to me, thanks to the amazing narration and characterisation given by the actor Mark Bramhall. Combining reads and listens, I’ve now “read” the first book thrice, the second (The Magician King) twice, and the third (The Magician’s Land) once… so far.
I really hope SyFy manages to capture what I love about the books so much: the unique psychology of human depression when faced with magical wonderlands; the, at turns, awe-inspiring and creepy atmosphere; the countless homages to Harry Potter and Narnia, among many other fantasy classics; and the endless creativity of the world Grossman has built.
Precious few details have been revealed so far about the direction SyFy is taking with the adaptation, apart from a few preliminary casting details. Quickly on that topic: Eliot’s actor is a bit too pretty for my tastes (he’s supposed to have a slightly strange face due to his twisted jaw), and now I’m nervous that they won’t keep Josh the tubby dude he is, but they’ll cast someone “TV fat”, i.e.: not fat at all.
Anyway, I’ve given quite a bit of thought as to how the complex structure of the Magicians trilogy would work on screen, and I thought I would list some things that, in my opinion, SyFy should do when adapting these books. Various bits and pieces of this list have been cribbed from my past posts on Reddit and other forums. So, here are my thoughts. SOME SPOILERS AHEAD!