Apr. 19th, 2011


Apr. 19th, 2011 12:19 am
williamjm: (Default)
I finished watching the first episode of the Game of Thrones TV series a couple of hours ago. Despite all the advance footage and trailers looking very promising, I was still a bit nervous before watching it, wondering if they'd do the book justice. There's always a bit of nervousness about adaptations of books I really like, and this is particularly the case when it's an adaptation of my favourite series of books and one I've been reading for longer than I really want to think about (I'm not entirely sure exactly when I started reading it, but I remember it was on the "New Releases" pile in Waterstones in Perth when I picked it up so it would sometime around 1996/7).

Based on the first episode I'd say they did a great job of adapting it, it's not perfect and some things aren't entirely how I envisioned them, but so far I don't really have any serious complaints about the show. I think it must rank as one of the most faithful adaptations I've seen, admittedly a couple of bits of characterisation are done a bit differently, but I've never really agreed with the school of thought that an adaptation has to keep everything the same so I think the changes are acceptable. The strangest thing is the intro which felt more Steampunk than Epic Fantasy, despite that I thought it was a wonderful and distinctive intro sequence but it does feel slightly anachronistic.

Of course, all the accuracy in the world wouldn't help much if I didn't enjoy watching it as well, but I did find the show enjoyable and compelling even though I knew exactly what was going to happen (one disadvantage of a faithful adaptation is that there isn't much suspense). I mostly managed to avoid over-analysing, I remember mentally comparing the film of Fellowship of the Ring to the book too much when I first saw it too much at the cinema and in that case I did enjoy it more the second time I saw it, when I could just enjoy it. The pacing of the episode was good, it managed to deliver a lot of scene-setting without it dragging too much (although I'd be curious how well someone who hasn't read the books would understand the plot). Visually it look good, and I thought the acting was mostly excellent although there were a couple of bits of clunky dialogue here and there.

Due to not being allowed to put up a satellite dish here, I had to watch the streaming version on Sky's website instead. I was a bit worried by the "This program is not available online" message I got when I tried to watch the preview program immediately before it, but fortunately that went away by the time the show itself actually started. The streaming video worked fairly well after that, although the picture quality was some way short of what it could be - I'd tried watching The Pacific on Saturday and found that selecting the high-quality setting produced too many pauses for rebuffering so selected medium quality instead. I guess I'll have to wait for the DVD release to see it at its best.

In summary, I'd probably give it about 9/10 and I'm now eagerly awaiting the next episode and trying not to spend too much time analysing Internet rumours to see how likely it is to get picked up for season 2.


williamjm: (Default)

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