The end of an era of fantastic television that gave rise to epic one-liners, shocking deaths, and a series finale that a few of you may not have enjoyed so much, has finally come to pass. Not to worry though, no spoilers here for those of you who haven’t seen or heard what happens at the end of Game of Thrones (kudos to you, that is a feat in and of itself!). After watching the finale, I, as I’m sure many of you were, thinking “Now what?” Naturally, HBO answered that question by including previews of some pretty amazing new shows that were coming to the network, His Dark Materials series, Westworld season 3 (though that isn’t until 2020), and Watchmen. All these amazing trailers had me questioning whether to cancel my subscription now that Game of Thrones was over. I realize that there are still some great TV series out there, and with great TV series there are of course great books that many are based on. Here are just a few promising starts to series airing this year that may just help with your GOT withdrawal (you can of course still read the books if you haven’t already. If you have, you may need something to tide you over until George R.R. Martin releases the final two in the series.
Philip Pullman’s immensely popular trilogy did already have a film version of the first novel, but it didn’t do well at the box office. Now, HBO and BBC are presenting a series of all three novels which looks very promising. Dafne Keen (of Logan fame) plays Lyra, with a fantastic extended cast featuring James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson and Lin-Manuel Miranda. The trailer previewed some excellent visuals and with time to truly flesh out the fantastical world that Pullman created, I have my fingers crossed that the series will do his work justice. For those unfamiliar with this book series, it follows Lyra, niece of famed adventurer Lord Asriel as she embarks on her own adventure to save her friend Will who is kidnapped by a group known as “the gobblers”. Through the series she discovers aspects of herself, her past and her world that will forever change her life.
Based on the award-winning graphic novel by Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons that was written during the 1980’s and was lauded as the first grown-up comic, this TV series certainly looks intriguing. Whether you’re a fan of the Zack Snyder film or not, a series could certainly have the potential of delving into the world that Moore created in the comic. Set during an alternate history where “superheroes” have emerged and the United States has won the Vietnam War, the year 1985 has the world edging towards World War III and the superheroes who were discovered are either in retirement or working for the government. A government-sponsored superhero is murdered and those retired re-emerge.
Based upon the off-beat and comedic novel Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Neil Gaiman and the late Sir Terry Pratchett, this TV series, also written by Gaiman looks like a sure hit. And with the Tenth Doctor in it, aka David Tennant, I’m definitely in! The novel follows the angel Aziraphale and demon Crowley, two unlikely friends who take a liking to humanity as they attempt to thwart the apocalypse. Sound crazy and fun enough for you?
“You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension: a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas; you’ve just crossed over into the Twilight Zone.”
This introduction has become pop culture legend. I remember the intro from sneak-watching some episodes when I was younger, and then from going on the Tower of Terror just a few times at Disney World, and I get chills each time I hear it, coupled by the fantastic intro music of course. You may remember watching these shows as re-runs on late-night television and many of the shocking twists I’m certain stayed with you. Comedian, screenwriter and director Jordan Peele has revitalized this series with some new episodes that reflect the issues and topics of our time (I’ve watched many of them, and they are quite good!). The library does have all five seasons of the original series for your viewing pleasure, but if you’d like a book similar to The Twilight Zone, the following are my suggestions: Duel: Terror Stories by Richard Matheson (this compilation contains some stories which inspired episodes of The Twilight Zone), Body by Asa Nonami and The Best of Richard Matheson by Richard Matheson.
This series (pronounced Nosferatu) is based on a novel by bestselling author Joe Hill, whose father, yes, is Stephen King, but who has written some incredible books in his own right. The book and TV series follow Victoria “Vic” McQueen who possesses an ability of finding things that are lost, as she attempts to thwart seemingly immortal child abductor Charles Manx who takes the children to a place called “Christmasland”. When she was younger Vic was the only kid to ever escape Manx, now older she must risk everything to save her son from being taken. The book itself is certainly very creepy, and the TV series looks unsettling as well, with Zachary Quinto as Charles Manx, it is sure to be one frightening ride.
This is of course just a taste of exciting new TV series coming out, are there any in particular you’re looking forward to watching? Comment below!
Happy Reading (and watching!)