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Alan Dorrell08/01/2013 13:04:17
214 forum posts
173 photos

Hi Anybody,

Forgive me for using the site for something yhat has nothing to do with model flying. However, spending a fair amount of time reading your opinions, adventures and advice, I feel I am among friends with whom I can express a little frustration.

Now in my eighties, I was brought up in an extended family who read avidly, went to the theatre at least once a week and adored the cinema. As a child in the 1940's I had this impossible dream of my home having it's own miniature cinema showing the latest films at the touch of a button !!! However, now I am in a household of two, with no close relatives, childless, and my dear wife has never been interesting in reading novels or watching drama. Actually we have three TV's and both our interests are fully catered for. I do miss the ability to discuss the books I read and the programmes I watch on the telly. There is a local charity shop from whom I get my supply of novels, returning them when I have finished but the lovely staff are not librarians.

So to the crux, my frustration, purely temporary, is this. In the weeks before Christmas, Channel 4 showed a drama series called "State Secrets" that I found incredibly enjoyable. My taste !!! Apparently it is based on a novel originally called "A Very BrItish Coup". Realising I could not wait for a lucky chance that someone might donate this book, I decided to buy a copy, from Amazon as it happens from whom I usually buy my non-fiction reading.

Well !!! the book duly arrived, virtually by return of post and I was ready to start reading immediately. Whoa ! Who is Harry Perkins ? Not the protagonist in the series. Wait, this book was written over thirty years ago !

So I put it to one side . I have just started to read it. It is obviously a good yarn and I am certain I shall enjoy it as long as I accept it is not the story of the TV series. But I do feel cheated. There is much precedent in film industry for making drastic alterations. Most recent are the "Bourne Identity" and the "Starship Trooper" trilogies. However, in those cases, I had already read the books many years ago, and certainly would not waste my time watching any of the films again. Yet I would like to see "State Secrets" again.

Well, that is my wilge over. Thankyou for your time. Feel free to comment or not.

Cheers. Alan.

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator08/01/2013 13:49:12
15748 forum posts
1460 photos

Hi Alan,

yes I'm afraid the entertainment industry have major "form" on this - often to the annoyance of the authors! When an author sells the film or TV rights of their work they usually completely sign away all rights in connection with the use of the work in that medium. Which means that the film/TV people have complete carte blanc to do absolutely what ever they want with the title, characters, setting, time period etc etc. A few very big authors have a stronger negoiating position - but not many.

I too have been caught out by this. I am something of a fan of the Martin Beck Sweedish detective novels from the sixties. A little while ago I heard that one of the novels had been made into a film - so I ordered it. Imagine by surprise when all the action takes place in America, Beck has become "a cop" with a different name and the gender of the murder victim changed! Other than that it was "just like Stockholm in the sixties"!

The only thing you can do to protect yourself is leave feedback on Amazon's site saying "yes this maybe a enjoyable film but....." and similarly check out any available feedback left by others before you buy.


Steve Hargreaves - Moderator08/01/2013 14:01:18
6720 forum posts
189 photos

My wife is thoroughly "into" books & reads lots & lots of them....(she says its because I always leave her on her own whilst I go into the shed to fit a few capstrips!!!). Nearly every time we watch the film of a book she has read she says "Well that was NOTHING like the book!!!!"" teeth 2

Martin Harris08/01/2013 14:58:51
8800 forum posts
215 photos

I was always advised to "read the book after seeing the film" as almost invariably, the film would omit or alter things to simplify the plot. It's unusual to see you had the opposite experience but perhaps you'll find the book more enjoyable than the (very different by the sound of things) film?

If not then congratulations should go to the TV producers for taking a text that was somewhat lacking and using it as the basis for a largely original and, from your description, interesting series!

Edited By Martin Harris on 08/01/2013 15:01:06

Andy4808/01/2013 15:05:05
1378 forum posts
1 photos


Can I suggest you Google "U3A", and look for a local group.

U3A is designed for people of our age, and usually offer a wide range of activities and groups from walking groups to book clubs. It sounds like you would really enjoy at least the book club, not only for the chance to discuss a series of set books, but also for the like minded people you would meet there. There are 3 in our U3A who also also a member of our local model club. Cost is usually minimal.


Tom Sharp 209/01/2013 00:33:26
3517 forum posts
18 photos

Do like what I do, don't read books don't watch films. Problem solved.

Alan Dorrell09/01/2013 11:15:26
214 forum posts
173 photos

Oh Tom. Certainly not !

What a great response guys. Thankyou so much. The U3A idea is a good one but I am disabled and have to ascertain that places are accessible. Fortunately, my Club's flying fields are both quite good for me.

The book is a good yarn. Actually it is social science fiction. While written about 1980 it is set in 1989 and is in some ways remarkably prophetic. Interesting. Evidently, Channel 4 made an earlier version of it, so, obviously, they must have the rights.

I have enjoyed this little side issue. Now back to the Toot and other matters aeronautical.

Cheers. Alan.

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