Fairly faithful adaptation tones down book's conservative commentary
Now, I'm kind of a weirdo. I not believe in God, believe in equal rights for everyone, identify as a feminist, and am a budding liberal. However, I am obsessed with and love the works of C. S. Lewis. I have read, enjoyed, and deeply analyzed all seven Chronicles of Narnia, and am currently reading his Space Trilogy, which I am enjoying. Also, what is considered the most misogynistic, racist, and Christian Chronicle of Narnia (The Last Battle) is my favorite one in the series. (It is slightly racist, but not super racist. It is actually one of the less sexist books in the series. Also, The Magician's Nephew was the most Christian book in the series to me.) The Silver Chair, my third-favorite book in the series (The Voyage of the Dawn Treader was my second), contains conservative commentary/ham-handed satire concerning schools. The book was published in 1954, when secular education was becoming popular in Britain. I, personally, am not bothered by this commentary. (I am not the type of atheist that cannot appreciate other times, religions, or people's love of reading.) However, many atheist are unfortunately like that, and will be offended by the book's conservative commentary. However, the commentary is drastically toned down in this adaptation. The scenes with Aslan (Jesus/God in Lion form), are still slightly preachy. I am not a huge Aslan freak, but I respect that others like him. He just doesn't work for me; I have my conscience to make my feel remorseful. If you can put the religion and conservatism aside, or conservative and religious yourself, this is actually a good show. It is the fourth and last BBC TV show based of C. S. Lewis's Narnia series. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was a near perfect adaptation, and probably the most faithful of the BBC adaptations (LWW is pretty easy to adapt, due to simple nature of the story). Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader were condensed into one season, and the developers new that Dawn Treader was a better story than Prince Caspian. Because of this, Prince Caspian was only two episodes, being pretty rushed and watered down, but still entertaining. I'd take it over the dragged out Walden version any day. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader was pretty faithful, and retained the book's relaxing nature. It was not as rich and deep as the book, but an exact page-to-screen adaption of that book would be boring. It was better than the Walden version, and still worth 5 stars. It was probably my favorite BBC adaptation. This one was faithful, but not as faithful as The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe or The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, but more faithful than Prince Caspian, and definitely more faithful than the disappointing Walden adaptations. There are two flickers in faithfulness that particularly bother me: the escape from Underland part of the story, and the final talk with Aslan. Let's start with the escape from Underland. The escape from Underland spanned multiple chapters, and was the best scene in the book, and one of the best scenes in the entire series, along with the end of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and the chapter "Night Falls on Narnia" in The Last Battle. However, this show made it just a montage. In the books, there was a lore behind the Earthmen (called UnderEarthmen in this show), that made them a friendly, peaceful race subjugated by a villainous witch. However, this lore was never explained in the show. In the show, when the Earthmen/UnderEarthmen fell down the crack, it appeared them falling into lava because they were bad, rather then them returning to their home turf. Plus, all of the tension, grittiness, and hopefulness of the escape was eliminated by making it a montage. Also, the Earthmen would have been benefited by better effects that were not available at the time. Then there was the final meeting with Aslan. He told Eustace and Jill that they must know him by another name in their own world. This means that this is their last time entering Narnia, which, according to the books, is not true. I believe this is because the BBC did not want to adapt The Last Battle, The Horse and His Boy, and The Magician's Nephew, as The Last Battle and The Horse and His Boy feature a race called the Calormenes as prominent antagonists. The Calormenes are a greedy desert empire with a culture inspired by ancient polytheistic Arab religions, who worship a demonic god called Tash. Tash is the Narnian version of Satan, and overall the main antagonist of the entire series. Many people are deeply offended by the Calormenes, claiming they are anti-Muslim, racist caricatures (or anti-Christian caricatures). BBC may have wanted to be politically correct and not offend its viewers. But come on! The Calormenes are not that bad. They are, in fact, nothing at all like Muslims. Also, the effects required for The Magician's Nephew and The Last Battle were probably not available at the time. Now that we've covered political correctness, faithfulness, and conservative commentary, let's talk about the appropriateness of the content. There was some low tech puppetry violence, such as the killing of a large green serpent. (The effects are dated and awful, but better than the effects in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe). There were two chase scenes: an escape from giants that were throwing boulders at the heroes and an escape from a giant hunting party wanting to eat the heroes. There was a scare when Eustace fell off a cliff, but he was saved by Aslan. Gnomes fall into a crack in the Earth. (Reading the book will make this scene less scary and violent). Puddleglum gets drunk at one point and ends up with a hangover. Overall, this a worthy adaptation of The Silver Chair, but the BBC adaptations of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader are better. 4 stars.
This title contains:
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking