I don’t mind so much when television “drama” written by numbers has two bonks, four letter words, gratuitous violence on a darkened set entirely populated by mumbling miserable bastards but when perfectly good plays and books are “adapted” with these same ingredients for today’s “modern” audiences enough is enough.
The frequent defence that Shakespeare used the same devices won’t do because the rest of the scripts are not drivel and his plots can be followed to their dramatic conclusion without being littered by confusing devices although even he has not been free of “interpretation.”
Judging by his adaption of War and Peace Andrew Davies who over the years has given the authors of classic novels a chance to have their stories told in their own “unique” way has fallen into the sex scenes (that always fail) trap and I anticipate his adaption of Victor Hugo’s Le Miserables with trepidation.
This piece though was spurred on by the BBC production of Agatha Christie”s “The Witness for the Prosecution” to which was added two bonking scenes and a four letter outburst never ever read in a Agatha Christie novel story. And Not Needed!
Then a master piece of an unsuspected ending to a murder mystery story was destroyed by an added ending as the main character John Mayhew (Toby Jones) shows up a sexual frustration in an attack on his wife.
The problem with these would be emperors trying to embelish great writers is that they “Have No clothes.”