Thu 21 November 2019
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TV matters: novels and television
Television and fiction have a long history of affinity – and it works both ways says Mark Lawson

The revelation from Salman Rushdie that he is creating a sci-fi series for the cable network Showtime, in preference to another work of hardback fiction, is an illustration of the affinity between TV and the novel: far greater, in terms of both narrative and production, than that between the book and film.

While cinema and TV frequently turn novels into scripts, TV also has a long tradition of the reverse journey. Through all the different manifestations of the Doctor Who franchise, the tie-in novelisation, adapted or expanded from episodes, has been a constant marketing tool. At jumble sales and in charity shops, you will still sometimes find battered paperbacks spun off from Juliet Bravo , Angels or General Hospital.

And two of the medium's major writers – the late Dennis Potter (Pennies from Heaven, The Singing Detective) and Stephen Bochco (LA Law, NYPD Blue) – both use the term "a novel for TV" to describe their large-scale series.

For the full article

The Guardian

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