And read the comics, listen to the audio books, read the magazines, buy the merchandise…
By Lília Visser-Oliveira, TV tie-ins buyer in ABC The Hague
Nowadays almost everything you see on the big or small screen has tie-ins in other media. Once you’ve watched the TV show, you can read the comics, magazines, buy books about the show, the book the show was based on – or the books based on the show – listen to the audio book, play with the toys and wear the t-shirts. There’s enough to satisfy even the most ardent fan. But how do the writtten versions compare to the filmed versions? We thought we’d check some out, starting with the TV series Wire in The Blood.
Based originally on a series of books by Val McDermid, Wire in the Blood tells the story of Tony Hill, a clinical psychologist starting a National Profiling Task Force to track serial offenders, and his complicated relationship with colleague DCI Carol Jordan. The TV series explores their work relationship, while their personal relationship is actually far better explored in the books. (At the end of the third season of the TV series the actress playing Carol Jordan had a job opportunity with another TV drama series and dropped the series, being substituted by DI Alex Fielding (Simone Lahbib), with whom Tony Hill has to start over his work and personal relationship.)
This British television drama has exceptionally well-written scripts, and that made me curious about the books. I discovered that Val McDermid has a talent for creating rounded characters, believable plots and interesting twists. Her style is deep, well-thought through and makes the reader think and live with the characters.
The TV show is intense, but the books are even more so! Once I picked up the first book in the series, The Mermaids Singing, I couldn’t stop until I’d reached the end. And then I had to start in the second one! I just wanted to keep reading, and learning more about the characters and enjoying the way the stories are constructed.
Val McDermid has written five books about Tony Hill up to now. And while the TV series is based on her books, most of the stories on the show are original ones written specially for TV, but based very solidly on her characters. As a fan of both the TV series and her books, I think the series tries to follow her characters in the most loyal way possible. If you like the books, you will certainly like the show. And if you like the show, I’m pretty sure you won’t be able to stop reading the books.