Forum

Share:
Notifications
Clear all

Prince Caspian: What could Netflix do better?  

  RSS
Tumnus
(@tumnus)
NarniaWeb Regular

After several viewings of the Walden Media movie and the BBC Miniseries episodes of Prince Caspian, it seems to me there is untapped potential that Netflix could tap with a TV series or miniseries that covers the chapters in detail, especially the following:

-The movie doesn't show the Dancing Lawn meeting, and only gives us the names of a few talking beasts e.g. Reepicheep and Trufflehunter. The BBC Miniseries names the minor character creatures but doesn't explore their personalities or mannerisms much. Netflix could explore the personalities and perspectives of the various creatures more to show the diverse beings and the wonderful world that the Narnians are fighting for rather than rushing on to the battles as Walden did.

-In the Walden movie, Caspian's army attempts to attack Miraz at his castle, while in the BBC miniseries Caspian's army stays at Aslan's How to battle the Telmarines. The miniseries follows the book's events, but it just shows us some of the combat and Caspian's forces clearly weakened and wounded but without a real sense of the strategy or details of the battle. I'd enjoy seeing an onscreen version of the attack in which Caspian sends Wimbleweather and the centaurs in and when the plan goes awry because Wimbleweather breaks out in the wrong place, he knows it's all his fault and that night his huge tears fall on the mice. This is a scene that's easy to gloss over to get to the big battle at the end, but it also is a wonderful exposition of the personalities of the Narnian characters and would create drama and tension by showing how badly the campaign goes for the Narnians before help arrives.

-The Prince Caspian season of the Lamp-post Listener podcast (highly recommended!) mentioned that the pages describing what Miraz does to eliminate any possible rivals in his effort to usurp the throne have as much Machievellian maneuvering as a whole season of Game of Thrones. If there was to be a TV series based on the Chronicles of Narnia, the various nobles of Telmar getting murdered, sent off to fight giants, and to explore the sea could be shown to viewers rather than just summarized. This would make for drama worth seeing by itself and would help to establish Miraz as a villain to be feared and hated so that the audience has all the more reason to wish him to lose the final duel against Peter.

It seems to me that Prince Caspian is an underrated entry in the Chronicles of Narnia. Its main problem is that there are so many threads to the story and so many characters and events introduced and described that many wonderful and exciting scenes are introduced but are then quickly gotten through to get to the final events at Beruna and Aslan's return. The short descriptions that leave us wanting more also give the reader more room to fill in the details with his or her own imagination, though, and if a TV series season of Prince Caspain showed these details well it could be incredible.

What do you think?

"Narnia, Narnia, Narnia,
Awake.

Love. Think. Speak.

Be Walking Trees

Be Talking Beasts

Be Divine Waters"
-The Magician's Nephew

Quote
Posted : January 20, 2020 3:08 am
Glenwit
(@glenwit)
NarniaWeb Regular

NO SUSPIAN!

Just kidding.

No I'm not.

Anyways...
People have often referred to PC as the last cinematic book in the series. I think it has the potential to be very cinematic - it just needs to be given the right treatment.

Especially if it's a series, the events will definitely be more impactful if given the right breathing room. This includes finding a creative way to show Caspian's backstory without skipping over it (like the Walden film did) or whatever the heck that juxtaposition was in the BBC series (going back and forth between the Pevensies at the train station and Caspian in Narnia -seriously, I never understood that).

Also, both versions rather butcher the scene where Lucy sees Aslan and nobody else believes her, in my opinion.

Love can save a life like music warms the night
Everything is beautiful
So open up your eyes, fall into the light
Everything is beautiful now

ReplyQuote
Posted : January 21, 2020 6:17 am
narnia fan 7
(@narnia-fan-7)
NarniaWeb Guru

While I have my misgivings about an episodic format, but if they where to go that route it would allow them to stick with the structure of the book.

The way the story is structured didn't really lend itself well to film, I think the way it was restructured for the Walden film: eliminating the flashbacks and shifting the timeline worked pretty well. But as a consequence they had to cut basically all of Caspian's backstory and some memorable scenes like the Dancing lawn and Caspian and Cornelius on top of the tower. With a miniseries you could dedicate an entire episode or two to Caspians backstory.

ReplyQuote
Posted : January 21, 2020 6:48 am
icarus
(@icarus)
NarniaWeb Junkie

I've just been re-watching Prince Caspian for the first time in forever on Disney Plus, and im genuinely surprised at how well the movie holds up! (once you get over the kind of awkwardly jarring opening scene)

All of the scenes with Miraz, Glozelle and Sopespian are just genuinely just fantastic, with political intrigue and scheming that wouldn't feel out of place in an early Game of Thrones episode. I absolutely love the performance by Sergio Castellito too, so good. In a way, its a shame this movie came out 3 years before Game of Thrones mania really hit as I feel like audiences would really have responded well to this sort of complex scheming villainy nowadays.

Another really solid point for me was that the movie was largely shot on location, so its not like a lot of other modern films with ugly matte paintings and CGI vistas which date badly (LWW has a few). All the props and sets are also top notch - really high quality stuff. Admittedly, some of the early scenes in the Narnian forest feel a bit flat and lifeless, and could probably do with a tiny bit of CGI augmentation to make them feel more visually interesting, but on the whole you just can't beat real location shooting, i'd worry if Netflix could possibly support that on such a scale.

The editing, cinematography and all that sort of stuff are also pretty tight still (ropey looking "day for night" shots at the start aside). I was a bit worried that modern cinematic storytelling would have left the movie behind, like when you watch an old James Bond movie and the camera work, lighting and framing are all so dull and lifeless, but there's a lot of really interesting shots in Prince Caspian, and some great dynamic camera work in the fight scenes that really add to the tension.

I'd also forgotten how much of a great action set piece the Night Raid is, which again culminates in another heart-breaking scene which wouldn't of felt out of place in a Game of Thrones episode (Peter abandoning the Narnians trapped behind the portcullis to get slaughtered). I also really like the way it then dovetails into the White Witch ritual - another scene substantially upgraded from the book to really dramatic results.

All in all, watching this movie makes me all the more sad that they didn't continue with the path they were on, and I think any Netflix version of Prince Caspian would do well to borrow an awful lot of the modifications and upgrades they made to the story structure.

ReplyQuote
Posted : May 3, 2020 7:07 am
starkat
(@starkat)
Member Moderator

If they go with an episodic structure like they've talked about, PLEASE take a note from the Focus on the Family Radio theater! It does follow the book pretty to the letter, but the way the "chapters" are broken up to fit on the original CDs may actually give a good structure to start with.

Or do something like introduce the Pevensies, transition to Narnia, and then use Trumpkin's story about Caspian's past and flesh it out in it's own segment. That way there's time to delve into the history of the Telmarines and how Miraz got there in the first place.

It would also allow the girls being separated and with Aslan to be it's own storyline and show how that develops into the arrival on the battlefield.

ReplyQuote
Posted : May 13, 2020 6:12 am
Glenwit
(@glenwit)
NarniaWeb Regular

It would also allow the girls being separated and with Aslan to be it's own storyline and show how that develops into the arrival on the battlefield.

I love that!

I also think it would be really cool to expand on Pattertwig's journey to Lantern Waste, and whom/what he found there, and how he may have arrived at the Second Battle of Beruna with reinforcements (potentially even Naiads/Dryads).

Love can save a life like music warms the night
Everything is beautiful
So open up your eyes, fall into the light
Everything is beautiful now

ReplyQuote
Posted : May 13, 2020 7:34 am
Reepicheep775
(@reepicheep775)
NarniaWeb Junkie

I re-watched PC tonight and I agree, icarus! It holds up wonderfully and is a really beautiful-looking film. The first two films weren't perfect adaptations, but I would have been interested in seeing what Andrew Adamson would have done with the other five books...

Jumping onto the idea of fleshing out some of the backstory... what if there were two episodes - one about Caspian IX and Miraz, where we see Caspian IX being killed and the other lords being done away with, and the next would be basically the four chapter flashback. That would mean we wouldn't get to the Pevensies until the third episode.

I'm a little leery about expanding on Miraz's backstory because I'd be worried they'd try to turn it into knock-off Game of Thrones, but it could be interesting if done well... :-?

ReplyQuote
Posted : May 16, 2020 4:55 pm
Col Klink
(@col-klink)
NarniaWeb Nut

what if there were two episodes - one about Caspian IX and Miraz, where we see Caspian IX being killed and the other lords being done away with, and the next would be basically the four chapter flashback.

That would allow them to start developing the plotline of the seven missing lords pretty early. Personally, I'd prefer the different stories of each book to feel like their own story and not part of one big story. But if they're doing a tv series, that ship has already sailed arguably (no Dawn Treader pun intended ;) ) and I'm sure expanding on the seven lords could be done well.

For better or worse-for who knows what may unfold from a chrysalis?-hope was left behind.
-The God Beneath the Sea by Leon Garfield & Edward Blishen

ReplyQuote
Posted : May 16, 2020 6:03 pm
The Rose-Tree Dryad
(@rose)
Secret Garden Agent Moderator

Jumping onto the idea of fleshing out some of the backstory... what if there were two episodes - one about Caspian IX and Miraz, where we see Caspian IX being killed and the other lords being done away with, and the next would be basically the four chapter flashback. That would mean we wouldn't get to the Pevensies until the third episode.

I'm a little leery about expanding on Miraz's backstory because I'd be worried they'd try to turn it into knock-off Game of Thrones, but it could be interesting if done well...

That whole paragraph in PC where Doctor Cornelius explains to Caspian how Miraz came to power could be an episode's worth of court intrigue, honestly.

I think it could work, though, if you also developed other characters like Caspian's Nurse and Doctor Cornelius. (Where did the Nurse learn the old Narnian stories and how did she end up caring for Caspian? What about Doctor Cornelius's ostracization and his friendship with Caspian's mother, e.g. "the only Telmarine who was ever kind to me"?) Light to balance the dark.

It would also provide an opportunity to develop the Telmarine culture and show just how messed up Narnia has become under Telmarine rule. The sameness, dullness, joylessness, rigidity. You're not even allowed to talk about fairy tales! That would beautifully contrast with the wonder of Caspian discovering the old Narnians and ultimately the reawakening and renewal of Narnia at the story's end.

Twitter: Rose_the_Dryad

ReplyQuote
Posted : May 17, 2020 9:40 am
wolfloversk
(@wolfloversk)
The Wandering, Wild & Welcoming Winged Wolf Hospitality Committee

On the whole I love the Prince Caspian movie, but I think there are some things Netflix could do better.

1) No romance between Susan and Caspian (or involving any of the main characters).  This just doesn't work as well when you get to Dawn Treader and Caspian marries Ramandu's daughter.  It makes him look shallow, like he so quickly forgot about Susan.  It also distracts from the main plot.  Also, I think it's important for kids to realize they don't need to be romantically involved to fit in to society or to fit in at school.  The Narnian characters are often great examples of role models for this.

2) No crazy arguments between Caspian and Peter or having Peter think he's better than everyone else.  Remember that he ruled Narnia already for 15 years- during the golden age.  He has almost certainly learned how to be a proper and noble king by this point in time.  And the books never set up jealousy as one of his flaws, in fact I feel it would counter his character arc and growth.  There can be disagreements, sure, but I think they should remain respectful and civil, even if loud yelling or some anger is involved.  A sword should never be drawn and a fist punch should never be thrown.  And it certainly shouldn't take him the entire movie before he treats Caspian with the respect of a fellow King.  It wouldn't be very "Magnificent" of him if he did.  His character traits should match his title.  It's okay if he struggles with suddenly being a kid again after having been grown up and been king for 15 years, but I feel a rift between him and other characters would not/should not be the way in which he struggles.  He is too mature for that as a character.

3) The celebratory romp with the Telmarine citizens/Narnians, Bacchus, Silenias and the trees should be shown.  (Though not necessarily involving wine or alcohol.)  It shows a) that some of the Telmarines were suffering as much as the Narnians were and therefore it's also good for them that Miraz is overthrown and Caspian becomes King and b)  the old magic of Narnia has returned.  Both of these elements were lacking in the 2008 movie, which made it seem bleaker to most audiences than it really was.

4) Show a bit more of Caspian's backstory.  This isn't as necessary as the first three points, but I think it would be good to set up how he was forbidden to learn about the old Narnia yet he still found out thanks to his nurse and Cornelius.  This helps to show how much trouble the Narnians are in if he's not even allowed to know that they exist.  That being said I like that the 2008 movie restructured it to happen in real time rather than a large flashback, I feel most future film adaptations should follow this concept.

"The mountains are calling and I must go, and I will work on while I can, studying incessantly." -John Muir
"Be cunning, and full of tricks, and your people will never be destroyed." -Richard Adams, Watership Down

ReplyQuote
Posted : June 8, 2020 4:28 pm
Share: