Friday, December 9, 2005


As the day fast approaches for the new Narnia film (one which I am very excited about, by the way, as a Lewisian scholar), thoughts (as always) turn to the Narnian possibilities for Toobworld.

There are several shows which have made references to Narnia:
*Chandler made a joke on Friends about a portal opening there (n.b.: he never said anything about the books)
*on Young Ones, a trip deeper and deeper into a closet finally ended in Narnia with the White Queen
*on Family Guy, Mr. Tumnus the Faun appeared
*on Sabrina, a character mentioned really enjoying the book The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe before ending up in a magical world of her own
*on Buffy, Willow gives a book report on LWW

For both of the last two, I see no contradiction with the fact that they refer to the books, as the books could just be a record of the Pevensie children's magical adventures. The Magician's Nephew even makes references to works by Nesbitt and Conan Doyle as though they exist within that fictive world, so I think it's easy to see a network of pop culture here.

There have been three prior televised adaptations: an ABC production in the UK in 1967 of the first novel, which ran for several weeks; the 1979 animated tv-movie produced by the Episcopal TV-Radio fund of LWW; and the 1988 BBC/Wonderworks live-action versions of four of the novels. For all I know, there have been some commercials to also suggest that world.

Now, given the rules you normally apply, the 1979 one is being shipped to the Toon world (one I see as being part of a larger TV universe, but that's another talk for another time). However, even though the 1988 version should be on Prime Time-Delayed, I think it should be the main one, with the other (from 1967) moved. The 1988 version is the better known and the one that still exists (what was the Brits and their tendency to erase tapes anyway?), but it also is part of a series of adaptations, and I think those sequels seal the deal to make this one more important as the prime example of a visit to that magical world in Toobworld.


As always, Hugh, thanks for the info!

I figured I might as well add my reply to Hugh....

I agree with your assessment. With the Delayed World, it was only the most convenient of terms and for the most part the primary version is always the best (which can be translated as "sentimental favorite").

Other primary versions of shows or one-offs have been relegated to that world mostly on whim. But I agree that the preponderance of material from the follow-ups gives the 1988 version the advantage.


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