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Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere


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Product Details

  • Actors: Gary Bakewell, Laura Fraser, Hywel Bennett, Clive Russell, Paterson Joseph
  • Format: Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: A&E Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: September 9, 2003
  • Run Time: 180 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000A14WF
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #187,264 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere" on IMDb

Special Features

  • The original BBC Neil Gaiman interview
  • Photo gallery
  • Character descriptions
  • Neil Gaiman biography

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Whether you view it as an alternate reality or the illusions of demented mind, Neil Gaiman's "Neverwhere" is an intriguing place to visit. The "Sandman" creator's first TV miniseries suffers from the same traditional shortcomings that plague all British "telefantasy"--namely, micro-budget production values and slapdash direction that betrays a conspicuous shortage of rehearsal time. And yet, within those limitations, Gaiman and director Dewi Humphreys have crafted an ambitious exploration of "London Below," a vast, subterranean capital, far below "London Above," where office drone Richard Mayhew (Gary Bakewell) unwittingly finds himself after rescuing Door (Laura Fraser), an underworld dweller determined to learn why her parents have been killed. Gaiman teases the viewer with hints that Richard may be insane, but "Neverwhere" maintains its imaginative ambiguity, and presents a dark, dangerous domain of baronies and fiefdoms, bearing familiar British nomenclature but decidedly "un"familiar landmarks. Once you've visited, you "might" prefer to stay. "--Jeff Shannon"

Amazon.com

Whether you view it as an alternate reality or the illusions of demented mind, Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere is an intriguing place to visit. The Sandman creator's first TV miniseries suffers from the same traditional shortcomings that plague all British "telefantasy"--namely, micro-budget production values and slapdash direction that betrays a conspicuous shortage of rehearsal time. And yet, within those limitations, Gaiman and director Dewi Humphreys have crafted an ambitious exploration of "London Below," a vast, subterranean capital, far below "London Above," where office drone Richard Mayhew (Gary Bakewell) unwittingly finds himself after rescuing Door (Laura Fraser), an underworld dweller determined to learn why her parents have been killed. Gaiman teases the viewer with hints that Richard may be insane, but Neverwhere maintains its imaginative ambiguity, and presents a dark, dangerous domain of baronies and fiefdoms, bearing familiar British nomenclature but decidedly unfamiliar landmarks. Once you've visited, you might prefer to stay. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

Overall, I was greatly disappointed.
A. Gyurisin
In other words, this is a bad introduction to Gaiman's work that looks like a particularly cheesy episode of Doctor Who.
Chris B
The story is very intriguing, and the acting is top notch - Mr. Croup, Mr. Vandemar and the Marquis are exceptional.
Douglas Henry

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

84 of 85 people found the following review helpful By Itamar Katz on August 29, 2003
Format: DVD
After seven years, Neverwhere is finally available on DVD, and can be found on major shopping sites like Amazon. I'm sure many of you heard of it, but much fewer have seen it. This fascinating 1996 BBC mini-series was created by Mr. Neil Gaiman, accomplished and acclaimed author of American Gods, Coraline and Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett) among others, and co-written by Gaiman and the wonderful British comedian Lenny Henry. Gaiman fans such as myself have waited for quite some time to see this series introduced to American audiences - and since Gaiman is now finally breaking ground in the States (American Gods actually won the Hugo award, and was an international bestseller) this seems like the perfect time. I was lucky enough to get my hands on a video of the series a couple of years back, but those are quite rare. If you love Neil's work, take the chance to finally see this lovely piece of work.
Neverwhere is a highly imaginative story of urban legend, rich with Gaiman's special brand of British black humor. The script is really wonderful, and Henry helps with his own experience in screenplay writing. Acting is terrific by everyone involved - I loved Gary Bakewell (frequent Paul McCartney impersonator on various BBC tele-biographies) as Richard Mayhew, the ordinary Englishman drawn into a strange adventure underground, and many other accomplished British actors - such as Laura Fraser, Trevor Peacock, Freddie Jones and Peter Capaldi - give a great performance. Unfortunately, the series suffers from the same problems shared by most British TV series - a budget lower than that of one episode of `Dharma and Greg'. Therefore, the scenery, though highly inventive and original, doesn't look very impressive.
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66 of 67 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 6, 2003
Format: DVD
Don't be fooled by those who complain that this BBC series isn't a worthwhile adaptation of the novel. The book that many love so dearly would not exist if not for this series.
Mr. Gaiman actually wrote the teleplay for this series FIRST. He then turned it into a novel afterwards. So if you're a purist, perhaps you should truly watch this before you read the book.
As for the DVD: it seems to be mostly shot on video, so it definitely has that Dr. Who feel to it. Book lovers will want to check out the Neil Gaiman interview included with the DVD extras.
Overall, once you accept the fact that there quite obviously wasn't a multi-million dollar budget, and let go of your (unintentional, I'm sure) Hollywood elitist ideals, you'll find yourself carried off into an alternative fantasy world... and you just might have a good time.
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58 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Flipper Campbell VINE VOICE on October 19, 2003
Format: DVD
Fans of "Dr. Who" will feel right at home in "Neverwhere," with its fantastic story line, low-budget look and creaky acting. But "Who" haters will find more of an adult appeal to Neil Gaiman's darkly comic tale, which also brings to mind "The Prisoner," "Clockwork Orange" and, say, "Yellow Submarine." "Neverwhere" wastes no time in hooking viewers, and maintains its loopy appeal over the course of six episodes.
"Neverwhere" imagines a grimy fantasy world beneath modern London that's unknown and off-limits to those who live above. The homeless who inhabit London Below seem to hail from an unspecified time several centuries back, with their own olde English mythologies, rivalries and rulers. Viewers enter their world along with the mini's hero, a yuppie exec (Gary Bakewell of "Backbeat") who falls down the "Neverwhere" rabbit hole while helping a damsel in distress.
Video is just passable -- the BBC apparently backed out on the plan to process the taped mini as film, foiling director Dewi Humphreys' lighting scheme. Still, the images are a big improvement over the grainy bootleg tapes that have been circulating on eBay. Audio is surprisingly effective now and then.
Gaiman has his say in a BBC interview from 1996 and in a commentary that runs the length of the miniseries. He tells how he got art-rock legend Brian Eno to do the score for pennies and how he snuck in a cameo in graphic-novel artist Dave McKean's astounding opening titles.
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98 of 111 people found the following review helpful By Chris B on September 25, 2003
Format: DVD
Neverwhere isn't a great work of television. In fact, it's not especially good. The effects are decidedly second-rate, the acting is occasionally hammy, the camera work borders on the amateurish and many of the details used in the novel are sacrificed to fit the constraints of episodic story telling, which means the story can feel thin at parts. In other words, this is a bad introduction to Gaiman's work that looks like a particularly cheesy episode of Doctor Who.
But that doesn't mean that Neverwhere is bad. The show itself is actually kind of fun to watch if you don't have the highest expectations and, yes, expect a cheesy episode of Doctor Who. There are also some particularly good acting bits (Croup, Vandemar and de Carabas particularly) and I'd almost say that the DVD pays itself off for Dave McKean's credit sequences.
Beyond that, of course, is the commentary by Neil Gaiman, where he describes the joys and trials of making it, pointing out trivia, explaining which characters worked for his imaginings and which didn't. Also occasionally simply watching a scene in quiet enjoyment. Fascinating stuff.
This isn't easy to recommend to anyone beyond fans of Gaiman's work, and even then you have to be willing to overlook a lot a lot of failings. Despite that, though, and because of the commentary and other extras, I have to say that this is a good buy for fans of Neil Gaiman and anyone willing to ignore cheesy effects for, what remains despite the Great Cow of London, a good story.
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