Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere
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(Sep 09, 2003)
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- The original BBC Neil Gaiman interview
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
"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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love Neil Gaiman, and this did not disappoint. I binge watched it in 2 sessions, and it left me wanting morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
bought as gift for husband who is Huge fan of Gaiman. Have bought him all Gaiman's illustrated novels
This film is beautifully made, utterly enchanting. Read more
Fantastic mini-series in the style of the old Dr. Who shows--twists and turns. Very worth your time and money.Published 7 months ago by Melanie Flynn
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