As some of you know by now, I’m currently making my way through all the popular and famous book series out there. Of course I couldn’t miss out on the Sally Lockhart Quartet. The first two books of the series were turned into movies by the BBC. The second installment, The Shadow in the North, is what I want to write about today.
Sally finally has her life in order. After all the stuff she had to go through in The Ruby in the Smoke, she achieved a lot. She even has her own business. And that’s right where the trouble start. Sally gives financial advice but an elderly woman informs her that the company Sally advised her to put all the money in went bankrupt. Of course our heroine starts to investigate and stirs up some things better left alone for it will only cause a tragic end…
Book vs. Movie:
Well, the novel was absolutely thrilling. I love Philip Pullman’s way of writing and describing things. I give him extra credit for doing so much research work. At the beginning of the book you even get some info on that was going on in the UK during that time. As far as I can tell, Pullman’s descriptions of a Victorian London are pretty accurate.
The story itself fascinated me as it touched so many different layers and was rather intricate. There is nothing worse that a story you can see through after the first chapter, but Pullman manages to keep you guessing ’till the end.
However, I’m not sure that I can forgive him for breaking my heart. Those of you who read the book will know what I mean.
Let’s continue with the movie. Over the time I grew quite fond of Billie Piper and of course she didn’t let me down with her performance in this adaptation. There isn’t another actress that could have portrayed Sally Lockhart quite as well.
Moreover, I love the BBC for sticking rather close to the book and not changing up the entire story. That’s one huge point that makes the movie so good.
I guess the only thing I have to criticise is the casting for Axel Bellman. In the novel this character radiates power. His simply presence would give you the chills. But the actor they chose to play him had nothing of that charisma. I was very disappointed as this is an integral part of making the story work.
However, I am prepared to overlook this little flaw as the rest of the movie is rather splendid. The Sally Lockhart films really do the novels justice and I hope the BBC will make adaptations of the remaining to books at some point in the future.
What do you think? Seen the film? Read the book? Let me know in the comments!