Recently HBO announced the premiere date for Game of Thrones Season Four. Alas, we will have to wait until April to catch up with Daenerys, Jon Snow, Tyrion Lannister and all our other favorite characters from the series. I've been very impressed with just how well these books have been adapted to the small screen. In some respects, I actually find myself enjoying the show more than I did the novels, which is a rare feat for any book to film or television. This realization made me wonder what other great literary stories are crying out for the "Game of Thrones treatment". Here are the top five stories that I believe would make epic ongoing dramas for any premium cable network.
Number Five: The Icewindale Trilogy by R. A. Salvatore
Epic adventures, but a story scaled down to the perspective of a few core characters. What makes these stories special isn't the fantasy setting, the powerful villains and magical beast. It's not even the great action sequences. It's the complex characters and relationships that are formed, particularly in regards to the primary character Drizzt Do'Urden. This is one of the most successful fantasy series out there, with a huge body of work to draw from, show runners would have a wealth of material to draw inspiration from.
Number Four: Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams.
The late, great Douglas Adams created a different kind of detective with these books, which spawned a short lived series on the BBC. Blend the quirkiness of Monk, the other-worldly perspective of Dr. Who, and the deductive skills of Sherlock Holmes, and you may have something resembling Dirk Gently. With the right development and production team, this character could be a whole lot of fun on the small screen week after week.
Number Three: The Skystone by Jack Whyte.
This wonderful piece of historical fiction serves as a kind of prequel to the classic Arthurian tale. Whyte chooses to set his tale during the period when the Roman Legion begins withdrawing from occupation of Britain. The tale begins as Publius Varrus a retired Roman soldier and blacksmith forges a weapon made of an unearthly ore he harvested from a meteorite. A weapon that will become a legend known as Excalibur. As the land falls into chaos with the departure of the Legion, Varrus and his friend and former commander Caius Brittanicus stay behind to fight for their adopted land with the dream of forming a truly free and civilized colony.
Number Two: The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks
Another classic fantasy series, severa
l generations of the Ohmsford family find themselves retrieving magical artifacts in the desperate hope to fight evil. Characters like Panamon Creel and the Druid Allanon beg to brought to life. The casting call alone would be fun to watch.
Number One: The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher.
Now I know that the Sci-Fi channel took a crack at this one a while back, but the result was pretty unwatchable for fans of the novels. Harry Dresden is a character that seems to be written for serial television. His world is a rich and diverse one. With a decent production value and the same level of input from Butcher as George R.R. Martin is allowed in GoT's this series of books would keep audiences wanting more each week. This would be the perfect show to fill the void left when True Blood concludes.
So this is my wishlist for novels to TV serials. What are some of yours?