The Lines BBC Removed from the Ending of ‘Dawn Treader’ | Talking Beasts

The final pages of C.S. Lewis’s The Voyage of the Dawn Treader includes some of the most memorable lines in The Chronicles of Narnia. How did BBC handle them? In this discussion, the podcasters react to the final episode of BBC’s Dawn Treader television mini-series.

Watch Part 2 of this discussion.

That’s it for this season of Talking Beasts. See you in March!

Rilian, Gymfan, Glumpuddle

4 Responses

  1. Larry W. says:

    At least the BBC version included the albatross. The Dark Island could have been darker, but of course the BBC wanted us to see the actors. The scene wasn’t too bad as it was, although perhaps it needed more horror and bleakness. But the BBC had to be careful what they showed to children. The scene wasn’t as terrifying as in the book.

    I loved the music for the scene of Ramandu and his daughter. It really added to the drama. In fact I wish the whole episode could have been longer. I think the final chapters of the book were shortened too much. A longer voyage would have been more complete and satisfying.

  2. Eric Geddes says:

    I always figured that Aslan called him “Prince” because he’s acting like a little boy and not who he’s meant to be.

  3. @jasminetarkheena says:

    I think the Dark Island is pretty hard to visualized. It’s a difficult one to do. It’s almost trying to visualize the Deep Realm in The Silver Chair or Shasta at The Tombs of the Ancient Kings in The Horse And His Boy or Digory and Polly in The Wood Between The Worlds in The Magician’s Nephew or Tash in the Stable in The Last Battle.

    Ramandu’s Daughter is one of my favorite characters in the series. She doesn’t have a big role, but I love her faithfulness to Caspian.

  4. Col Klink says:

    I’m more with Glumpuddle than with Rilian on this version of the Dark Island scene. They needed more time for the idea of nightmares coming true sink in. And it started getting brighter way too quickly. But I loved Christopher Godwin’s portrayal of Rhoop. And I liked Sophie Wilcox’s delivery of Lucy’s plea to Aslan. (At least it was better than its equivalent in the movie.)

    I agree that it’s better for Reepicheep’s speech about sinking with his nose to the sunrise to be made in a matter-of-fact way.

    I don’t remember that many examples of the dialogue not making sense because it was cut down, except for Reepicheep and Caspian’s argument about whether they should enter Dark Island. Caspian’s reaction (“You’re a hard taskmaster, mouse”) seemed over the top as a response to one sentence from Reepicheep. I agree that the argument with the crew was too choppy though. They needed to have Rhine or Rhynelf (I forget which) pause before his replies, especially at the end where he completely changes his mind. It comes across like he knows what everyone’s going to say before they say it! LOL.

    Apart from that and a few other nitpicks, Ramandu’s Island is my favorite part of this miniseries. (I don’t like the Lone Islands part as much as the podcasters and other fans seem to do. Maybe it’s because I don’t like the actors for Berne and Gumpas that much.) It’s the first time in the whole BBC Narnia saga that actually feels magical to me. (That’s not to say I’ve hated everything previous. But I wouldn’t describe any of it as giving me chills.) What Gymfan summed it up well for me: When Ramandu enters with the (non-green) mist pouring out the door behind him and the music playing, some may find it cheesy, but “I lowkey kind of loved it.”

    I don’t know if I’d describe Edmund as complaining a lot in the books, but he is usually the one who points out problems with ideas. In VDT, when Lucy says the dragon might do away, he says, “It’ll be worse if it does because then we shan’t know where it is. If there’s a wasp in the room, I like to be able to see it.” And in HHB, when the Narnians are talking about barricading themselves against the Calormenes, he says, “I do not doubt that every one of us would sell our lives dearly in the fate and they would not come at the Queen but over our dead bodies. Yet we should be merely rats fighting in a trap when all’s said.” It’s part of his analytical personality.

    Like Glumpuddle, I’d previously felt that Prince Caspian was the book that got gypped by being combined with The Voyage of the Dawn Treader for this miniseries, but now I feel like the latter suffered from the way it was structured and paced too. But I’d still say that it’s my favorite of the BBC Narnia adaptations. By that, I mean that the others are “meh, whatever”, except for Prince Caspian which is lame, and this one is “meh, ‘s OK.” (If or when this podcast gets to The Silver Chair, I’ll explain my problems with it.) Perhaps that’s because I don’t enjoy the aesthetics enough to make me really wish that the parts that were too rushed had had enough time to breathe. I’ve seen The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and I feel that a slower paced BBC Narnia miniseries isn’t better. It’s just longer.

    I agree with almost all of this episode (of the podcast)’s criticisms of the episode (of VDT.) Samuel West really called it in his recent Narniaweb interview when he described the ending as anticlimactic. But I wasn’t disappointed with it. This was probably because I remembered that they cut Aslan’s big line from the ending of this story and moved it to the end of The Silver Chair. I also remembered that they cut the sea people and Caspian going into his cabin for his vision of Aslan. (I actually don’t mind that. I mean the cabin would have been better for a more emotional, intimate farewell to the other characters. But the whole Caspian wanting to go to Aslan’s Country with Reepicheep is kind of out of nowhere, and I understand why this adaptation felt they should get it over with.) I appreciate that they were trying to capture the feel of the Silver Sea section of the book. The movie didn’t.

    Does that mean I prefer this adaptation to the movie? I honestly don’t know. The BBC VDT doesn’t have as many things that outright annoy me, like parts of the Walden Media VDT do. Like Glumpuddle said, it’s not good and it’s not blasphemous. But the parts of the movie I love, like the design of Coriakin’s book and the farewell to Aslan, I love much more than anything in the miniseries. There’s also large parts of both that are just really….meh. But I loved hearing this podcast’s analyses of the BBC VDT. I know most people are more interested in the episodes about Netflix. But I prefer these. Maybe it’s because I’m not getting great vibes about the Netflix Narnia thing right now, so I’d rather not think about it. (I guess I’m not getting super bad vibes either. I’m not actually sure there’s going to be a Neftlix Narnia adaptation!) While I don’t love the BBC Narnia, I’m used to it and I can laugh at the things I don’t like without regret.

    P.S.
    I liked that Rilian made fun of the BBC Narnia theme because I’m the only one who doesn’t like it. I realize Rilian probably does like it and was mocking it with affection, but it was still kind of refreshing for me because his version sounds the way the actual theme sounds to me. And having the real theme merge with it at the end gave me new appreciation for it, relatively speaking. I love the theme they did for Reepicheep’s lullaby though. It’s probably the reason this ended up being my favorite episode, also relatively speaking.

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