Horror and Comedy in BBC’s The Silver Chair | Talking Beasts

The Silver Chair includes two of the most disturbing scenes in The Chronicles of Narnia. How did BBC handle them in Episode 4 of their 1990 television mini-series? Listen to the discussion and post a comment below!

Watch the post-show chatter.

Rilian, Gymfan, Glumpuddle

2 Responses

  1. Anfinwen says:

    It’s always lovely to have a new podcast to listen to. Great episode!

  2. Col Klink says:

    I think Episode 4 is my favorite part of the BBC’s Silver Chair, mainly because of how much suspense there is in it. I know C. S. Lewis described his own books as being about characters walking and eating, and I believe an adaptation could make that interesting, but the BBC Narnia is not that adaptation. They mostly made that walking and eating boring. (Maybe if the scenery was shown off better or the food looked tastier.) It’s nice to have an episode that’s more exciting.

    I didn’t have as big of a problem with the Warden’s voice as the podcasters did. He definitely doesn’t have the “pitch-black” voice the book describes, but I feel like it’s a pretty good voice in its more generic way. It is kind of odd that they kept the line about the gnomes being sad when this adaptation doesn’t explain about them being enchanted or anything.

    LOL at the “pass the ketchup” line. Interesting idea on Gymfan’s part about Eustace’s other animal friend being Aslan. That kind of makes sense but I feel like he didn’t really interact with Aslan that much.

    I don’t get why the podcasters expected Jill and Eustace to write the signs down. Do they carry notebooks and pencils around with them all the time? I don’t. They weren’t intending to go Narnia at all when they woke up that fateful morning in Experiment House. They weren’t intending to leave Cair Paravel in the middle of the night and Puddleglum doesn’t seem like he’d have writing materials in his wigwam. I think it makes sense that they wouldn’t get an opportunity to write the signs down.

    Could it be that when writing the script, the idea was that the characters would change clothes at Harfang, but the director didn’t realize that when filming?

    I haven’t been understanding what Glumpuddle has said in the past about Jill not being the POV character in this adaptation as she is in the book, so I’m grateful to him for explaining that. But I feel like what he’s talking about is probably inevitable with the change of medium. The only way around it that I can think of would be to use a handheld camera, have it be whatever Jill is seeing and never show her face except when the camera “looks” in the mirror and I think that would be distracting.

    Not only is Eustace more defiant in this episode than he is in the corresponding part of the book, but I think it’s worth noting that he’s nicer to Jill when she’s having a breakdown, trying to explain her claustrophobia to the gnomes and kind of defend her to them. In the book, he’s kind of a jerk to her at that point. (“Think how I felt on that cliff, Pole.”)