How BBC Made The Silver Chair Feel Like Narnia’s Finale | Talking Beasts

BBC ended their Chronicles of Narnia adaptions with one of Aslan’s most widely discussed lines… but it actually originally appeared in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Was the change for the better? Listen to the podcasters’ reactions to Episode 6 BBC’s 1990 television adaptation of The Silver Chair.

Watch the post-show chatter.

Rilian, Gymfan, Glumpuddle

Thanks for listening! See you next Fall!

9 Responses

  1. jasmine tarkheena says:

    It’s been fun listening to the podcasts this season about BBC’s The Silver Chair. Even though it’s been awhile since I’ve watched it, it’s interesting to hear the Talking Beasts Podcast’s perspective of it.

    I’ve only seen them as three hour movies or an a hour and an half movie. Though in some way it makes sense that they were episodic. It will be interesting whatever company will pick up Narnia and if they’re going to be made into movies or series.

    It’s kind of sad that neither the BBC or Walden never got to The Horse And His Boy, The Magician’s Nephew, and The Last Battle. Hope still remains that the next company that produces or distributes Narnia will be able to get through all seven.

  2. Cleander says:

    I like the idea of a dream sequence to set up the possibility of the Lady being right about Narnia being fake. What’s great is that the return to reality is actually a bit of a subversive twist in it’s own way – “the whole story was a dream” is a trope that I wouldn’t mind witnessing the death of.
    Also, the styrofoam snake is a work of ART.

  3. Narnian78 says:

    Tom Baker’s speech as Puddleglum about Narnia being real was great, and he was so much more believable than Barbara Kellerman. It was so good that it made up for the exaggerated performance of Barbara Kellerman. The fake looking snake didn’t damage the program too much even though it was poorly done. The bringing of Caspian back to life by Aslan was good too. It was very moving even though Samuel West wasn’t playing Caspian. The Silver Chair was perhaps the best Narnia BBC adaptation even though it was imperfect.

  4. Glenwit says:

    Hands down the best of the BBC Narnia adaptations. I doubt they would have been able to pull off the rest of the books so this was as good as any of a place to leave it.

  5. Col Klink says:

    In my memory, Barbara Kellerman was only campy as the White Witch and more realistic as the Lady of the Green Kirtle, but, watching it again, yeah, she’s pretty campy as both. That’s disappointing to me as a fan of the book, but I will say if you want to laugh at a campy performance, she’s more fun here than she was in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Like when Jill mentions Aslan and she repeats the name through her teeth and a forced smile, that was funny!

    I agree with Glumpuddle that the LOTGK should sound like she’s trying to reason with mentally ill people or, in Gymfan’s words, like she’s “hardcore gaslighting them but in really nice way.”

    The scene of Caspian’s death really was lacking in emotion. Even the part where Jill says sorry to Aslan was kind of botched. I understand that it might have been unclear to viewers what she was apologizing for if she just said, “I’m sorry.” But having her and Eustace specifically list their mistakes made them come across as less overwhelmed by sadness. I would have had Jill say, “I’m so sorry! I botched nearly everything.” Something like that.

    I sympathize with why the BBC moved Aslan’s “there I have another name” speech to the end of The Silver Chair. I’d probably have done that too if I were only allowed to adapt four of the Narnia books. But I don’t really agree that it fits in perfectly. Jill and Eustace really haven’t gotten to know Aslan as well as the Pevensies had when they stopped going to Narnia. It makes no sense that Aslan would them and not those characters.

    Don’t hate me but I kind of agree with the talent scout that Harrison Ford is not particularly charismatic by movie star standards.

    It was nice to hear that David Thwaites is still doing well even if he is in acting anymore. I agree that he and Camilla Power were the best of the younger generation of actors in BBC’s Narnia saga.

    I think I still prefer the BBC’s Voyage of the Dawn Treader to their Silver Chair. I do think The Silver Chair had better pacing but there were so many big emotional moments that I feel like they messed up. VDT messed a couple up too. But I can’t think of any moment in The Silver Chair that moved me as much as the first appearances of Ramanda and his daughter. It’s true that the final moments of the last episode of VDT were lame, but, meh, I thought the ending of this Silver Chair was only relatively better.

    This might make people mad, but I wonder if one of the reasons The Silver Chair is the most popular portion of the BBC Narnia saga is that it has a more suspenseful story than the others. Not that the other three Narnia stories it adapts aren’t great, but SC is just more exciting, so it lends itself better to serial storytelling and cliffhangers and whatnot.

    I’m pretty “meh, whatever” on all the BBC Narnia serials but I loved these podcast episodes reviewing them. Thanks for doing them! Now I’ve got to rewatch the final episode of The Silver Chair to look for the hedgehog and the bunny pajamas guy. 🙂

  6. jasmine_tarkheena says:

    What a year this has been for the Talking Beasts podcasts, even to the month of June. I’m looking forward to your next discussions next fall.

  7. Eustace says:

    The line ”there I have another name” does not work as well in the Silver Chair since this is not Jill and Eustace’s last time in Narnia. Plus, Jill has not spent a great deal of time with Aslan besides her one scene in Silver Chair. I do not think she would be as attached to him as Eustace or the Pevensies.

  8. Col Klink says:

    This comment is directed at Eustace (the other commenter, not the character.) I’ve gone on record as agreeing with you about the Jill not spending much time with Aslan thing, but remember that The Last Battle doesn’t exist in the BBC continuity. So The Silver Chair really is Jill’s last time in Narnia here.

  9. Impending Doom says:

    This has been a great podcast series to listen & re-listen to. Thanks for all the fun with BBC’s Narnia!!