Is magic just for kids?
At today’s TCA panel of BBC America’s new 7-part series Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, premiering in early 2015, writer Peter Harness and other panel members (actors Bertie Carvel and Charlotte Riley, director Toby Haynes and producer Nick Hirschkorn) pointed to the universal popularity of screen incarnations of Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potter series to prove that’s not the case.
They did, however, acknowledge the importance of being true to the source material, in this case the novel by Susanna Clarke. “We burned through about 200 pages per episode,” said Harness. “It’s a huge book, but we’ve actually done it.” In this story, Harness said, magic is “not a superpower but something you have no idea how to control.”
Hirschkorn said the series strives to be a broad-appeal drama rather than a fussy period piece for history buffs(set during the Napoleonic Wars in England) or a children’s tale. “Hopefully you will sit down with your families and gather round the fire and watch it,” he said.