Review of The Tommyknockers mini-series

Discussion in 'The Tommyknockers' started by Neil W, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. Neil W

    Neil W Well-Known Member

    Something is buried in the woods behind Bobbi's house. And, once it is partly uncovered, it starts exerting an influence on the inhabitants of the small Maine town - strange things happen, strange talents manifest themselves, people get smarter, and the outside world gets cut off. It falls to Bobbi's friend Gard to get some idea of what's happening and find a way to put a stop to it.

    With the benefit of hindsight, The Tommyknockers is something of an early run at an idea developed more fully in Under The Dome. As an avid King reader, I found my first pass at this book very difficult: I got a lot more out of it at the second attempt. And, like much of King's work, it defies attempts to adapt it effectively. But the elements which reduce the effectiveness of the adaptation are strange (and, I suspect, different for different people). For me, there were two things which really screwed things up - one was the fact that, in the book,
    what was buried in the woods was a saucer, and it was the very edge of this which got uncovered: in the miniseries what got dug up was a series of interconnected boxes.
    And the other thing was
    the physical deterioration of the townsfolk - one appreciates how difficult this would be to do on screen, but Bobbi was nearly as attractive at the end as she was at the start, and she should have been a gaunt mess.

    The ensemble cast isn't bad, and does a reasonable job of recreating most of King's characters. The main problem is that there is a distinct 2nd class/TV feel to what should have been a 1st class/movie project.
    Neesy likes this.
  2. lovely1

    lovely1 Well-Known Member

    The movie wasn't bad but it wasn't good either, I thought it was super long. I wished the acting was more believable and the special effects. I read the book, it was better than the movie but not the greatest Stephen King novel I've read either.
    Neesy likes this.
  3. Lily Sawyer

    Lily Sawyer B-dazzled

    I think this is a hard one to translate to screen. There's a lot of philosophizing that is important to the story but boring to a viewer when it's put into script form.

    I'll still defend the story, though. It's creative, the characters are interesting, and the ending is great.
    Neesy likes this.
  4. opundo

    opundo Active Member

    I have nothing against Jimmy Smits, but I thought he was miscast as Jim Gardner.
  5. MaddenSudeikis

    MaddenSudeikis Well-Known Member

    I seen it 10 years ago and read it 15 or so. I remember it was pretty darn good.
  6. Rockym

    Rockym Active Member

    Loved the book and thought the movie wasn't bad, but it was a terrible adaptation.

    Changing the saucer and the whole dig kinda annoyed me as well. The whole town was never there at the same time digging, it was always just Bobbi and Gard. And then when Bobbi got hurt, it was just Gard and someone else. I also didn't like how they completely changed all the characters, in the book, Gard is drunk most of the time and never leaves Bobbi's house. In the movie, they changed him to more of a live-in boyfriend playing the hero trying to stop what was going on. And he was hardly drunk at all. And Bobbi and Peter getting "cured" at the end, was kind of disappointing as well. Bobbi didn't even get shot and get put in the shed. The shed looked kinda cheap as well. They were supposed to be suspended in green liquid, not plastic wrap.

    Too many changes for my tastes, when I watch a movie adaptation of a novel, I just want to see it come to life. I don't care that I know what happens, I still enjoy it. This could have been a much better adaptation.
  7. Pucker

    Pucker Pithy Sentiment Here

    I'm not even sure now that I even watched this show, but I do remember thinking this exact thing when it came out.
  8. Pucker

    Pucker Pithy Sentiment Here

    I had a very clear picture in my head of Gard from my reading, and I just wasn't down with Jimmy Smits in that role.

    This is what some folk around here may recognize as Molly Ringwald Syndrome.

    ; )
  9. Dana Jean

    Dana Jean Beta Tester, Moderator Moderator

    Did not like the movie, but the book ended up being good. I ended up liking it after hating it and not finishing it when it first came out.
  10. Rrty

    Rrty Well-Known Member

    The book is very good indeed. I think, as far as the TV adaptation is concerned, economics pretty much drove the project. In a sense, I think all of King's miniseries projects back in that time were sterile, uninteresting affairs, weren't they? There may have been value to them at the time because they were event television, but once you got through one of them, I don't think they ever satisfied, did they?

    Today, though, is different. I didn't watch Under the Dome, but even without watching it, I'm sure the production values were a lot better on that one than they were on, say, The Stand. What King really needs is an HBO or an AMC to take one of his projects.

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