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Behind the Magic: Books vs. Show

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That's kind of what I'm leaning towards too, grandemocha.  Even though renewal news almost certainly came after the season was done shooting, I wonder if they changed some of the story elements in post-editing knowing they would be back next year.  

 

I disagree.  I think they planned it this way, because they knew it would have to a monumental failure on an epic scale to get canceled.  I mean, let's be honest, Lost Girl ran for 6 seasons.  (No offense to any Lost Girl fans out there, I only saw it sporadically but it was consistently, in my opinion, terrible every time.)  You have to be really, really, REALLY bad to get canceled on SyFy.  Really bad.

 

I think they planned it this way to pulls us back in for the big premiere and may even have a big set piece battle planned for the opener. 

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Maybe they had filmed two endings, one for a definite, 'you're not coming back' and the one we saw for 'yay, renewed.' Perhaps even a third for a "we don't yet know" that had resolved some things, like the Beast, but still had a loose end, Renard.

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So, I don't recall her last name was ever said in the show, but I was looking at the Magicians on IMDB and they list Kady Orloff-Diaz.  So now I wonder if her character is also going to suffer the fate of Amanda Orloff from the book, though obviously in a different scene

 

.

 

No necessarily.  She's listed for 10 episodes, they don't have the episodes listed for next season yet for any of the characters.  She took a couple of episodes off after Brakebills South.  I think they just recycled the name.

 

 

 

I was watching some of the Behind the Scenes videos on the website, and one mentioned that initially Kady was originally supposed to have been killed off in in the pilot.  I'm guess she really was intended for the full Amanda Orloff role, to be killed/eaten by the Beast when he attacked the classroom.  But the writers decided instead that Penny needed someone to play against besides Q (which helps his character development too), so they kept her and make her into a composite character (obviously now making her Asmodeus too)   So far, pretty happy with that change.  I presume she'll be back in S2.

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I disagree.  I think they planned it this way, because they knew it would have to a monumental failure on an epic scale to get canceled.  I mean, let's be honest, Lost Girl ran for 6 seasons.  (No offense to any Lost Girl fans out there, I only saw it sporadically but it was consistently, in my opinion, terrible every time.)  You have to be really, really, REALLY bad to get canceled on SyFy.  Really bad.

 

I think they planned it this way to pulls us back in for the big premiere and may even have a big set piece battle planned for the opener. 

Well, Lost Girl is not a SyFy original, it's a Canadian show that SyFy picked up U.S. broadcasting for. It's cheaper for SyFy to air such shows, and the decision-making is different.

 

But the channel is working hard to raise its profile, and as such, I agree with your general point, the ratings would've had to be beyond horrific for SyFy to consider canceling The Magicians. SyFy is trying to build credibility with its natural fanbase after years of bad decisions, and even shows that are "loss leaders" are valuable in that sense. In a weird way, it actually helps SyFy more in the credibility department to be shown to be sticking with a show with low ratings that's based on a well-regarded book series. It's easy to stick with a highly-rated show, not so easy to stick with one that has poor ratings.

 

So I do think the ending of this season was intended from early on. From a TV storytelling point of view, they needed to tie Julia back into the Quentin/Fillory story before the end of S1, and the way they did it makes sense in itself and makes the cliffhanger make sense (as I pointed out in the episode thread, Julia has additional concerns and responsibilities that the Brakebills crew doesn't, since the Free Traders were all her friends and what happened to them wouldn't have happened if not for Jane Chatwin keeping Julia out of Brakebills as her latest plan to defeat the Beast). I think Alice will still have her niffin moment, as that's so iconic for her character and the series, just at a point in time where she doesn't have to then disappear from the show for a long time. I'm basically okay with that. The only thing that bothers me is that Julia will probably get blamed for it by non-readers (i.e. "if Julia had just stabbed the Beast now, Alice wouldn't have needed to be a niffin later").

 

Like you, I also expect to see Kady again. In the books, Asmodeus was going after Reynard; in the show, Julia plans to go after Reynard. I expect they'll hook up to carry out that common goal. It was one thing for Kady to run out on Julia - that's what Julia wanted, her sacrifice would've made no difference otherwise - but she didn't even go back to check on Julia afterwards. Julia had to call Marina for help. Marina! Kady has to be feeling terrible, and also, she's probably a target of Reynard's; he let her go now figuring he can get her later.

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You have to be really, really, REALLY bad to get canceled on SyFy.  Really bad.

 

Dude? That's not even close to true.   Lost Girl wasn't made by Syfy to start, but if I start naming the shows that were decent quality, but got canceled by Syfy I'd have to start with FarScape, which was actually critically acclaimed.  The Dresden Files got yanked after 13 episodes though and it was a high profile book adaptation. Was it good?  Eh....it wasn't really bad, or even bad, it was actually really admired by some (not by me).  

 

Basically, you're not going to remember the Syfy series that came and went very, very quickly, or were unjustly canceled  -- hell , some people loved SGU (again, not me, but some) and it got canceled after two season -- but of course it will be easy to remember the pieces of crap that ran forever....because they ran forever.   

 

It's just you happened to use an example that Syfy wasn't even making, they just picked it up and put it into their lineup.  It was some other networks job to renew or cancel that.  

 

Either way, they had time to figure out how to manipulate the story to not have it end on a giant cliffhanger, simply via editing.   For instance, they may have cut a scene that gave closure.   Hard to say and none of us can know unless the showrunners tell us one way or another.  

 

Here's a list to all of Syfy's Original Programming, and I grant you, oh my god, some of those were bombs on the level of the things that took out the city of Dresden.  But others were decent TV series that hardly anyone remembers, because they got torpedoed very quickly.  

 

In any case?  Lost Girl isn't among them either way.  

Edited by stillshimpy
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So finished the 2nd book, and I guess while slightly happier than the ending of the first, not by much.  As much as Q is a real clownshoe in the first book, he got better in the second and then got screwed quite a bit in the second.  And everyone is all, "sorry dude, but well, gotta go 'govern' Fillory."  And a bit like the end of the first book, the resolution of the 'big problem' is quite underwhelming.  Oh you opened the door, good job, you're done.  I'm hoping a bit more of a satisfying ending in the third book.

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And finally finished the whole series.  Decent enough ending. I'd recommend the series to others, but definitely adults, not 'young adults', and one does have to slog through the first book's Q.

 I definitely see where the show-writers thought certain events could be expanded upon (Reynard and Martin) and I like that the show is doing that.  The book series barely touched on the villains, which I think is needed more on the tv show.  Same with some of the characters, like Penny and Asmo. 

I'm curious to see how the show handles the story-line from book 3, if it makes it that far.  Given how season 1 ended, I wonder if we'll get some version of 'hunt for the suitcase' at all.  And that was a fun story, so I hope it gets in somehow.  I would assume that the show won't want to completely separate its characters like the book does, so maybe the whole scooby gang gets to do it.

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Somehow, I don't see  the group (Elliot and Margo especially) making Juliet a queen in place of Alice.  So I wonder if the group will end up on the voyage, and if so, how Juliet comes along.

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I'm trying to remember, I know the group captured the 'white lady' (aka white stag) and something something, they did the boat quest which I think was to help stop the magic drain on Filllory.  What was it the white stag told them?  And was the magic drain due to Martin, or was there some other cause.  I love the fowling from Ember being the cause, or at least part of it here, pretty funny.

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It has been years since i read the books, but i don't remember Julia being this selfish and unlikeable as she is being portrayed here.   It is almost like they have turned her into book 1 Quentin.

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On 2/17/2017 at 11:35 AM, Hanahope said:

I'm trying to remember, I know the group captured the 'white lady' (aka white stag) and something something, they did the boat quest which I think was to help stop the magic drain on Filllory.  What was it the white stag told them?  And was the magic drain due to Martin, or was there some other cause.  I love the fowling from Ember being the cause, or at least part of it here, pretty funny.

Quentin shot the White Stag at the end of the first book, after the rest of the gang returned to Earth having never taken the crowns.  He had finished rehabbing with the Centaurs and went after the Stag, whom he asked to revive Alice (denied, as it required a power beyond the Questing Stag's), restore Penny's hands (denied, as Penny wasn't in Fillory) and to send him home.  He ended up back in NYC, went back to Fogg, who set him up in a corporate job where he me Emily Greenstreet (the chick Alice's brother had niffened-out over) and was rescued by Eliot, Janet-Margo and Julia.  Julia has heretofore not really been involved since the encounter while Q was on break from school.  Book two is the quest to the Outer Islands for not paying their taxes/Quentin's boredom problem/Julia's shade problem and the seven keys to stop the Old Gods under the Neitherlands from taking magic away (i.e. God coming back to reclaim his power tools discussion from the infamous dinner party in the first book).  Basically, a lot of massive silver beings are under a sealed fountain in the Neitherlands, slowly reprogramming magic to take it away from magicians.  There are a lot of loose ends in the magical ecosystem in this story (Q & Co. get booted out of the Neitherlands by Penny just as the dragons - yes, dragons - are showing up to go to battle with the gods as they are tasked with completing the seven keys task to reset the flow of magic;)  but it seems to be the archetype for the "magic is dying/if it dies here it dies everywhere" storyline we're currently seeing.

 

On 5/20/2016 at 10:26 AM, Hanahope said:

And finally finished the whole series.  Decent enough ending. I'd recommend the series to others, but definitely adults, not 'young adults', and one does have to slog through the first book's Q.

 I definitely see where the show-writers thought certain events could be expanded upon (Reynard and Martin) and I like that the show is doing that.  The book series barely touched on the villains, which I think is needed more on the tv show.  Same with some of the characters, like Penny and Asmo. 

I'm curious to see how the show handles the story-line from book 3, if it makes it that far.  Given how season 1 ended, I wonder if we'll get some version of 'hunt for the suitcase' at all.  And that was a fun story, so I hope it gets in somehow.  I would assume that the show won't want to completely separate its characters like the book does, so maybe the whole scooby gang gets to do it.

I found that part of the story to be particularly fun and I enjoyed the character of Plum.  I think she'd be a fund addition to the company.  

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32 minutes ago, Lemur said:

He had finished rehabbing with the Centaurs and went after the Stag, whom he asked to revive Alice (denied, as it required a power beyond the Questing Stag's), restore Penny's hands (denied, as Penny wasn't in Fillory) and to send him home.  He ended up back in NYC, went back to Fogg, who set him up in a corporate job where he me Emily Greenstreet (the chick Alice's brother had niffened-out over) and was rescued by Eliot, Janet-Margo and Julia.  Julia has heretofore not really been involved since the encounter while Q was on break from school.  Book two is the quest to the Outer Islands for not paying their taxes/Quentin's boredom problem/Julia's shade problem and the seven keys to stop the Old Gods under the Neitherlands from taking magic away (i.e. God coming back to reclaim his power tools discussion from the infamous dinner party in the first book).  Basically, a lot of massive silver beings are under a sealed fountain in the Neitherlands, slowly reprogramming magic to take it away from magicians.  There are a lot of loose ends in the magical ecosystem in this story (Q & Co. get booted out of the Neitherlands by Penny just as the dragons - yes, dragons - are showing up to go to battle with the gods as they are tasked with completing the seven keys task to reset the flow of magic;)  but it seems to be the archetype for the "magic is dying/if it dies here it dies everywhere" storyline we're currently seeing.

Oh yeah yeah, so the TV show did follow the basic white stag/lady story line, except this time Penny was there to ask about his hands.  I wonder if he'll end up with the gold hands now.  I like that Penny remains involved with the group, rather that by himself in the library.

I wonder if the TV show will include the giant beings 'reprograming' magic, or just stick with martin draining too much + ember fouling the well hurting magic story.  I do remember the dragon story line, which was pretty good.  Q going to Venice and meeting the dragon was a funny story, so maybe they'll include that somehow.

I agree that Plum was a great character and hopefully will get introduced at some point.

If they do include the boat story, which I expect they will do to some extent, though maybe not exactly, they either need to really beef up the story-line or cut it shorter as I thought it was all pretty meh in the books.  I suppose it may depend on whether they get another season.

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Based on the previews and what we know from the books, my hunch is that the show is going to accelerate the reversal of Alice's niffin-ing and play it over the next few episodes instead of leaving it hanging until season three for the pragmatic reason that you can't really expect an actor/actress to sit out an entire season and hope they won't find a better offer in the meantime the way you can a fictional character (and since its also likely that Syfy will want to stretch the show to longer than three seasons, they might decide to split books two and three into two or more seasons each... which would make delaying her return even more untenable).

Which is also probably why they delayed the final showdown with the Beast until three episodes in as well. Between that delay and the illusion spell in the last episode, Olivia's only actually missed one episode this season. So my bet is that Q figures out how to de-niffin Alice in this next episode or the one after that (in which case Q will go on a quest for a de-niffin-ing McGuffin and then Alice takes over Julia's spot as Fillory queen in Book 2 since Julia herself is so completely side-tracked into the Reynard/Asmodeus plotline and after her knife stunt is on the outs with Elliot, Q and Margo so getting her back to her actual book plot is going to be near impossible at this point (I suspect she'll get the same endpoint, but her means of getting there will be completely different).

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I definitely see where the show-writers thought certain events could be expanded upon (Reynard and Martin) and I like that the show is doing that.  The book series barely touched on the villains, which I think is needed more on the tv show.  

Usually I tend to think the books are better than the movie/tv adaptation, but one thing that I think is significantly better about The Magicians is how they really expanded Martin's story and very explicitly told us that he was molested by Plovver. I didn't like that in the books, that explanation was just one line from Jane saying, "Oh, by the way," as she was on her way out. I also liked that in S1, the show really made the beast menacing. If I recall correctly, in the book he didn't make as many appearances.

Quote

Based on the previews and what we know from the books, my hunch is that the show is going to accelerate the reversal of Alice's niffin-ing and play it over the next few episodes instead of leaving it hanging until season three for the pragmatic reason that you can't really expect an actor/actress to sit out an entire season and hope they won't find a better offer in the meantime the way you can a fictional character

It's pretty standard to have actors sign a multi-season contract to a show (for American network shows, a seven year contract is the standard), and that contract usually does not require the show to use the actor in every single episode. When you are signed as a regular, they have dibs on you while the show is in production (there's a technical term - I think it's "first rights" or something similar) which means if you are cast in a pilot for another show, if the pilot gets picked up while you are still under contract to the first show, you can't film the new show until the first show terminates your contract. This is why some actors have chosen not to be series regulars (Connor Paolo on Gossip Girl and Chris Noth on The Good Wife both chose not to be regulars so that they had the freedom to pursue other acting jobs). So the show could sideline Olivia Dudley for most of S2 and not un-niffin Alice until S3 if they really wanted to. But I think they're going to un-niffin her sooner rather than later. I think at the very latest, it will happen in the first two episodes of S3, but I wouldn't be surprised if they do it this season. We're just about halfway through S2 so they have plenty of time to make it happen this year if they really want to.

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Willow/Meadow gives off Plum vibes.  I wonder if she's sort of that character since I'm not sure we'll see Q teaching at Brakebills anytime soon.

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So, I'm enjoying S3 of this show, but I have to ask: Is any of what's going on this season from the books? I have read the books, but it's been a while. The only thing that comes close to ringing a bell in my mind is the ship storyline (and even that is significantly different in terms of who's along, the purpose, etc.). That, and them starting to address the god-touched ramification of what happened to Julia.

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Yeah looks like the general idea of the ship quest to restore magic from book 3 I think is being used, but definitely rewritten.

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The ship quest is from book 2 - I do remember that clearly because it's one of the two reasons that book is my favorite of the trilogy (the other being Julia's storyline), because it's a riff on one of my two favorite Narnia books, Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Book 3 is a riff on the Narnia book The Last Battle.

I have wondered if they're going to move Janet's book 3 story, that she tells to Eliot, to somewhere in this season, albeit rewritten, of course. It seems like there's opportunity for that given what's going on in Fillory, with Margo and Eliot being separated a good deal of the time.

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22 hours ago, Black Knight said:

The ship quest is from book 2 - I do remember that clearly because it's one of the two reasons that book is my favorite of the trilogy (the other being Julia's storyline), because it's a riff on one of my two favorite Narnia books, Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Book 3 is a riff on the Narnia book The Last Battle.

I have wondered if they're going to move Janet's book 3 story, that she tells to Eliot, to somewhere in this season, albeit rewritten, of course. It seems like there's opportunity for that given what's going on in Fillory, with Margo and Eliot being separated a good deal of the time.

Oh yeah, that's right.  At the end of Book 2, when Q can't get what he really wants, Alice back from being niffin, and he can't be king in Fillory anymore, he just goes home and that's when he goes back to Brakebills to teach and meets Plum and they do the heist (for the god killing knife) where he meets Asmodeus.

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Finally addressing the talking/sentient animals.  They were much more pronounced in the books and virtually invisible in the show, so glad that the show stated there were over a million of them, much more than humans.

I wonder with Julia's blossoming god magic and the quest, in the book, she became a god/tree when magic was restored.  I wonder if something similar will happen here.

I'm still hoping that heist job will manifest itself some way.

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I love, love, love the show, but I have a lot of problems getting into the books. Im' currently at the breakbills south part of the first book and I'm just so bored. It seems like boring Harry Potter that tries to be edgy. But even the edgyness is way too tame to be in any way interesting. The show did a much better job at that.

The characters all seem so flat compared to their show counterparts. Being in the protagonists head worked great in Harry Potter. We still got a sense of what made all the characters around him special, but here it seems like the Quentin Coldwater show with minor bit players occasionally popping up.

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16 hours ago, Miles said:

I love, love, love the show, but I have a lot of problems getting into the books. Im' currently at the breakbills south part of the first book and I'm just so bored. It seems like boring Harry Potter that tries to be edgy. But even the edgyness is way too tame to be in any way interesting. The show did a much better job at that.

The characters all seem so flat compared to their show counterparts. Being in the protagonists head worked great in Harry Potter. We still got a sense of what made all the characters around him special, but here it seems like the Quentin Coldwater show with minor bit players occasionally popping up.

In the second book, they switch up the POV a bit.  I know that at least Julia gets her own chapters.  

If you're at Brakebills South, have you gotten to the part where they change into foxes?  Things get a little bit lively there.

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I'm through the first book. Can't say I liked it much. All the characters apart from maybe Alice are unlikeable, especially Quentin.

The book meanders a bunch with nothing much happening. Then at the end Martin Chatwin shows up and is dispatched with within five minutes, in a pretty anticlimactic battle (which wasn't helped by all the characters being unsympathetic). Sure he showed up for a brief moment in the beginning and ate somebody, but it was never established that there might be a threat of him coming back or anything. The show handled him a lot better in that regard, with the gangs task being to defeat him, instead of stumbling through Fillory and searching for a crown.

Same thing goes for Julia. She's in the book like two times and then at the end it's supposed to be a big revelation that she's with Elliot and Janet? If I didn't know show-Julia, I don't even know if I'd remembered her...

Also a problem are a bunch of characters dropping in and out of the story and it seems we are supposed to care for them, maybe? Another thing the show did better, by just leaving them out.

Btw. I don't even get why Martin wanted the button. Seems like he could freely travel between earth and Fillory anyway. Didn't make sense that he feared the button sending him back premanently.

I'm really debating if I should get the second book. I usually really like reading the source material to my favourite TV shows and movies, but this was bordering on painfull.

20 hours ago, toolazy said:

If you're at Brakebills South, have you gotten to the part where they change into foxes?  Things get a little bit lively there.

Nope, that wasn't any less boring to me, sorry.

Edited by Miles
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