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My Top 5 Favorite Book to TV Adaptations.

Since the beginning of radio and television there have been adaptations from books to other media formats. The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells is an early influential example. The book, which was finished in 1898, caused mass hysteria when it was broadcast as a radio program and listeners believed it to be a real news bulletin. Before that Cinderella had been adapted on the big screen from a Grimm Brother’s story.

As you can see Science Fiction and Fantasy adaptations are as old as the audio and visual media formats. Book to Movie adaptations are obviously far more numerous and as blasphemous as it may seem, sometimes, I think some have even eclipsed the source materials. I enjoyed the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit when I read them but I have never felt the desire to re-read them over the years. I have regularly re-watched the Lord of the Rings movies and must admit I prefer them to the books. The Princess Bride is a great book and the Movie was my absolute favorite growing up.

Book to TV

Book to TV adaptations are less numerous but have been growing in numbers in recent years. Sometimes those shows are amazing and sometimes they are the Legend of the Seeker… HBO and Showtime have championed gritty adaptations that often started out titillating and with a penchant for shock factor. True Blood was often referred to as vampire porn in its first season or two but by the end was a great show. Game of Thrones was similarly violent and full of nudity early on but was always wonderful until that final disastrous season. The Witcher is currently running but must contend with the loss of its star Henry Caville. 

The most famous sci-fi series of all time are Star Wars and Star Trek. The Star Wars book did technically come out first due to a delay in the release of the movie that allowed it to be come out first. The book had been commissioned by George Lucas as a tie-in to the movie so it doesn’t count for this list. Star Trek similarly has books but was also a television series first. There are some great shows that were books before they were shows like The Expanse a great series started by the SyFy Channel and was finished up by Amazon Prime. It is both an example of an excellent book and excellent television adaptation.

My Own Experiences

Growing up in the late 90’s and early 00’s I was witness to the golden age of the SyFy channel, which put out amazing original sci-fi and fantasy as well as remakes and adaptations. BattleStar Galactica is my favorite television series of all time. It isn’t on this list of course because it was a show before any books.

Bonding Time!

Throughout the years several shows were about more than just solo enjoyment. The Stargate franchise was must see tv that a bunch of my college buddies and I got together and watched every Friday night before we went out. I watched True Blood with my best friend and his girlfriend weekly while in my 20’s. It is based on the Sookie Stackhouse books. I read a few of those after I started watching the series but I definitely enjoyed the TV series more. Game of Thrones, the Witcher, and The Expanse are all shows that my wife and I only watched together. Attempting to watch them without the other was considered “cheating” and a definite no-no.

What were my Top 5 Favorite Book to TV Adaptations?

In the video below I actually list out my top 5 favorite book to TV adaptations. I would love to know your own thoughts my list and on your personal favorites as well. Let me know either in the comments section here or on the comments section in my video.


Cameron Scaggs

Purveyor of the Nerd Book Review YouTube Channel. Lover of Indie Fantasy.

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