The Crow Road

Seven years ago, student Prentice McHoan’s uncle Rory mysteriously disappeared. Prentice (engagingly played by Joseph McFadden) narrates the story of the strange events in his eccentric extended family and what he discovers. It all begins on the day his grandmother explodes[1] and things develop from there. We meet various people along the way as Prentice learns more, and we see a series of flashbacks based largely on the book the missing Rory was working on. We see Rory (Peter Capaldi) both in flashbacks and in Prentice’s (presumably) imagined conversations with him.

The Crow Road is based on the Iain Banks[2] novel, which I’m going to have to read again now. Banks had no direct involvement with the adaptation, but was apparently very happy with the result – he’s quoted on the cover as saying

Annoyingly better than the book in far too many places

I’d previously bought The Crow Road when the BBC put it out on VHS. Unfortunately, at that time some genius at the BBC had decided that the thing to do with TV series was to edit them into “movies” for video release.[4] So this is the first time the series has been available in its uncut form, and a Good Thing too. There’s an interview with Banks on one of the two discs, and the whole thing is well worth watching. Four hours of quality drama with quite delicious black humour running through it. One of Banks’ finest books, adapted into one of the best TV dramas of the last ten years or so, and finally available on DVD. Me like :grin:

[1] Crematorium. Pacemaker. Enough said.
[2] Not to be confused with hard sf writer Iain M Banks[3]
[3] Even though they’re the same person :tongue:
[4] Some Doctor Who releases suffered this fate[5]
[5] Fortunately the DVDs are better :grin:

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