Morse, Rebus, and now Mark Billingham’s Thorne. The next superstar detective is already with us – don’t miss him.
It remains to be seen if the TV incarnations of Thorne, Hendricks, Holland and the others have changed the way that readers see these characters when they are reading the books. After all, it is almost impossible not to associate John Thaw with Inspector Morse, however much he might differ from the character in Colin Dexter’s books. It has certainly not changed the way I write, which is the most important thing.
As with any adaptation of a book, there were a number of changes in bringing these books to the screen, but I was happy with all of them. There are things you can do in a book that simply will not work on screen and it is impossible to make a four hundred page novel into three hours of television without condensing and cutting. So, there were significant differences in story and character, but I hope the programmes are not judged in comparison with the novels but as a series of films in their own right. Even if Thorne’s cat does not make an appearance.
Another performer not making an appearance was the author himself, whose cameo as ‘unnamed detective in the back of shot’ did not make the final cut. This is why I gave up acting and became a writer.