Making the Jump: From Small to Silver Screen


With the highly anticipated Spooks: The Greater Good about to hit cinemas, it follows in the footsteps of many films before it. Starting out on television and now making the jump to the silver screen, it’s one of many in a tradition going back decades. To list every single adaptation would take a while, so I’ll just pick a few to get started.

TV Series: Firefly / Film: Serenity


A prime example of the power of fans. When Joss Whedon’s futuristic western, Firefly, was cancelled during the production of it’s first (and only) season, fans were dismayed. After trying the route many had taken before – with Buffy The Vampire Slayer (also created by Whedon) – with trying to get the show picked up on another network, it looked like the show was headed the way of it’s own Browncoats: defeat. But a deal was struck with Universal Pictures and Serenity was born. Reuniting all the series primary cast, it added a new chapter to the story of Mal Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) and his crew as they tried to find their way in the ‘Verse, one day at a time.

TV Series: Monty Python’s Flying Circus / Film: Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life


The comedy group Monty Python had already achieved success in jumping from one screen to the other with the releases of And Now For Something Completely Different, Monty Python and The Holy Grail and The Life of Brian but it’s 1983’s The Meaning of Life that was a turning point, as it was the last to feature Graham Chapman, who passed away in 1986. This tale of the stages of life saw the group return to their sketch comedy roots as they take the viewer through every aspect of life – from a machine filled birthing suite to death at a dinner party – with a sequence involving an office building turned pseudo pirate ship for good measure.

TV Series: Star Trek / Film: Star Trek to Star Trek: Nemesis


This franchise has more than earned it’s place as an icon on both screens. From the first six films featuring the cast of the original series, from Generations to Nemesis which passed the torch to the Next Generation cast, this science fiction franchise has come a long way since the short lived series on the 1960’s. Originally planned as a continuation to the series, Gene Roddenberry’s sci-fi saga came into it’s own on the big screen, becoming one of the highest grossing film franchises. Now the reboot/alternate reality series – first helmed by JJ Abrams and now Justin Lin – brings this series to a new generation of film goers.

TV Series: Bottom / Film: Guest House Paradiso


While not directly tied to the comedy series of the early 1990’s, the characters and style of Guest House Paradiso are quintessentially Mayall and Edmondson. This time Richie and Eddie (with different surnames) are the owners and operators of the ‘worst guest house’ in the country. Their fortunes seem to change when a world famous actress arrives on their doorstep, but things aren’t as simple as they seem. The signature slapstick and dark comedy from the series is present here from the get go so that while the name(s) are different, that’s really the only thing that is.

TV Series: The Muppet Show / Film: The Muppet Christmas Carol


While there have been many films involving Kermit and friends, the Muppets’ take on the Charles Dickens classic tale is probably one of the most well known and beloved. Dedicated to creator Jim Henson and puppeteer Richard Hunt, this film adds the signature Muppet charm and comedy to this tale of redemption. Michael Caine may be the focus of the story as the infamous Ebenezer Scrooge, but it’s the Muppets who steal your heart – and reawaken his – as you travel through the night of ghosts on Christmas Eve.

TV Series: The Thick Of It / Film: In The Loop


In The Loop may have been released while the series The Thick of It was still in production, but it’s success can’t be ignored. Armando Iannucci’s popular black comedy series about modern politics was already a success on television, with two BAFTAS already under it’s belt, and the film – which satirised Anglo-American politics and the War in Iraq – was nominated for an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi) is a force to be reckoned with, especially when aided by his right hand in the so called “Caledonian Mafia”, James McDonald (Paul Higgins), whether they are simply pulling an MP back in line or calling someone out – with some very colourful language and turns of phrase – for any mistakes/mishaps along the way.

Honourable Mentions:

Alvin & The Chipmunks, The Inbetweeners, The Addams Family, Mr Bean, Wayne’s World, The Brady Bunch, The Sweeney, The A-Team, Charlie’s Angels, Dragnet, Police Squad!/Naked Gun, Jackass, The Simpsons, 21 Jump Street, Mrs Brown’s Boys and Dark Shadows

Words by Megan Roxburgh


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