Recipe for disaster

1. Take phenomenally successful, [Man Booker]( winning novel.
2. Buy the rights to [adapt it into a TV series](,7493,1376298,00.html).
3. Give the job to the [same bloody bloke who adapts everything](
4. Watch him butcher it because some of the gay sex scenes [“make him queasy”](

Bear in mind this is the same Andrew Davies that described his adaptation of Tipping the Velvet as “absolutely filthy”, in that typical hypocritical-straight-bloke-in-a-dirty-mac kind of way.

Back in March, Andrew Davies told [The Stage](

> Alan doesn’t like me saying this but it’s a little bit like Brideshead Revisited. It is about a young gay man who in 1983 moves in with this glamorous family, the father of which is an up-and-coming Tory MP in Thatcher’s government.
> He goes through the whole thing of great hopes, money-making, drugs, parties, and in the end gets blamed for everything that goes wrong. The other thing is, it’s also a picture of the eighties from the point of view of a young gay man coming out, the euphoria of falling in love, and also the tragedy of Aids.
> I’ve not yet decided how we’re going to [include Margaret Thatcher]. In the novel, Thatcher comes to a party at the house, which is a big triumph, and our hero dances with her. But that might just be a bit overwhelming for viewers.

I can bet that that scene will be in — not even Davies is _that_ patronising to the audience (“my dears, I left out one of the most famous scenes in the book because I thought you would just be overwhelmed by it!”). But if the lead character’s sexual encounters are omitted because a pervy old bloke can only stand same-sex scenes if they’re titillating to himself, a lot of character motivation will be discarded too. And that would be unforgivable.

Author: Scott Matthewman

Formerly Online Editor and Digital Project Manager for The Stage, creator of the award-winning The Gay Vote politics blog, now a full-time software developer specialising in Ruby, Objective-C and Swift, as well as a part-time critic for Musical Theatre Review, The Reviews Hub and others.