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The Dresden Files Concordance

The Dresden Files was a series on the Sci-Fi Channel, unfortunately canceled after 1 season. Based on the best-selling series by Jim Butcher, it tells of Chicago’s only practicing wizard, Harry Dresden, and his adventures in the dark, supernatural underbelly of the city.

Characters     Places   Magic   Villains   Books   Episodes   Links

Did you know that:

  • The DVD set for the Sci-Fi channel’s “The Dresden Files” is now available. Click on the link below to get it from Amazon!!!

TV SERIES REVIEWS by J.

 

The Dresden Files was a missed opportunity for the Sci-Fi Channel to cash in on the big boom in paranormal shows that have been hitting the airwaves lately, not to mention the huge rise in the genre of paranormal romance that’s been on fire in the past few years. Harry Dresden was one of the few male characters in an a genre almost exclusively female as evidenced by Laurell K. Hamilton, Rachel Caine, and other women writers who have been at the forefront of the explosion in this field for some years now.

If only The Dresden Files t.v. series had concentrated a bit more on an ongoing series thread rather than a bunch of standalone stories, I think it would have done better. They were attempting this with the story of Harry’s uncle, but the fact that some of the episodes were shown out of order didn’t help that idea along.

Plus, there seemed to be significant differences between the early shows in the series and the later ones, and these continuity errors made the show seem a bit on the amateurish side.

Finally, they should have done much more with Harry’s relationship with Murphy, and less time spent with Bob. Bob should not have been in the form that he was in the show; it didn’t do the character in the book justice at all, and it wasted time that could have been spent developing the main character’s relationships with various people, including Murphy.

I think people would have turned in to see a hot romance between Harry Dresden and Murphy.  How often does a romance take center stage in a science fiction show? Paul Blackthorne was a great choice to play Harry Dresden.  And there was definitely some chemistry between Harry and Murphy, but it wasn’t developed at all. And if they had wanted a romance, they should have brought back Claudia Black’s character, who not only brought the show up 100% in the one episode she was in, but had great chemistry with Blackthorne. Alas, she was in Stargate SG-1, so there was no way to make her a permanent character. I hope that someone does The Dresden Files again; it has definite potential for a involving, engaging series.

 

COMMENTARY by K.

whiteknightThe Dresden Files was a best-selling fantasy book series by Jim Butcher before it became a television series. Some aspects of the tv series match the books closely, such as Paul Blackthorne’s portrayal of Harry Dresden. 

Like Dresden in the books, Blackthorne is tall and dark.  He also displays the book character’s wry, self-deprecating charm. His combination apartment and office looks much as I imagined it from the books:  subterranean, walls of rough brick, and filled with esoteric clutter.

In the tv show, Dresden displays a few talismans from the book: a pentacle necklace, and a shield bracelet.   What happened to his wizard’s staff, though?  Why did it get demoted in the tv show to a magical hockey stick?

Bob, on the other hand, vastly differs between book and show. In the books, Bob seems to be a jinni or some other slave-spirit whom Harry acquired.  Hence his bowling-league-type name, obviously given to him by Harry in a whimsical moment.  You never know when Bob might try to turn on Harry or make a break for freedom. A disembodied spirit of the air, Bob lives inside a human skull and functions as the equivalent of a desktop computer-plus-internet for Harry whose magical powers make him incompatible with technology.

If Bob ever had busted loose in the books and assumed a human form and demeanor, I would imagine him to look and act like a Mel Brooks character or something else reminiscent of the Borscht Belt.  I know this sounds weird, but Bob in the books really did seem like a cranky dirty old man. Harry had to keep him placated with romance novels which Bob liked for the sex scenes!

In the tv series, Terrance Mann plays Bob in a much more formal way, complete with (for me) an affected accent that is not really British. Think “mid-Atlantic Snob” like the Frasier brothers from the Frasier tv show. At his best, Mann’s Bob seems more formidable than Bob in the books.  I think Mann intends him to be a mentor to Harry. At his worst, however, he reminds one of the disapproving butler.  In the 9th episode (The Other Dick), he is so fussy and possessive of Harry (while snubbing Claudia Black’s Liz) that he comes off as Harry’s gay lover!

You can go on like this forever, amusing yourself with the differences and similarities between this fun tv show and its excellent source material. But you really should read the books to get the extra dimension to The Dresden Files!

Click on the Books Link in our Dresden Files Concordance, or check out the following book reviews: