After taking over the world as the most successful author ever, J.K. Rowling set out to write stories that didn’t involve as many pointy hats after a series of eight books that has also spun off a billion dollar film series. After the success of Harry Potter it was a given that people would compare anything else she writesto it and so the lacklustre fanfare that her novel A casual Vacancy received was anything but a surprise. That being said the novel has been adapted into a three-part BBC series that includes Dumbledore himself, I mean the actor Michael Gambon of course! This time though the scene is set in a quaint little English village where rumour and gossip do their best to rock the harmony and not at a fictional magical school with talking hats. It looks like a million other similar shows but that doesn’t
The Casual Vacancy centers on Pagford, a seemingly idyllic English village with a cobbled market square and ancient abbey. Behind the pretty façade however, is a town at war: rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils. Pagford is not what it first seems.
At the Parish Council meeting the subject of Sweetlove House and its legacy arises. Howard Mollison, the Chairman, heads up the faction who want to see an end to the legacy; the thorn in his side is Barry Fairbrother, who makes an impassioned speech outlining the importance of the legacy, and the services it provides. For now, Barry has won the argument. When Barry dies suddenly, Pagford is left in shock, and the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the village has yet seen. Three candidates are soon lined up: Miles Mollison, Howard’s son; Colin Wall, Barry’s friend; and Simon Price, Barry’s half-brother.
With lots of skeletons rattling about in everyone’s closet I am sure the series will have a lot to offer.
The Casual Vacancy stars Rory Kinnear, Michael Gambon, and Simon McBurney and is set to open 15 February.
Last Updated: February 3, 2015