UPDATED: Air date revealed for BBC’s “The Casual Vacancy”!
It’s been over two years since it was first announced that J.K. Rowling’s first post-Potter novel, The Casual Vacancy, would be turned into a mini-series by BBC, but with a new tie-in version of the cover just released and a teaser trailer available to view, we were hoping it wouldn’t be much longer before we’d get to see the adaptation for ourselves – and that wish has finally been granted!
We knew that the series would air sometime in February but not the exact date and time – until now! Apparently, last night there was a BAFTA screening of The Casual Vacancy, along with a cast Q&A, and – while we don’t know much about the event itself – several of those in attendance have been tweeting the good news that the rest of us will get to experience the series beginning February 15 at 9:00 p.m. GMT on BBC One. There’s no official word yet on when HBO will be airing the show in the US, but we expect it will be near the same time.
Here’s a tweet from Catherine Moor, a BBC publicist:
The BBC One adaptation of @jk_rowling THE CASUAL VACANCY confirmed to transmit on SUNDAY 15TH FEBRUARY 9.00PM
— Catherine Moor (@caterinos2000) January 26, 2015
Since the live screening, reviews have been rolling in for the mini-series. Below are some select quotes from the reviews.
The Radio Times writes,
Beautifully shot, brilliantly acted and swarming with vivid characters, The Casual Vacancy is one of the best new dramas I’ve seen in a long while. And just as in JK Rowling’s Harry Potter, this new fictional world feels so strange and real that it’s like being put under a spell.
The Guardian says,
Rowling’s book can be quite relentlessly bleak. Phelps has also injected more humour and by allowing The Casual Vacancy’s hero to survive for longer than the scant few pages Rowling permitted in the novel, brought some much-needed warmth to the screen.
Further, the writer of the adaptation, Sarah Phelps, has revealed what sort of role J.K. Rowling had in the making and writing of the program:
It could’ve been very difficult. But she’s used to the process of adaptation, of having to let her book go into that process, from having the [Harry Potter] films done.
She read the scripts as they came in and commented appropriately – but she was brilliant about just stepping back and letting me do it, so there was a great deal of freedom.
J.K. Rowling said in a statement,
Having met Sarah, and discussed the television adaptation of The Casual Vacancy, I was happy and confident to hand over the job of crafting my novel for the small screen. Sarah has done a great job, and I am delighted with how it has turned out.
This is excellent news for fans who have been waiting to see how the book is interpreted on television! Will you be tuning in?
UPDATE 2: HBO has revealed that The Casual Vacancy will air in the US on April 29 at 8:00 p.m. EST. Although American fans will have to wait a little longer to watch, at least there’s now a trailer for the series to watch and re-watch while you wait!