‘Aubrey & Maturin’ Is the Next ‘Game of Thrones’ (If Only Someone Will Make It) – The Atlantic

Fifteen years ago, when I finished reading Patrick O’Brian’s magisterial 20-novel Aubrey-Maturin series for the first time, I remember thinking, damn you, Horatio Hornblower. C.S. Forester’s renowned nautical protagonist was at the time enjoying the starring role in the British TV series Hornblower, and given the close similarities to O’Brian’s oeuvre—both concern the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic era—it seemed unlikely bordering on inconceivable that anyone would try to adapt the latter for television.

Source: ‘Aubrey & Maturin’ Is the Next ‘Game of Thrones’ (If Only Someone Will Make It) – The Atlantic

Mr. Orr is correct that such a series would be expensive, but also likely quite remunerative. As an added bonus, HMS Surprise, Lucky Jack Aubrey’s favorite frigate, has just come out of a refit in San Diego.

British television shows tend to run for about 90 minutes, and have four episodes a season. That’s a format very well suited for telling the story of a single novel. In essence, they make a book into a six hour movie.
While it’s unlikely any US network would adapt that format, I suspect it would be difficult to make a very strong adaptation of any single novel in the normal US hour long episode. Perhaps a 13 episode season could tell three novels?

Assuming Crowe and Bettany are out, who would you like to see as the seafaring compatriots?

9 thoughts on “‘Aubrey & Maturin’ Is the Next ‘Game of Thrones’ (If Only Someone Will Make It) – The Atlantic”

  1. Just re-read the series for the third time a few months ago and it was still enjoyable. I have long thought this would make a good dramatic series for television. I’m not sure who would make a good Aubrey out of today’s actors but for Maturin the choice I’d make is Johnny Lee Miller who plays Sherlock Holmes in the CBS series “Elementary”. When I read Maturin’s dialogue this time, I heard Miller’s character in my head.

  2. I need to order these (and hornblower for that matter), but she who must be obeyed is kicking off about the size of the library already

    Ioan is available again….

    1. TrT:

      Libraries are good places to find books. (We have one county { our libraries are run at county level } that allows one renew books as many times as one wishes; provided no one else requests it.


    2. I have found the kindle able to remedy the issue of overloaded libraries. True, you can’t hold the bound book, but you can take most of the library with you. I have O’Brian’s series on kindle, but other things have gotten in the way. It’s next on the list.

    3. JH, MSG (Ret):

      I, just as the Stone family, like the feel of a real book in my hands. My wife has an e-reader and, as she travels for work, it is good for her. I am a stay-at-home ( read: good for nothing ) husband so I can indulge myself.


    4. Public libraries in the UK tend to have a limited selection, I haven’t harrassed mine in a while but last time I did its budget was 80% wages.

      I just have six Ikea billys in the spare room.
      Its cheaper to amazon a book than drive to library anyway…

      Cant go back, that’s annoying, even if my library had a book budget, it wouldn’t go on books that showed Britain in a good light….

  3. A&E never finished the Hornblower series, stopping at 8 episodes. I’m guessing declining viewership killed it. I doubt Aubrey-Maturin would get finished either. I’ve never heard of a follow up to Master and Commander, which was a decent movie of the type.

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