Things I’m Looking Forward To: ‘Neverland’

NEVERLAND – How it all began.

I love mini-series. Love love love them. I love how they have the ability to expand on a story, without ruining its integrity because a mini series does not have to worry about being renewed, like a television show. They have a set structure, a beginning, middle, and end, and if done right they’re fantastic ways to tell a tale.

I bring this up because for the past week I’ve been seeing ads for a mini-series called Neverland  on SyFy. Neverland is an origin story to Peter Pan. We meet Peter while he still lives in London, and Hook before he becomes a captain. For those of you who don’t know, J.M. Barrie, the author of Peter Pan, did not write a prequel. That means that this is all new.

I adore Peter Pan and it is honestly one of my favorite books of all time. Not only is it beautifully written and imaginative, but I love how Barrie includes very adult themes, but writes them in a way so that people of any age can enjoy the book and at each age have a different type of appreciation for it. The story is very Freudian when you think about it.

With that said, I’m excited to see this creative take on the story. It’s not rewriting the original, it’s expanding the lore, and this is not the first time SyFy has presented an “expanded universe” mini-series. The first one they ever did was Tin Man, which was considered a “re-imagining” of The Wizard of Oz, but really it’s a modern day sequel. The second one was Alice, which was a “re-imagining/sequel” to Alice in Wonderland. Both were directed by Nick Willing, who has written and directed Neverland. I really enjoyed both of those mini-series, so naturally I am looking forward to Neverland.

Rhys Ifans as James Hook

Based on the trailers for Neverland, it appears that once upon a time Peter and Hook used to be friends. Also, Hook has a love interest AND both his hands! Considering these new elements, it will be interesting to see how all of the puzzle pieces fall into place. That is the beauty of a well done prequel; dramatic irony.

Charlie Rowe as Peter

According to the official synopsis, orphaned Peter is a young pickpocket and his mentor is none other than Jimmy Hook. One day they steal priceless treasure, but it turns out that what they stole is not only priceless, but magical. This treasure transports them to the world of Neverland, where they encounter strange new people, creatures of imagination, and ultimately their destinies.

Bob Hoskins as Smee and Anna Friel as Captain Bonny
Bob Hoskins as Smee and Anna Friel as Captain Bonny

Can I just point out how cool it is that Bob Hoskins will be reprising his role as “Smee”, the role he originally played in Hook? Can I hear a “HELL YEAH”? That alone makes this mini-series pretty awesome. I really hope that Neverland does not disappoint. It’s always exciting to hear a world I grew up loving is about to be explored and expanded. I think the reason why I’m particularly enamored with mini-series like Tin Man and Alice is because there is a nostalgia factor. Watching these updated and expanded stories brings me back to when I was introduced to these worlds as a child, but lets me appreciate them as an adult. It’s also interesting to see another person’s creativity at large and see how they create a new story from a well known one.

Neverland premieres December 3rd and 4th on SyFy. 

The trailer:

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