TV Shows Based On Books You Need to Watch Now

We all love curling up with a book or binge-watching a TV show, so what could be better than when they are combined? Here are my recommendations on books that have been turned into TV shows you could totally binge-watch!

1. Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective AgencyBased on Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams.

The latest re-imagining of these books stars actors Samuel Barnett and Elijah Wood as Dirk and Todd. It is, at its heart, a detective story— but not just any detective story! It’s holistic. This means everything that happens is connected so it makes way for an interesting plotline full of time-travel, soul swapping and…animals?

Trust me, it’s worth a look and it’s available on Netflix right now! 

2. Call the Midwife

Based on Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times by Jennifer Worth.

Midwives don’t appear in fiction nearly enough. It's ridiculous because they are not only a really important part of life but something we all should know more about! This show, currently on it’s sixth series, initially follows the story of Jenny as she becomes a midwife living and working in Poplar in the 1950s/60s. The show did run out of source material so the later seasons do feature original storylines, but this has not limited the show at all. It addresses important events in the development of midwifery, from the Thalidomide scandal to the introduction of the birth control pill. It’s a show that I always feel welcome to come back to, even when it makes me cry because you get to watch the characters grow while watching. 

 The first five series are available on Netflix with the current one being aired on Sundays at 8pm on BBC One.

3. Sherlock

Based on the Sherlock Holmes books by Arthur Conan Doyle.

Okay, okay, so you are probably fed up of hearing about Sherlock by this time but hear me out! Sherlock, if you go back to the first series, is a game-changing show; the way it was shot, how it places the story in a modern setting, and the referencing to the books all make it so great. At the time the first series was coming out, I was reading the books and it was nice to see little details appear while watching.  Admittedly, the show has got a bit big for its boots as of late and even as patient as I am I have struggled not to shout at the TV (but it’s nice going back to see what it was).

If you aren’t into Sherlock (which is available right now on Netflix) you could always check out its American cousin, Elementary.

4. The Musketeers

Based on The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas.

All for one and one for all! This is a great swashbuckler of a series that stars actors Luke Pasqualino, Tom Burke, Howard Charles and Santiago Cabrera. It has intrigue, sword fights, romance and some really strong female characters such as Constance, Milady de Winter and Queen Anne. Even if you aren’t into this kind of historical romp it isn’t a bad show to watch; from the actors, to the sets, to the costumes, it's very good to watch. 

It is also currently available on Netflix!

5. Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell

Based on Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke.

Magic realism! Travelling through mirrors! Prophecies! This show condenses the best parts of the book into a mini-series that takes us on a journey to discover English Magic. It is set at the start of the nineteenth century and stars Bertie Carvel and Eddie Marsan as Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell; they're polar opposites and helpless in the face of their fate to become great magicians.

6. Orange is the New BlackOrange is the New Black: My Year In a Women’s Prison by Piper Kerman

I’ve kept the best ‘til last! If you haven’t already watched OITNB, I seriously question the way you are living your life, but if you didn’t know it was based on a book I might be able to forgive you. It is a great series because it is focuses on a diverse group of women and the struggles that they face. Honestly this show has a little bit of everything— it will make you laugh one moment and leave you with tears the next.

The next season comes out on the 9th of June.