After turning out the mega-hit Downton Abbey and this summer's sexiest period drama Poldark (and yes, I am counting the days until it returns), there were some high expectations for Masterpiece: Arthur & George on PBS. I went into the series blind, as the plot was unfamiliar to me, but the names involved certainly rang a bell. It turned out that the charming show centered on the very famous author of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, his new adventure, and amateur sleuthing. After getting hooked by the plot, I found myself wondering, could there be an Arthur & George Season 2 after this Sunday's finale? Unfortunately, that doesn't look likely, but there are a few other things PBS could do instead.
The Arthur & George miniseries is based on the Julian Patrick Barnes novel of the same name. Since this is a standalone book, not one in a series, it seems like there will not be another season of Arthur & George. The story as envisioned by Barnes is over. But fear not! There are plenty of other Barnes books that PBS could adapt into wonderful miniseries if the network is so inclined. Here are the five best Barnes' books Masterpiece can adapt next, and give us Arthur & George fans something new to look forward to.
The Sense Of An Ending
Barnes' follow up to Arthur & George, this 2011 book won the Man Booker Prize. It is split in half, playing with both narration and timelines. Poignant and reflective, it would be a much better fit for a miniseries than a movie, giving the actions time to play out and be evaluated
The author's first novel, this was published in 1980 and is a bit more straightforward than The Sense of an Ending. Metroland is all about growing up, settling down, and living a life you never pictured enjoying when you were young. This was already made into a movie in 1994 (starring Christian Bale) and seems overdue for a remake. Why not bring it to TV so the adaptation can really delve into its characters?
Upon its release in 1984, the novel was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize the year after. The subject is decidedly more strange, with a major plot point focused around two suffered parrots, which are both purported to have once belonged to Gustave Flaubert. Odd and quirky, an adaptation would fit right in on PBS.
A History of the World in 10½ Chapters
This collection of short stories (some fictional, some not) would need more than three episodes to fully demonstrate where they connect and intersect, but it would be worth it.
Even the name screams Masterpiece classic! Yet another book shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize (I am sensing a trend here), this is a satirical postmodern novel about creating a replica of England in a theme park. Sharp, insightful, and almost dystopian... is anyone else getting the feeling that all of Barnes' books were destined to end up as PBS miniseries?
Images: Neil Genower/PBS; Giphy (6)