Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Season 27 - The Moonstone (1997-1998)

Sometimes there is an adaptation so perfect that you don't know which came first for you, reading the book or watching the adaptation. This is how it is for me with The Moonstone, the two are forever intertwined and my story is a mystery even to myself. On the shelves of our library cum television room we had the complete set of the Franklin Library's Masterpieces of Mystery, The Moonstone being one of the volumes, with it's faux red leather binding and colorfully garish illustration on the cover. As an aside, seeing as The Moonstone laid the groundwork for the entire detective genre if the Franklin Library hadn't included it it would have been a major oversight. Now the mystery becomes did I pick up that volume prior to one Sunday night when I was ensconced in my corner of the couch and watched a few minutes of The Moonstone with my mother or not? I remember sitting there so clearly, the warm light, the copy of The Moonstone on the shelf near my right shoulder. I'm pretty sure I didn't watch more than a few minutes of the movie because I was all about reading the book before watching the adaptation. At that time it was a strict rule in my life. But did I bend the rules? Later events might indicate I did... Maybe I'll claim that I was sleepwalking like Franklin Blake? Eventually I did pick up The Moonstone to read and the entire time I kept thinking, damn, have I read this before? I swear I've read this before... Or had I just watched the movie? This is compounded by the fact that when reading the book the character of the old house steward Gabriel Betteredge came into my mind as the incomparable Peter Vaughn. He was just there, in my head, and I accepted it as fact. Fast forward to me watching or perhaps re-watching the film and Peter Vaughn IS in it as Betteredge. Thinking of this which came first the chicken or the egg mystery just does my head it. But one thing is confirmed no matter what order events happened in, this is the best adaptation of The Moonstone you could hope to find. It's literally my headcanon.       


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