Are some stories almost impossible to film?

Some stories in the canon pretty much defy dramatisation. Why is this?

In the case of some it will be down to their length, for others it could be a perceived weakness in the plot or something that simply does not lend itself to the screen. Let's take a couple of examples.

The Sussex Vampire

This was attempted by Granada in the ropey The Last Vampyre. A whole load of padding/plot(?!) was added and very little of the already quite thin story was left unmolested.

The Five Orange Pips

The House of Fear, during the Rathbone era was the most notable film to draw, albeit tenuously, on this story. It is a film I can watch and enjoy over and over again but the pips are really the only nod to the original text.

Do you have other examples? Please comment.

Written by Alistair Duncan
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  1. I think The Last Vampyre is the weakest of all the episodes of Granada. Though my opinion is that the original story is not all that bad and not even the worst one. But its screen version has so many unnecessary and silly changes, that it is almost intolerable for me...

    And while you seek stories that are almost impossible to film, I must say what a great loss it is that Black Peter was never filmed. It is one of my favourite adventures.

  2. The Golden Pince-Nez was drastically changed in the Brett version. I am not sure it would make good TV or cinema as written.