We make no secret here of our support for Clive Barker and his unending quest to simultaneously terrify and arouse everyone on earth. With all the love Stephen King has been getting lately, it seems criminal that Barker’s work isn’t receiving the same kind of love on the big and small screens. That could all be about to change, as last year it was announced that a series based on the phenomenally popular Books of Blood collections is in the works. Over on his official website, Barker has just dropped some big teasers for the upcoming series.
Barker hinted that the series will be adding some additional material into the mix:
“I should add I think, because this is tasty, the series has been expanded from the stories in the Books of Blood with stories that have been developed by me along the style of the Books of Blood stories – because it’s thirty years since I wrote the Books of Blood and my mind has certainly not remained empty of those kind of ideas.”
He also added:
“There are, I think, about thirty narratives which I have developed which you could call ‘Books of Blood stories’, as narrative outlines, but I haven’t yet turned them into stories. We will probably turn at least some of those into episodes for the television series.”
What shines through in Barker’s statements is his commitment to recreating the gut-churning spirit of his early work:
“What I’m trying to do is at very least match, and in some cases surpass, the intensity of the original Books of Blood. Some of those stories have a nod and a wink to another kind of narrative – I mean New Murders in the Rue Morgue, is an example, obviously a nod to Poe, but then there’s Rawhead Rex which is a straight-off monster story, and I want to revisit those kinds of stories. I want to do a new monster story for instance, something that is fresh and for a modern audience. I am hoping that in the Books of Blood series we will not only go to the most chilling and intense of the books but I will add to that sum of stories new tales that perhaps wouldn’t even have occurred to me thirty years ago. The world has changed. The world has become a darker, scarier place since then, unbelievably but it’s true.”
The six volumes of original Barker stories have spawned one or two big screen adaptations already, which range from the decent (like Midnight Meat Train) to the comically awful (like Rawhead Rex), but to us, a TV series is the format most likely to do the books justice. After all, the masterful storytelling of tales like The Yattering and Jack and In the Hills, The Cities (the latter of which is transcendentally brilliant and a must-read for all short fiction fans) can only be undermined by their being stretched to the required length for cinema.
Barker is currently working on Books of Blood with director Brannon Braga, who has previously worked on Salem and 24.