Re: RARA-AVIS: How The Dead Live (Derek Raymond not Will Self)

From: John Williams (
Date: 18 Feb 2008

Colin inquired

I do remember reading somewhere - I think in a book jacket from the 80s? listing amonghis other works including, The Factory Series - now a BBC television production, but?I've never been able to find out any more; whether it was?never produced, or just a pilot -?if any avians know?any more about that I'd be thrilled to hear it!?Talk of films a few years ago doesn't seem to have come to anything.

Sadly it's just another TV series that never got off the ground. It was close, scripts were written (by Paul Billing who went on to write a Prime Suspect and some Reginald Hill adaptations). I read one and it was pretty good. Kenith Trodd (Dennis Potter's collaborator) was to produce for the BBC. But then Derek - and Dennis Potter - died and the momentum went out of the project. Publishers love to jump the gun on film/TV adaptations.

There are two film adaptation of his books, both made in France - Les Mois d'avril sont meurtriers (adapted from The Devil's Home on Leave) and* *On ne meurt que deux fois (starring Charlotte Rampling and adapted from He Died With His Eyes Open). I've seen part of the latter (I was watching it in company with the author and he insisted on going out for a drink about half way through). It looked OK up to that point, though the French have a rather more upmarket vision of squalor as compared to the book.

There's still talk of future adaptations but nothing remotely concrete. The excellent Cathi Unsworth recently presented a series of radio shows concerned with Derek's work There's info about them here - - but sadly I can find no sign of the promised podcasts just yet.

As a hostage to fortune I'll mention that I'm starting work on the authorised biography. Will take a year or two, I'm sure.


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