“The Island of Thirty Coffins” is back on France 2 with a new episode. The mini-series worn by Virginie Ledoyen and Charles Berling adapts a well-known story from the novel by Maurice Leblanc. In 1979, viewers were able to discover a terrifying first adaptation with Claude Jade. Does the new remake live up to the old one? We tell you more.
The Island of Thirty Coffins: Are the adaptations faithful to the novel?
In 1919, Maurice Leblanc published his novel The Island of Thirty Coffins in the form of a serial in The newspaper, a French newspaper. Subsequently, the book will be released in two volumes: Speedwell and The Miraculous Stone. Leblanc’s work is a gothic detective story, bordering on fantasy, in which Arsene Lupin (the usual hero of the writer) appears only in the second part. This terrifying story follows Véronique d’Hergemont, who is in search of her father and son, who were declared dead in 1902. Arsène Lupine intervenes at the end and comes to save the heroine from the clutches of the monsters who want to crucify her…
The story was changed during the first adaptation in 1979. Indeed, the character of Arsène Lupine does not play any role in the television adaptation, from which he is completely absent. Subsequently, the adaptation by Elsa Marpeau and Florent Meyer of The Island of Thirty Coffins remained in this line, also removing the character. The main protagonists played by Virginie Ledoyen and Charles Berling do not cross paths with the famous gentleman-burglar.
A less terrifying version…
The 1979 television series, directed by Marcel Cravenne, marked and even terrorized an entire generation. It must be said that the atmosphere was very heavy, not to say scary. Claude Jade slips into the role of a young woman tortured by the death of her son and her father. The latter will have to follow a macabre treasure hunt on a hostile island where a terrible prophecy reigns. In this version, the tension slowly builds and initially introduces the characters and their toxic relationships. Secondly, viewers discover the island of Sarek, mysterious and terrifying. The series goes very far and reveals very dark scenes that send shivers down your spine.
The new version was worn by Virgine Ledoyen and Charles Berling completely abandons the Gothic character, as well as the historical dimension of the story. In the first adaptation, Véronique embodies an allegory of all those courageous women who went through the First World War providing colossal work and taking care of the home during their husband’s absence. The television adaptation of 2022 is much more contemporary and fits in with the times. The atmosphere is also much less terrifying.
This new adaptation of The Island of Thirty Coffins Split. Obviously, people who shuddered at the horror scenes of the 1979 version are disappointed, because the plot may seem flat and boring. The press is mixed:
TV Star was rather packed:
A mini-series full of suspense, freely inspired by the eponymous novel by Maurice Leblanc and served by a great cast. 3.5/5
Telerama for his part assured with more irony:
Faced with the multitude of poltergeists and muddled predictions, the heroine observes, with a certain sense of understatement: “It’s weird”. We can not say it better. 2/5
At last, West France was not at all convinced:
A failed adaptation of Maurice Leblanc’s novel. 1.5/5
The television viewers are not all conquered by this new version. Here is what we can read, in particular, under the Instagram post of France 2:
I zapped after 30 min, boring.
Disappointing…. Disappointing staging, fortunately the actors are good.
Disappointed with this series that takes place in our time. Nothing beats the book.
A rather soporific series but which has its charm, a little outdated. The characters are very caricatural, in particular the superstitious priest.
How bad! How good actors and a good story can give such a badass.
The series is to discover a preview of Salto!