Bitten is a TV show produced by the Canadian channel Space (shown on Syfy in the US), but it’s originally based on the “Women of the Otherworld“-series by Kelley Armstrong. The show started airing earlier this year and I just finished reading the first book of the 13-part-series by Armstrong two days ago, so I thought it would be fitting to compare the two by the end of this year. There will be a spoiler-free and a spoiler-y section, so beware as you read on!
First, let me start by saying that I love both, the show and the book. I like supernatural stuff and this series just really hit the right tone with me. I always thought that I wasn’t a big fan of werewolves, but since I watch Teen Wolf, True Blood (rooting for Alcide all along) and Bitten, there is really no use in denying that they are sort of cool. I think the problem I have with the visualisation of werewolves is that the CGI and visual effects are mostly terrible and unfortunately I can’t say that they are very good in Bitten either. But that is totally besides the point, because I still very much enjoyed the show. Let me try to sum it up for you:
Elena Michaels is the only female werewolf on the planet, but she never wanted to be turned. All Elena wants is to be normal, so she tries to live as normal a life as possible given the circumstances with her unknowing boyfriend in Toronto. She thought she’s finally gotten rid of her past, when her Pack Alpha, Jeremy Danvers, summons her back for a Meet. Not being able to ignore his call, she has to go back to her former home, Stonehaven. There she has to deal with her ex, her true nature and murderers of a different kind.
The story is mainly focused on Elena and how she has to deal with her two lives. Especially while reading the book, I thought that Armstrong was great at conveying Elena’s thoughts and feelings in a way that we could entirely understand her even though this is such a surrealistic topic. Bitten is fast-paced, thrilling, exciting, dark, violent, funny and lovely at the same time – I can only recommend it!
I guess this is all I can say for the non-spoiler section, because from now on everything I say gives something away. In short: Spoilers ahead!
When I actually read the book, I was surprised at how faithful they stayed with the storyline throughout the show. Of course there are differences in appearances of the characters and the likes, but they totally managed to capture the gist of it. The various actors and actresses portray their characters so well, I can’t say anything other than that I’m really happy (especially because Steve Lund plays my favourite Nick Sorrentino just perfect!). The changes they did make, don’t actually bother me that much. Remember though, that I’ve only come as far as to read the first book. I don’t know what happens in the rest of the series (not yet!). Having said that, here are the most obvious things I noticed that differ between the book to the TV show:
- In both, the book and the show, two major Pack members die. While it’s Logan and Peter in the book, Peter and Antonio are the ones to die in the TV show. I don’t know which combination I prefer, because I was truly sad in both cases. Since Nick is somewhat of my favourite, I was sad to see him having to deal with his father’s death, but it couldn’t have been easy for Elena to loose her best friend either. And Peter was just a really nice guy.
- Speaking of Logan surviving, that of course opened up a whole new storyline (him getting his girlfriend pregnant and not wanting to give her up, etc.) in the show that will be important during the second Season as well. Also, Logan did keep in contact with Elena in both cases, but they didn’t actually both live in Toronto in the book. I guess while reading the book, I connected a lot more with Logan because I saw the show first though. Just wanted to add that.
- Elena’s life in Toronto is a lot more detailed in the TV show than it is in the book. Because of that, Philip and his family play a far more important role as well. They are slightly different than they are in the book, even though the general constellation of Philip having two sisters stayed the same. Additionally, Elena has a different job. She’s a photographer in the show and a journalist in the book.
- While Elena’s backstory wasn’t changed that much. The child molester turned mutt wasn’t her abuser in the book though, only in the TV show. But I think we got that she had a rough childhood nonetheless.
I love it when TV shows just add to the story instead of changing it entirely. I can’t wait for the next season, coming February 2015, and reading the rest of the books from the “Women of the Otherworld“-series. Let’s discuss in the comments! Did I miss something crucial?