Neverwhere was a TV series and also an urban fantasy novel. Written in 1996 by Neil Gaiman. Neverwhere tells the story of Richard Mayhew. Who saves a young girl’s life one day and finds himself unpersoned. Ie nobody from his old life remembers or can even see him. Richard journeys beneath the streets of London to find the girl he saved. To try and find a way back to his old life. The book follows a hero’s journey arc with Gaiman’s trademark darkness and strangeness. Although the BBC made a televised series of Neverwhere before it was a novel. I believe that they should remake it. Here’s why.
A positive portrayal of male mental health and also masculinity
Neverwhere implies at times that its events are taking place inside the main character, Richard’s, head. Given the recent campaigns to get men to talk about their mental health. I think an updated version of Neverwhere could say something really important about male mental health. Additionally, Richard overcomes his feelings of inadequacy at the book’s climax and becomes a man. Seeing this on screen could be immensely powerful for modern men. Even more so when we consider that Richard throughout the book is portrayed. As something of a fool and a milquetoast. To see someone like that defeat their demons despite all the bad things the world has told them about themselves. Would be incredibly positive to show on TV.
A commentary on what value society places on people
Neverwhere contains two Londons; London Above and London Below. London Above is a slick, fast paced neoliberal world of business and finance. Which Richard initially inhabits. London Below is a subterranean nightmare populated by the people who have fallen beneath the cracks. Indeed, a security guard at an opening ceremony attended by Richard’s old girlfriend describes it as “The Masque of the Red Death”. GIven that 25 years have passed since Neverwhere was first published. It would be really interesting to update it for the new ’20s and explore whether people’s attitudes have changed or become more entrenched.
Crossover potential with Netflix’s Sandman series
To the best of my knowledge Neverwhere and Sandman take place in different universes to each other. It would still be cool to see Richard and Door meet Dream and Johanna Constantine though. If they attempt to build a larger on screen universe for Neverwhere. Crossovers with Netflix’s Sandman could make a lot of fans happy. Maybe we could see characters like Mervyn Pumpkinhead or the Corinthian at the Floating Market? The internet certainly has an appetite for theories and cameos so seeing Sandman characters in a Neverwhere TV show would get people talking. Perhaps we could see Kirby Howell-Baptiste‘s Death bump into Richard or Door, apologise and strike up a brief conversation? It’s fairly common in Neil Gaiman’s books for characters to meet mystical entities and not know who or what they were dealing with.
A companion show to Doctor Who
(No, not that kind of companion!) Doctor Who is not what it was when it first returned in 2005. A Neverwhere show could provide an alternative to the BBC’s flagship sci-fi. In like vein to Merlin. This article makes a compelling argument for revisiting Neverwhere on TV. It’s possible the BBC could make the Doctor and Richard Mayhew foils to each other. In similarity to how Steven Moffat wrote Matt Smith‘s Doctor and Benedict Cumberbatch‘s Sherlock. Another big sci-fi show could bring in ratings and help Doctor Who by introducing new writers. Going back to the point about Sandman cameos, maybe we could see the TARDIS or the 8th Doctor in the background at the Floating Market? This is just my headcanon but it would still be cool.
Would you like to see Neverwhere return to the screen? Are you excited for Netflix’s Sandman? Please leave a comment and remember; it always ends. That’s what gives it value.