15 years later, Neil Gaiman‘s Neverwhere has become a cult classic TV series to rival all comers. With a budget and production values that are hard to describe without using the word “laughable,” the wild adventure and creative genius shine through to create a wonderful video experience that would otherwise be unwatchable. Even by the standards of the time, the obvious limitations here are mind-boggling.
For the uninitiated, the BBC production follows Richard Mayhew and the adventures that ensue when he happens upon a bleeding girl in the street. The girl, Door, turns out to be from the quasi-magical world of London Below, and Richard finds himself sucked into quite a fine mess that he didn’t actually sign up for. Worse, he has no way out of it, because his normal life apparently disappears right from under him, being that his exposure to Door has somehow “London Belowed” him, and “London Abovers” can’t even really see him.
Now Richard is going to have to help Door, whether she wants him to or not, and before he’s done, he’s going to face down the dreaded Beast of London, a pair of bizarre, otherworldly assassins, and an Angel.
As I said, the show is put together using the most modest of budgets, and it shows in every way. Locations are put together as though rented for an hour, and the mighty Beast of London is given to us by way of trying to talk up the fearsomeness and then just not showing the thing. But, here is one of those extremely rare cases where you won’t find yourself caring a bit. The mind of Neil Gaiman is at its best here, delivering a uniquely wild tale of Door and her family’s murder, and the feints within feints that are revealed as Richard peels more and more layers off this mystery.
You’ve got to have the right level of ability to disregard such things as the fact that a Flip and a couple of hundred dollars could get you a better look now, but if you can manage it, you’re in for a treat.
Fans don’t have all that much offered up to them with these release, but there is another commentary track, which means you can now catch the series with the original commentary by Neil Gaiman, or the new one with Gaiman, Lenny Henry, and Clive Brill. Along with a new Intro and Interview, this does add a bit of splash to the new release, but it probably only appeals to serious fans.
The new commentary and interview give you just about everything you could want, as Gaiman and crew revisit the creation of the show, talk endlessly about the humorous events tied to the lack of budget, and even reveal that the film rights have been reacquired. Fans will also love the map of Neverwhere that comes with the DVD, but overall it’s tough to call this one a must own. You’ll probably want to find a way to check out the commentary, because if there was anyone you ever wanted to listen to as they deconstruct their own work, it’s Gaiman, but those who will get the most out of it probably already own Neverwhere.
Below check out a bit more info, some clips, and make sure you enter to win.
In Neverwhere, Richard Mayhew (Gary Bakewell, Chef!) leads an ordinary life in London when one day a girl named Door (Laura Fraser, He Knew He Was Right) falls and injures herself across his path. Door belongs to a different world – London Below – and has come to London Above determined to learn why her parents have been killed. The next thing he knows, Mayhew’s life as he knew it is gone and he’s underground, pursued by the murderous messengers. The two attempt to find the Angel Islington, who knows the secret behind the murder of Door’s family, and possibly a way for Richard to go home.
- 15th Anniversary Intro with Neil Gaiman, Lenny Henry and producer Clive Brill
- 15th Anniversary Audio Commentary with Gaiman, Henry and Brill
- Original Interview with Gaiman
- Original Audio Commentary with Gaiman
- Photo Gallery
- Character Descriptions
- Neverwhere Map Insert
Win Your Copy Here!
Leave a comment below, and you are automatically entered to win your very own copy of the DVD release.
Winner will be randomly selected on December 10th. U.S. only.