An interesting analogy can be drawn between Dead Rangers And guards franchises, as its final products seem to follow a similar trend—the original source material has been critically acclaimed; Then came a darn good movie. Then came a great streaming miniseries. the Dead Rangers A reboot dropped on Prime Video this year, and just when you thought TV was getting too dark, Rachel Weisz’s series proves that the medium may have no limits when it comes to distortion. David Cronenberg’s movie of the same name was released in 1988 and was also pretty bleak, mind you.
And while the Prime Video series is still turning heads, we took a closer look at how it compares to the OG movie. At the end of the day, it’s safe to say that the movie and series have been a hit, despite their very dark nature. It’s hard to say which is better, but it’s easy to say that fans of the movie will definitely enjoy the series. At the very least, here’s a deeper analysis of both.
A closer look at Cronenberg’s film
It all started with a real-life story that caught the eye. Stewart and Cyril Marcus were identical gynecologists born in 1930 who practiced in New York City. They were born together – and died together, as their bodies were found in 1975, having just lived on this earth for 45 years. Details surrounding their sudden deaths at a relatively young age were initially skeptical; Eventually, the conditions became the subject of articles across New York and the United States
Two years later, the novel came out twins Written by Barry Wood and Jack Gisland, a fictional account of the lives and deaths of twin doctors bound together by brotherly love and more. And then, 10 years later, came the critically acclaimed film by Cronenberg himself, which is said to have drawn Marcus’s story and the novel that weaves a similar tale.
Fans of the 1988 film will remember Academy Award winner Jeremy Irons playing twins Elliott and Beverly, successful gynecologists who work in the same clinic. We soon gather that Elliott grows a habit of attracting his patients and even has relationships with them. Next comes the famous actress (Genevieve Bujold), and Beverly falls in love — ultimately complicating the sisterly dynamic to fatal effect.
Similarities between Cronenberg’s film and the Prime Video series
Many of the film’s elements are echoed in the Prime Video series of the same name. The main characters are really twins named Elliot and Beverly Mantle, who have everything in common, just like the portrayals of Irons in the movie. Being brilliant physicians, they push the boundaries of medical ethics in regards to women’s health care related to pregnancy and childbirth. Elliot and Beverly also switch identities when they are in trouble and see no other alternative.
Also, the surgeon’s infamous red outfit appears in both the movie and the series. Drug abuse/addiction is highly prevalent in both projects. Finally, despite the fact that they are identical twins, their personalities are distinct. In both the movie and the TV series, Bev is more accommodating and reserved, while Elliot is clearly the more eccentric extrovert.
How does the series deviate from the original story?
One could argue that the Prime Video series is like a movie – but on steroids. Critics call it “a witty if sick meditation on misery”. Not only does the series feature the original film’s clever way of highlighting women, but it also provides commentary on real-world issues like fertility and even the opioid crisis. Fingers crossed that there will be a second season of the show, since the first installment didn’t at all feature the Weisz twin characters as children, as the Irons movie did. But what the series omits, it makes up for with clever supporting character additions. Not only does actress Poppy Liu shine as the twins’ maid in the series, but there’s also a sexy journalist named Silas (played perfectly by Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine).
The series also flits in terms of narrative structure, a device often used in other high-profile series these days such as The last of us and even The Mandalorian. Another hot trend on TV these days is humor, which is always dominated by dark themes. Dead Rangers Black comedy is perfected throughout every episode, which was only hinted at in Cronenberg’s 1988 film. At the end of the day, Irons and Weisz are world-class, Academy Award-winning actors, and we can’t wait to see what’s next for both of them.