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Encyclopedia > Neverwhere

Neverwhere is an urban fantasy television series by Neil Gaiman. The series is set in 'London Below', a magical realm coexisting with the London familiar to all. It was devised by Neil Gaiman and Lenny Henry, and directed by Dewi Humphreys. The idea for the story came from a conversation between Gaiman and Henry about a possible television series. Henry suggested a story with tribes of homeless people in London. Gaiman (while initially reluctant to commit, as he feared that making the homeless appear "cool" would cause more young people to attempt to emulate the characters) expanded it from there. [1] The story was later adapted into a novel of the same name, by Neil Gaiman himself. Heavy Metal is a Canadian animated film released in 1981 and produced by Ivan Reitman with the cooperation of various international animation studios. ... Image File history File links Derived from public domain images featured at: http://commons. ... Image File history File links Neverwhere. ... Contemporary fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy, also known as contemporary urban fantasy, modern-day fantasy, or indigenous fantasy. ... A television program is the content of television broadcasting. ... Neil Richard Gaiman () (born November 10, 1960, Portchester, Hampshire) is an English author of numerous science fiction and fantasy works, including many graphic novels. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... Neil Richard Gaiman () (born November 10, 1960, Portchester, Hampshire) is an English author of numerous science fiction and fantasy works, including many graphic novels. ... Lenworth George Henry, CBE, better known as Lenny Henry (born 29 August 1958), is an English entertainer. ... A novel (from French nouvelle Italian novella, new) is an extended, generally fictional narrative, typically in prose. ...

Contents

The TV series

Plot

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

The plot of Neverwhere centres around Richard Mayhew, an average Londoner who encounters an injured girl named Door on the street one night. Despite his girlfriend's protests he decides to help her, but unfortunately that also means that he suddenly ceases to exist for regular people and becomes real only to the denizens of 'London Below', whose inhabitants are generally also invisible to the people of 'London Above'. He loses his house, his job and nearly his mind as he travels London Below in an attempt to make sense out of it all and help Door survive.


In London Below the various familiar names of London all take on a new significance: thus Knightsbridge, or rather "Nightsbridge" is a real and dangerous bridge whose darkness takes its toll in human life; The Angel, Islington is an actual angel. London Below is the world in and beneath the sewers. Its inhabitants are the homeless, but also people from other times, such as Roman legionnaires and medieval monks, as well as fiction/fantasy characters. It is like a parallel world that connects in some points with present-day reality. It could be thought of as a modern variation on "Alice in Wonderland". Click Here for Knightsbridge, Castle Hill Australia Knightsbridge is a place in the City of Westminster, London notable for its expensive shops, including Harrods. ... The current building, with its distinctive cupola. ... The Annunciation - the Angel Gabriel announces to Mary that she will bear Jesus (El Greco, 1575) An angel is a supernatural being found in many religions. ...


Characters

Richard Mayhew - a young businessman, who discovers the world of London Below one day after helping an injured Door recover in his flat.


Door – A young woman from London Below, the daughter of a noble family who were all murdered shortly before the beginning of the story. She possesses her family’s innate ability to “open” things (and not just doors).


The Marquis de Carabas – The Marquis is a tricky bloke to say the least. He is arrogant, cunning and very sure of himself. Though very much the trickster, he is a loyal friend of Door and her family. This character seems to have been inspired by Puss in Boots, as he is very cat-like and even takes his name from the fabricated title created by Puss for his master. Even his stored portion of his life could be compared to having “nine lives.”


Mr. Croup – The talkative half of the pair of assassins, the Messrs. He is short, fat, and speaks in a formal, pompous and verbose manner. Like his partner, Vandemar, he seems to be able to simply move from one place to another very quickly despite his ungainly appearance. He is the brains of the pair and seems be the one calling the shots, and he apparently has a taste (literally) for fine china. Much of the imagery used to describe him is that of a fox.


Mr. Vandemar – Dull-witted, tall, and gangly, Vandemar is Croup’s polar opposite. He does not speak much, and when he does, his statements are often humorously blunt and direct. He is quite brutish and seems to enjoy nothing more than killing and destroying things (even practicing his golf swing with live toads). The descriptive imagery likens him to a hound, and he even howls at one point when catching up with his mark.


Old Bailey – An old friend of the Marquis, he is a “bird-man” of sorts, keeping the company of pigeons on the rooftops and wearing clothing made of feathers. He became indebted to the Marquis long ago, and so is charged with keep the portion of his life safe for him.


Hunter – A huntress of London Below, her feats are almost legendary. It is her lifelong obsession to slay the great Beast of London.


The Angel Islington - An actual angel dwelling in the sewers of London Below.


Transmission

Neverwhere was first broadcast on BBC Two from September 12, 1996. There are six half-hour episodes: This article does not cite its references or sources. ... September 12 is the 255th day of the year (256th in leap years). ... 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty. ...

  1. Door
  2. Knight's Bridge
  3. Earl's Court To Islington
  4. Blackfriars
  5. Down Street
  6. As Above, So Below

Primary Cast

Gary Bakewell is a British television actor whose most well known role was the main character, Richard Mayhew, in the television series Neverwhere. ... Laura Fraser (born 24 July 1976, Glasgow) is a Scottish actress. ... Paterson Joseph is a black British actor, born 22 June 1964 in London. ... The Marquis de Carabas is a fictional nobleman in the fairy tale Puss in Boots. In the story, a young mans cat arranges to make its master the Marquis de Carabas by convincing the King that he already is. ... Hywel Thomas Bennett (born 8 April 1944) is a Welsh actor, born in Garnant, Carmarthenshire, Wales. ... Clive Russell (born December 7, 1945 in Hampshire, England) is an actor. ... Trevor Peacock is a British character actor who has breathed life into such famous roles as Jim Trott in The Vicar of Dibley, Rouault in Madame Bovary (opposite Keith Barron) and Old Bailey in Neverwhere. ... Peter Capaldi as Mark Jenkins in Skins. ...

Visual problems

Neverwhere received some criticism for its visual appearance. One major problem lay in the original plan to shoot on video (for budgetary reasons), and then later "filmise" the footage to make it look like it had been shot on film.[1] For this reason, the programme had been lit and shot in a manner appropriate to a film-based production. However, the decision to apply the filmisation process was later reversed. Filmizing (a. ...


Thus, in addition to what some considered the old-fashioned appearance of un-filmised video[2], the lighting set up with film in mind appeared garish and unsubtle on the more clinical medium. Gaiman himself commented that the loss of quality resulting from multi-generational VHS copies actually improved the appearance in this respect.[3] Bottom view of VHS cassette with magnetic tape exposed Top view of VHS cassette with front casing removed The Vertical Helical Scan, better known by its abbreviation VHS (and often confused to be Video Home System) is a recording and playing standard for analog video cassette recorders (VCRs), developed by...


DVD releases

The six episodes were released in the US to DVD as a two-disc set on September 9, 2003. Despite the DVDs often being advertised as region 1, the actual discs are, however, region zero. [4] DVD (commonly known as Digital Versatile Disc or Digital Video Disc) is an optical disc storage media format that can be used for data storage, including movies with high video and sound quality. ... September 9 is the 252nd day of the year (253rd in leap years). ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... DVD Regions Each DVD-Video disc contains one or more region codes, denoting the area(s) of the world in which distribution and playback are intended. ...


The BBC are releasing the series on DVD on 23 April 2007. April 23 is the 113th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (114th in leap years). ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the Anno Domini (common) era. ...


The novel

The novel was written after the series and was released in the UK by the BBC ISBN 0-7472-6668-9 and from Avon Books ISBN 0-380-78901-9 in July 1997. Avon is a paperback imprint of HarperCollins. ... 1997 (MCMXCVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


For a book based on a TV series, it is considered to be surprisingly good, perhaps because it was written by Neil Gaiman himself, and might be described as an adaptation of the series as he would have preferred it, without the compromises required by budget restrictions and other factors.


Plot summary

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

Neverwhere is the story of an ordinary London man named Richard Mayhew, and his bizarre journeys through the dangerous London "underworld". At the start of the story, he is a young businessman, with a dull job and a fiancée, Jessica, who seems to view him as a fashion accessory more than as a person. All this changes, however, when he stops to help a mysterious young girl who appears before him, bleeding and weakened, as he walks with his fiancée to a dinner with her influential boss. This one action sets his life on an unstoppable path of danger, mystery, betrayal, and learning. An engagement is an agreement by a couple to enter into marriage at some future time, usually accompanied by a formal or informal announcement to friends and family. ...


The morning after Richard rescues the girl, Door, from the streets, she is greatly recovered, and sends him on a quest to find the Marquis de Carabas, a man who will be able to help Door evade the attention of the infamous and seemingly inhuman assassins, the Messrs. Croup and Vandemar. Richard is successful, and brings the Marquis back to his apartment to meet Door, only to see both curious individuals vanish immediately. The next day, Richard begins to realize the consequences of his actions. He appears to have become an invisible non-entity; he loses his job, where no one seems to recognize him, and his apartment is rented out to other people even as he bathes in its bathtub. Perhaps the strangest part of this, however, is that nobody readily acknowledges his presence, and even those dearest to him, such as his fiancée and his best friend, are unable to recall who he is. Determined to set things right, and become a part of his world once more, Richard sets out for the world of London Below in search of Door. Marquis has many different meanings: The French spelling of the title known in English as Marquess and Margrave. ...


Richard’s journey takes him through the realm of the Rat-Speakers, who worship and perform tasks for rats, across the mysterious Night's Bridge, whose darkness takes a toll in human life from any party who crosses, and eventually to the Floating Market, where he meets again with Door, who is holding an audition for bodyguards. At this point, the legendary bodyguard and fighter Hunter joins their party, and the group, consisting of Door, the Marquis and Hunter, with Richard confusedly tagging along, sets out for the Earl's Court. While Richard has been attempting to reconstruct his life in London Above, Door and the Marquis have travelled to Door's home, and discovered a diary entry made by Door's father, which advises her to seek the angel Islington. When the four reach the Earl's Court, on a mysterious underground train which follows its own bizarre schedule, the Marquis is forced to leave due to an old grudge between himself and the Earl, and the rest discover that they need to travel through the Angelus, a mysterious artifact, in order to reach Islington (the aforementioned angel), and that the Angelus resides in the British Museum. This is an article about wild rats; for pet rats, see Fancy rat Species 50 species; see text *Several subfamilies of Muroids include animals called rats. ... Click Here for Knightsbridge, Castle Hill Australia Knightsbridge is a place in the City of Westminster, London notable for its expensive shops, including Harrods. ... Earls Court is a place in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, in London, England. ... The Annunciation - the Angel Gabriel announces to Mary that she will bear Jesus (El Greco, 1575) An angel is a supernatural being found in many religions. ... Islington is an inner-city district in north London. ... The centre of the museum was redeveloped in 2000 to become the Great Court, surrounding the original Reading Room. ...


Door and Richard travel to the Museum, while Hunter, due to a curse which prevents her from entering London Above, remains in the abandoned British Museum underground station. After some searching, and a nearly disastrous encounter between Richard and his former fiancée, they find the Angelus, which Door "opens" using her family's special power, and travel through it to the underground home of the angel. Islington speaks to them at length, explaining that his position as protector of London Below is a punishment for the submersion of Atlantis, which was also under his care, and telling Door that he will help her learn the identity of those who killed her family—for a price. She and her company must retrieve a unique key from the Black Friars, before they return. The two return to the Museum, reunite with Hunter, and make their way to the Floating Market, where they are due to meet the Marquis. British Museum tube station was a station on the London Undergrounds Central Line, located close to the British Museum. ... A picture of Platos description of Atlantis. ... Categories: City of London | Districts of London | London geography stubs ...


In the meantime, the Marquis has sought out Croup and Vandemar, and has made a deal with them—in exchange for a priceless Tang dynasty figurine (which Croup, evidently a collector, promptly devours), the Marquis is given information regarding who ordered the murder of Door's family. The true price for this information, however, is his life—Croup and Vandemar catch, torture, and kill him, breaking the one-hour "head start" agreement that was part of their deal with the Marquis. Door, Richard, and Hunter proceed onward to the dwelling of the Black Friars. There, they are forced to defeat a series of three ordeals; Hunter wins a test of strength, Door wins a test of intellect, and Richard, alone in history, wins a test of constitution of character, and as a result, the three succeed in gaining the key. They then travel to the floating market, where they are unable to find the Marquis, but where Hammersmith, a blacksmith friend of Door's is able to forge a copy of the key won by Richard. They enlist the mysterious Lamia, one of the vampire-like Velvets, as a guide, and set foot on their final path, toward Islington. The Tang Dynasty (Chinese: ; pinyin: ) (18 June 618 – 4 June 907), lasting about three centuries, preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Song Dynasty and the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period in China. ... Hammersmith is an urban centre in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham in West London, England, approximately 5 miles (8km) west of Charing Cross on the north bank of the River Thames. ... A blacksmith A blacksmith at work A blacksmith at work A blacksmiths fire Hot metal work from a blacksmith A blacksmith is a person who creates objects from iron or steel by forging the metal; i. ... Vampires (sometimes vampyres) are not mythological or folkloric creatures are the re-animated corpses of human beings who subsist on human or animal blood. ...


As Door, Richard, Lamia, and Hunter make their way down the long path of Down Street, a friend of the Marquis' named Old Bailey finds and revives his corpse, using a stored portion of the Marquis' life, and the Marquis sets out himself, following Door and company. On Down Street, we discover that Lamia was a dangerous choice for a guide, because the price she demands of Richard for his services is higher than he can pay and yet live, but she is driven away by the weakened, crossbow-wielding Marquis. We also discover that Hunter long ago turned traitor to Door’s cause, when she gives Door to Croup and Vandemar, in exchange for the magical spear she needs to follow her calling and namesake, and hunt and slay the great Beast of London. Croup and Vandemar, with Door captive, travel onward and downward, while Richard, the Marquis, and Hunter travel at a slower pace, all toward the great mud- and sewage-filled labyrinth through which they need to pass to reach Islington. It is in this labyrinth that the Beast dwells, and Hunter and Richard manage to kill it and pass through the maze, although the Beast's death is at the price of Hunter’s own. Down Street, also known as Down Street (Mayfair), was a station of the London Undergrounds Piccadilly Line which closed in 1932. ... The Old Bailey An Old Bailey trial circa 1808. ... A Roman mosaic picturing Theseus and the Minotaur. ...


Richard rushes ahead, to the final confrontation between the parties, in which we learn of Islington’s true nature. Islington wishes to use Door and the key to force open the door to Heaven, where he seeks dominion over all the other angels as revenge for his banishment. After Richard is tortured by Croup and Vandemar, Door agrees to open the door, but unbeknownst to her captors, she uses the copy of the key Richard won to open it, and it does not open it to Heaven, but instead to somewhere else, as far away as she could, possibly Hell. Islington, Croup and Vandemar all disappear through the gateway before Door closes it. Door then uses the Black Friars' intact and magical key to allow Richard to travel back to London Above, and a London Above in which he is known and recognized. After returning home, Richard is happy for a time, but he realizes that his experiences have changed him, and that his old life and friends mean little or nothing to him now. The story ends with his joyful return to London Below, where he takes up the title "Warrior of London Below" in recognition of his having slain the Beast of London. Medieval illustration of Hell in the Hortus deliciarum manuscript of Herrad of Landsberg (about 1180) A hell, according to many religious beliefs, is an afterlife of suffering where the wicked or unrighteous dead are punished. ...


Other adaptations and sequels

Rumours of both a feature film adaptation and a sequel to the original story have been circulating since the original release. A script has been written for a movie version and was optioned by the Jim Henson Company, but the project has been through so many script and directorial changes that it may well be designated as lost in development hell. Neil Gaiman has given a sequel to the book as a definite maybe. In Neil Gaiman's short story collection Fragile Things, when commenting on his novella The Monarch of the Glen, a novella that follows up on Gaiman's earlier novel American Gods, he comments that a novella-length story in the world of Neverwhere, How The Marquis Got His Coat Back, remains half-written. In the film industry, an option is a contractual agreement between a movie studio, a production company, or a producer (henceforth called the producer) and a writer, in which the producer obtains the right to buy a screenplay from the writer, before a certain date. ... The Jim Henson Company is a company founded in 1958 by puppeteer Jim Henson, creator of The Muppets. ... // Development hell is media-industry jargon for a film, television screenplay or computer game[1] (or sometimes just a concept or idea) getting stuck in development and never going into production. ... The US cover of Fragile Things Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders is a collection of short fiction by Neil Gaiman. ... American Gods is a novel by Neil Gaiman. ...


A nine-issue comic book limited series began in June 2005, written by Mike Carey (of the Vertigo series Lucifer), with art by Glenn Fabry. The comic is an adaptation of the novel, rather than the original TV series, and thus the characters do not generally resemble the cast members listed above. The series is being published by DC Comics's Vertigo imprint. The collected edition was released as a graphic novel, also published by Vertigo, in February 2007 (ISBN 1-4012-1007-4). A comic book is a magazine or book containing the art form of comics. ... The limited series is a term referring to a comic book series with a set finite number of issues. ... Mike Carey is the writer of the Eisner Award nominated Lucifer and Hellblazer, comic book titles published by the Vertigo imprint of DC Comics. ... Vertigo logo Vertigo is an imprint of comic book and graphic novel publisher DC Comics. ... :This article is about Lucifer, the DC Comics series and character. ... Glenn Fabry is a British comics artist known for his detailed, realistic work in both ink and painted colour. ... DC Comics is one of the largest American companies in comic book and related media publishing. ... Trade paperback of Will Eisners A Contract with God (1978), often mistakenly cited as the first graphic novel. ...


Mentions in Popular Culture

The band Coheed and Cambria made mention of the title in their song "Three Evils," with the lyrics 'on the wrong way out, on the causeway to Neverwhere'. The meaning of the reference is arguable.[citation needed] This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...


Translations

  • Nigdziebądź (Polish), ISBN 83-87968-28-5
  • Neverwhere - Na Terra do Nada (Portuguese), ISBN 972-23-3332-1
  • Nikdykde (Czech)
  • Niemalsland (German)
  • לעולם-לא-עולם (Hebrew)
  • Nessun dove (Italian)

Hebrew redirects here. ...

See also

The current building, with its distinctive cupola. ... Night Watch (Russian: ) is a Russian fantasy action thriller film, made in 2004 by the Kazakhstan-born film director Timur Bekmambetov. ... Midnight Nation is a religious-themed comic book by J. Michael Straczynski about a man who is killed, in a sense, and is on a journey to save his soul. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Neverwhere - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1908 words)
Neverwhere is an urban fantasy television series by Neil Gaiman.
Neverwhere was first broadcast on BBC Two from September 12, 1996.
Neverwhere is the story of an ordinary London man named Richard Mayhew, and his bizarre journeys through the dangerous London "underworld".
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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