Iain Banks' Stonemouth has been dramatised by the BBC

Scottish author Iain Banks died in 2013 of cancer. This is a great loss to all who love books. This magnificent author was first published in 1984 with The Wasp Factory, a mainstream novel, however he is known within science fiction circles, as Iain M Banks, for the Culture series of novels. A big, philosophical, multigenerational story. In 2012, he published Stonemouth. It was the first of his novels to be adapted for TV since his death and going on the TV adaptation I get the feeling much was left out. The plot of Stonemouth is thus - Stuart returns to Stonemouth, a small coastal town north of Aberdeen, for the funeral of his best friend, who apparently committed suicide by jumping off the bridge into town. Stuart left Stonemouth after a sexual scandal and in doing so left his fiancé (his best friend's sister). All because his fiancée's dad is the drug kingpin in Stonemouth and was going to kill Stuart for humiliating his daughter. 

A good set up for a story. What the TV show does not allow is time for the viewer to get to understand the other character's perspectives. Stuart comes across as a petulant child who should get the girl because he has been in love with her since he was 12 years old. There is a fine line between endearing and stalking in this show. The story is told in two one hour episodes and this lack of time to let the supporting characters come to life is perfectly summed up when you have an actress of Sharon Small's calibre having one line (if any) in the first episode. What a waste of fine talent and a good story.

The BBC did it better over 20 years ago when they adapted Banks' The Crow Road. Similar themes of family, secrets and love, but brilliantly done with lovely performances from Joe McFadden, Bill Paterson, Peter Capaldi and Valerie Edmond. As TV adaptations go - watch The Crow Road, even with all that 1990s hair and fashion, it holds up. And it is a much better adaptation than Stonemouth.