Today marks the twentieth anniversary of Harry Potter – a novel that had humble beginnings in a Scottish café, and became a cultural touchstone for a generation. It’s been adapted to film, spawned a spinoff series in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and seen an acclaimed theatrical follow-up.
And yet, rather strangely, one medium the franchise has never entered is television. As Harry Potter enters its second decade, it’s surely only a matter of time before the Wizarding World appears on the small screen…
It’s surely one of the most popular ideas for a Harry Potter TV show, and one of the most regularly suggested – with good reason, of course. The story of James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, Peter Pettigrew and Lily Evans? It’s the basis of so much of the Harry Potter universe, setting in motion lots of the events we’d recognise from the books and films – who wouldn’t want to see that realised?
JK Rowling has said that she’ll never write a book about the Marauders – would she be tempted by a television programme? We got lots of tantalising glimpses of their stories across the Harry Potter books, so there’s certainly a starting point available – but there’s still so much more potential to explore.
The Ministry of Magic
There’s a lot of potential for different programs set here, in the Wizarding government. You could pitch this programme as a magical House of Cards, showing the political machinations that saw Cornelius Fudge take office as Minister of Magic – or, perhaps, putting the focus on the Auror Department, giving us a police procedural with a twist.
Of course, it’s self-evident what this show should really be: Harry Potter’s equivalent of The Office, focusing on the lovable if somewhat incompetent employees of the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts department. Imagine a whole show dedicated to Arthur Weasley and his misunderstanding of the muggles, and attempts to keep the wizarding world a secret – it’d be the best magical workplace comedy of all.
Heir of Slytherin
If programmes like Hannibal or Bates Motel have taught us anything, it’s that origin stories for famous villains work. And who’s a more famous villain than You-Know-Who himself? Tom Riddell’s early days at Hogwarts, from creating his first Horcrux to the early days of his reign of terror.
Even more enticing is the ability to reinforce the parallels between Harry and Tom Riddell, before he became Lord Voldemort – the neglected orphan boy, who found his first home at Hogwarts. There’s a real chance with this show to elevate the movies even further, adding new perspective and level of nuance to the stories – you’d never look at Voldemort the same way again.
Harry Potter Returns
Controversial though it was, the recent theatre play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child gave a lot of fans what they’d always wanted: a glimpse at Harry’s life beyond the epilogue that closed The Deathly Hallows. Why not expand on this further, looking at the story in more detail? Of course, though, much as it’d be fun to spend time with an adult Harry, it’s clear where the real story would be – with his children.
What this idea offers is a real potential to reclaim a lot of the magic of The Philosopher’s Stone. A new series, focusing on the next generation of Potters and Weasleys (and Malfoys!) would offer a truly blank canvas – not beholden to anything, this could open the Wizarding World to a whole new generation.
Hogwarts: A History
The story of how Hogwarts was founded. The original Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw. The four greatest wizards of their age, and the closest friends – until it all went wrong…
Everyone who read the Harry Potter books knows a little bit about the founders – their spectre hung over the books, a reminder of just how grand and mythic this world was. But what happens when you pare back the mystery? Who were the men and women behind the myth? What was the truth of the legend, if any at all?
Any of one of these television shows could be fantastic – indeed, they could be magic.
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