Movies & Television

Is Carnival Row based on a book? Prime Video series origins explored


As fans settle down to watch Carnival Row season 2, many are curious if the Prime Video show is based on an original book series.

It’s been an exhausting three-year wait, but Philo and Vignette are finally back on our screens in Carnival Row season 2.

The second chapter of the hit Prime Video fantasy series has just premiered, with the first two episodes currently available to stream around the world.

Now, fans of the title are curious as to whether Carnival Row is actually based on a book series, or if it is an original production.

Is the Carnival Row TV series based on a book?

The Carnival Row TV series is not based on a book specifically, but the show is indeed adapted from an unproduced film speculative screenplay by Travis Beecham called ‘A Killing on Carnival Row’.  

Beecham, who was a showrunner for season 1 of the Prime Video series alongside Rene Echevarria, initially wrote the script to A Killing on Carnival Row all the way back in 2005.

The project was originally picked up by New Line Cinema and was set to be directed by Guillermo del Toro and Neil Jordan. However, the series was ultimately shelved for a number of years before Amazon Studios ordered an eight-episode first season based on the screenplay in 2017.

The biggest change between the original screenplay and the TV adaptation was Philo and Vignette were only meant to be friends, with the inspector actually in a relationship with Tourmaline.

Additionally, the killer from season 1 targeted victims of all races; instead of just female Fae sex workers like in the original story. Aside from this move away from the ‘dead girl trope’, the Prime Video series does an exceptional job at sticking to the original story, aided by the inclusion of Beecham in the production team.

Interestingly, Beecham has also produced works that include Dog Days of Summer (2005), Pacific Rim (2013), and Clash of the Titans (2010).

How many episodes are in Carnival Row season 2?

Carnival Row season 2 is set to consist of 10 individual episodes, which fans will be delighted to hear is two more than the first season from August 2019.

However, fans should note that Amazon Prime Video will be utilizing a batch-release format for the second season with two episodes being released each week:

  • Episode 1: ‘Fight And Flight’ – February 17
  • Episode 2: ‘New Dawn’ – February 17
  • Episode 3: ‘The Martyr’s Hand’ – February 24
  • Episode 4: ‘An Unkindness Of Ravens’ – February 24
  • Episode 5: ‘Reckoning’ – March 3
  • Episode 6: ‘Original Sins’ – March 3
  • Episode 7: ‘Kindred’ – March 10
  • Episode 8: ‘Facta Non Verba’ – March 10
  • Episode 9: ‘Battle Lines’ – March 17
  • Episode 10: ‘Carnival Row’ – March 17

New episodes of Carnival Row air at 12 AM ET/5 AM GMT every Friday, until the eventual series’ finale on March 17.

By Tom Llewellyn – [email protected]

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Tom Llewellyn

Tom Llewellyn is the Head of World Content, Anime, and Comics at HITC Entertainment and also helps oversee all things deemed ‘nerd culture’ at Forever Geek. After gaining a BSc degree in Animal Behaviour, Tom continued his education with a Master’s degree in Science Communication (MSc) and post-graduate research; with his own independent project being published in the Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens in 2021. Since joining GRV Media in early 2020, Tom has amassed over 48 million views on his content and has conducted interviews with various actors and filmmakers from the wonderful world of anime.

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