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Overtook the Series
"And if the show's production ends up catching up to Martin before the sixth book comes out, it's likely that they will go completely off the source material and write whatever they want, rather than wait five or 10 more years to complete the eight seasons of television they've already committed to."

In some ways the opposite of Overtook the Manga, this is what happens when a successful franchise runs out of source material to adapt, and thus relies upon original plots from that point onward, albeit with an author's characters. This seems to be particularly common with British mystery series. Compare with Adaptation Decay, Adaptation Distillation and Adaptation Expansion.

Examples:

  • Disney's line of Direct-to-Video sequels use this a lot, since many of the main Disney movies are based on standard fairy tales.
  • Dexter has gone done this route. The first season was a somewhat loose, but still faithful, adaptation of the original novel. The second season after that used some elements from the later books, but mostly went on its own. After that, the series has gone down its own path.
  • Many of the first season of the black and white Perry Mason are based on the novels, but from then on its Overtook The Series.
    • The early novels had so much plot the screenwriters had to edit. In the last season, elements from some of the plot-filled novels (adapted in the first season) were reworked into new scripts.
  • The first series of The Last Detective was based upon Leslie Thomas' "Dangerous Davies" novels, but the next three were entirely original plots.
  • While the Inspector Morse series was already a mixture of adaptations and original plots, it now invokes this trope with Morse deceased and his partner Sgt. Lewis now having his own series.
  • Done after the first eleven episodes of the Inspector Lynley mysteries, resulting in an Alternate Continuity so divergent with later books that the characters of the novel series and the characters of the television series are generally considered separate entities by the fandom.
  • Inverted with Rumpole of the Bailey, as the TV show came first and John Mortimer then adapted his screenplays into short stories and novellas, and while Mortimer has written newer books, the series has ended.
  • After the first few James Bond movies, which were fairly close to Ian Fleming's novels, the films have had completely original plots, and plots pieced together from various Bond novels. Fleming's titles have been used up to that point and are now at the tail end.
    • The 2006 film version of Casino Royale is just an update of the book by the same name, but its sequel, Quantum of Solace, features an original story (although it's named after a Fleming short story).
  • Series 1, 2 and 4 (and half of 3) of Thomas the Tank Engine were based on the Railway Series books, but the other half of Series 3 and Series 5 onwards have been original. Ironically, not every story in the Railway Series has been adapted to television, but since the books and TV series are now completely different from each other there is little chance of these stories making it to the screen.
  • Dalziel and Pascoe abandons Reginald Hill's novels after On Beulah Height, although there's a quick detour into Dialogues of the Dead.
  • The television series of The Worst Witch did this midway through season 2 (although prior to this there were a number of original stories).
  • In a very odd tv/book reversal, the Target Doctor Who novelizations eventually adapted all of the source material (or at least, all that they could secure the rights to - they novelised all but four of the over 150 serials that made up the original series) and turned to unproduced scripts before finally striking out with new original stories.
  • The manga series Bt X ran from 1992 to 2001. Unlike the author's previous series Saint Seiya, the show's anime didn't start until 1997, possibly with the assumption that a five year head start would avoid the problem of filler. The good news? To an extent. The bad news? A number of fights in the manga had to be cut out and the final battle is entirely different, simply because they couldn't go at a slow enough pace to match the manga.
  • ITV crime show Midsomer Murders overtook the Caroline Graham book series long, long ago.
  • Wire in the Blood was based on a few novels by Val McDermid, but quickly ran out of books to adapt and developed new stories.
  • Tales of the Unexpected ran out of adaptable Roald Dahl short stories after a series and a half and then ran on until series nine.
  • Jurassic Park was pretty faithful to the novel, at least for a big-budget Hollywood adaptation. The Lost World: Jurassic Park didn't fare nearly as well, but at least had one or two scenes from the book. Jurassic Park III, on the other hand, was made up almost entirely out of whole cloth, other than a scene in a pterodactyl aviary.
  • Happy Together, the Russian remake of Married... with Children, is already longer than the original by 69 episodes... and more are to come.
  • Dragon Ball GT is an anime-only continuation of the series after Akira Toriyama ended the Dragon Ball manga.
  • The first The Neverending Story movie was loosely based on the first half of the book of the same name. The second movie was very, very loosely based on the second half of the book. The third movie was apparently based on little more than the opportunity to milk the franchise.
  • The Rambo film franchise outlasted the original First Blood novel by David Morrell due to the fact that unlike in the movies, Rambo died in the original novel. There were follow-up novels after the movie sequels were made, but these were strictly novelizations written as tie-ins for the films.
  • Franklin did an entire season based almost entirely on material from Paulette Bourgeois and Brenda Clarks' original picture books, but then went on to air six seasons as well as CGI spinoff of original material. The first two movies, however, were also based loosely on elements from the books, the first movie more than the second.
  • The first Nancy Drew PC game were based on actual Nancy Drew books; the first five were adapted from the Spin-Off Nancy Drew Files series, with the next few coming from the primary Nancy Drew Mystery Stories. They drifted back and forth between the two series after that, including adapting both the very first book (The Secret of the Old Clock) and the most popular book (The Secret of Shadow Ranch.) Somewhere around The Legend of the Crystal Skull, they started writing their own stories.
  • Even with a degree of Adaptation Expansion, Call the Midwife exhausted the source books in two seasons. A third season has already been commissioned.
  • Combined with Recursive Adaptation with Blade Runner. The film was adapted from Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. The film had three sequels, all three were novels.
  • Fist of the North Star had a console RPG adaptation titled Hokuto no Ken 3 (since it was the third game based on the series on the Famicom) that adapted the storyline of the entire manga (up to the Kaioh arc at least). The game ended up having a sequel titled Hokuto no Ken 4 that featured a new storyline set several years later that revolved around the next Hokuto Shinken successor.
  • All Creatures Great and Small, the TV adaptation of James Herriot's short stories about a vet in the Yorkshire Dales, ran out of source material from the original books. Although Herriot was initially retained as a script consultant, he became upset with the way the new scripts caused the cast members to behave in ways that he thought were out of character for them. As they were based on real people who were still alive, Herriot was forced into embarrassing apologies to the real-life "Siegrfried Farnon" (and Mrs Farnon) when his TV persona suddenly became a philandering divorcee. Herriot eventually disclaimed responsibility for later TV episodes unscripted by him.

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