Past Features

Turning Off The TV #19: The Island


Welcome to my regular Thursday feature, Turning off the TV! In this feature I recommend books similar to TV shows or films you may have enjoyed, both series and specific episodes.

The film this week is: The Island.

The Island

A man goes on the run after he discovers that he is actually a “harvestable being”, and is being kept as a source of replacement parts, along with others, in a Utopian facility.

I first watched this film in Year 10 Biology at school, when we were studying cloning. Which obviously means it’s totally scientifically accurate and highly academic. Yeah. In reality it’s an action packed and explosive (well it is directed by Michael Bay…) film about two people who discover their lives are a complete lie. The utopian community they believe they live in is in fact a medical facility to house clones – clones harvested for organs when their ‘owners’ are ill. It may not be the best film out there, but it’s always been one I’ve really enjoyed. Plus it has Sean Bean!

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro is a similar tale to The Island – narrated by Kathy and following the lives of her and two of her friends, the teenagers discover that their ‘special school’ is in fact a home for people created purely for organ harvesting. It’s a bleak tale, and has none of the flashiness and explosions of The Island, which makes it even more heart-breaking. Although I didn’t find it as enjoyable a read as I expected, I would definitely recommend it for fans of The Island because of the very similar subject matter. It has also been adapted into a film version, with Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield.

Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

Although it doesn’t feature human clones in the same way as The Island, Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? always reminds me of it, giving off the same sort of bleak and desolate vibe. In this world, androids have become so advanced that it is almost impossible to tell them apart from humans – one of the only ways is to submit the suspected android to something called the ‘Voight-Kampff test’, which tests empathy and reaction times. Whilst the androids may not be human beings, they are shown as being incredibly close – and are persecuted and controlled for this very reason. This book has also been adapted into a film, known as Blade Runner.

Unwind (Unwind Dystology #1) by Neal Schusterman

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Apart from the cover of Unwind by Neal Schusterman unfortunately reminding me of The Human Centipede, it sounds like an interesting premise. In this dystopia, parents have so much control over their children between the ages of thirteen and eighteen that they can choose to donate their children’s organs to those in need. This is known as unwinding, and technically keeps the child alive, making it a very extreme form of punishment for a misbehaving teenager…

Are you a fan of The Island? Do you have any recommendations to add? Are there any other TV shows or films you’d like me to cover?

12 thoughts on “Turning Off The TV #19: The Island”

  1. You said ‘The Island’ I immediatly thought of LOST xD I think I’ve seen that film… And all the book you picked; I’ve been interested in reading for a while!

    1. Yes! I never finished LOST and I don’t know if I can be bothered to catch up 😦

      Good to hear – definitely recommend Philip K. Dick!

      1. I personally really enjoy LOST even with it’s bad ending and it’s stack of unanswered questions/mysteries.

  2. This feature is awesome. I always love finding books like my favourite TV shows & Films so this is very useful! Will definitely be coming back again and seeing what you come up with next!
    I LOVE the island, such a good film. I think my favourite part of it is their naivety to the outside world, like credit cards and sex, makes for some really entertaining moments.
    I have watched the Never Let Me Go film, but haven’t yet read the book. I get the feeling its going to make me very emotional. I was such a wreck after the film.
    Just checked out Unwind on GR and it looks seriously creepy. This is the kind of book that if made into a film would have me sat under my blanket with my hands over my ears singing ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ (my go to song when I’m scared, I was a strange child!) But at the same time I am a little intrigued about the story. Dilemma!
    Really great post and feature. I will definitely be back for more! 🙂

    1. Thanks Hannah 😀 I’m sort of working my way through my own DVD collection, unless I have a sudden inspiration for something else 😉

      I really love it too, even though it never got massively positive reviews, it’s just one of those films that’s really fun despite its flaws.

      Somehow I just found the book TOO bleak and depressing, which is saying something. I mean I don’t always read the most upbeat stuff so I don’t really know why that book in particular got to me.

      Awww! It doesn’t sound creepy to me (but the cover looks it), but I’m kind of intrigued to see how it works.

  3. I do really like The Island, so I was excited to see this list! I have read Never Let Me Go but unfortunately it left me feeling a little unsatisfied. There is definitely *something* about it… and it’s heart-wrenching… but I wanted more of the actual clone talk in there. I still really need to read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep!

    1. There was just something missing from that book. Such an interesting premise, but it just felt so flat.

      Yes! Philip K. Dick is a magnificent writer. Very very weird but so good.

  4. I have never seen the Island! Is it on netflix? I need to check it out..and love how you tie it back to books that you might like if you enjoy the movie..that is cool!

    1. It’s not on UK Netflix, but depends where you’re from I guess 😉

      I hope you watch it – it’s a Michael Bay movie though, so everything explodes ;D

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