NETFLIX’S new drama Behind Her Eyes has captured the imaginations of viewers, both for its intriguing plot line and sexy romps.
The thriller, based on the best-selling novel by Sarah Punborough, swerved some very harrowing moments in the book deemed too shocking for TV.
The psychological thriller is centred around adultery but also touches the themes of addiction, lies, and trauma.
The supernatural also has a role to play, setting the show apart from many others in the genre.
Both the book and the Netflix TV series follow Louise, a single mother who works in a psychiatrist’s office.
She starts having an affair with her new boss, David, but without him knowing she strikes up a friendship with David’s wife.
Lucid dreaming plays a big role in the storyline, where the characters become aware that they are dreaming.
The series is quite faithful to the book and does stick more or less to the Pinborough’s novel, however there are some slight differences between the two.
Charlie the Cat
One of the most prominently missing details has to do with Marianne’s cat Charlie.
In the final episode, Marianne returns to the flat where she lives alone and calls out for her cat, Charlie.
Marianne (Eve Birthistle), a former acquaintance of David (Tom Bateman), goes upstairs and sees that her bedroom has been trashed and the word ‘Slut’ has been written on the wall in dripping red letters.
Cat lovers may have felt the need to look away thinking that Charlie had met a gruesome end – however the cat soon appears and is scooped up by Marianne, before she opens the door to an unhinged Adele holding a kitchen knife.
In the 2017 novel, Charlie’s nine lives are all used up when Adele, who is actually a man named Rob, first poison’s the cat’s food and then stamps on his head while wearing spiked high heels, killing him in front of Marianne.
There are more cat murders in the book – when Adele and David move into their Islington home, she tells David’s mistress Louise that he killed their pet cat by stamping on it’s spine.
We later discover that Adele and Rob killed the cat and buried in the flowerbeds.
The creators have decided to leave out these particularly gruesome details.
Adele’s Pregnancy, and the Second Fire
The Netflix adaption also differs from the novel when Rob swaps bodies with Adele and kills her, she was actually pregnant.
Soon after Rob kills Adele, Rob realises that the body he stole from her is pregnant, and is so horrified by the thought of giving birth to the child that he terminates the pregnancy.
But in the novel, Rob later planned to become pregnant with David to have his own baby, but this never happens.
Another plot difference is that in the TV show, Adele says she only worked briefly at a florist shop, but it didn’t end well – in the novel we discover that Adele/Rob started a fire.
Adam’s in danger
Another sinister difference is when Rob steals Louise’s body to marry David and he hints that he is going to kill her son, Adam, saying he’ll “have an accident.”
The novel mentions that links to her son Adam and ex-husband Ian need to be “severed” adding that “Adam’s departure from my life will need to be somewhat more dramatic. It shouldn’t be too difficult to arrange. Children are notoriously accident prone.”
There is a big revelation that is also left out of the TV adaption, viewers know that Adele and David grew up as neighbours because his family ran a farm owned by her family estate.
David is five years older than Adele, she started having night terrors as a child when an older boy gave her “a hippie book about dreams”.
This is the very book from which Adele first learnt about lucid dreaming and astral projection.
Adele felt guilt about her parents dying in a fire because she had been using her astral projection power while they burnt to death.
Bloodlands viewers left ‘dizzy and seasick’ as they blast wobbly camera work
If she’d been present in her body, she tells Rob, she might have smelled the smoke and been able to save them.
Adele also taught Rob the power of astral projection, learnt from the book which was her ultimate downfall as she later kills her to steal her body.
Behind Her Eyes is available to stream now on Netflix.