Martin Regal

Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere as a model of hybrid flux

Neverwhere began life as a six-episode television series on BBC 2 in 1996, conceived and written by Neil Gaiman in collaboration with British comedian, Lenny Henry. Gaiman, dissatisfied with both the experience and the end-result, then added to and restored elements of his original script to produce his first solo novel, published by the BBC in the same year. Since then, Neverwhere has undergone further transitions, including a comic book series (nine issues, beginning in 2005), a revised novel (2006), a number of stage plays (2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2013), Gaiman’s own audio version of the novel (2007) and a six-part radio dramatization (2013). While this paper presents Neverwhere as typifying the state of flux that contemporary works cannot avoid inhabiting, its primary focus is on the concept of hybridity. In doing so, it borrows something from the theorizing of hybridity by Homi Bhabha and others in the early 1990s, making connections between the anxieties of cultural liminality and medium specificity, but also ventures into the complex and, I hope, potentially more productive realms of biological hybridity that have so far been largely neglected by intermedial and adaptation studies .