The most recent adaptation of The Mystery of Edwin Drood starts off sticking pleasantly and, by and large, faithfully enough to what exists of Dickens' final novel. It is at its best as a character study of an increasingly insane John Jasper, driven to (remarkably calm) madness by the combined effects of desire and opium. Rosa Bud is more peppery than the usual Dickens ingenue and Drood is something of a twit, both of which are in line with the original text. The Landless twins are now explicitly Anglo-Indian, which is a legitimate reading of their ambiguous racial status in the novel (they are "both very dark, and very rich in color" [ch. 6]). As has been so frequently the case with Victorian literary adaptations, though, the production team introduces issues of race and empire without figuring out how to successfully integrate them with the original plot. On the one hand, the Landless twins register the kind of unthinking pain inflicted by the nineteenth-century equivalent of sex tourism, abandoned as they are to a life of suffering by their English father; on the other, Jasper's persecution of Neville now has heavily racialized implications that the adaptation simply drops like the proverbial stone, and one can only imagine what E. M. Forster would have to say about the allegorical implications of the pretty tableau of reconciliation at the end (complete with marriage proposal).
But good heavens, the wrap-up. "Solving" Drood is one of literature's great parlor games, although we know perfectly well whodunnit (Dickens kept telling people, after all). Here, the writer sticks to Dickens' villain, Jasper, but proceeds to throw all sorts of mind-blowing monkeywrenches into the plot. My reactions went something like this (spoilers ahoy):
TV: Hi, we're the Landless twins, and our dad is Edwin Drood. No, not the young one--the dead one. Did we mention that we're illegitimate?
ME: I know Dickens was all about unknown relatives/acquaintances/what-have-you stumbling over each other, but...really?
TV: I'm John Jasper, and my dad is also Edwin Drood! (The older one, I mean. Currently in a state of decomp.)
ME: This...I...what? No. I refuse.
TV: Hey, John again. Did I mention that I murdered my father in a fit of rage? And that all my angst over Edwin Drood (the cute one) is because Daddy loved him, and not me?
ME: But Daddy Drood has been dead for decades!
TV: HA! Fooled you. Never trust a funeral inscription.
ME: Please tell me that I'm hallucinating this. And why does Daddy only appear in flashback at the end? Isn't that some sort of dramatic cheating? Why didn't we just go for the solution used by the musical version of Drood, and have the audience vote on the killer's identity? It would make as much sense.