Web Series: The Wheel of Time
The Wheel of Time Cast: Rosamund Pike, Josha Stradowski, Marcus Rutherford, Zoë Robins, Barney Harris, Madeleine Madden, Daniel Henney
The Wheel of Time Creator: Rafe Judkins
Where to Watch: Amazon Prime
Review by: Russel D'Silva
Both Hollywood as also American authors have dipped into the fantasy pool so much and for so long that now, whenever something news is presented either visually or through the written word, it needs to be truly unique to grab our attention. Unfortunately, forget about being unique, The Wheel of Time is unequivocally the most blatant ripoff of an erstwhile classic fantasy tale, with almost its entire plot, setting, presentation and several of its key characters mirroring The Lord of the Rings, at least going by the first two episodes, which I saw (the web series premieres on Amazon Prime on 19th November). Now I haven't read the books on which it's based, but given that the first novel was published in 1990 and the first LOTR book was published in 1954, you're smart enough to figure out the rest.
So, are you excited about what to watch this weekend or what to watch this week and wondering whether The Wheel of Time is worth your time? Scroll down for my full The Wheel of Time review...
What's it about
The Wheel of Time follows Moiraine (
Rosamund Pike), a member of the powerful, all-woman organization of channelers (magic users) called the Aes Sedai, who takes a group of five young people from their home village following an attack by the forces of the Dark One, an evil entity who seeks to destroy the Pattern (Existence). Among these five, she believes one might be the reincarnation of the Dragon, an ancient hero and powerful channeler who is prophesied either to save the world or destroy it.
Watch The Wheel of Time trailer below: VIDEO
The production values of The Wheel of Time are top notch, it has been shot on a lavish scale, the richness is visible in every frame and the cinematography is a thing of beauty. The action sequences and character design of the fantasy creatures are also very well done, plus the entire cast lends puts their best foot forward. Truth be told, the plot and setting, too, are pretty good, but that's only because of how derivative they are of Lord of the Rings.
When I mentioned earlier that The Wheel of Time is unequivocally the most blatant ripoff of The Lord of the Rings, I meant it, with not only its entire plot, setting, presentation and several of its key characters mirroring the classic fantasy tale, (again, going by the first two episodes, and not having read Robert Jordan’s fantasy novel series of the same name on which it's based), but the trajectory of the story, the timing and location of the attacks, the motivations of the Dark One, the talk of the “One Power” uniting all, the quest to reach a mythical “tower”, the way in which the band of unlikely heroes come together – everything screams LOTR. And yet, as interesting as the transfer may sound on paper, and most of it is as you really can't go wrong with LOTR, there are portion in-between – the filler sequences – and the discourse outlining the quest – aspects that J.R.R. Tolkein's stories and
Peter Jackson's films got so well, where The Wheel of Time falter. Also, the background score doesn't induce that mystical feeling – a must for such movies or shows.
If you're in the mood for a mellowed-down version of The Lord of the Rings, then The Wheel of Time might prove decently watchable. If not, then passing it on wouldn't leave much of a gaping hole in your fantasy watchlist. I'm going with 2.5 out of 5 stars.
Rating : 2.5 out of 5
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