Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Wheel of Time Pilot

It is rare that TV surprises. No, I don't mean the writing, I mean the scheduling. In the middle of the night, FXX aired a half-hour prologue pilot for The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. No advertising or warning. And it wasn't even the network's choice to air it. It was aired during paid advertising time and done because the rights, currently held by Universal, were set to expire tomorrow if they didn't do something with it.

As a reader of the series (still only halfway - life has been busy and I was waiting for the last book) I quite enjoyed a glimpse into the world of Lews Therin. The acting was excellent, as was the direction. The effects were terrible, what there were of them, but then this wasn't made on much of a budget and evidently in some haste. Not bad for what it was. You can find it on YouTube if you are interested in seeing it. I particularly love the dolls lying on the floor. Very creepy.

It will be interesting to see what this sparks. With the way it was made, it might have violated some terms of the contract and Universal might lose the rights anyway. But it also might generate interest in really turning this into a series. It is a worthy contender to Game of Thrones so it would be a good choice and that would certainly spur me to finish reading the series. Just as news that the Shannara series is coming to TV puts me in the mood to re-read my favorites of that series.

It is no surprise that a great number of fans of the Wheel of Time didn't like this. It was done without consulting Jordan's estate and aired without any fanfare. I do hope that if they are serious about doing this as a series that this little stunt doesn't end up killing it instead. I think this might provide the buzz to get a network interested and if this was finished properly, with the proper outcome of Lews Therin's death and a more visual destruction of the world, it would make a great prologue to a series. I would watch it. We will have to wait and see. Will this let Universal keep the rights? If they do, can this stunt turn into a series? If they don't, will it lead to someone else getting the rights and doing something with them? A lot of mysteries and a lot of lessons.

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