The Winter King S01E10 480p WEBRip x264
This review is from someone who has read and loves the books. While I understand that some adaptation needs to happen to fit this complex narrator-driven story for the screen, I feel that some of the corners that were cut were not trivial. Final Edit: I can't do it. I'm on episode 6 where Guinevere and Ceinwyn are introduced. The dialogue juvenile. Okay now Derfel has a mullet, classic Saxon trailer park fare. I advise others to turn off their screen and read the book instead. Better yet, Audible's recording narrated by Jonathan Keeble is fantastic. Edit after episode 2: ep 2 is chaotic, and lacks cohesion in editing. The acting is good, and it is nice to see some events from the book portrayed, although again, they are adapted and delivered in a way that is less satisfying than what happens in the book. I'm annoyed at Morgan's character, as she is simply nothing like the twisted, scarred and bitter character from the book. The shades of character seem to have been reduced to "good guy" and "bad guy". Arthur at least is supposed to be nauseatingly "good", but Merlin, Morgan, Namue, Owain....come on. Give these characters back their grit! Their nuance! I think my score still stands but I will continue to edit as episodes come out (I swore an oath to finish the series). Original review: First, Merlin's character thus far is far from what he was in the book, and a lot of important plot elements are founded on his characteristics as an old, bearded, Celtic Druid and his particular balance of sagesse and lunacy. A young, black, lucid, intelligent, smooth-faced buddy Merlin simply clashes with essential plot points, and it is unclear how this will affect the original story. So far, it makes little sense. Also, him and Arthur are supposed to have a more complicated relationship. They admire each other, but aren't all "buddy buddy" like it shows in the TV show. They're not peers, or old old college roommates, and its weird to see them portrayed as such in the first episode. The first episode tries to cover a lot of ground, but I feel like it rushes to establish relationships that took many chapters to develop in the book. I already mentioned the Arther/Merlin relationship is completely off, but the Derfel/Nimue dynamic felt extremely rushed and flimsy. Again, their relationship is integral to the story, and I feel like it would have been worth building up Nimue's Druidic ambitions and how that affects Derfel over the course of several episodes, rather than within the first 2 minutes of meeting her. Similarly, the TV show tries to establish Derfel's complex history into a shortened sequence that can't have lasted more than 4 minutes cumulative. And what's up with that terrible wig! I appreciated the attempt to explain Arthur's presence in Gaul by depicting events not covered in the books. But similar to the Nimue and Derfel arcs in the first episode, this did end up feeling rushed and implausible. E.g. As he's being escorted out of Cair Cadern, he happens to be right next to the War Room where he pulls in his Buddy Owain (they are rivals in the book, not friends) and conveniently shows us the map and recites the main players in the upcoming struggles. The guards just kind of let it happen. How serendipitous! It is possible that future episodes will improve on pacing, but the character changes are concerning. It feels like the richness of Bernard Cornwell's characters are being sacrificed on the altar of marketing startegy. Hopefully it gets better. Hopefully I'm wrong.
- Iain De Caestecker
- Stuart Campbell
- Valene Kane