On Monday I posted a review of The Eye of the World as part of my fantasy books review series. On that post I had posted a pilot episode for what I thought was an old airing of a show that had started up and never saw the light of day. That was only partially true. It was a pilot of The Wheel of Time. In it we see the prologue of The Eye of the World: the meeting of Lews Therin and Ishmael. While this looked like something that had been produced in the 90s, it turns out to be a filming much more recent: February 2015.
If you’ve watched it, you’re probably among the hundreds who’ve given it a thumbs down on YouTube. If you liked it, you might be a little like me and just hoping that this will turn into something bigger. I must admit that the pilot really left me a little irritated. We spend almost the entire episode with Lews running around yelling out for his wife, listening to people call each other “silly” (which seems like such a generic word in this episode) and him picking up dolls. If you’ve read The Eye of the World, then you know what happens in the prologue of the book and you’re just waiting for them to get to the story so you can see it played out. Well, honestly, the horrible acting was 100 times better than the CGI of Lews and his magic.
So why wasn’t this a bigger thing? Whey didn’t fans of the fantasy books know all about this and flock to the pilot episode?
From a story posted on iO9 it’s evident that there were film rights for the books, and in order to keep the rights from running out, they had to put something on the air. This is not fun. The pilot almost seems a mockery of The Wheel of Time fantasy books. But there is hope . . . and some reason to despair.
The group the put the pilot out is called Red Eagle Entertainment and apparently has the rights to make the show. They go into great length on how they can’t fit the entire story into a movie, and since Game of Thrones is doing so well, they think a television series of The Wheel of Time will be a great success.
But fans of the fantasy books might not have a reason to jump for joy yet. It seems as though the widow, the Jordan estate, and Bandersnatch group knew nothing about this pilot. They didn’t see the script, they didn’t know it was going to be aired, and they didn’t find out about it until after it had aired at 1:30 AM EST. To me, this sounds like it could spell disaster for future Wheel of Time shows.
Since I was a kid I’ve wanted to see these fantasy books made into shows. Now that the “Winter Dragon” pilot has shown up, I fear they might have shot themselves in the foot and pushed this eventuality further away.
Have you seen the pilot? What do you think of a possible Wheel of Time show?
In case you missed it, here’s the under-whelming pilot episode, sponsored by the word: “silly”
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