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  • raynsingree16 February 2015
    1/10
    Why
    Why. Why would you deliberately sabotage an entire series with this travesty. Wheel of Time has the potential to be an outstanding television series, with engaging plots and strong characters- male, female, people of color- it has it all and you did this. We know you did it in order to hold on the film and TV rights, however you just shot yourself in the foot, because if this is what you have to show people interested in making a show, you have no idea how badly you have screwed up. It was nice (and incredibly lazy) of you to incorporate so much of the book's original dialog, but that won't save the kindergarten level acting and complete disregard for basic plot elements- like, I dunno- never naming the Dark One? Ever? It's a thing? You did actually read more than the prologue, yes?
  • Red Eagle has been sitting on this great trove of modern mythology for a decade or so. They've had plenty of time to do something amazing. And if anything, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, should have spurred them to REAL action.

    Instead, these clowns produced a junior college quality abortion of a film with wooden acting and cartoon costumes. They literally sneaked this dog onto the air at like 1AM, probably so that no one would watch it. Why? Two reasons: First, these Turd World Refugees knew it would suck. Second: It was a greedy, desperate attempt to hold on to the rights of a story they didn't invent, and haven't done a damned thing worth mentioning with for ten years.

    If it were a perfect world, Rand al'Thor and the Asha'man would show up at Red Eagle's offices and Balefire them right of the Pattern of this Age.

    Do Not Watch This.
  • There is absolutely no excuse for this garbage. If you are a fan of this series then my heart goes out to you and as a fellow fan I share in your disgusted opinion of this disaster. This a perfect example of why they should have the rights to this potentially epic fantasy series stripped from them. The fact that fans of this series have to resort to saying "well they shot it in 4 days so its good considering that" should be a glaring red flag for anyone who was hoping for a well done pilot. It is so evident that no one involved in this pilot cares about the series other than to control the rights to it. Highlighted by the casting choice of Billy Zane as Ishamael this was doomed from the start. Read the books if you have not yet and for those of you who have and are just discovering this brown stain of a pilot...there are no redeeming aspects of this pilot. Furthermore, it is brutal people are actually trying to give pros and cons to this piece of tragic TV history. As a fan I award you no points and you should be stripped of the rights to this asap.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time. Or, actually, in this case, don't. A bit of backstory before we get into this review: A company called Red Eagle Entertainment (REE) owned the rights to the film properties of the Wheel of Time, and the rights were set to expire on February 11, 2015. So, instead of letting them expire, REE decided to create a pilot for a Wheel of Time series, and released it on February 8, 2015, late at night at 1:30 AM EST, on the channel FXX. So, let us see if the Dragon should be allowed to ride again, or if the Dark One should just knock him off the Wheel. This is the pilot of The Wheel of Time.

    Winter Dragon is an adaptation of the prologue of The Eye of the World, the first book in Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series, and follows Lews Therin Telamon as he comes home from a war he has fought for so long, only to find his family seemingly in hiding and a dark force as a surprise visitor.

    Let me start off by saying, I have no idea why this is called Winter Dragon. Perhaps the creators thought it sounded cool? I have no clue. The only positives I can really think of is that Billy Zane works as Ishamael, a servant of the Dark One, and I did enjoy how faithful it was to the original prologue (until the ending, at least, but we'll get to that).

    Now, let's get to why this is so bad. First off, this "TV pilot" is only about 16-17 minutes when you cut out the opening credits and end credits, so it's not even supposed to fill up the time slot it should, and if you cut out some of the aimless wandering and such, it would probably be even shorter. Max Ryan as Lews Therin wasn't that great, to be honest. Sure, he looked like he cared... somewhat, but he sure as hell didn't sound like it.

    The way the prologue is done is so you basically get a bunch of conversation between Ishamael and Lews Therin, and you never see parts of what made the prologue important. In the novel, Lews Therin channels the One Power after it has been taken over by the Dark One, and it consumes him to the point where he kills his family. Ishamael makes him remember, and he gets so upset he travels halfway across the world, where he finally dies and erects the mountain entitled Dragonmount.

    That is not what happens in this pilot.

    Lews Therin is never really seen doing anything involving the One Power, though it is mentioned frequently. Instead of becoming so overcome that he creates Dragonmount, he instead walks up a staircase with a dagger and we're supposed to assume that he killed himself that way. That's a real crappy way to go, creators.

    I do understand that TV shows are hard to create effects-wise, but at least do better than something I could create in a editing software in 5 minutes! You would think that these people would have put more effort into creating a somewhat accurate adaptation that was somewhat decent, at least. Other things to note is that the cinematography looks very weird, and it doesn't seem right to me. The music is obviously free, and I could probably find it if I tried. The writing copies exactly what is said from the book, which wouldn't be a problem if they had tried to make the prologue shorter, because it didn't need 17 minutes to tell it's tale.

    Oh, and one more thing. In the Wheel of Time, you shouldn't say the Dark One's name aloud or else the Dark One will come and basically mess everything up. So, what does Ishamael do? Why, speak it's name, of course!

    Guys, this TV pilot is really bad. There's not even that much to say, that's how little there is here in terms of story. Aside from some decent acting from Billy Zane, and being somewhat accurate to the prologue, it's avoidable at all cost. Please, don't watch it, unless you want to waste your time.

    1/10. Grade: F+
  • jak_shadwin9 February 2018
    This is an utterly horrendous attempt at a crap studio to keep film rights they never should have had. Every aspect of this spits on the work it is supposedly derived from.
  • yuukanna7 July 2017
    When I saw the description of this episode tucked away in an obscure time-slot on an obscure channel I was both excited and concerned. The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan is deeply significant in my life. Even in the start of this episode, you can immediately feel the collective disappointment of Wheel of Time fans worldwide as the quality was low and dull in the extreme. As it went on I began to understand just how offended one can get by blasphemy or mockery to something well loved... This poorly handled grab at retaining rights nearly physically hurt me with how disgusted I felt.
  • Understanding the circumstances of this Short, created in a tight deadline to retain the rights to the story, is key to appreciating its value. It is a stylistic portrayal of the series prologue and fully stands alone as a short. The remaining 13,000 pages aren't needed to explain this short, and the characters and actors in this short aren't needed to create a TV series which would likely skip the prologue completely.

    I thought the directing and writing was a very good adaptation and really captured the spirit of the prologue.

    I found it entertaining. If you're expecting a 'Game of Thrones' type of pilot, don't watch.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Winter Dragon" is an American 22-minute live action short film from 2015 and there is a chance these novel-based stories may get an own series at some point in the near future. 2 years ago, it did not work out and you can see that this one here got some really harsh criticisms. The director is James Seda and the most known cast member is probably Billy Zane. As this is a little fantasy film and that is really not my favorite genre and also because of the low rating, my expectations here weren't too high. And it was pretty much what I expected: a bit pretentious at times and also takes itself more seriously than it should. But then again so does Game of Thrones and you could see that the makers here were heading into that direction making it an interesting watch for GoT audiences. I can't say if they succeeded, probably rather the opposite. In any case, I personally thought this was not a good watch, but also not a failure as some may say it was in terms of acting, story and the project as a whole. I must say that my review comes from the perspective of somebody who has not only not read the books, but doesn't even know them. A thumbs-down and I'd probably not watch it as a serious if the quality is the same as in this potential pilot episode. Watch something else instead.