When I see Rosamund Pike in the cast, I believe the project would be above average. She is a magnificent actress, and I don’t want to believe that she would choose a subpar project. However, unfortunately, even the most skilled can occasionally err, as it seems. Amazon’s adaptation of Robert Jordan’s epic and widely acclaimed novels, bearing the same name as the series The Wheel of Time, is a flawed project that proves there can be issues with both extreme conservatism and extreme liberalism. If we were to transport ourselves back to the 1990s, right now, and had the chance to watch this series together, perhaps the effects and performances in the show could have been impressive at that time. But for the year 2021, such a series is, regrettably, a significant failure.
Let’s briefly touch upon the plot… Moiraine (Rosamund Pike) believes that the Dragon has returned and that one of the young individuals she is pursuing is the Chosen One. However, malevolence also seeks to hunt down these young individuals and obtain the Dragon’s power to seize control of the world. And then, a relentless war between good and evil begins in this world where magic belongs to the Chosen Ones.
The only thing that manages to carry The Wheel of Time, with its rather classic storyline, to its 14th novel is its cultural diversity. Although I haven’t read any of the books, a bit of research and reading a few follower comments easily revealed to me that the books feature over 2000 characters, intriguing cultures, and an adept use of the fantasy element. For someone like me, who hasn’t started the books yet, series are here for that purpose, at least in my case. I first learned about Game of Thrones through its TV series before becoming curious about the books. However, The Wheel of Time series, unfortunately, and with regret, I must say, is a cheap production that would discourage newcomers like me from delving into the books.
Aside from attempting to condense a 14-book series, which ruins the plot, the series contains visuals so poor that they might bring tears to the eyes of someone like me, who doesn’t pay much attention to special effects. Especially considering the series is supposed to be a fantasy, some scenes in the series may be among the worst examples of “corporate work” I’ve ever witnessed in my life. Normally, I don’t dwell on special effects as long as the story flows, but the problem here is that the series’ story doesn’t flow because it rushes forward in fast mode, making everything feel rushed and unsatisfying. However, what truly makes the series worse than anything else is Amazon’s ultra-leftist nonsense – in other words, the Woke perspective.
While I may support what the Woke perspective fundamentally aims to achieve, some projects tend to overemphasize diversity. The worst part is that The Wheel of Time already has a universe rich in characters and cultures. Robert Jordan successfully created a colorful world, and millions of people have embraced it as it is. When you try to make the colors of an already colorful universe even more vibrant, it not only disturbs viewers like me who are not fixated on the subject but also infuriates the loyal followers. In the series, there is a family where each member bears the countenance of a different geographic region. Technically, it is an impossible family. Yet, this situation, rather than bothering Amazon, seems to have pleased and made sense to them, as they approved it. The series’ approach of excessively showcasing certain ethnicities and races only exacerbates the already unbearable nature of the series.
In essence, The Wheel of Time is a poorly executed adaptation of a 14-book series, failing to meet both technical and spiritual expectations. Despite having the splendid Rosamund Pike in its cast, the series manages to bring her down in terms of acting, showcasing the influence companies can have on projects. What’s worse, I intentionally left this part for last: the audacity of a company that believes a series with millions of readers isn’t sufficient as it is and requires additions is probably the worst thing that could happen.
Cast & Crew
creator: Rafe Judkins
starring: Rosamund Pike, Daniel Henney, Madeleine Madden, Zoë Robins, Josha Stradowski, Marcus Rutherford
USA | 2021 | 8 EPISODES |