Monday, November 10, 2008

Legend of the Seeker

I've watched the first three episodes of the new series based on Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth books. It's alright, but it just seems very pared-down compared to the books.

In the books Richard is an impressive character in his own right. He's smart, inquisitive, and driven. His ability to wield the Sword of Truth is supplied by these traits and by his capacity for righteous anger. If he hadn't been an impressive man, the sword would wield him, not the other way around. As the books progress he has to learn to temper that anger with mercy as he discovers who he really is.

In the TV show, he's just this guy. Not only is he short and wiry instead of a big leading man, but he really doesn't show us why we should be impressed. He's a nice guy and perhaps a do-gooder, but we don't see that drive or fury in him. He is given the sword largely because of prophecy, not because he already demonstrates the attributes that will make him a good Seeker for Truth.

The whole series is kind of like that. Many of the character's backstories have been sanitized for TV. The series has a very Hercules the Legendary Journeys feel to it. The characters walk through the woods a lot and deal with whatever problem comes up that week. It's understandable given that the production teams are largely the same. Perhaps the plot will deepen as it develops while the series progresses? I can only hope.

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