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Adam's Wheel of Television: The Wheel of Time is Amazon's Biggest Ever Premiere


Werthead
  • We said previously that it’s a hit, but it’s turned out to be an even bigger hit then we thought: The Wheel of Time has had the biggest and most successful launch of any original show in the history of Amazon Prime Video.


Adam Whitehead is Dragonmount's TV blogger. Adam has been writing about film and television, The Wheel of Time, and other genre fiction for over fifteen years, and was a finalist for the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer in 2020. Be sure to check out his websites, The Wertzone and Atlas of Ice and Fire (including The Wheel of Time Atlas!) as well as his Patreon.

 

We said previously that it’s a hit, but it’s turned out to be an even bigger hit then we thought: The Wheel of Time has had the biggest and most successful launch of any original show in the history of Amazon Prime Video.

 

That’s a pretty big deal. Previously Amazon had only committed to saying that Wheel of Time had the biggest launch of any original show in 2021. That puts Wheel of Time ahead of big shows like Invincible and Clarkson’s Farm. However, the new information now means that Wheel of Time has had a bigger and more successful launch than shows like The Expanse, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Grand Tour, The Man in the High Castle, Carnival Row, Bosch, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan and their previous biggest hit, The Boys.

 

The news will be welcome to Amazon Prime Video and Sony Television, who took something of a gamble on greenlighting the show with a budget of over $10 million per episode and filming on multiple locations across Europe, based on a series of fifteen novels that have sold around 90 million copies and have passionate fans around the world, but were perhaps not household names. Unlike the previous fantasy megahit, Game of Thrones, which based its initial appeal on little to no magic, no supernatural creatures and a focus on sex and politics, The Wheel of Time is unashamedly a broad, epic fantasy with vast displays of sorcery, a nonhuman creature as a regular character and an up-front commitment to showing epic battles in challenging locations.

 

It also bodes well for Amazon's commitment to genre programming. Although The Expanse is wrapping up after three seasons on the streamer, Carnival Row is due to launch its second season next year and The Boys its third. More germanely, Amazon is also planning to launch its Lord of the Rings prequel series, about the Second Age of Middle-earth, on 2 September 2022. With a budget conservatively estimated at three times that of Wheel of Time (and possibly a lot more), there's a huge amount riding on that project. Wheel of Time getting more people watching Amazon Prime's video channel can only be a good thing for that project and for the other SFF shows they have in development, including an ambitious Mass Effect TV series, based on the video game series. If Amazon are considering any other fantasy projects – they recently dropped a Conan the Barbarian project which has since been swept up by Netflix – this may encourage them to commit to them further.

 

The Wheel of Time has already been renewed for a second season, which is now more than halfway through shooting in the Czech Republic, although contrary to some reports it has not yet been renewed for a third. With this news, a third season renewal and hopefully more beyond now seems much more likely.

 

The final episode of the first season, The Eye of the World, will drop this coming Friday. Season 2 of The Wheel of Time is expected to air in late 2022.

 

 

As usual, please continue to follow developments on our casting and news pages and the forum and stay tuned for more info as we get it.




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Fantastic news.  maybe our hope of longer episodes or 10 episodes per season will be realized.  After reading all the trolls on the forums one might think the show is getting canceled 

Edited by Pandemonium

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The show is great in most ways, however I felt the "Dragon" reveal wasn't that good. I liked the build up to it, and showing him using the One Power, but him just going to Moraine and saying it's him felt a little weak. 

I do hope they go to 10 or even 12 episodes, and it would even be nice if they did a couple of extra " filler" character episodes, like they did on TWD. I'd just hate for this show to get rushed. 

The first season basically covers TEOTW, AND I feel it could've been fleshed out a tad more. 

And we have 14 books to cover, yet the show says 8 seasons is their goal. 

That'll be a tough task to manage, and cutting parts would be inevitable. 

The costumes and cities, landscape, and portrayal of THE ONE POWER are very well done, as the in episode music. 

The show deserves not to be rushed. More character interaction will be needed as new characters get introduced, and I hope the Aiel, the Sea Folk, the While cloaks, and the Seanchin, as well as Dark friends will get the screen time that they are deserved. 

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Its a shame its terrible.

Its a shame that except for the names of the characters it has no resemblance to the books.

Its a shame. 

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Although this adaptation isn't as close to the books as I would have hoped, season 1 is still hitting all of the necessary beats in plot lines, and characterizations. Also, I'm pleased that, for the most part, the acting has been superb. 

Edited by GanoesParan
fixing my grammar

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That’s cool and all, but the show is just awful. Worst writing and character/world development I’ve seen on TV and I don’t say that lightly or enjoy having to say it. 

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For many of you who are ripping the show apart, have you watched the "Look Inside" bonus segments for each episode? They really add some perspective on why creative decisions are being made for the tv show at the cost of not following the book to the core. I think by understanding their decisions, it could give some level of acceptance to you.

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9 hours ago, king of nowhere said:

I wonder, if the show is really so awful as some people claim, why so many people are watching it...

 

With all of the negativity coming from the naysayers, that just goes to prove that no one can please all the people all of the time. 

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Those who lament that an image on the screen does not completely, faithfully duplicate what they first read on the page are in for a lifetime of disappointment.

 

They are different mediums, with different strengths and weaknesses.

 

I know of no adaptation of a book to film or TV show (or for that matter, the reverse, a book written from an original film or TV series) that has ever achieved absolute fidelity to its source material.

 

It bothered me when I was younger. Fortunately, I love stories. Now-a-days, if a tale I know changes from one storyteller to another, I get to enjoy new surprises. That's a win!

 

Years ago, McKellan (now Sir Ian) performed a one-man show in which he covered the changes in the way Macbeth has been portrayed over the generations, starting with Shakespeare's original and coming forward to the present day. It was illuminating to me.

 

We do it to Shakespeare. Heck, we do it to our comic book superheroes all the time.

 

For example, how many different actors have played the role of Spiderman in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? How many times has Spidey's origin tale been told? How many times might it be retold by future generations? Who knows?

 

To those unhappy with the changes to WoT canon in the Amazon Prime series, I can only suggest: lighten up. Sit back, and enjoy whatever surprises may be in store. Those differences, after all, are the opposite of spoilers because you don't know they're coming.

 

If you still don't like it, just go back and reread the books. That's always good, too.

 

 

Edited by Michael Shannon
Clarification

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I still don't see where it says this is #1 premier ever at Amazon.  all I see is top 5 ever and #1 in 2021.  

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On 12/21/2021 at 9:20 PM, Pandemonium said:

I still don't see where it says this is #1 premier ever at Amazon.  all I see is top 5 ever and #1 in 2021.  

Added a second link where it was confirmed by head of Amazon Studios Jennifer Salke.

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