Visitors - Bless my Tail! Welcome to Fiver's Honeycomb!


This place is dedicated to Watership Down and its fans worldwide.

Here you can discuss all WD-related media, including both books, the movie and both TV series.

What? You are not registered yet?

Author Topic: The miniseries on its own  (Read 2304 times)

Offline Hammy

  • Hawkbit
  • *****
  • Posts: 868
    • Show only replies by Hammy
    • View Profile
  • Favorite WD media: N/A
  • I speak:
Re: The miniseries on its own
« Reply #45 on: January 04, 2019, 02:29:51 AM »
Spoiler: ShowHide
It doesn't, no.

They're trying, God help them, but they didn't quite think it through. That I think is indeed the core problem: they didn't think it through. They made things different for the sake of being different, then didn't logically follow all of those changes.

Offline Chibiscuit

  • Vervain
  • Blackberry
  • ******
  • Posts: 1634
  • Captain Orchis' Loyal Spy
    • Show only replies by Chibiscuit
    • View Profile
  • Favorite WD media: The series
  • FHC contest winner:
  • I speak:
Re: The miniseries on its own
« Reply #46 on: January 04, 2019, 02:30:20 AM »
Spoiler: ShowHide
Exactly. Another example is the crow attack - I loved that scene and Hazel talking to the crow. But then when he tries to talk to Kehaar nobody reminds him what happened the last time he tried reasoning with a bird?
"You can come here, the land of warm days, grassy fields, and pleasant evenings, where even the shadow of war cannot darken the love at home." -Alderab

Offline Hammy

  • Hawkbit
  • *****
  • Posts: 868
    • Show only replies by Hammy
    • View Profile
  • Favorite WD media: N/A
  • I speak:
Re: The miniseries on its own
« Reply #47 on: January 04, 2019, 02:30:41 AM »
That is a very good point. Lack of continuity is an issue.

Offline Campion1

  • Great Frith above!
  • Pipkin
  • **
  • Posts: 103
    • Show only replies by Campion1
    • View Profile
  • Favorite WD media: N/A
Re: The miniseries on its own
« Reply #48 on: January 04, 2019, 07:11:25 PM »
Kehaar was obviously hurt so perhaps Hazel figured that helping it could convince it to do stuff for them? Bigwig was there telling him not to bother.

Offline Jayhaar

  • Hlessi
  • *
  • Posts: 5
    • Show only replies by Jayhaar
    • View Profile
Re: The miniseries on its own
« Reply #49 on: February 10, 2019, 03:46:54 PM »
Here's a point I'd like to share, how do we feel that someone who has never watched a WSD adaptation, would feel about this series?  Would they nitpick as much?  Is the series still good storytelling?  I say it still is despite shortcomings.

I think the series was great, only shortcoming for me, was the change in design of the characters.

Offline pushmipullu

  • Hlessi
  • *
  • Posts: 45
    • Show only replies by pushmipullu
    • View Profile
  • Favorite WD media: N/A
Re: The miniseries on its own
« Reply #50 on: July 06, 2019, 09:07:43 PM »
I’m going to show this to my parents to see what they think, as well as some of my friends who have no knowledge of the book.

Offline Alderab

  • Dandelion
  • ****
  • Posts: 610
    • Show only replies by Alderab
    • View Profile
  • Favorite WD media: The book
  • I speak:
Re: The miniseries on its own
« Reply #51 on: October 08, 2019, 02:16:16 AM »
Thought I'd chip in here at risk of rezing an old thread, since the miniseries was indeed my first exposure to WSD.

Starting with the "trailer" that previews on Netflix, I have to say that it was well done.  With very little knowledge of the franchise ahead of time, I was initially skeptical that the story would be a typical "man is the true monster" types of tales that tend to get bogged down in a environmentalist message.  Stupid humans killing all the world creatures for an extra buck.  But luckily it didn't linger on the bull-dowsers, seemed to have good music and decent voice acting, so I took the plunge and watched the first episode.

The first thing that caught me was the animation quality, which was mixed for me.  While most the characters animated fine, the texturing always seemed a bit off, especially on the terrain.  I realized that this wasn't put out by a big-budget studio, but it seemed like there could of been a bit more work on the rather styrafoamy looking burrows.  But as far as other production quality, what the story lacked in visuals made up several times over in voice acting and choice of soundtrack.  I thought the credits song well chosen and song sung by the does at Efrafa particularly powerful in the context of the scene.  The lapine language sprinkled throughout was scripted well enough that I could still follow along even if I was let down by context clues, and helped the world feel unique.

As the miniseries moved to introduce the characters, I found that while most of them had interesting enough personalities, they were not particularly distinguishable when viewed as a whole.  I was only really able to follow who Hazel, Fiver, and Bigwig were, and Strawberry when she was introduced later.  I remembered everyone's names fairly well as they were spoken enough over the 3.5 hour run time, but it was hard to pick any rabbit out of a group shot and remember who they were and what they were good at.  Someone was...a runner?  And one of them took everything too seriously?  And there were those two that kept arguing with each other...who were they again?  Maybe for me the problem was simply the character models being hard to tell apart, especially in comparison to my later watch of the film, but it was a little distracting trying to remember who was who every other scene.

Getting into the actual story, I'd say that overall I felt that the story was fairly well paced.  Each episode neatly bookended a chronicle in the tale.  The first episode started a bit weak for me, but by the end of it I was ready to invest an evening in watching it through.  On and off I tried to figure out if the story was allegorical to some real-world event, but more often I was interested in following it for its own sake.  The time spent on developing Efrafa I felt was just right, enough to feel invested in the does there that their plight felt moving, but not so long that I lost track of how any of it connected to the WSD gang.  The siege in the fourth episode felt like a proper starve out, and the climax was suitably gripping.

Additionally, it was refreshing to watch how the show handled character relations.  Many works for me seem to fall into a rut with characters bogged down in romantic relationships, to the point that that is literally the only thing that defines them. I did get a bit of that feeling with Hazel & Clover.  While not nearly as egregious as other works, it did seem like a lot of their decisions were needlessly shortsighted once they got (quite quickly) hooked, and they seemed to lose some of their individuality when they were in the same scene.  I felt that Holly & Hyzenthlay's relationship felt a bit more organic, with each of them remaining quite distinct and able to stand on their own two paws in a scene without leaning on the other.

The ending was spot on, with Fiver's moment with Hazel being just about my favorite part in the series.  I really wish that that part had been in the other derivatives of the story, because it wrapped up the arc the brothers had throughout the plot.  I was sad to see the story end, but felt very fulfilled in what I had watched.  Hence my immediate ordering of the two novels off Thriftbooks and watching the film shortly after.

Anyway, those are my rather lengthy thoughts for those that cared to read.  :D  With the other adaptions behind me, I definitely have a few more nitpicks than when I watched it new, such as the gender flipping and parsing down of several of the cast members.  But that and other minor gripes won't keep me from re-watching it again when I have the time, and I think it is a solid introduction to those like me who had no exposure to WSD before.
You like writing?  I like writing!  Let's Write!

http://fhc.soopergrape.com/index.php?topic=2357.0

Offline Chipster-roo

  • Growing Tree
  • Council of Chiefs
  • Fiver
  • *******
  • Posts: 4370
    • Show only replies by Chipster-roo
    • View Profile
    • http://www.fanfiction.net/u/6400714/Chipster-roo
  • Favorite WD media: The book
  • FHC contest winner:
  • I speak:
Re: The miniseries on its own
« Reply #52 on: October 09, 2019, 02:56:57 AM »
All right, it's been forever since I last posted here, so there's a lot of stuff to reply to.  I might miss a few things, but I'll do my best not to.

Like with Blackberry. Very just-kinda-there.
He really doesn't do much, besides being kissed by Bluebell.  Annoyingly, they skipped the boat for the escape from Efrafa, his crowning moment in the book.

As has been pointed out earlier, the group who went to Efrafa in the book was Holly, Strawberry, Silver and Buckthorn.  As Chib pointed out, Holly wanted to bring Bluebell but that was rejected because he might make inapporpriate jokes.  Silver was the only one who returned unharmed.  As for Buckthorn...I'll save that for another thread.

The 1978 film had Holly visit Efrafa before rejoining the Watershippers; not really a fan of this change.  The 2016 radio drama had Holly, Strawberry and at least one other rabbit (not sure who, but it wasn't Bluebell, who didn't exist).

The 1999 series had Hazel and Fiver visit Efrafa instead; this kinda works, I guess, for the Hazel/Primrose romance.  Holly and Blackberry, plus Bluebell "accidentally" joining them, works rather well in the miniseries, I think.

Clover taking many of the lines of other rabbits in the book.  Would someone who didn't necessarily know, mind as much as we do?  Indeed some of her lines don't fit very well (the line about killing Efrafans for example).
Wasn't it Hyzenthlay who said that line in the miniseries?  In the book it was Blackavar, I think.

Another example is the crow attack - I loved that scene and Hazel talking to the crow. But then when he tries to talk to Kehaar nobody reminds him what happened the last time he tried reasoning with a bird?
It would have been a good idea to include such a scene.  This was done a few times in the 1999 series.

I’m going to show this to my parents to see what they think, as well as some of my friends who have no knowledge of the book.
How did that turn out?

Thought I'd chip in here at risk of rezing an old thread, since the miniseries was indeed my first exposure to WSD.
No problem with reviving ancient threads :)

While most the characters animated fine, the texturing always seemed a bit off, especially on the terrain.
That's pretty interesting; everyone else I've seen complain about the animation quality was complaining about the rabbits, rather than the backgrounds.

I remember reading somewhere that most of the backgrounds were done using matte painting rather than 3D models like with the rabbits, due to budget concerns.

song sung by the does at Efrafa particularly powerful in the context of the scene.
One of the best songs in all WD media.

I remembered everyone's names fairly well as they were spoken enough over the 3.5 hour run time, but it was hard to pick any rabbit out of a group shot and remember who they were and what they were good at.
This really is quite an issue.  Most of the minor characters hardly got any character development at all.  Their special skills, if they have one, are only important for one scene or two.

Someone was...a runner?
Dandelion.  But that's only important for the bird scene.  He could have been useful for the dog run at the end (like in the book), but it is mentioned that he's been wounded, so Blackavar takes his spot instead.

And one of them took everything too seriously?
Blackberry probably.

And there were those two that kept arguing with each other...who were they again?
That's either Hawkbit and Dandelion, or Bluebell and Blackberry.  Speaking of Hawkbit, he's one of those who lacks any useful skills.  His only distinguishing characteristic is his strong interest in does, which is largely unimportant for the main plot.

The first episode started a bit weak for me
I have to agree with this.  Up until the river crossing, it essentially felt like a scene-for-scene remake of the 1978 film.

The ending was spot on, with Fiver's moment with Hazel being just about my favorite part in the series.  I really wish that that part had been in the other derivatives of the story, because it wrapped up the arc the brothers had throughout the plot.
The reason why it didn't happen in the other versions, is probably because it didn't happen in the book.  The scene was created for the miniseries, and it's probably one of the best additions.

parsing down of several of the cast members.
BRING BACK PIPKIN
But also it would have been nice to have seen some Sandleford rabbits who never appeared in animation before, such as Acorn or Speedwell.
Have you considered making each day count - doing something meaningful each day - instead of letting the days and weeks and months and years fly into oblivion? --Bright Side

Thanks to Rosie Willowwater for the avatar!!


Offline florapaw

  • Dandelion
  • ****
  • Posts: 525
    • Show only replies by florapaw
    • View Profile
  • Favorite WD media: The book
Re: The miniseries on its own
« Reply #53 on: October 19, 2019, 01:22:36 AM »
And I wonder why only the book mentioned the true "character" of El-Ahrairah. Is anyone caught that line in the book? El-Ahrairah is every bravy rabbits in it's own story and that's why Hyzenthlay telling Hazel's story with Ahrairah's charater. Pretty clever.  :glowingfiver

Do you want to know why the miniseries didn’t mention it? It’s because Hazel’s character was botched to the point where saying that he was Watership Down’s El-Ahrairah would have made no sense. He effectively did nothing but whine that his girlfriend was abducted and awkwardly stand there while everyone else made decisions for him. Miniseries Hazel is not fit to be called El-Ahrairah.