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Author Topic: The Promised Land  (Read 1055 times)

Offline Darkling Nocturnal

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The Promised Land
« on: March 01, 2015, 08:30:02 AM »
Alright, let's talk about the "beginning" of the series.

To be honest: Can't remeber that I have seen a worse start into a series. Don't know, how much influence Martin Rosen had on the series as the executive producer (just because he holds the rights to Watership Down, IIRC, it doesn't mean that he has much to do with the creation of the series), but it really seems like the makers thought, that everybody, who watches the series,, know the movie.

But not everything is bad in this episode. I like Dandelion's telling about El-ahrairah's blessing and the trip to the Nuthanger Farm. Tabitha is great as always. Same goes for Hannah.

So it could've been worse, but also much better.


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Offline Acacia Heartstrings

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The Promised Land
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2015, 07:46:54 PM »
They jumped the destruction of Sandleford hutch to not show much violence to the audience, that would be the explanation. "The Promised Land" written by Martin Riley, tells the story of a group of rabbits in pilgrimage in search of a new home. The premise can not be better and we have a total of 9 characters introduced: Hazel, Fiver, Dandeleon, Hawkbit, Bigwig, Black Berry, Pipkin, Hannah and Kehaar. Too bad not appeared Silver ... In his crossing must avoid a dog killer creatures go through hunger, travel long distances, passing downs, known friends but eventually found the cherished home predicted by Fiver.
It is an excellent start, my rate is high. ^_^
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Offline Myrkin

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The Promised Land
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2015, 11:22:26 PM »
To me this episode feels more like a second episode of the series and not the first. We start in the middle of story and we already have questions. Where those rabbits come from? Why did they leave that place? Those questions are somewhat answered later in the episode, but IMO it would be better to give us those answers by showing us the event in Sandleford, instead telling us about them. Show, don't tell - that's the basic rule of storytelling.

Usually, heroes story begin in their home, from which they will set out on journey/adventure. It doesn't begin with heroes already on their way. There is a reason for that. Beginning in home village/town/warren allows authors to introduce us to characters at leisure pace and give us a basic idea of what kind of world story is set in without racing through the plot. That part is there also to show us the life heroes are going to lose/leave behind. If the series started in Sandleford they could spend more time on introducing Hazel and others to us and then we would avoid (if we were new to Watership Down franchise) some confusion in "The Promised Land".  

---

Quote from: Conejoon 
They jumped the destruction of Sandleford hutch to not show much violence to the audience, that would be the explanation.

I don't think they would have been forced to show us the destruction of the warren, if they had started tv series in Sandleford. Hazel and company (except for Fiver and his visions) don't know for sure about Sandleford's demise till they meet Captain Holly in "Home on the Down", so I guess that event happened after they had left.

---

EDIT:

Darn it. This is a discussion about first episode and my whole post is about what happened before that off screen and not in "The Promised Land". I will have to rectify that. :doh
« Last Edit: March 01, 2015, 11:26:02 PM by Myrkin »
"My heart has joined the thousand, for my friend stopped running today." - Hazel

Pessimist sees a dark tunnel. Optimist sees a light in the tunnel. Realist sees the light of coming train. And the train driver sees three idiots standing on the track.

Offline Acacia Heartstrings

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The Promised Land
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2015, 03:36:07 PM »
Quote from: Myrkin on Mar 1 2015, 06:22:26 PM

---

Quote from: Conejoon 
They jumped the destruction of Sandleford hutch to not show much violence to the audience, that would be the explanation.

I don't think they would have been forced to show us the destruction of the warren, if they had started tv series in Sandleford. Hazel and company (except for Fiver and his visions) don't know for sure about Sandleford's demise till they meet Captain Holly in "Home on the Down", so I guess that event happened after they had left.

By reading your arguments Myrkin ... you are quite right. Normally a story should begin in the tranquility of a home for so know the main characters: Hazel and Fiver ... but this is my supposition: They wanted to save characters, settings, knowing the hutch Dandleford as serious destroyed. Such violence would not be seen on TV a program, just a short explanation by Captain Holy.
You can get much material in the book for more episodes certainly. Maybe in the future: Watership Down Anime!    :lol
« Last Edit: March 02, 2015, 03:39:53 PM by Acacia Heartstrings »
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Offline Claws

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The Promised Land
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2015, 03:47:35 PM »
To me, this is one of the greatest episodes on the series... it really does a good job introducing the characters (it features one of the only -if not the only- moments of Blackberry's wit). Before I watched this episode, I thought that the series was ideal for mockery ("uuuh, look at the Rabbits, soooo cute") but it really left an impression on me. It is one of my favorites.

Offline Myrkin

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« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2015, 04:28:07 PM »
Quote from: Conejoon 
but this is my supposition: They wanted to save characters, settings, knowing the hutch Dandleford as serious destroyed. Such violence would not be seen on TV a program, just a short explanation by Captain Holy.

True. They certainly wouldn't like to scar children for life (like the movie did, judging by people's stories) with showing destruction of Sandleford in detail. Still, they could have avoided that violent scene and only show: Hazel and Fiver first talking to Threar-rah, then gathering rabbits wanting to leave the warren and their confrontation with Captain Holly and Sandleford Owsla.

---

Quote from: Silverweed's Clawson 
it features one of the only -if not the only- moments of Blackberry's wit

I love how, when Hazel praises her trick and calls it worthy of El-ahrairah, Blackberry just confidently says:

"Yes, I think so. Worked rather well, didn't it?"

:)
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Offline Darkling Nocturnal

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The Promised Land
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2015, 04:32:03 PM »
I have the pc games, but I haven't played them extensive. But the first game begins in Sandleford. Don't know, if it was the intention of the makers to keep the beginning for the video game.


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Offline Myrkin

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« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2015, 04:49:18 PM »
Well... That would be very greedy of them to cut content out of tv-show and put it in the game serving as introduction to tv-series. If that was intentional.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2015, 04:49:41 PM by Myrkin »
"My heart has joined the thousand, for my friend stopped running today." - Hazel

Pessimist sees a dark tunnel. Optimist sees a light in the tunnel. Realist sees the light of coming train. And the train driver sees three idiots standing on the track.

Offline Darkling Nocturnal

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« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2015, 04:55:06 PM »
Why I came to this idea:

Matrix did it the same (I know, that's a completely other target audience).

Only knowing the movies didn't unfold the whole story. You needed also
- Animatrix (the animated short film collection)
- The Video Game
- The Online Video Game

Another idea:

Maybe they had a beginning and showed it a test audience. They wheren't keen ("Oh my god, BLOOD!! *scream*). So they simply cut off the pilot episode and started with the second one.


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Offline MeadowRabbit

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« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2015, 05:08:34 PM »
I agree that it was odd that it started part way through their journey rather than with Fiver's initial vision at the old warren. Not a great start in that sense. Haven't seen the series in a while so I can't comment more on the episode.
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Offline Acacia Heartstrings

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The Promised Land
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2015, 03:32:45 PM »
Quote from: Darkling Nocturnal on Mar 3 2015, 11:32:03 AM
I have the pc games, but I haven't played them extensive. But the first game begins in Sandleford. Don't know, if it was the intention of the makers to keep the beginning for the video game.
Hopefully one day download this game, the only bad thing is that this in German and I do not understand anything. With work I am learning English hehehe


And returning to the plot "the promised land" for me remains a good start and it's true what they say Myrkin, "This must have chapters 2 and not the first," but the best they could with this series was Television.  :lol
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Offline Darkling Nocturnal

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« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2015, 03:48:27 PM »
You find it cheap on Amazon (but I don't know about the shipping to your country).


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Offline Chibiscuit

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Re: The Promised Land
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2020, 02:42:19 PM »
I doubt I ever questioned the in medias res start of the episode when I was a kid (I had no idea there was anything before it at that moment anyway). I do remember that when I went to rewatch the series in 2016 and started the episode, I actually paused and went looking for the real episode 1, only to find out it was the first episode!

I would have preferred it if they'd started at Sandleford but it is what it was. I must say the entire episode does feel a rushed. It was clear they wanted the Journey to be over as soon as possible and to have the heroes at Watership Down. I do remember being disappointed by this as a kid. Having watched AOFW so much, I was expecting the rabbits to go through similar trials to reach their new home, just like the animals had done to reach White Dear Park.

Blackberry's trick is also a tad weird here as it appears she immediately goes off looking for a piece of wood. She doesn't observe first. The stream is also rather narrow and unimpressive looking. They could have leaped across that, as rabbits do!

But the highlight for me is that right off the bat  :darkling we get great and amusing dialogue. Hawkbit's line about, "Follow Fiver. See the world. Drown." immediately sets up his character and is just hilarious. Fiver's instant acceptance of dying is very much him too.

The characters and the dialogue are my favourite aspect of the series and I feel this episode does a good job of hooking me in.  :pipkin
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Offline Kili

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Re: The Promised Land
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2020, 10:22:39 PM »
When I first watched this episode, I wondered if it was the second as well, and thought that there must have been a mistake. It's a confusing start to the series even when you know why the rabbits left the warren and have read the book/seen the film, but I suppose children will just accept it as it's presented. (As I was in my late teens when this was first aired, if I had watched it then, I would have had the same reaction as I did when I first watched it. Where's the missing bit. Have I missed an episode?)

Aside from the missing bits, and the fact that they make the journey in all one episode instead of it taking several, it is ok. We're introduced to Hannah and Keehar, too, and Nuthanger Farm. I suppose as AOFW and the film had been quite grim for younger viewers, they probably wanted the series to have a lighter tone to it and decided to skip the possible danger to the warren. (Fiver's vision is a frigtening thing to start off with, after all.) Still, I think I would have prefered it if the journey had taken several episodes as it makes it seem rushed and I dislike things being rushed.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2020, 10:25:44 PM by Kili »

Offline Magic-Rabbit

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Re: The Promised Land
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2020, 10:40:26 PM »
I find the episode to be an abridged version of the journey part of the film.

It takes way less time for the rabbits to find Watership Down than in both of the adaptions the 1978 film as well as the 2018 miniseries.

I get why it needed to be cut short since it was CITV, also pleased that I was too young to of watched on CITV with adverts.

But anyway, the point is that yeah, it's just an abridged version of the journey at the first half of the adaptions.
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