MAGICIANS, Sneak Preview

9780399576645_c2490After last night’s final episode of Childhood’s End, adapted from Arthur C. Clarke’s classic novel, the Syfy channel gave viewers an early look at the pilot for The Magicians, based on Lev Grossman’s novel, which is set to begin  January 25th..

It’s not clear why they decided to release the pilot ahead of the series, but if they were hoping to build buzz through good reviews, that didn’t work out.

The fan site Den of Geek is the most positive, acknowledging that the pilot is overstuffed, but “With a number of paths towards mystery and adventure (perhaps too many) already established, there’s plenty of material to explore, both from the novels and this already quite different screen adaptation. Fans of the Grossman trilogy and of the fantasy TV genre are both sure to be pleased.”

Salon‘s reviewer notes that the adaptation “makes big changes but keeps the heart of the original books,” objecting that “it’s hard to not feel rushed through the pilot  … Which is too bad, because the story of The Magicians would be well-served with a little bit more time to breathe,” and concludes, “it’s a bit too early to judge the show, even on potential. The rapid-fire introduction of all of the characters and major plot drivers doesn’t do any of it real justice”

Entertainment Weekly’s reviewer hasn’t read the books, but spends quite a bit of time analyzing how the TV version relates to other books (the Narnia series, Harry Potter, The Golden Compass) and ends up giving the pilot a middling B.

The Wrap is the most damning;  “Imagine a horny Hogwarts and you’re on the wavelength of The Magicians, a somewhat intriguing, occasionally diverting, mostly just silly and campy adaptation ” — After only one episode, it would take a clairvoyant to know whether “The Magicians” will eventually develop into an agreeably dark and twisty piece of juicy genre fare, but at this early stage its future looks murky.”

Tie-in: The Magicians (TV Tie-In Edition) by Lev Grossman (Penguin/Plume).

Comments are closed.