SCREENCRUNCH: ‘The Wheel of Time’ is a fantasy flick that’s worth, well, your time

Published November 29, 2021, 12:14 PM

by Rom Mallick

That it has Rosamund Pike in it is a super plus plus

In the battle for streaming service domination, one of the greatest weapons at the disposal of these companies is their selection of fantasy flicks. Following the undeniable success of HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” others have been quick to come up with their own epic saga book adaptations. Netflix has “The Witcher.” And now, Amazon Prime has “The Wheel of Time.”

Rosamund Pike and the lead cast of ‘The Wheel of Time’—a little YA-ish, but not really (Amazon Prime)

Based on the book series of the same title by Robert Jordan, “The Wheel of Time” is produced by Rosamund Pike, who also plays one of the major characters in the show. It follows the story of a supposed Dragon Reborn, which in the books was already identified right from the get-go. In the TV series, however, viewers are left guessing who among the four potential heroes is actually the destroyer of worlds. Or rebuilder, if you follow the fourth episode, the latest in the ongoing show.

The basic premise in the world of “The Wheel of Time” is that people live reincarnated lives, following the movement of the Wheel of Time, as souls reborn without any memory of their previous lives, save for the Dragon, who once endangered the world when the Dark One used his ability to break the Wheel of Time. Fortunately, a group of women mages who have the ability to manipulate Light—which they call the Gift—have since been preparing for the Dragon’s rebirth. Oh and yes, in this fantasy world, only women are naturally talented to handle the Gift, as it tends to corrupt the minds of men who for some reason are able to manifest this power.

A powerful wielder of the Gift, Rosamund Pike as Moiraine (Amazon Prime)

It is safe to assume that those who have not read the books would find Amazon’s adaptation more enjoyable—which is true for most shows based on books, particularly those with a huge following. To Amazon’s luck, “The Wheel of Time” has a more cult following, pretty much like the “Malazan” series by Steven Erikson or “The Stormlight Archive” by Brandon Sanderson. Amazon has already a safe record with TV shows adapted from books, with the success of its “The Expanse” series.

On its own, “The Wheel of Time” has so far been an enjoyable ride, with a good mix of young actors and veterans. Apart from Rosamund Pike, included in the cast is “La Casa de Papel” lead star Alvaro Morte (or El Profesor, as he is called in the Netflix series). But is it on a level comparable to HBO’s GoT? We have some more episodes to watch before we can definitively comment on that. If you do like mages and warriors, then this show is worth your time.

We give “The Wheel of Time” a 3.5 out of 5.

Check out its trailer below: