Ursula K Leguin's EarthSea trilogy broke new ground in the fantasy genre, and has truly earned a place of honor. Unfortunately, as with many television adaptions, the Sci-Fi Channel's attempt to bring that story to the television screen preserved almost nothing of that. Although the miniseries is less bitter and painful than Tehanu, it lacks the qualities that made the original trilogy such a wonderful creation. It also lacks the special effects to effectively carry out the magic that is such a vital component of EarthSea. Leguin herself has all but disowned the adaption, claiming that while she was offered a consultant's role, the end result was a story she could neither recognize nor prevent.

I went into this three-hour miniseries hoping to find something that I would recognize from the stories I love, something that would capture the sense of wonder and excitement that comes from a world full to bursting with magic.  In that, I was mostly disappointed. 

There are some moments drawn from the original plot that have their appropriate power; Jasper's illusion-tree and barbed insults, moments with Ogion, the summoning of Elfarren, the lonely trip to a distant isle.  But there are as many that come across less well, and the plot can hardly be described as an adaption of the trilogy; it is more a tapestry of stolen scenes woven into entirely new (and much poorer) cloth.

This one is better left on the shelf, although there is nothing in it of sufficient import to distort the orginal.  In that respect, unlike Tehanu, it is safe to waste a few hours with.

This entry was published Mon Apr 11 22:58:06 CDT 2005 by Matthew and last updated 2013-08-14 13:56:29.0.

comments powered by Disqus

This website is an Amazon affiliate and will receive financial compensation for products purchased from Amazon through links on this site.