When a tornado transports Dorothy Gale from Lucas, Kan., to the faraway land of Oz, her arrival sets in motion a prophecy about a disastrous event known as The Beast Forever and strikes fear into the land's almighty ruler, the Wizard. On her quest to meet the Wizard in Emerald City, Dorothy encounters witches, an amnesiac soldier, a sheltered little boy and many more mysterious beings who will ultimately shape the future of Oz and Dorothy's place in it.
Interesting start. Episode 4 was very good. Episode 5 blew my mind.
Some people hate having a story re-told but for me movies and shows are just a director's version of a story and well done re-telling can be interesting. The play Wicked is a perfect example.
Visually appealing, smart and sexy, special effects are much better than with previous shows such as Once Upon a Time. NBC apparently wants to give the other media formats that have been eating into their subscriber base a run for the money by creating original content that has not been seen before. NBC brought in director Tarsem Singh and this is his first television project but he comes well prepared with past experience in movies such as The Cell which he also did with Vincent D'Onofrio and other well received movies. Filmed in Spain, Hungary and Croatia.
Based more on the original Baum books than the first movie was which covered only the first book. So far it appears there is more of a focus on having human characters and it doesn't have the magical creatures that are part of Baum's books.
Some twists so far:
Baum's flying monkeys are drone automatons that resemble golden monkeys that spy on the denizens of Oz for the Wizard. Instead of the Munchkinville we have a Tribal Free Lands. The reason for the Yellow brick road is explained. Oz is not a hard to reach area as it was in the movie. Seems like many folks are concerned about Toto being portrayed by a German Shepard but give the dog a chance.
More importantly the story is told more in Baum's style so Dorothy is not the focus and others get to show their involvement in the story as well. It may well be not all about Dorothy this time around.
I do see some open questions especially the way they started the first few minutes of the show but I am guessing like with many movies today they will be going back to answer some of those questions later in the season.
Key players so far are the following:
Witch of the West (Ana Ularu)/ Witch of the East (Florence Kasumba)/ Glinda (Joely Richardson)/ Wizard of Oz (Vincent D'Onofrio)/ Dorothy (Adria Arjona)/ Lucas (Oliver Jackson-Cohen,The Strawman)/ Eamonn (Wizard Guard/The Lion?)/Jack (Gerran Howell) /Mombi (Witch, Fiona Shaw)/ Tip (Ozama?, Daughter of the King of Oz, Jordan Loughran)/ Karen (Dorothy's birth mother, Gina Bellman)/ Anna (Counselor, Isabel Lucas)/ Princess Langwidere, Lady Ev, Princess of Ev (Stefanie Martini)(brief flashes of her so far but appears in the fourth episode)
NBC offers more info from their site, Oz Reimagined: The Making of Emerald City, under Sneak Peeks from http://www.nbc.com/emerald-city
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