Ever since the enormous success of Game of Thrones, everyone's been trying to find the next big fantasy TV series. It’s constant and kinda annoying, but here we are. However, I think we’ve been drawing the wrong conclusion. It’s very unlikely that any show will reach the heights of Game of Thrones, even with the catastrophic last season. What Game of Thrones proved is that there is a large demand for sci-fi and fantasy entertainment. Don’t believe me? Well, The Witcher season 1 is number 3 on Netflix’s “Most Viewed Series” in the first 28 days.
This is just a list of upcoming shows, some have already come out while the rest will come out by the end of 2021.
Star Wars Visions: This is an animated anthology series set in the Star Wars universe, created by several anime studios. Since its release on September 22nd, it has created a lot of buzz for a good reason. The animation is fantastic and unique in a lot of ways. While I think the storytelling is somewhat lacking in some episodes, I think the attempt to tell stories with a smaller scope is a promising new direction for the franchise. There is something just right about anime and Star Wars finally coming together. There are so many elements of Japanese culture that influenced George Lucas' original vision for the Star Wars universe. Chief amongst them was renowned Japanese filmmaker, Akira Kurosawa.
Foundation: Based on the renowned Isaac Asimov series, Foundation chronicles the fall of a galactic empire and a group of exiles doing everything they can to save humanity. This is basically the space opera that defined all the others and it has finally been adapted. Visually, the first two episodes showcase how ambitious the producers are. It’s gorgeous. I just wish the writing was just as compelling. It has enormous potential but it’s hard to connect with any of the characters. Maybe that will get better with more episodes.
Dune: Dune is the story of Paul Atreides and his journey to fulfill his destiny. When his family is forced to take up the stewardship of a planet called Arrakis, they are put in mortal peril over a substance native to the planet called mélange. If early reviews are anything to go by, this might be one of the best sci-fi films to come out in quite some time. The first part of the film is set to release on October 22th, and I can’t lie, I’m excited. If director Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049 is anything to go by then, Dune will be just as mind-blowing.
Wheel of Time: One of the pillars of epic fantasy, this series by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, spanning 14 volumes, premieres on November 19th. Moraine arrives at a village and leaves with five young people on an adventure. She believes one of them is the chosen one, “the Dragon Reborn.” This world is even bigger than Game of Thrones with loads more characters so the writing will make or break this show.
Cowboy Bebop: We all know the history of live-action anime adaptations. Spoiler, it's not great. Nevertheless, Netflix will attempt to succeed where countless others have failed. I will say, the actual anime is not as difficult to bring to live-action like Dragon Ball Z. Cowboy Bebop is a classic anime and beloved so at least if this new show doesn’t work out fans have that to fall back on. It premieres on November 19th.
The Witcher Season 2: After the enormous success of the first season, The Witcher is back on December 17th. There was a lot to like about the first season: the characters, the worldbuilding, and the non-linear storytelling, but it wasn’t perfect. It felt very rushed at times, with noticeably bad CGI in some episodes. While I enjoyed the non-linear storylines, it was very confusing for many viewers unfamiliar with the source material by Andrzej Sapkowski. Season two continues the saga of Geralt and Ciri, with some new characters, monsters, and locations.
By Alpha Bah