Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Dresden Files—Premiere

On his premiere outing, Harry Dresden faces a convoluted case involving a little boy who's being pursued by strange, bird-like monsters, and a murder case where the female victim is left flayed. The two cases are connected, and the boy's dilemma echoes Harry's experiences as the magically gifted child of a stage magician.

I have to say I was a bit disappointed in this episode. The story was muddled and difficult to follow. I was left struggling to work out the mythology, even on simple levels such as how the show's magic system works, and whether other people know about the wizarding and the beasties that lurk in the night, or whether this knowledge is limited to a select few. In the books, all this was made apparent very quickly, but here it's not clear at all, and for a pilot episode that's a potentially fatal flaw.

On a positive note, Paul Blackthorne (24) works very well as Harry. Terrence Mann seems a bit overwrought as Bob--in the books he's a lecherous smartass ghost-in-a-skull, while here he's more somber and much more willing to help Harry out. Overall, I think the showrunners here dropped some elements from the books that could have worked strongly to their advantage.

With all that said, I will be tuning in again next week to see how things develop. Hopefully the show will find stronger legs with a few more episodes under its belt. In the meantime, I think I'll see about ordering some more of the books.