See the First Trailer for The Shannara Chronicles

See the First Trailer for The Shannara Chronicles

To be perfectly honest, I’ve never really been much of a fan of Terry Brooks’ Shannara books. So when The Shannara Chronicles, a new scripted series filmed for MTV, was announced, I didn’t really pay much attention.

But the first trailer, released last week at Comic-Con, has managed to pique my interest. The show has a unique look, and the production values are top notch. And the assembled talent — including writing team Alfred Gough & Miles Millar (Spider-Man 2, Smallville), producer Jon Favreau (Iron Man, The Avengers), and cast John Rhys-Davies, Ivana Baquero and Manu Bennett — looks fantastic. Check out the 3-minute trailer above.

The Shannara Chronicles will begin broadcasting in January 2016 on MTV, and be available for binge watching on DVD and Blu-ray later in the year.

Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
R.K. Robinson

MTV? I haven’t watched MTV sine the late 1980s. I doubt even this – I’m kinda so-so on Brooks, though I liked the first couple well enough – would tempt me to go there. SWORD OF SHANNARA and the others; that was a different time in fantasy, as I’m sure you know, John.

Allen Snyder

I liked the original trilogy; granted, I was in my early teens when I read it. I’ll have to re-read it someday to see if it holds up (but John, as you may remember from prior discussions here, I have literally 1000s of books I haven’t read waiting in my library to be read—and that doesn’t even count my Kindle library).

R.K.: MTV has had some good series on over the years. “Death Valley” in particular was *really* good, and I had a fondness for “The Hard Times of R.J. Berger” too. What MTV is horrible at is actually keeping anything but “reality” shows on the air. “Death Valley” was cancelled after one season and R.J. Berger after two. If you can track down “Death Valley”, I highly recommend it—it’s blend of horror-fantasy and comedy is nearly perfect. An older sci-fi series they had in the mid-90s, “Dead at 21,” also only lasted one season, and is also worth tracking down.

Joe H.

At this point I don’t have any interest in revisiting the books; having said that, there’s an excellent chance that they could put together an entertaining TV show. (My understanding is that they’re planning to kind of skip of Sword entirely and draw more from Elfstones — at least, the trailer definitely showed the stones.)

Joe H.

I never got far enough into the series to get the Pacific Northwest thing, but I do remember that in Sword the one significant departure from LotR color-by-numbers was a trip through a ruined City of the Ancients — I want to say there was a giant mechanical spider or some such?

Sarah Avery

Writers who favor the one-index-card-per-plot-point rubric have rules of thumb for how many index cards different media can support. Short stories and feature films line up nicely, which is why novels tend to translate so badly onto the big screen. A miniseries might line up well with a novel of average length, but demands the same problematic degree of compression and simplification of GRRM-length novels.

I’ve only read two Shannara books, and those back in my teens, but I’m pretty sure it won’t be controversial to say that the plots and ideas would boil down to about a third to half as many index cards as you’d get by boiling down a volume of Martin.

Crazy optimist speculation: maybe the Shannara stories will finally find a medium that will suit them. Maybe they’ll actually be better on the screen than they are on the page, at least from the perspective of adults who found them a letdown on rereading.

Jeff Stehman

Well, it looks pretty. Not much in it is ringing bells, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Thomas Parker

I have my original Sword of Shannara paperback (with the illustrations from the Brothers Hildebrandt weakening the spine), unread still after all these years. Maybe I’ll finally have to read it, if for no other reason than to earn eyebrow-arching rights…

[…] anticipation of the upcoming TV show, The Chronicles of Shannara, and to scratch an epic fantasy itch I’ve had for a while, I recently read The Annotated […]

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x