MTV’s new fantasy series The Shannara Chronicles just premiered this week. In a recent conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, showrunners Al Gough and Miles Millar discussed the series’ influences, the fantasy genre on television, and their hope for many more seasons.
Based on the novels by Terry Brooks, the series stars Austin Butler, Poppy Drayton, and Ivana Baquero as an unlikely trio tasked to save their land from demons.
Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter, Gough addressed the series’ comparison to other high fantasy series like Game of Thrones:
I find it interesting that in a lot of the reviews people were saying, ‘It’s trying to be Game of Thrones,‘ and it’s actually not. It would be saying that all these other superhero shows [Arrow, Flash, Supergirl, Gotham, etc.] are trying to be Smallville and they’re not; they’re trying to be their own thing. What Game of Thrones did for television — and I’m a huge fan — is it kicked the doors down and it proved that you could do high-quality, high-level fantasy.”
Gough also mentioned that The Shannara Chronicles is much more than fantasy:
With this show, Terry’s books are more hopeful, they’re definitely more fantasy — you’re dealing with elves and trolls and different races and magic — and you’re dealing with a quest but you also have a science fiction bent to it. It feels more Star Wars than Lord of the Rings. Game of Thrones proved there’s a big audience for [fantasy]. This show is different; we’re trying to be Shannara, we’re not trying to be Game of Thrones.”
At the end of the conversation, Millar said The Shannara Chronicles could continue for some time:
We could do this show for years and years. We could be like Law & Order!”
The first four episodes of The Shannara Chronicles are available online.
What do you think? Did you watch the premiere of The Shannara Chronicles? Do you feel it’s different enough from other fantasy series?