Netflix Witcher - Let's dig into this bad boy

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PCG Fraser

Staff member
Dec 10, 2019
The Witcher is here! I've only watched one episode so far, before I started work, but it's never too early to start chatting about it.

We've got recaps and reviews going up, and like James and Andy I am pretty keen on it so far. Cavill is astoundingly good as Geralt. At times it's uncanny how much he's like the Doug Cockle/CDPR version, even though he's got an English accent. The fighting, too! It was like watching Witcher 3 gameplay. A fair amount of reviewers don't seem to have taken a shine to it, so I do wonder if my love of the game and my familiarity with the world has coloured my impressions. On the other hand, I don't care and it's awesome.

Early thoughts? Favourite bits?
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PCG Jody

Staff member
Dec 9, 2019
I've watched the whole thing. It's good! My only complaints are quibbles. I'm very happy with the cast, the tone, and the way things look. Also I think making Jaskier seem like the kind of dude who is always five seconds away from saying "Anyway, here's Wonderwall" is inspired.
Dec 18, 2019
I finished it and can safely say it's amazing and a must-watch for fantasy lovers, I immediately went to the book isle at my local super store and was both sad and surprised to not see the books there ready for mass purchase. What a missed opportunity that is for them.

Lauren Morton

Staff member
Finished watching last night with my partner! We really enjoyed it and will definitely watch season 2. It was interesting going into it with very different levels of familiarity with the story.

I'm no lore buff, honestly. I've got a Spark Notes level familiarity with the novels and paid, well, mostly paid attention to the larger plot through all three games. I remember characters a lot more vividly than the world politics. My partner heard me playing Wild Hunt beside him back when it came out and the only thing he really retained was that I am a staunch defender of the Yennefer romance.

SO all that's to say that I spent a lot of our watching time answering questions like "wait...who is that?" or "why do they want Ciri?" even though my partner was paying attention and the one leading the charge for us to watch. It does feel a bit like the show glossed over exposition that folks not already familiar with some of Geralt's adventures would need. Even being familiar with the stories I didn't always feel confident I could answer his questions!

Along the same lines I sometimes felt we got moments that were meant to have big emotional import that hadn't earned it. Great swells of music for moments that I understood were supposed to be powerful but involving characters who it hadn't given me enough emotional attachment to. Calanthe's big exit. Pavetta and Duny. Filavandrel. Etc.

BUT. Toss a Coin to Your Witcher! Banger. It slaps. Cheesy Jaskier BS and I'm here for it.
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Jan 13, 2020
I am a rabid Witcher fan, with CDPR's trilogy easily taking top spot in my gaming pantheon. (No, it's not three games, it's one unique, glorious narrative, similar to Coppola's mythical Godfather trilogy). I once tried reading the books but they were terribly juvenile. 15 year old me would have probably dug them, but 40 year old me is more into Ellroy these days.

I dreaded the Netflix show. The trailers made me cringe. My wife told me that they looked cutesy and it would probably be a fun and silly show to watch while eating lunch. We gave it a go and watched the whole thing in three days.

To our great surprise, this evoked the glorious 90's camp of Xena and Hercules. I think that the key to its charm and success is that it does not take itself (very) seriously. It doesn't try to be 'big and dramatic' like Game of Thrones. It's like every actor is somehow in on the joke. And this light-hearted approach, makes it fun and eminently watchable. As a fan of the video-games, I'm won over. It will never be art or even remotely serious but hell, sometimes, we just need a 21st century version of 'Hercules' for those long evening afternoons.
Jan 14, 2020

Instead of digging that bad boy, most of the people wondering why the cast is selected inaccurate actress' and actors.

I don't really agree with this opinion. I really liked their acting skills, and especially Yennefer is amazing. Triss surprised me a bit, but still, their acting skills are great!

The Good: Sound effects, Geralt uttering the F word, the bard, some decent animated monsters, excellent magic/sword scenes, and awesome settings. The Bad: Character/story development is a bit hit & miss. The majority of the more explicit scenes should have been done with more finesse. The Ugly: Some costumes are just ridiculously bad looking, to the point it is almost comical. Conclusion: I had a great time watching season 1 and give it an 8.5/10.
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Dec 27, 2019
The first thing I'll say is that I really enjoyed it, and I don't want anyone to think otherwise; binged it all on release day and don't regret a second.

However - and I never thought I'd be this guy - there were a lot of changes to the story compared to the books; some of them were minor, some were absolutely fundamental - including some complete changes to the timeline and order of events. I could go on a complete tirade about it, but I don't want to be annoying :LOL:
Jan 1, 2020
I finished watching The Witcher last week and finished reading the second book last night (show is based off the first two books).

I can completely understand why some people are not fans of the multiple timelines, even as someone who had the knowledge of the stories they were portraying, things were a bit confusing, especially since they added stuff not from the novels, ala Yennefer and Ciri background.

That said, I loved the show and Henry Cavill is the perfect Geralt and I can't wait to see more of it!

PCG Andy K

Alien: Isolation editor
Staff member
Dec 10, 2019
I got a lot deeper into this series than I expected, mainly because I decided to write recaps for every episode for PC Gamer.

My main takeaway from the series is that I love the 'monster of the week' stuff (mainly that amazing episode with the striga), and while I enjoy the larger story, I'd like to see less of it in season two.

I doubt that'll happen, though. There are plenty of fantasy shows/films/books about war: I want to see Geralt hunting more weird monsters. The smaller stories are more interesting IMO.

Overall, though, great show. Cavill is amazing and I can't wait to see more of him battering people with a sword.
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Jan 22, 2020
I thought it was great, it borrowed some of the stronger visual and aural elements from the games and stayed as faithful to the books as can practically be expected. I thought the timeline stuff was really effective too, and an impressive risk to take when launching a new IP that's as dense with new names as concepts as this one is. What changes have been made have seemed to me to be either sensible or harmless which is the best quality in an adaptation.

I actually watched the whole thing with my partner who is unfamiliar with either games or books. She wasn't all that sold on it until the Banquets, Bastards and Burials episode, that one flipped a switch for her and she insisted on watching the series a second time once we'd finished.
Nov 24, 2019
Finished it recently as well!

It's definitely a slow burn, but I think the first few episodes are forgivable in terms of pacing and introduction. There was definitely some intense confusion as to when and what timeframe was being witnessed. The CGI could use some work, especially with the monsters - but that's forgivable for any first season.

I was impressed with Henry Cavill's acting. It's eminently clear he played the games, and comported his mannerisms and stilted body language almost spot-on with the PC game's Geralt. He channels Doug Cockle, the voice of Geralt in the games - derived and related, but not derivative.

Really looking forward to season 2.
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