‘Watership Down’ is a CGI-animated fantasy television miniseries, based on the 1972-released eponymous novel by Richard Adams. The book was previously adapted into a feature in 1978, followed by a tv series that aired from 1999 to 2001. In 2018, Netflix released ‘Watership Down’, yet another version of the tale, written by Tom Bidwell and directed by Noam Murro.
Produced by BBC in partnership with Netflix, it follows a group of anthropomorphic rabbits who are displaced from their homes and embark on a risky journey to find new shelter. They escape from their former habitat due to its destruction and need to face many challenges and dangers on their way to seek a new land. Once they arrive here, they have to protect even this territory from harm. Depicting a struggle for survival, unfiltered violence, and raw deaths, this series adaptation of the original novel has the same traumatizing effect on young kids as its film counterpart.
Watership Down Cast: Who’s in it?
The voice actors for this series are James McAvoy as Hazel, Ben Kingsley as General Woundwort, Nicholas Hoult as Fiver, John Boyega as Bigwig, Miles Jupp as Blackberry, Gemma Arterton as Clover, Daniel Kaluuya as Bluebell, Mackenzie Crook as Hawkbit, Freddie Fox as Captain Holly, Anne-Marie Duff as Hyzenthlay, Rory Kinnear as Cowslip, Olivia Colman as Strawberry, and Craig Parkinson as Captain Sainfoin.
Other actors are Lee Ingleby as Captain Campion, Jason Watkins as Captain Orchis, Daniel Rigby as Dandelion, AdewaleAkinnuoye-Agbaje as Vervain, Tom Wilkinson as Threarah, Jason Faulkner as Frith, Gemma Chan as Dewdrop, Taron Egerton as El-Ahrairah, Henry Goodman as Blackavar, Charlotte Spencer as Nettle, Peter Guinness as Silverweed, Rosie Day as Thethuthinnang, Lizzie Clark as Haystack, Rosamund Pike as The Black Rabbit, Murray McArthur as Farmer and Lorraine Bruce as Farmer’s Wife.
Watership Down Plot: What is it about?
According to the official synopsis by Netflix: “A warren of rabbits battles many threats on their daring journey to find a new home in this adaptation of the classic novel by Richard Adams.” They flee their homeland after it faces inevitable destruction due to the intrusion of mankind. Using the scenic landscape of southern England as its backdrop, ‘Watership Down’ is a tale of adventure, courage, and survival, chronicling the ordeals of a band of brave bunnies on their quest for a new habitat.
Hazel is a heroic leader of the group who tries to save his clan from various apocalyptic threats, appearing in the form of visions seen by his brother, Fiver. This duo of brave siblings guides the journey from their native land in Sandleford Warren to a promised abode that houses the perfect society. However, this voyage is fraught with multiple dangers, predators, and adversaries. While some bunnies are even killed at the hands of foxes, cats, and dogs, others lose their lives to myxomatosis — a viral disease which causes swelling on the rabbit’s face and releases discharge from its eyes.
BBC and Netflix have teamed up to make children (as well as adults) realize how the world is messed up. You would be glad to know that this miniseries version is a toned-down counterpart of the original material, which had left kids horrified after finishing the story. In some scenes, the bunnies are devoured by humans and in others, some are drowned in fields of blood. The nightmares are never-ending as these bunnies seal their fates. Although Netflix’s adaptation is not as gruesome as its predecessor — and thankfully so — it still manages to stick to the tale’s original dark undertones
‘Watership Down’ maybe an animated series but it is a reflection of sensitive themes, revolving around life and death. There is also a ray of hope, in the form of love and friendship. Additionally, across the episodes, the creators have thrown in subtle hints of capitalism and authoritarianism. To summarize, it is a gem of a story, slightly geared toward more matured viewers.
Watership Down Season 2 Release Date: When will it premiere?
‘Watership Down’ season 1 premiered on December 22, 2018, on BBC One in the UK, airing two back-to-back episodes on the same day. It was released internationally in all its entirety on Netflix on December 23, 2018. Its complete run for the first season comprises four episodes, each spanning a run-time of one hour.
‘Watership Down’ had been conceptualized a mini-series, and hence, the first season may as well be the last we saw of it. But on the other hand, the series did open to generally positive reviews, winning even a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Special Class Animated Program. And we already know that Netflix places huge emphasis on audience responses and ratings. So, we cannot negate the scope of a sequel either. However, each of these speculations remains unconfirmed and we don’t have any official update on what the streaming giant has on its mind regarding the future of this series. Once we receive additional news, we shall immediately revisit this section with more concrete information on ‘Watership Down’ season 2.
Watership Down Trailer
You can watch the official trailer for ‘Watership Down’ season 1 here. If you have not checked out the show yet, head to Netflix and catch up on all its previous episodes.
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