‘The Witcher: Blood Origin’ review: Not camp enough to be fun or even watchable

Despite passable action scenes and some spectacular costumes, this mini-series comes across as a hurriedly put together slap-dash job

December 28, 2022 05:14 pm | Updated 05:14 pm IST

A still from ‘The Witcher: Blood Origin’

A still from ‘The Witcher: Blood Origin’

The best thing one can say about The Witcher: Blood Origin is that it is short — it could however, have been shorter or not there at all… Set 1,200 years before our favourite monster hunter, the silver-haired, world-weary Geralt of Rivia, the mini-series tells of brutal elven wars that stretched resources and soldiers thin and was all set to tear the world apart.

Princess Merwyn (Mirren Mack) mistakenly decides it is her destiny to conquer new worlds all the while crushing the little folk under her elegantly shod foot. Mage Balor (Lenny Henry) has a major chip on his shoulder, and Syndril (Zach Wyatt) moves monoliths to open a portal to another world only to realize he has let all manner of nasties in.

The Witcher: Blood Origin 
Episodes: 4
Run time: 43 to 64 minutes
Creators: Declan de Barra, Lauren Schmidt Hissrich
Cast: Mirren Mack, Lenny Henry, Zach Wyatt, Sophia Brown, Laurence O’Fuarain, Michelle Yeoh, Francesca Mills
Storyline: The story of the first witcher, the conjunction of the spheres and the decline and fall of the elves

The creatures, incidentally look like a science experiment gone wrong; especially that silly bio-luminescent centipede thing. The main beast has gentle blue eyes that clash horribly with its murderous intent.

A group of seven misfits, including Éile (Sophia Brown), a warrior who eschews violence to become a bard and then returns to her violent ways, Fjall (Laurence O’Fuarain) a discredited warrior, a wise woman, the last of her tribe (Michelle Yeoh naturally) and Meldof (Francesca Mills) who names her hammer after her slain lover, get together to thwart Merwyn’s cunning plans.

Blood Origin, which was teased in a post-credit sequence of The Witcher Season 2, despite passable action scenes and some spectacular costumes, comes across as a hurriedly put together slap-dash job. Rather than fast and furious, Blood Origin is just a disorderly pile of hectic scenes.

When the mysterious collector of stories stops a battle midway to tell the bard, Jaskier (Joey Batey), of the seven who stood up against the tyranny, Jaskier’s comment that the story has been done to death rings desperately true.

Despite the alliterative episode names — episode one is called Of Ballads, Brawlers, and Bloodied Blades — Blood Origin is full to bursting with dreadful lines such as, “I thought I was done with killing, I reckon killing is not done with me.” There is also, “Come with me if you want to live!” (where is the Terminator when you want him?).

Blood Origin is not camp enough to be fun. This spin-off that is so loosely based on Andrzej Sapkowski’s novels as to slip clean off, is a passable way to spend time if you have nothing else to do. Or you could just watch The Witcher again, considering Henry Cavill will not be returning as the White Wolf for the fourth season.

The Witcher: Blood Origin is currently streaming on Netflix

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