Monday, August 6, 2012

Web Series Review: Dragon Age Redemption

Status: One Season Completed Totaling 6 Episodes
Credits: Felicia Day (Writer/Producer/Star – Tallis), Adam Rayner – Cairn, Doug Jones – Saarebas, Marcia Battise – Nyree
Winner IAWTV Awards: Best Design, Best Costume Design, Best Makeup/Special Effects, Also Nominated for Best Original Music

Rating: 4 ½ out of 5 Stars

Synopsis: This web series, based on the Dragon Age video game, delivers a fantasy tale in which the grey giants known as the Qunari and the religious Templars known as the Chantry have sent agents to reclaim the rogue mage Saarebas (Doug Jones who played the Silver Surfer in the FF movie). The elf Tallis (geek queen Felicia Day), is sent by the Qunari and she will have her name and status returned to her if she succeeds in her quest. The knight Cairn Adam Rayner is a member of the Chantry, though he has his own personal motives for finding the mage. And along the way, a young Elven magic-user and a vicious Reaver join up with them to hunt down this dangerous warlock.

Review/Commentary: This series was written and produced by Felicia Day and it is a professional production, linked to the popular video game Dragon Age from Bioware. It’s also a logical next step for Day, seeing as her other web series The Guild (you can read about that one at this link) is about a group of people addicted to MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game). Dragon Age: Redemption, though, dispenses with the comedy elements of The Guild and gives us a straight up fantasy tale; and quite a good one at that. This first season of the web series introduces us to Felicia Day’s Elven character while also setting up the world she lives in and offers some additional characters who could join her on future adventures. Some may find it odd that the series lacks any of the dragons of its title, but that’s likely for budgetary reasons, and the story moves along quite well without them. And while you can definitely tell that the series had an economical budget, seeming a bit cheesy at times, it holds up quite well as a web series, rising far and above what we usually see as far as production values and special effects. The acting is good for the most part (especially Day’s performance) as the show draws upon professional actors to fill the roles. And the story is decent, even if it does resort to cliché and copy-and-paste dialogue at times. But it offers a good set up for additional adventures, and I for one would love to see more of this series. This one would be perfectly suited to make the jump to a weekly television series and might be better suited there as it would likely receive a higher budget. Whether that is currently a consideration, I can’t say.

The series took home three wins at the recent IAWTV awards in technical categories (see above), and I believe it also warranted a nomination for Best Female Performance for Day and possibly a Best Writing nod as well. Still, it deserves the recognition it received and this will hopefully lead to more seasons of this series. The first season ran for six episodes of around seven to ten minutes each (without the opening and closing credits) and all six totaled about 45 minutes. And it just received its DVD release this week. For sword and sorcery fans, a genre sadly under-represented on television and in film, this one is a must see. And because of its professional production, this is a good starting point for those new to web series.

Links/More Information: The series does not appear to have an official website from what I can see, but you can watch all six episodes on YouTube. And as I mentioned above, you can now get it on DVD. And you can read more about the worlds of the Dragon Age video game at their wiki site.

Watch Dragon Age: Redemption starting from Episode 1 on YouTube at this link
Buy Dragon Age: Redemption from at this link
Visit the Dargon Age Wiki at this link

Buy the Dragon Age: Redemption DVD and Dragon Age Video Games from

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