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BBC's Adaptation Of 'Watership Down' Divides Some Viewers

Mark Cunliffe

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BBC's Adaptation Of 'Watership Down' Divides Some Viewers

Featured Image Credit: BBC

The BBC's remake of Watership Down aired over the weekend, however the highly-anticipated adaption left some viewers divided.


As households across the UK sat down to enjoy the adaptation of Richard Adams' 1972 book, a number of viewers felt let down by the quality of the animation.

The remake promised that it would stay true to the 1972 novel and not the 1978 film, which left plenty of viewers emotionally scarred by the violent scenes.

Watership Down follows the tale of Fiver the bunny, who has been haunted by post-apocalyptic visions predicting the warren's destruction, spanning over four episodes.

Viewers claimed that the rabbits looked more like hares. (Credit: BBC)
Viewers claimed that the rabbits looked more like hares. (Credit: BBC)

But social media users pointed out that the CGI rabbits looked nothing like rabbits and more like hares instead.

A total of 4 million viewers tuned in to watch the BBC series, but by the end of the first episode that figure had dropped to 3.3 million, meaning 700,000 people switched off.

Despite the starry line-up, which included Olivia Coleman, former Bond girl Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley, and Star Wars' John Boyega, as well as a production cost of £20 million, viewers were left unimpressed.

Taking to Twitter one viewer wrote: "Thought I'd give the BBC remake of Watership Down a chance . . . sadly it's truly awful and an insult to the original. The animation is worse than an old computer game, the rabbits look like some sort of hare/kangaroo hybrid."

Another added: "I can't handle how bad the animation is for Watership Down shame they didn't do it like isle of dogs stop motion. This cgi is really stiff. Think I will stick to the old version."

One user also criticised the BBC for spending so much money and not being able to get the CGI right. They wrote: "When you spend £20million on a film and your animator doesn't know the difference between a hare and a rabbit."

However, not everyone dislike the adaptation. One user wrote: "I thought the adaptation of Watership Down was brilliant, glad I didn't check Twitter first to see all the negativity."

Another added: "Don't know why there are so many negative comments on Watership Down, I loved it. Thank you BBC."

A show insider told The Sun: "Producers had hoped Watership Down would be one of the BBC's standout programmes over the festive season, but it really hasn't lived up to expectations.

"The fan reaction has been really negative and the general consensus is that too much money was blown on the cast rather than the graphics.

"It's a huge disappointment especially given the quality of stars they got on-board including John Boyega, James McAvoy and Olivia Colman."

Topics: TV News, TV Entertainment

Mark Cunliffe
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