The Wheel of Time TV Pilot "Winter Dragon" gained new life, since it's notorious early morning showing on FXX more more than five years ago. Unlike that infamous moment, the creators of "Winter Dragon: The Dusty Wheel Cut," Matt and Taylor Hatch, who run a live call-in talk show about The Wheel of Time on YouTube, released their "cut" of "Winter Dragon" in a live Premier to hundreds of curious fans. In fact, in a day since its release, the newly released "cut" had been seen thousands of times.
Is it worth seeing?
It has a run time of under 9 minutes, which means close to 14 minutes of material from the original were edited out. Surprisingly, or not so much, the story remains intact, while creating a much more direct narrative from start to finish. They added an underlying musical score by Adrian von Ziegler, and with some creative cuts, were able to tie the disparate pieces together mostly coherently. This works. The pace is quick, and fans have noted a darker tone to the overall feel of this edit of "Winter Dragon." Whether those kinds of modifications compel fans to view it, those who have generally agree that this was worthwhile both from it being a creative effort and the time spent to watch it.
What have the fans said about it?
Initial fan reviews are very positive, with a few hedging on a begrudging appreciation, even as they expressed a clear distaste for the original Wheel of Time TV Pilot. It's not uncommon to read reactions just like these:
"I...don't hate it. Good job!"
"Good job, it’s almost enjoyable to watch now :)"
"Congratulations you guys made the prologue actually watchable."
Though, many fans left comments across social media echoing these YouTube viewers appreciation and sentiments about the power of editing in influencing their experience:
"This was fantastic!!! Wow. The power of great editing can elevate every aspect of this original pilot. And truthfully, the actors who played both Lews Therin and especially Ishamael had both enhanced and had their performances enhanced by this cut. Wonderful work!!"
"Lovely job! I especially like the horror vibe you added to it, I really think the REAL show will succeed best if they lean into that."
"I was very apprehensive about watching simply based on how bad the original version was. This proves how powerful having a Great Editor is. The story actually makes sense now, and I suddenly find myself wanting to see more."
It's worth noting just how excited some fans were, as Josh commented on YouTube:
"I absolutely loved the cut. you did SUCH a great job working with the original material! you took something that fell flat for many people and managed to kick it up 2 or 3 notches. I had chills watching this. I was SO much more emotionally invested in LTT and i hate Ishameal so much more!!!"
"PERFECT! It really brings the scene to life. I love it!"
Of course, some fans were not moved by the changes.
"It was too aggressively cut for my taste. Though I guess it balances out the meandering at times pacing of the original. Long story short, good job but Its just as okay as it was back then."
This new "cut" of "Winter Dragon" caught the attention of the people at WinterisComing.net, who did a write up on The Dusty Wheel and their edited version of Winter Dragon.
Before Amazon started adapting The Wheel of Time, there was an awful WoT pilot called “Winter Dragon.” One fan went all Snyder Cut on it and produced something worthwhile.
However you feel about the original "Winter Dragon," new interest by fans as Amazon Prime works on finishing Season 1 of their Wheel of Time TV Series, has enlivened the fan base. We expect to see more projects just like this one as the Premier fans really are excited for, approaches in 2021.