All images belong to NBC.

Emerald City is a reimagining of the L. Frank Baum books for a GoT generation, which premiered last night on NBC (on Fridays at 9/8c).

“Swept up into the eye of a tornado, 20-year-old Dorothy Gale (Adria Arjona) is transported to another world – a mystical land where an all-powerful ruler (Vincent D’Onofrio) governs over one kingdom, has outlawed magic, and faces not only the wrath of a growing cauldron of witches but a looming disaster brought on by a mythical force. Epic, romantic and fantastical, “Emerald City” is an empowering tale of a young woman finding her true strength and identity even as she battles to bring a divided world together.” (NBC.com)

I won’t go into a full episode summary (as I’m sure other bloggers will be doing that), but I did want to briefly discuss my thoughts and predictions on the direction of the first season.

Some of you may know that I used to be a huge Oz geek growing up so you can imagine how delighted I am that someone decided to gamble on the series and create “Emerald City”.

With fourteen titles in the original Baum series, and that’s not even counting when John R. Neill took over, or the Ruth Plumly Thompson books, or the host of books inspired by Oz since then (somewhere around 100 last time I checked), there’s soooo much they could do with this series if fans come out to support it.

The introduction of steampunk science may raise some eyebrows, but remember that the original Wizard did achieve some of his magical marvels of wizardry through the use of technology.  Like Chekov’s smoking gun, those stone giants had better come to life at some point in the series — maybe with the introduction of the Nome King? Is he “the beast forever”?

Minor spoiler but I LOVED Fiona Shaw’s portrayal of Mombi. She’s not a character that most casual viewers (those familiar with the Judy Garland Technicolor version of Oz) would be familiar with, but the inner girl geek in me was cheering her on and squeeing at the introduction of Tip and Jack.  Fans of the 1985 Return to Oz, will remember the terrifying Mombi and her gallery of heads and the trapped Jack (Pumpkinhead) and boy, Tip.

emerald-cityThe two-hour long premiere is already introducing characters from the first two books and delving into Ozian politics and (peeking at the full cast details on IMDB), they’re definitely going to be weaving in some of Oz’s neighboring countries as the first season progresses.

Spoiler: the full cast photo features a masked female who is ‘Lady Ev’, the ruler of the Land of Ev, which is northeast of Oz across the sandy waste. The character features in the book, Ozma of Oz, so expect to see clashes between neighboring countries as the lost ruler of Oz is found and restored to their rightful rule.

Looking forward to the next episode, aren’t you?

For some great clips and photos from the series, check out the official website at: http://www.nbc.com/emerald-city

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