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Avner W. Less,
After viewing this, two things immediately came to my mind. Firstly, that this is by no means as good as the original ZDF four-parter and secondly, that it is far from the mess that the Pro 7 Treasure Island remake was.
The positive that can be said so far (after watching the first part) is that it did not try to be something else than Jack London's story (They completely crippled last year's Treasure island). It is even closer to the novel than the ZDF production, since they (back in 1971) mixed up different Jack London stories and themes. But somehow it worked back then.
What did not work in this production and in my opinion the weak point is the acting. You can say what you want about Raimunf Harmsdorf as an actor, but he absolutely nailed the part of Wolf Larson in the original. Thomas Kretschmann certainly looks the part, face-wise. He is not as muscular and bulked up as Harmsdorf was. He may be a good actor as well, but the lines he is given are absolutely bad. The whole script is bad and the direction as well. Krtschmann might come out of this alive, but all the other actors were absolutely not able to compensate the writing with their acting skills, especially Florian Setter (Weyden) and Alexander Hörbe (the sea-cook.
The others, for example the actors of Leach and Johnson were agreeable. The high points of this was the production design and the music.
I don't know where Pro 7 finds those actors, writers and directors.
The only silverlining is the up-coming ZDF production of the Sea Wolf starring Sebastian Koch in the title role. He is one of my favorite actors and if he is not able to pull it off, I do not know who can.
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