The Shannara Chronicles Will Have You Saying, "I Want My MTV!"

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MTV's new fantasy epic, THE SHANNARA CHRONICLES, is based off the best selling book series by author Terry Brooks and delivers a unique take on a fantasy world that exists here on Earth.

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The opening sequence of the pilot episode, "Chosen", shows us several landmarks that immediately tell us this story takes place thousands of years after the fall of mankind. This isn't an imaginary realm on another world, even though the world your viewing is a far cry from what we're accustomed to.

Elves and humans alike are threatened by Trolls, Gnomes and 'Rovers' when they're outside of the safe confines of home. Other than those threats, the land is at peace and has been for quite some time.

When a young Elven Princess, Amberle, decides to become one of the 'Chosen', it sets off a chain of events that leads to the rebirth of demons throughout the land. It is said that the Ellcrys, a tree that has stood for centuries, keeps the land safe from evil. When Amberle touches the Ellcrys, to be accepted by it, she is given visions of a future full of death.

This event also awakens the last known Druid, Allanon, who is tasked with finding the heir of Shannara. This heir will be his apprentice and help him stop the evil that has been awakened.

Meanwhile a half-elf named Wil, is saddened by the loss of his mother. On her death bed, she gave him magical elf-stones and begged him to find 'the Druid' with her final words. His travels have him meeting up with Allanon, who declares him the Shannara heir. Unfortunately he had a previous run-in with a Rover who stole the elf-stones from him.

The Ellcrys begins dying and as each leaf falls, a new demon appears. Fearing this is all her fault, the Elf Princess leaves in hopes her estranged Aunt can help her fix it.

The rising threat in the show comes in the form of a demonic Druid who grows stronger as each leaf falls from the Ellcrys. And with each leaf that falls, he gains an additional demon to command in his growing army. One of which happens to be a changeling that is sure to wreak havoc as viewers won't know who is real and who is evil as each scene plays out.

All the characters are well developed and have their own paths to follow. It's not hard to find a favorite and be excited about their story. The sets and visuals for the show are really breathtaking, as we are given overhead views of the 'Four Lands' of which the story takes place. The special effects are well done and aren't a distraction.

The show features several veteran actors as well as a few relatively new names.

A younger generation of viewers will recognize Austin Butler as Wil, the Half-Elf. He was the dumb jock from NED'S DECLASSIFIED HIGH SCHOOL SURVIVAL GUIDE, who went on to appear in a few episodes of ARROW. His on-screen charisma and sense of humor serve him well in the role.

The young Rover who stole Wil's magical Elf-Stones is played by Ivana Baquero, a young actor with a small resume but seems to be a perfect fit for the part. Beautiful and seductive, she'll lie, cheat and steal her way into your heart.

Manu Bennett, mostly known for his role as Deathstroke on ARROW, plays the Druid, Allanon. It's a role that suits him as his on-screen presence commands attention and respect as someone very powerful.

Poppy Drayton has a mere 12 acting credits but does well as the Princess Amberle, who has a big role to play in the series. Slender and graceful, yet fierce and in control, her passion for the role makes her a perfect fit.

The big ticket name for the series is the well-polished John Rhys-Davies who has over 200 credits to his name, most notably as the Dwarf Gimli in The Lord of the Rings saga. In 'Shannara' he plays King Elessedil, Amberle's grandfather.

For MTV to produce such a high quality, fantasy epic is something I never would've expected from the former home to music videos. If you are into fantasy, swords and sorcery, THE SHANNARA CHRONICLES is a show worth watching. It's less political than HBO's GAME OF THRONES, but far more fantastical.

And that's a good thing.