Introducing “The Gryphon,” an engrossing new German Prime Video series that was formerly known as “Der Greif.” This unreserved fantasy programme embraces the genre in a genuinely entrancing way. It offers a thrilling watching experience and is based on the critically acclaimed work by renowned German fantasy author Wolfgang Hohlbein.
I initially believed that “The Gryphon” would be perfect for me. However, I had some trouble getting into it completely, largely because of the little six-episode season. Understandably, this succinctness does not permit a thorough examination of the nuances of this novel and uncharted realm. As a result, I’m still a little unsure of the series.
The plot of “The Gryphon” appears to be deceptively simple and is built around a mission-based narrative. But it turns out to be both simple and sophisticated at the same time. The “Black Tower,” a brand-new world that begs for our exploration, is introduced to us. Along with us, Mark, the series’ main character, sets off on a quest to learn more about the legendary Black Tower.
Mark is first made aware of this parallel universe on his 16th birthday by his older brother. But as the plot thickens, Mark is forced onto a dangerous journey to free humanity from the Gryphon’s grasp. We are left wanting more in-depth explanations as to why exactly he was selected for this difficult duty, beyond the hazy idea of “saving humanity.”
As a result, the show presents a misleadingly straightforward narrative with little information.
I had hopes that “The Gryphon” would be as well received as Netflix’s “Dark” and “Stranger Things,” having truly loved both series. While “Stranger Things” captivates viewers with its nostalgic 1980s setting and the exploits of a gang of Dungeons & Dragons aficionados fighting to protect the planet, “Dark” portrays a German sci-fi horror series featuring time travel.
These parallels, albeit they may be oversimplified, capture the core of those shows.
As a teenager who lived in Denmark at the time, I can relate to the setting of “The Gryphon,” which takes place in Germany in the 1990s. Furthermore, Mark regularly seeks refuge in a record shop, a setting that resonates with my own experiences.
But when I stepped into the world of the Black Tower, I couldn’t help but be disappointed. The unique aesthetic of painters famed for their work on Guillermo del Toro’s films may be seen in the animals that live in this dimension. Their designs are definitely cool, but they don’t really stand out or inspire dread; instead, they remind one of other imaginary worlds like Doctor Who. Strangely, the Black Tower’s environs give off a sinister vibe while also feeling strangely incomplete.
Maybe it’s just me, but “The Gryphon” didn’t immediately grab my attention, and I found it difficult to follow up with its main points. This makes me think that many viewers will probably have a hit-or-miss experience, with the latter result predominating.
The creators and producers of “The Gryphon” are Sebastian Marka and Erol Yesilkaya. This project is recognised as Germany’s most major fantasy effort since Wolfgang Petersen’s 1984 film “The NeverEnding Story,” according to a number of sites.
Interestingly, “The NeverEnding Story” included a memorable tune that gained attention again after being included in “Stranger Things.” The revival had an impact even if it wasn’t as significant as Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill,” which became popular the following season.
The wonderful soundtrack is the one component of “The Gryphon” that truly captured my attention. Each song enhances the overall experience and sets the mood well.
The implementation of the plot, which centres on Mark’s quest to confront his family’s sinister history and participate in a dangerous struggle inside the Black Tower’s parallel universe, is my main issue with this new German Prime Video series. Unfortunately, I don’t personally connect with this component.
Furthermore, the problem is made worse by the dearth of endearing or engaging characters. Nevertheless, I recommend giving “The Gryphon” a try if you enjoy reading fantasy novels. It has a number of elements that show promise. But taken as a whole, it doesn’t seem to speak to me personally.
On May 26, 2023, “The Gryphon,” also known as “Der Greif,” will have its Prime Video debut.