Season one of Ren: The Girl with the Mark had a great reception when it was released in March 2016. Here is a reminder of some of the lovely things people had to say about it.
Canadian newspaper Yorkton This Week covered the series last year in its “Web Wanderings” column. When reporter Calvin Daniels stumbled on the show he was impressed by the production values. “The sets are amazing, and the costuming on par with anything for the aforementioned television and movie fantasies [Lord of the Rings, Shannara Chronicles].” He has praise for both Sophie Skelton (Ren) and Duran Fulton Brown (Hunter), but his favourite character is “the mysterious Karn” (Christopher Dane).
“You quickly immerse yourself in a story that has the sort of feel of the best of Robin Hood when I was a youngster, with just a bit more magic hinted at,” says Daniels, before concluding that Ren is “fantasy at its finest”.
“Make a note of the name Kate Madison, because she’s a director you should be hearing more of in the future.” So begins Vodzilla’s review. It’s part of a round-up of the official selections of the 2016 Raindance Web Fest, at which Ren was nominated for Best UK Series, Best Directing and Best Achievement in Production.
The review picks out Sophie’s “charismatic performance” and the “impressive” music as particularly praise-worthy. “Combined with Madison’s direction and some stylish editing, this is a fantasy story that feels familiar but nonetheless stands out from the pack,” Vodzilla concludes.
The world’s most-followed web series magazine is effusive about Ren – “quite simply the most beautiful, intricate, fascinating, compelling and high production web series currently airing on an online platform.”
As a filmmaker herself, reviewer Susan E. Clarke appreciates the huge amount of work that went into putting the world of Ren onto the screen. She tips her hat to the cast, including “the magical wonder of young James Malpas as Ren’s younger brother Baynon”, and to the “incredibly talented crew”. She sums up the show as “a period fantasy series that will certainly ignite the dreamer within you.”
Here is WebVee Guide’s interview with Kate from MCM Comic Con:
Texas-based fantasy writer Deborah O’Carroll blogged about our series in an article entitled “10 Reasons Why Ren the Series is Awesome”. Deborah was a big fan of Kate’s previous production, Born of Hope, and could barely contain her excitement about an original story from the same director.
Amongst Deborah’s ten reasons are the characters (Karn is again a favourite), the visuals (“this thing just looks so REAL”), the music (“it just makes my heart soar”), the world-building (“we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg”) and the British accents!
Blogger Mike Rhodes is a big fan of the series, describing it as “outstanding” and “quite simply wonderful”. He writes positively of the script, noting that “there are loads of unanswered questions, which is how it should be.”
“If someone had said the set was a leftover from Xena: Warrior Princess or The Hobbit then I would totally have believed them,” says Rhodes, who also praises the costume design and cinematography. “This deserves air time on national television the world over.”
John Blanchard and Stuart Lawson give their thoughts on Ren’s first episode in their regular video review show. They are impressed by the script, the cinematography and the locations. The whole cast hit the mark, they feel, making a very promising start to the series.
In a comment that chimes with Yorkton This Week‘s review, John says: “It reminds me of a more mystical Robin Hood, a female Robin Hood.” Summing up how he felt at the end of the episode, he describes “a genuine feeling of loss when it finished.”
Self-confessed Slytherin and “rabid fangirl” Mironiel Blokzyl reviews all five episodes of season one on her blog. Here’s just one of the GIFs she uses to express her feelings for the show:
Again the visuals are praised, as well as the actors. “Ren is almost a Katniss sort of figure,” Mironiel remarks. “She’s very strong and able to look after herself, which I love…” She is impressed by the confidence with which the cast embody their characters right from the get-go, with the Commander (Richard Zeman) making a particular impression.
“SEASON TWO MUST HAPPEN,” she insists in her final review. “I WILL DIE IF IT DOESN’T.”
Well, Mironiel, we certainly wouldn’t want that…
Thank you to all of the above and everyone who has written a review or article about Ren. Remember it’s never too late. If you want to express your thoughts about Ren there is a reviews section on our facebook and our IMDB page. Alternatively if you would like to interview any of the team about the production please do get in touch.