|Fate: The Winx Saga|
|Created by||Brian Young|
|Based on||Winx Club|
by Iginio Straffi
|Country of origin|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||6|
|Running time||47–53 minutes|
|Audio format||Dolby Digital 5.1|
|Original release||22 January 2021 –|
Fate: The Winx Saga is a teen drama series based on the Nickelodeon animated series Winx Club, which was created by Iginio Straffi. It is produced by Archery Pictures in association with Rainbow, a studio co-owned by Iginio Straffi and ViacomCBS. Fate was developed by Brian Young, who also acts as the showrunner and executive producer.
Iginio Straffi first proposed a live-action version of Winx Club in 2011, after Viacom (owner of Nickelodeon) became a co-owner of his studio and started financing his projects. Before approving production on the series, Straffi gained experience with live-action television shows, working as a producer for Nickelodeon's Club 57. Principal photography for Fate eventually began in September 2019 in Ireland.
Early in production, Nickelodeon's American crew members from the cartoon (including Bloom's voice actress, Molly Quinn) met with the Fate production team and reviewed the pilot script. Rainbow's Joanne Lee also oversaw the show as an executive producer. Apart from them, the crew behind Fate is entirely new to the Winx franchise, and the writers were recruited from teen dramas like The Vampire Diaries.
The series features an ensemble cast based on the characters of the animated show, with Abigail Cowen in the lead role of Bloom. The six-episode first season debuted on Netflix on 22 January 2021 to mixed reviews.
In February 2021, the series was renewed for a second season.
Bloom, a fairy with fire powers, enrolls at a magical boarding school in the Otherworld called Alfea College. There, she shares a suite with Stella (a light fairy), Aisha (a water fairy), Terra (an earth fairy), and Musa (a mind fairy). With the help of her four new friends, Bloom starts to learn more about her past. Meanwhile, ancient creatures called the Burned Ones return to the Otherworld and threaten everyone at Alfea.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date |
|1||"To the Waters and the Wild"||Lisa James Larsson||Teleplay by : Brian Young||22 January 2021|
|A farmer goes outside to check on his livestock. He finds one dead and is then attacked by a strange entity. Bloom, a fire fairy from Earth, arrives at Alfea, a magical school of Fairies and Specialists. After running into Sky, Bloom meets up with Stella, her mentor, for a campus tour. Bloom then meets her roommates Aisha, Terra, and Musa. Bloom's parents are human, and they don't know about Alfea and that Bloom is a fairy. At the orientation party, Bloom goes into the woods alone to practice her magic but then loses control. Aisha finds Bloom and saves her from the flame. Seeing Bloom's power, Aisha theorizes that Bloom could be a changeling. Disturbed by this fact, Bloom leaves for her room where she finds Stella. Stella gives Bloom her ring, which can transfer Bloom to the First World. Bloom then comes back to Earth and has a call with her parents. When returning to the portal, she is attacked by the Burned One. Bloom is then rescued by Headmistress Dowling, Aisha, Terra, and Musa, but she loses Stella's ring.|
|2||"No Strangers Here"||Lisa James Larsson||Speed Weed||22 January 2021|
|Bloom asks Dowling if she is a changeling and Dowling tells her that she doesn't know her birth parents but provides no additional answers, frustrating Bloom. When Stella gets to know that Bloom lost her ring, she manipulates Bloom, Terra, and Sky into helping her find it. Riven falls for a new mysterious student named Beatrix and they together make plans of sneaking into Dowling's office to discover what she is hiding. Meanwhile, Silva becomes injured by the Burned One while trying to capture it. Bloom and her friends find injured Silva outside the barrier and Terra tries to treat him. Bloom hears voices in her head and runs after the Burned One. Bloom and Aisha knock it out, allowing Bloom to take the ring back. Terra brings in the injured Silva and Beatrix tells Dowling that he was attacked by the burned one. Once Dowling leaves, Beatrix searches for and finds a secret room in Dowling's office.|
|3||"Heavy Mortal Hopes"||Hannah Quinn||Victoria Bata||22 January 2021|
|Bloom dreams of a woman telling her to look for her. She believes the woman is the fairy who left her on Earth. At Alfea, Bloom finds a picture of that woman and confronts Dowling about it. Dowling tells her that the woman is Rosalind, who was Dowling's mentor and is dead now and that she doesn't know how she is involved with Bloom. At the Specialists' party, Bloom gets to know from Riven that Stella blinded her best friend last year after she flirted with Sky. Sky doesn't deny, it which scares Bloom. Meanwhile, Silva's condition worsens even after the Burned one is killed, implying that there are more. Bloom and her friends fight the Burned One together until Dowling arrives to finish it off. They return to find that Silva is healing. Beatrix gets into the secret passage in Dowling's room using Dowling's assistant to trigger the trap which leaves him injured. Beatrix kills him to cover her tracks after she is unable to access a hidden room. At the end of the episode, it is revealed that Rosalind is being held captive in the room that Beatrix tried to access.|
|4||"Some Wrecked Angel"||Hannah Quinn||Niceole R. Levy||22 January 2021|
|Queen Luna arrives at Alfea to give a speech. She is not happy with Stella's progress and decides to pull Stella from school against Dowling's wishes. Meanwhile, Dowling begins to investigate Callum's death. Bloom gets to know about this from Aisha and starts looking for hidden information in the school with the help of Beatrix. The two of them find a war room with a map that has Aster Dell marked on it. Beatrix takes Bloom to Aster Dell and says war crimes were committed there as she claims Dowling and her allies destroyed it in order to kill the Burned Ones that were there with no regard for collateral damage. She states this happened two days before Bloom's birthday which causes Bloom to suspect her biological parents were murdered at Aster Dell. Beatrix then tells Bloom that Rosalind is an ally who is still alive and being held captive by Dowling. Before Bloom can get any more information, Dowling arrives and detains Beatrix. When questioned why they were there, Bloom lies to Dowling and tells her that it was a joyride.|
|5||"Wither Into the Truth"||Stephen Woolfenden||Teleplay by : Victoria Bata|
Story by : Sarah Hooper
|22 January 2021|
|Beatrix is imprisoned at Alfea. Dane and Bloom plot Beatrix's escape. Meanwhile, Sky has been tasked by Dowling and Silva to spy on Bloom. Bloom secretly visits Beatrix with help from Dane, and Beatrix offers her access to Rosalind if she is freed. Stella has snuck back into Alfea. Musa, Terra, and Stella plot a way to help Bloom without helping Beatrix to Aisha's chagrin. Sky catches Bloom conjuring magic at the stone circle in order to help break out Beatrix. Sky confronts her and tells her the truth about his spying. He wants them to trust each other. They kiss and Bloom drugs him to knock him unconscious. A battalion calls in to reveal many Burned Ones are on their way. Bloom confronts Dowling about Aster Dell. Dowling says Rosalind tricked them into destroying it and that is why she is being held captive. Terra and Musa help break out Beatrix and together they go down to the basement with Bloom and Stella to break out Rosalind. Stella uses Beatrix to trigger the trap, immobilizing her. They free Rosalind as the others prepare to battle the Burned Ones.|
|6||"A Fanatic Heart"||Stephen Woolfenden||Brian Young||22 January 2021|
|Rosalind tells Bloom that Aster Dell was filled with Blood Witches and that Bloom's biological parents are still alive. She also reveals the Burned Ones are targeting Bloom for her powers. The Burned Ones get dangerously close. Rosalind tries to activate Bloom's full power, but then Bloom realizes she is being used. She goes to help Alfea by drawing the Burned Ones away. She is met by Sky and the two share a kiss before she confronts the Burned Ones, unleashing her full power and destroying them all. Bloom and her roommates go back to Earth where she reveals everything to her adoptive parents. Meanwhile, Silva reveals to Sky that he had to kill Andreas for siding with Rosalind as Rosalind escapes alongside Beatrix, Dane, and Riven. The Solarians finally arrive with Queen Luna and Andreas to everyone's surprise. They arrest Silva for the attempted murder of Andreas. Rosalind and Dowling confront each other in the woods. Rosalind tells Dowling that the Dragon Flame, an ancient magical power burns inside Bloom and that it was used against the Burned Ones who were soldiers in an old war. Rosalind then seemingly kills Dowling. Rosalind and Andreas take over Alfea.|
The idea for a live-action adaptation of Winx Club dates back to 2011. Winx Club creator Iginio Straffi first proposed a live version in May 2011, several months after Viacom (owner of Nickelodeon) became a co-owner of his studio (Rainbow) and started financing his projects. At the Ischia Global Fest in 2013, Straffi stated that he was still planning a production "with the Winx in flesh and blood, played by real actors. Sooner or later it will be done." Straffi had only worked on animated productions at the time, so he transitioned his focus to live action, working as a producer for Nickelodeon's live-action show Club 57.
In February 2016, Iginio Straffi mentioned that a live-action movie concept was being considered in partnership with Hollywood Gang Productions, but the project never moved on. In March 2018, the idea was revisited as a television series after Netflix ordered a young-adult version for its streaming service. Straffi was involved in the early planning stages, and he declined a suggestion from Netflix for the male characters to be given larger roles.
After a pilot episode was scripted, Nickelodeon's American crew members from the cartoon (including Bloom's voice actress, Molly Quinn) travelled to meet with the Fate production team and review the script. Francesco Artibani, one of the Italian writers of the animated version, was also brought in to read the storyline. Rainbow's Joanne Lee oversaw the first season as an executive producer.
The writers behind Fate are entirely new to the Winx franchise, and they were recruited from teen dramas like The Vampire Diaries. Brian Young, who worked on seven seasons of The Vampire Diaries, is the creator and showrunner of Fate: The Winx Saga. According to an interview with The Guardian, Young chose to "ditch the look" of the cartoon Winx fairies, who have big eyes and sparkling outfits. He said, "Look, again, I'm a massive manga anime fan... but nobody looks like that." Some episodes of the first season were directed by Lisa James Larsson and Hannah Quinn.
On 18 February 2021, Netflix renewed the series for a second season.
The show's filming began in County Wicklow, Ireland in September 2019 and ended on December 13. The first season's primary filming locations included Killruddery House and Ardmore Studios in Bray.
Fate: The Winx Saga's music score was composed by Anne Nikitin, and the official playlist is available on Spotify, including 33 songs from various artists.  Netflix also released a playlist for each fairy: Bloom's Fire Playlist, Stella's Light Playlist, Musa's Mind Playlist, Aisha's Water Playlist, Terra's Earth Playlist, and Beatrix's Air Playlist on Spotify.
Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 35% based on 17 reviews, with an average rating of 5.33/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Flat, flimsy, and forgettable, Fate: The Winx Saga is a fantastical flop that fails to capture the magic of its source material."
Caroline Framke of Variety criticized the series for relying too much on clichés and wrote that "while adapted from an animated show about friends that was largely targeted at pre-teens, it takes a page out of the Riverdale book by giving everything an ominous sheen of sexy intrigue." Joel Keller from Decider urged the audience to skip the series stating that "while there's nothing inherently terrible about Fate: The Winx Saga, there's nothing about it that stands out. Also, do we need yet another dark and gritty remake of a beloved kids' series?". Deirdre Molumby from Entertainment.ie praised the cast but criticized the plot and the poor CGI quality. On the contrary, Petrana Radulovic of Polygon wrote that "Fate: The Winx Saga does create a compelling, nuanced plot. The worldbuilding is exciting, offering a spin on the animated series' world of fairies and non-magical, sword-wielding Specialists." Melissa Camacho of Common Sense Media criticized the diversity of the cast along with the teen angst shown in the series, but wrote that "Fate: The Winx Saga offers a story world that is easy to escape into, and easy to get caught up in, if you're looking for a fantastical universe to explore." Millie Mae Healy of The Harvard Crimson heavily criticized the series for its deviation from the source material and stated that it "goes out of its way to be less inclusive and compelling than the source material was" and called it "a damn shame". Deyshna Pai of the UCSD Guardian gave the series a "C+" and criticized its pacing and character development.
The show peaked at #2 on Nielsen's Streaming Charts on the week of January 25th with 918 million minutes in viewership, trailing only Bridgerton at 936 million.   On April 20, 2021, Netflix reported that 57 million of subscribers watched the series for the first 28 days after its release.
The series received backlash over the casting of Applebaum as Musa, who was coded as East Asian and whose character design was based on Lucy Liu, as well as the apparent replacement of Flora, who was coded as Latina and whose character design was based on Jennifer Lopez, with a new white character named Terra.
In response to the backlash, Abigail Cowen said she was not involved in the casting but hoped that Flora would be introduced in Season 2 saying “I do think diversity both in front of and behind the camera is vital and much-needed throughout the industry and internationally. So I think it's important that we are having these conversations.” Brian Young has said Terra is the cousin of Flora, leaving Flora's inclusion in the show a possibility. Elisha Applebaum, who plays Musa also addressed the controversy. "It's really sad to see that fans were upset with the casting. I wasn't involved in the casting but I hope that what they've seen and how I've portrayed Musa was to their liking," Elisha told Digital Spy.
On February 2, 2021, a novelization of the first season, titled The Fairies' Path, was released. It features bonus scenes and character backstories not seen on the show. It was written by Ava Corrigan.
Viacom owns 30% of Rainbow [...] Straffi says he has a dream to make Winx Club into a live action movie.
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