Watership Down: Part two of BBC One adaptation leaves viewers divided

The first episode was met with criticism for its ‘awful’ animation.

But the second half of Watership Down has left viewers divided, with many praising the show for its ’emotional’ story, while others continued to slam it.

The dramatic episode, titled The Escape And The Siege, left many in tears, though the consensus was that it wasn’t as gruesome as the original 1978 film adaptation.

Watership Down: Part two of BBC One adaptation, which aired on Sunday, left viewers divided as many praise the 'emotional' story while others say it's 'not as great' as 1978 film

Watership Down: Part two of BBC One adaptation, which aired on Sunday, left viewers divided as many praise the 'emotional' story while others say it's 'not as great' as 1978 film

Watership Down: Part two of BBC One adaptation, which aired on Sunday, left viewers divided as many praise the ’emotional’ story while others say it’s ‘not as great’ as 1978 film

Heading to Twitter to talk about the show, one viewer wrote: ‘Wasn’t sure yesterday but today’s episode has made it the great story that it always was for me as a child. More detail. Happy Christmas #WatershipDown’

While another joked: ‘Loved #WatershipDown although I think I’ve caused emotional harm to my 12 year old. The only thing missing was #brighteyes’

One gushed: ‘#WatershipDown @BBCOne #sobbing Extremely well done. Less traumatic than original, still #tearjerker. Glad no #brighteyes or would be floods’ 

Another was candid, as they said: ‘Actually really quite enjoyed watching the new #WatershipDown. Having said that, I don’t have strong memories of the original unlike my other half who knew what was different this time around. It was good. Just wish they were rabbits and not hares!’

Tearjerker: The dramatic episode, titled The Escape And The Siege, left many in tears, though the consensus was that it wasn't as gruesome as the original 1978 film adaptation

Tearjerker: The dramatic episode, titled The Escape And The Siege, left many in tears, though the consensus was that it wasn't as gruesome as the original 1978 film adaptation

Tearjerker: The dramatic episode, titled The Escape And The Siege, left many in tears, though the consensus was that it wasn’t as gruesome as the original 1978 film adaptation

Others were not so impressed, as they continued to complain about the animation and said it was not as good as the original film.

One wrote: ‘Disappointing version of #WatershipDown currently airing #BBC. The animation looks like old computer game footage; you can’t tell the rabbits apart and not all of the voices really worked. If you like the story track down the beautifully animated original movie or read the book.

Another user gave a more balanced review as they wrote: ‘it is not completely horrible #watershipdown but still have the urge to watch the original to get rid of this from my mind…’ 

While one user added: ‘Well I enjoyed the #WatershipDown remake. Not as great as the original film but I still enjoyed it…. and it still made me cry.’ 

Unhappy: Others were not so impressed, as they continued to complain about the animation and said it was not as good as the original film

Unhappy: Others were not so impressed, as they continued to complain about the animation and said it was not as good as the original film

Unhappy: Others were not so impressed, as they continued to complain about the animation and said it was not as good as the original film

Although the two-part series was both praised and criticised, it seems a lot of them had already tuned out before the end of the first episode.

According to The Sun, 700,000 people had changed channels during the show’s debut on Saturday night as the episode began with 4 million viewers to the drop to 3.3 million by the episode’s end.  

Speaking to the publication, a show insider said: ‘The fan reaction has been really negative and the general consensus is that too much money was blown on the cast rather than the graphics.

‘It’s a huge disappointment especially given the quality of stars they got on-board including John Boyega, James McAvoy and Olivia Colman.

‘And, on top of this, to get jon a little more than three million viewers for a show that cost around £20 million is an embarrassment to say the least.’

Done: Although the two-part series divided viewers, it seems a lot of them had already tuned out before the end of the first episode as The Sun claimed 700,000 people tuned out

Done: Although the two-part series divided viewers, it seems a lot of them had already tuned out before the end of the first episode as The Sun claimed 700,000 people tuned out

Done: Although the two-part series divided viewers, it seems a lot of them had already tuned out before the end of the first episode as The Sun claimed 700,000 people tuned out

The BBC adaptation saw Nicholas Hoult lend his voice to Fiver, while James McAvoy, Olivia Colman, John Boyega, Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley and Rosamund Pike are also featured in the cast. 

The 1978 film is renowned for its disturbing imagery, with many children thinking it was a cartoon about fluffy bunnies only to watch harrowing images of injured and dying rabbits.

While in the 1972 novel written by Richard Adams the threat of death looms large for the animals, with snares, poisoning and violence amongst the rabbits themselves.  

The story follows a key clan of rabbits who embark on an epic quest to find a new home, and also includes a black rabbit that acts as a ‘grim reaper’ for the characters.

A-listers: The BBC adaptation sees Nicholas Hoult lend his voice to Fiver, while James McAvoy, Olivia Colman, John Boyega, Gemma Arterton and Rosamund Pike are also featured in the cast

A-listers: The BBC adaptation sees Nicholas Hoult lend his voice to Fiver, while James McAvoy, Olivia Colman, John Boyega, Gemma Arterton and Rosamund Pike are also featured in the cast

A-listers: The BBC adaptation sees Nicholas Hoult lend his voice to Fiver, while James McAvoy, Olivia Colman, John Boyega, Gemma Arterton and Rosamund Pike are also featured in the cast

Adams died aged 96 in 2016 and daughters Juliet, 60, and Rosamond, 58, who encouraged their father to write when they were children, look after his legacy.

Speaking about their father’s opinions on death in Radio Times Christmas edition, his eldest daughter said: ‘Daddy didn’t like the way people babied, and pandered to, and “icky-ised” children, lying to them about death and so on.

‘He was very explicit about that, and I think he was right. I mean, why lie to kids? We’re destroying the environment and endangering all the animals – I think it would be strange to ignore that.’

Dramatic: The 1978 film is renowned for its disturbing imagery, while in the 1972 novel written by Richard Adams the threat of death looms large for the animals

Dramatic: The 1978 film is renowned for its disturbing imagery, while in the 1972 novel written by Richard Adams the threat of death looms large for the animals

Dramatic: The 1978 film is renowned for its disturbing imagery, while in the 1972 novel written by Richard Adams the threat of death looms large for the animals

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