Professor X helps boost His Dark Materials in China, but the country is baffled by Picard
China reacts to the trailers of The Witcher, Westworld Season 3, His Dark Materials and Star Trek: Picard
While Trekkies in the West are rejoicing at the return of Sir Patrick Stewart to the iconic role of Star Trek’s Captain Jean-Luc Picard, TV fans in China remain baffled. They don’t know what Star Trek: Picard is or why they should care.
While fans around the world celebrated new trailers for big-name TV shows from San Diego Comic-Con, the reaction in China was very different. Picard means nothing in a country where Star Trek: The Next Generation was never seen.
But that intense fandom is turning against the show, because people in China are complaining that the actors don’t look enough like their counterparts in the game.
First and foremost, some people can’t shake past impressions of Henry Cavill, who plays Geralt of Rivia, from what is perhaps his most famous role: Superman.
That’s positively polite compared to the reaction to the female characters Yennefer and Triss.
Other Chinese fans were more understanding, though, noting that the adaptation is of the series of novels, not the game -- something Netflix wasn’t subtle about pointing out.
Another show coming in for criticism is Westworld. The season 3 trailer premiered at Comic-Con, and it’s sparking a conversation about speciesism -- because Chinese viewers think Westworld is becoming too sympathetic towards the robots.
If online comments in China for The Witcher or Westworld seem critical, reactions to another highly anticipated HBO show appear to be universally positive.
Even if New Line Cinema couldn’t do the story justice, Chinese fans appear hopeful about HBO taking a crack at it.
James McAvoy won his fans in China through his portrayal of Charles Xavier, or Professor X, in the X-Men films. And it’s for X-Men that Sir Patrick Stewart is forever associated with in China -- not Captain Picard.
Star Trek’s depiction of space exploration ignited the imaginations of multiple generations in the West, but it’s never been part of the Chinese cultural zeitgeist. So it makes sense that TV fans in China were simply baffled by the trailer for Picard.