Fate: The Winx Saga
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.
|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 –|
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.
Cast and characters
- Abigail Cowen as Bloom Peters, a 16-year-old fire fairy who was raised on Earth by human parents. She is a first-year student at Alfea and Aisha's roommate. She discovers that she is a changeling.
- Hannah van der Westhuysen as Stella, a fashionable light fairy and the princess of Solaria. Unlike her suitemates, she is a second-year student. She initially antagonises Bloom, but later becomes her friend.
- Precious Mustapha as Aisha, an athletic water fairy. She is a first-year student and Bloom's roommate. Aisha tends to defer to sources of authority and has difficulty rebelling against the teachers at Alfea.
- Eliot Salt as Terra Harvey, an earth fairy who is Sam's sister and Flora's cousin. She was raised at Alfea but has trouble connecting with her suitemates, especially her roommate Musa.
- Elisha Applebaum as Musa, a mind fairy who feels other people's emotions. Because of her powers, she tries to put emotional distance between herself and others. She is a first-year student and Terra's roommate.
- Danny Griffin as Sky, Stella's ex-boyfriend and son of the late Andreas of Eraklyon, who is regarded as Alfea's hero. The star of his class, he was raised by Silva and is a second-year Specialist student.
- Sadie Soverall as Beatrix, an air fairy who can manipulate electricity. A first-year student with advanced abilities, she knows much more about Alfea's dark history and Bloom's mysterious origins than other characters her age.
- Freddie Thorp as Riven, a second-year Specialist student who is Sky's best friend. He is romantically involved with Beatrix, while taking Dane under his wing.
- Eva Birthistle[a] as Vanessa Peters, Bloom's adoptive mother. Because of an incident where Bloom lost control over her powers, she is covered in burn scars.
- Robert James-Collier as Saul Silva, the Fencing instructor at Alfea and Sky's guardian. He was mentored by Sky's father, raising Sky after his death.
- Eve Best as Farah Dowling, the stern Headmistress of Alfea, working behind the scenes to protect her students from threats beyond Alfea's boundary.
- Lesley Sharp[b] as Rosalind, a previous headmistress of Alfea – who has a mysterious connection to Bloom.
- Theo Graham as Dane, a first-year Specialist student who befriends Terra, Riven and Beatrix. He has a crush on both Riven and Beatrix.
- Josh Cowdery as Mike Peters, Bloom's adoptive father. Like Vanessa, he does not know that Bloom is a fairy and not his real daughter.
- Alex Macqueen as Professor Harvey, Terra and Sam's father, the botany teacher at Alfea.
- Harry Michell as Callum, Dowling's assistant.
- Jacob Dudman as Sam Harvey, an earth fairy and Terra's brother, who has the ability to phase through walls and objects. He starts dating Musa.
- Kate Fleetwood as Queen Luna, Stella's icy mother and Solaria's queen.
- Ken Duken as Andreas, celebrated war hero, Sky's father and Beatrix's adoptive father.
|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’s 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’s 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’s 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’s unable to access a hidden room. At the end of the episode, it’s 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’s why she’s 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’s 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.
- Birthistle was only credited as "Starring" in the episodes she appears in.
- Sharp was only credited as "Starring" in the episodes that she appears in.
- Weiss, Josh (10 December 2020). "Nickelodeon's 'Winx Club' enters live-action with teaser for 'Fate: The Winx Saga' coming to Netflix". Syfy.
- Lloyd, Brian (17 September 2019). "Netflix's latest TV series, 'Fate: The Winx Saga', is now filming in Ireland". Entertainment.ie.
- Cook, Laurence (14 October 2019). "Fate: The Winx Saga". Backstage.
- Alissa Evans. "Fate: The Winx Saga Trailer - Netflix Gets Their Harry Potter". Screen Rant.
- Goodridge, Mike (13 May 2011). "Paramount strikes deal for Rainbow's Not Born To Be Gladiators". Screen International.
Viacom owns 30% of Rainbow [...] Straffi says he has a dream to make Winx Club into a live action movie.
- "TV Kids: Iginio Straffi". Worldscreen. 22 May 2019.
- Molly Quinn [@MollyQuinn93] (8 January 2021). "I did get to meet with the great production team and read the pilot! It'll be a fun show and I think the casting is wonderful" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Jones, Ellen (10 December 2020). "'Boys can be fairies – it's the 21st century': How Fate: The Winx Saga finds the reality in fantasy". The Guardian.
- Swift, Andy (10 December 2020). "Fate: The Winx Saga, Based on Animated Series, Gets 2021 Premiere Date on Netflix — Watch Teaser". TVLine. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
- Pedersen, Erik (18 February 2021). "'Fate: The Winx Saga' Renewed For Season 2 On Netflix". Deadline. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
- "Fate: The Winx Saga – Listings". The Futon Critic. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- "Il Mercato e l'Industria del Cinema in Italia 2010 (pages 70-71)" (PDF). Fondazione ente dello spettacolo. 2010. p. 70-71. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 October 2013.
- "Il papà delle Winx". Il Giornale di Vicenza (in Italian). 22 July 2013.
- Busch, Anita (10 February 2016). "'Winx Club' To Get Big Screen & Live-Action Treatment Via Hollywood Gang". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 30 January 2021.
- Petski, Denise (14 March 2018). ""Winx Club": Netflix Adapting Italian Animated Franchise As YA Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
- Kacala, Alexander (10 December 2020). "Netflix releases trailer for 'Winx Club' remake: 'Fate: The Winx Saga'". Today.
- "Netflix young adult series Fate: The Winx Saga begins filming in Ireland". RTÉ. 17 September 2019.
- "Live-Action 'Winx Club' Series In Pre-Production At Netflix, Brian Young Set As Showrunner (EXCLUSIVE)". 31 July 2019.
- Kinsella, Rudi (15 August 2019). "There's an open casting call for young adults and teenagers to appear in a new Netflix series". Joe.
- Doyle, Liam (14 August 2019). "Open casting call for new fantasy Netflix series". Wicklow News.
- Jackson, Steph (13 October 2020). "Fate: The Winx Saga release date, cast, plot and everything you need to know". Cosmopolitan.
- "Sheena McGinley's streaming pick of the week - Fate: The Winx Saga". Irish Independent. 22 January 2021.
- Moran, Fionnuala (22 January 2021). "Did you spot these Irish stars in Netflix's new drama Fate: The Winx Saga". Evoke.ie. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
- "On-demand giant commissions new version of TV saga made in Ashford Studios". Irish Times. 19 November 2019. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
- "Anne Nikitin to Score Gabriel Range's 'Stardust' & Netflix's 'Fate: The Winx Saga'". Film Music Reporter. 23 December 2019. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
- "FATE: THE WINX SAGA: SEASON 1 (2020 - 2021)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
- Framke, Caroline (22 January 2021). "Netflix's 'Fate: The Winx Saga' Stretches Fanfic Tropes Past Their Limits: TV Review". Variety. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
- Keller, Joel (22 January 2021). "Stream It Or Skip It: 'Fate: The Winx Saga' On Netflix, Where A Group Of Teenage Fairies Figure Out How To Be Teenagers … And Fairies". Decider. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
- Molumby, Deirdre. "Netflix review: 'Fate: The Winx Saga' lacks any magic". Entertainment.ie. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
- Radulovic, Petrana (18 January 2021). "Netflix's live-action Fate: The Winx Saga goes all in on the magic, but not the Magical Girls". Polygon. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
- Camacho, Melissa. "Fate: The Winx Saga". Common Sense Media. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
- Healy, Millie Mae (29 January 2021). "'Fate: The Winx Saga' Doesn't Know Why Anyone Liked 'Winx Club': Season Review". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
- Pai, Deyshna (7 February 2021). "TV Review: "Fate: The Winx Saga"". UCSD Guardian. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
- "Digital Ratings: Fate The Winx Saga and Wandavision in the Top 10". Cancelled Sci Fi. Retrieved 25 March 2021.
- Porter, Rick. "'Criminal Minds' Ascends to Top of Nielsen Streaming List". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 25 March 2021.
- Slattery, Laura (20 April 2021). "New subscriptions at Netflix fall short of expectations". The Irish Times. Retrieved 26 April 2021.
- Romano, Nick (21 April 2021). "Outside the Wire and Fate: The Winx Saga top most-watched Netflix movies and TV shows of the year". EW.com. Retrieved 26 April 2021.
- Nugent, Annabel (11 December 2020). "Netflix criticised for whitewashing two characters in Winx Club adaptation". The Independent. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
- Schroeder, Audra (10 December 2020). "Fans aren't happy about 'whitewashing' of Netflix's 'Winx Club' adaptation". Daily Dot. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
- Maas, Jennifer (21 January 2021). "Fate: The Winx Saga' Star Abigail Cowen on Netflix Series' 'Harry Potter' Vibe, Whitewashing Criticism". The Wrap. Retrieved 22 March 2021.
- Chase, Stephanie (29 January 2021). "Fate: The Winx Saga star responds to the show's casting backlash". Digital Spy. Retrieved 22 March 2021.
- "The Fairies' Path (Fate: The Winx Saga Tie-in Novel)". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved 27 January 2021.