BBC Drops 'Watership Down' Trailer But People Still 'Traumatised' By The Original

The new trailer for the remake of the classic Watership Down has just dropped and it looks to be a tear-jerker.

A new adaptation for the BBC is set to hit our screens this Christmas and the trailer looks as dark as people feared. The eerie trailer opens straight into Fiver's ominous premonition of the destruction that lies in wait for the animals of Watership Down.

Fiver then embarks on his mission to try and convince his fellow rabbits of the imminent threat to the landscape and its wildlife - desperately asking Hazel to believe him.

He says: "Something will come to this place, we can leave now or we can be destroyed with it."

Viewers are then given a glimpse at he dangers that befall the band of fearful rabbits as they make their escape.

But the revamp doesn't appear to be quite as dark as the 1978 original, which still leaves viewers 'traumatised' some 40 years later.

As youngsters settled down in front of their family television screens many expected to tune into a cuddly story about bunnies, but what they got was a dark, gory and very realistic (for the time) animated version of the book - I'm guessing at this point many didn't read the book then, as that is pretty dark on its own.

Over the years many people who viewed the classic have labelled some of the scenes as 'harrowing' and 'traumatic' - some people have even said they're a bit put off watching the new remake after the original scarred them so much.

People Are Still Traumatised By Watership Down. Credit: Nepenthe Productions
People Are Still Traumatised By Watership Down. Credit: Nepenthe Productions

One person tweeted: "Omg, still traumatised by Watership Down from when I was a kid many years ago! We watched it as an end of term "treat"! (In the days a massive TV on a trolley was wheeled into the room). Pretty sure the teachers hadn't watched it 1st!!"

Another commented: "Not sure how I feel about this. As a fully grown adult not sure I'm ready to be traumatised again. To the youngens it ain't no Peter Rabbit! #WatershipDown."

A third posted: "I can't believe they're remaking Watership Down. Were we not all traumatised enough from the original? Which I saw far too young..."

If scenes of rabbits clawing each other's eyes out and dogs ripping into the bunnies wasn't enough to stay with you for life, the film's iconic song was haunting on its own as one person tweeted: "I remember when I first watched the movie about the bunnies as a kid. Still emotionally traumatised actually @BBCOne so no harm watching #WatershipDown once more @JamesMcAvoy67 @OliviaColmanTV If you use 'the song' I may never stop crying, obviously I'll still sing along though!"

People Are Still Traumatised By Watership Down. Credit: BBC
People Are Still Traumatised By Watership Down. Credit: BBC

They're of course talking about the haunting lyrics in the Art Garfunkle song 'Bright Eyes' which featured in the film.

The new version features Sam Smith singing an original song, Fire on Fire.

What can we expect from this upcoming remake? Well, the executive producer, Roy Aitken, told the Telegraph the updated version will not just tone down the levels of on-screen violence to make it more appropriate for children, but give a boost to its female characters.

He added: "While we won't shy away from the darkness in the book, visually it won't be as brutal and scarring."

All in all, it seems this new version of Watership Down, starring James McAvoy, won't be quite as gruesome as we remember from the original - but will stay true to the story.

Watership Down will air as two feature length episodes on BBC One on Saturday 22 December and Sunday 23 December. It will be released on Netflix for international viewers.

Featured Image Credit: Credit: Nepenthe Productions

Rachael Grealish

Rachael is journalist from West Cumbria, recently moved to Manchester for an exciting opportunity at LADbible. She used to work as an editor of a small newspaper, in Cumbria. Outside of work Rachael loves plenty of coffee, running and reading.

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