Apple TV+ has released the trailer for Taika Waititi’s new 10 episode comedy adventure series Time Bandits. based on the classic Terry Gilliam film by the same name. The big question on everyone’s lips is, “why?”


The premise here is the same as the movie. A bunch of misfit second-rate thieves get lucky and stumble across a map that gives them access to all of human history, which they use to plunder everything they can grab. Major supernatural forces want that map back, and the Time Bandits are constantly on the run. A young boy (played by the interestingly named child actor Kal-El Tuck) joins the Time Bandits because his bedroom happens to be a major time nexus, allowing travel through all of time and space.

The series looks to modernize the premise and turn it into a series, but while there are little people in the cast, none of them are in lead roles, and there is little evidence of the Terry Gilliam sense of humor that adorned the original and made it what it was. The original showcased little people in roles as the main characters, not just there because of the novelty of their size, but to give them a chance to be real actors for once. With this new series version, the charm of the quixotic characters is largely gone, replaced by a bunch of big doofuses who, when needs arise, suddenly have ninja-like thieving powers, As it is, it feels like a step backwards, not a step forwards.

That all said, if you have not seen the original 1981 Terry Gilliam film, the series looks like a bit of idle fun. Your mileage may vary. Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.

Gene Turnbow
Gene Turnbow

President of Krypton Media Group, Inc., radio personality and station manager of Part writer, part animator, part musician, part illustrator, part programmer, part entrepreneur – all geek.