The Quest

The Quest season 1

Credits

Cast

Network

Reviewer

Emily Clark

TV Series Review

What if you could be a real hero in a fantastical world?

Disney aims to answer this question with its latest reality series, The Quest. Eight ordinary teens are thrust into a world they’ve only ever dreamed of—a world of castles, crowns and creatures.

Declared Paladins by King Silas of Oraa, contestants David, Serean, Holden, Myra, Shaan, Ava, Caden and Toshani enter the mystical land of Everealm. They’ve been told they were summoned by the Fates (who represent light magic) to defeat Tavora, a sorceress working for the Ferals (who represent dark magic).

Tavora’s already claimed the life of the King of Sanctum, Silas’s brother. And now she’s after Sanctum’s heirs, Prince Cederic, Prince Emmett and Princess Adaline, who are hiding in Silas’s castle.

The only hope of defeating Tavora is to restore the Divine Crown, a magical relic that belongs to the ruler of Sanctum and possesses the power of the Fates. Unfortunately, the previous Sanctum monarchs traded the Crown’s adorning Gems of Virtue for riches and pleasure, breaking the sacred bond with the Fates and rendering the headpiece useless.

The Paladins will need to complete tasks testing their courage, strength, speed, wisdom, resilience and more in order to retrieve the stones and determine which among them shall become the One True Hero and save all of Everealm from the forces of darkness.

Realistic Fantasy

The Quest is a reality show, which makes the whole concept of it also being a fantasy show a bit confusing. We all know that the magic displayed here isn’t real so much as realistic. Special effects make it all come together. But both the contestants and the actors portraying Tavora, King Silas and the rest treat it as though it is. And we get a classic battle of good versus evil.

While Tavora has certainly become an evil person who uses her powers to murder and destroy, she wasn’t always. We see a bit of her backstory where she was nearly stoned for being born with magical abilities. Some who joined her cause faced similar persecution, though others simply wanted the power she offered.

The Sanctum siblings aren’t completely innocent either. Each of them wants to rule Sanctum and wear the Divine Crown, scheming against each other. Even Tavora notices their entitled attitudes, which is part of the reason why she believes she’d be a better ruler than them.

But truly, it all comes down to the Paladins—the show’s reality contestants. While most reality shows simply pit contestants against each other, The Quest often requires them to work together. If the group fails, then Tavora comes closer to succeeding. This makes the stakes a little higher, since they could all lose and be sent home.

Still, this is a competition. After the completion of each task, those who stood out either for their speed, strength, leadership or even kindness receive talismans with the understanding that whoever wins the most will become the One True Hero. And we see the real reactions to those victories and losses. Some sob in defeat. Others encourage each other to keep moving forward. And while nobody brags in victory—choosing to celebrate the success of the team as opposed to the self—those same winners sometimes prove to be sore losers when the next task rolls around.

We don’t hear much foul language, but there are dozens of exclamations of “oh my god!” And sometimes we hear the terms “dang it” or “darn it.”

Sexual content is also nonexistent, but there is a budding romance between one of the princes and the “Oracle,” a female soldier chosen by the Fates to represent them on the Paladins’ mission.

And of course, this is a medieval, fantasy-themed show, which comes with a slew of battles and swordfights, often resulting in death. (In one shot, we see the burnt corpses of several soldiers Tavora killed.) Magic is obviously a critical element of the show as well.

The Quest is certainly a strange, genre-breaking show, but it also promotes good virtues. And this gives kiddos the opportunity to learn about the importance of teamwork and how good sportsmanship looks in real life while also expanding their imaginations.

Episode Reviews

May 11, 2022 – S1, Ep1: “Strangers Arrive”

Eight teens arrive in Everealm to begin their quest to restore the Divine Crown.

Soldiers fight with swords and other medieval weapons in battle. Several are killed by magical fireballs, and we see their burnt corpses. A king is dissolved into black smoke by a sorceress, killing him. When a man throws a lance, a mage uses his magic to stop it in midair.

When the Divine Crown is activated, it portals the Paladins to Everealm. We hear lots of talk about the Fates (good magical beings) and Ferals (evil magical beings). A mage tries to convince his king to allow him to use forbidden magic to win the war. A Fate manifests as a dryad-like woman. She says that because the rulers of Sanctum broke their sacred bond with her and the other Fates by pawning off the Gems of Virtue they had been gifted, the Sanctum heirs cannot restore the Gems’ power. The Paladins must complete the quest because they were not born in Everealm and because they demonstrate the virtues the gems stand for. She appoints an “Oracle” to act as a prophet to the Paladins using a magical orb. A witch holds the first Gem of Virtue.

Royal siblings squabble over who should rule. In their first quest, the Paladins demonstrate courage, putting their hands into a box full of worms, cockroaches, scorpions and the like to retrieve a claw. That claw is then used to pry a gem out of a witch’s eye socket.

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Emily Clark
Emily Clark

Emily studied film and writing when she was in college. And when she isn’t being way too competitive while playing board games, she enjoys food, sleep, and indulging in her “nerdom,” which is the collective fan cultures of everything she loves, such as Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.

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