The Dresden Files

Season 1 Episode 1

Birds of a Feather

Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Jan 21, 2007 on Syfy

Episode Fan Reviews (28)

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out of 10
390 votes
  • A beginning of a show, based on the series of books written by James Butcher, revolving around a wizard-for-hire.

    I haven't read the books by James Butcher - yet. That is on my list of things to do, though, because after seeing the first episode of the show, I'm rather pleased with it.

    The fact that I'm not familiar with the overall plot made this episode a little hard to follow, because things were not explained as they usually are in show premiers: in detail. Not to worry, though; I got sucked in very fast, and some important facts were dropped by the characters every now and then to bring the viewers up to speed.

    I particularly liked the mix of past, present, and Harry Dresden's first person narrative mingling together. It wasn't as messy as one might think, because Harry's "inner" narrative blended in just fine in all the right places.

    Overall, the episode plot was decent. Harry comes across a boy - or actually, the boy finds him - and tries to hire Harry to take care of his monster problem. Conveniently, Harry's just had a bunch of dreams of his own childhood monsters.

    Harry doesn't want the boy's money, but when events start to point a certain way - a Skinwalker is in town, and the Ravens take the boy - Harry finally must take his case seriously.

    The show looks good, there was a nice plot going on, and I rather find myself liking this character Bob, who in the beginning was a bit snobbish (and greatly reminds me of Jim Curry for some reason).

    I will most definitely be watching this show to the very end, and hopefully enjoy it.
  • Birds of a Feather


    Birds of a Feather was a superb episode of The Dresden Files and I really enjoyed watching this episode because there was a lot of character establishment, a well written story, action and magic. This was a great way to introduce the main characters who immediately draw you in to want more. I like the feel of the show and how good the special effects are. It was very entertaining and I look forward to watching more episodes of The Dresden Files!!!!!!!

  • I thoiught that this episode was exciting..

    This is the pilot episode of the Dresden Files. Its about a Wizard named Harry Dresden and how he helps the world be a better place. By being a paranormal investigator. In this pilot episode Harry Dresden is hired by a child who believes that mosters are after him. And as it turns out there are monsters after him. Harry found this out by conducting an investigation about who the child is and discovers that the child's mother had adopted the boy. But that s not all. the adoption had been illigal. But what is even worse is that the monster after the child are a shapeshifter and the crow clan which is actually protecting him.
  • Birds of a feather revolve around a young kid who believes he's going to be killed by monsters along with his mom and asks help from the only wizard in Chicago listed in the yellow pages - Harry Dresden.

    Being the first episode of the series "Birds of a feather" introduces us to the main characters and the setting of the series. We learn a little about the past of the main character, the wizard Harry Dresden, as he helps a young boy named Scott. From the flashbacks into Harry's past we find out that his mother was able to use magic and that something killed her. We also learn that his uncle wanted to take him from his father. Harry is being helped by a centuries old ghost named Bob that resides in his skull and who has an unlimited amount of knowledge. From Bob we learn that Harry killed his uncle in self defense and that he's troubled with that fact.
    All in all this episode served to familiarize us with the show and it did a good job. It was interesting and it left me with a desire to see more.
  • Hmmmmmm...There is potential but it is hard to define what isn't working.

    I know i'll tune in too watch the next episode. But something isn't clicking. I guess we can just hope that it all falls into place. Although i would be surprised if this gets a second season.
    Dresden is an interesting character, but not someone that i feel I can connect to on the screen.
    The female police officer reminds me of so many dime a dozen tough chick cops with some dark past and a grudge against all men with something to prove.
    The ghost was actually a treat, and i was surprised to find that i hope he DOES have a dark past that he can unleash in some later episode.
    All in all this appears to be a sloppy detective show with a crappy premise to have CGI and practical effects. It won't take much for me to channel surf and leave this show where i found it.
  • I have faith in this show. This first episode may have not been all that I had been anticipating but having seen future episodes I think it’s just getting off to a slow start.

    Harry Dresden, Wizard, Finder of lost items. He’s a wizard we’re told but from this first episode we’re not seeing that very much. He’s gets beaten up – a lot. He does draw a spell form on a piece of notebook paper, that was kind of neat. Mostly though, watching this *pilot* episode I felt lost. They’re not really explaining much of anything on how this world works. Are Wizards an ever day sort of thing here? Or is Harry special? How much do the police know about what he does? Who’s this ghost guy, Bob, that lives in a skull? What’s the deal with his Uncle?

    I could go on and on with questions that I have about this show and if nothing else that’s reason enough to continue watching it. If I thought enough of it to want to know these answers then it’s worth coming back to.

    In hind sight, I’m typing this after seeing other episodes and having done some reading up since first watching this pilot I now know that this was not written as the pilot episode, it was suppose to be shown later in the line up so we as the viewing audience would have known a bit more about this world. So over all, this was a pretty good first shot. I’ll be back for more – and have been. It only gets better!
  • This episode was a poor start to a potentially good series. The plot was bad, the mysteries were poor and the villain was terrible. Honestly if I hadn't the books I would have been totally lost!!

    This episode dissapointed me thoroughly. I would start with a list a bad things but I don't have all evening however I'll start with what I liked about this particular series debut. First of all I think the actor who plays Harry Dresden is pretty damn close to perfect however I think he needs a long black coat. Also, I like the way Bob the Skull was protrayed, I think it's a very clever way to have wtihout diverting away from the main concept in the books. I am disappointed in this episodes plot and characters as I have previously stated if I hadn't read the novels, this episode would have been utter gibberish!!
  • ok not sure what to say. too early for me to decide whether this show is good or not!

    Well the momemnt i read Harry Potter i quickly decided that this show is worth atleast checkin out. and checkin it out is exactly what i did. Harry is a Wizard, not sure yet what he means by wizard cuz it seems that no one really knows who he is or his powers (though we have not seen him practise any or much)

    This boy comes to harry for help, those monsters are after him and after a long thought and persuation from his ? he decided to help the boy and give him some kind of protection.
    anyway the story goes on and on wit lots of flashback about Harry when he was a little boy and how he deals with whatever he is with his father.
  • I liked this, very low key and a gentle introduction to the world of Harry Dresden. I love the books and this is promising enough to keep me coming back for more. The coat has to go though.

    I liked this, very low key and a gentle introduction to the world of Harry Dresden. I love the books and this is promising enough to keep me coming back for more. The coat has to go though. It needs to be longer.

    I thought Bob would be wrong having read the pre season hype, but it kind of worked, especially when Harry sent him back in the skull.

    It's also nice they didn't start with Storm Front and are giving us a nice background into Harry via flashbacks. The scene in the theatre when he 'helped' his father was excellent.

    All in all, I enjoyed it. I'm glad I read all the negative press on the web before it started as I was expecting to be disapointed watching it as was my wife, but we were both happy to be wrong. Will this series run? I hope so and if the reviews I have seen of the next two episodes on this site are anything to go by it should do...
  • Harry Potter all grown up

    This is the pilot ep

    I found it a tad slow to begin with, but once i got into it I loved it.

    When the friend that told me about it asked what i thought being from UK, all I could think in reply was "harry Potter" all grown up.

    Althou slow to start I felt it was perfect for the pilot, It slowly introduced all the characters, Who or what they were.

    Such a different subject. A wizard in the phone book. what a lovely thought..

    All the actors/actresses are great.. this is deffinately a series I will keep up with, to see what happens.. His constant referral to his uncle I am curious to see what happened in his past.
  • Mediocre pilot!!!

    The episode begins with scenes from 1981, that presents Harry Dresden as a small boy, a special kid with unusual powers...26 years later, Harry is a grown man, who lives in a house with a ghost, Bob...He is a Wizard and has magical powers...In the first episode, he is supposed to help a small boy who is being stalked by a supernatural creature...At first, Harry doesn't believe in what the boy tells him, but he later realizes that he is telling the truth and that the stalker of Scott is a skinwalker, a supernatural creature that skins the victims and take their form...The idea behind this episode was too simplest and, although I think that this show has the capacity to become a great one, I really consider the first episode of "Dresden Files" as a mediocre one.
  • A careful but very well made first episode, which, in my case left me wanting more.

    A careful but very well made first episode, which, in my case left me wanting more.

    The villains are credible; the good guy is a regular Joe with a twist, someone that could be your friend in real life and a ghost with a bit of a personality.

    This show tries to immerse you into this new take on the world of wizards and the occult although is not quite there yet.

    It takes a little something from the night stalker and makes it it’s own, please do not compare this show to charmed, there is nothing girly about the Dresden Files, is too manly for that.
  • The first episode of this new series introduces the major characters and also has a great storyline.

    What else do you need? This show is going to be one of the best Sci - Fi shows out there this year. I'm still not sure why doesnt classify it as Sci - Fi. I mean it is on Sci - Fi Channel and it about monsters and wizards and dead wizards who live in skulls... This show has a great chance of being one of the best with Stargate SG-1 coming to an end and the fact that its just really good. Anyways i just need 15 words now so i will just type a few and be done with 105 words.
  • A promising start to a new series...

    It was by chance that I first found out about this show, so I decided to try to catch an episode or two to see what it's all about. It's definitely got promise. Compared to all of the other Sci-Fi Supernatural shows around at the moment, this one has the least pretense about it. I did feel it needed a bit more of the 'magic' but there's plenty of time for that now the show's proven itself to be non-reliant on special effects.
  • interesting start to an interesting series...

    This was a pretty good start. It was a little weird, and sort of odd. It was also a tad bit gory, but no more than 24 or Prison Break with their crazy scenes. I love Paul Blackthorne, obviously since I'm his editor. But I thought he did an incredible job in this episode. I personally don't care too much for Sci-Fi, but I tuned in for Paul. He is an incredible actor. And the plot is very interesting, and unique. I like the flashback method thing, being able to see part of Harry's past. It's a good show. It'll be interesting to see how it will develop over time. Hopefully, it won't turn into yet another version of a unique, peculiar, extremely "talented" person helping the police solve weird crimes. Hopefully, he'll really have his own thing, and his own business outside of crime scenes. Anyway, it was a great start to this show. And hopefully it will continue to improve and grow and have a unique flavor of its own.
  • I wonder what Butcher thinks of the changes?

    I think those of us that were hoping the series would be more like the books won't be let down by the changes. This setting has some good potential. Bob certainly does! And, he still has his skull. I was looking forward to seeing the apartment. Alas, one of the changes. But the show did capture the ambiance of Harry’s décor. We will have to live with flashdance meets wizard.

    Hey! Where is the cat? The dog? Literary license I guess.

    Harry…not as tall but much more handsome than I had envisioned. Downright Yummy!

    Looking forward to the next episode.
  • A good start

    Couple of reasons for my interest in this one. I've read the first few novels in this series and found them enjoyable and fun. Then, you add in the guy adapting the novels for TV is Robert Hewitt Wolfe who oversaw some of the best seasons of DS9 and you've got a pretty good combination.

    So, the first episode--so far, so good. I'm not devoted enough to the original texts to point out everything that's been changed, but some things obviously have to be in order to make it work for television. I will admit that I do miss the first-person perspective we get in the novels, but I'm not sure having a Harry Dresden voice over would work as well here. The first episode of the show nicely establishes the situation, the tone and the on-going plotlines for the show, all while delivering a creepy, entertaining main mystery plot for Harry to solve. It has my interest and it's one of those shows I think could really grow into something, should SciFi give it a chance. I don't think SciFi did it any favors by having the first episode airing during the AFC Championship game. I hope that the potential audience won't tune it out, fearing they're lost and won't catch up. This one has potential.
  • Not without its charm!

    I'm only halfway through my first "Dresden" novel, so I can't speak to the authenticity. This episode was fun - but it felt like a first episode and the team have to be given time find themselves. (At the risk of starting a flame war, I found and continue to find Buffy's "Welcome to the Hellmouth" episode unbearable.)
  • It was good. I just didn't like Harry's hair.

    The only motivation that forced me into watching this, was that I used to be into the whole wizard magic mystery crap earlier. And for the sake of corny memories, I watched it. Of course I knew that the concept of MAGIC would be different than e.g. Charmed. I don't regret it. This show is on the right path!

    So, Harry Dresden, believes in boogies in the closet and came from a weirdo family. Magic of course. And know he's "working"(?) together with some charming British guy with a cute accent. But in the scene where Harry is being tortured, he just ignorantly nods and passes by. But with the mimic of regretting doing so. Is he some kind of powerless cripple? Speaking of which, I didn't see any appearances of Harry's magic stuff whatsoever. Except for the box where "pop goes the weasel".

    And the cliche, he's cooperating with the police! Or some detective guys, whatever. Which conveniently eases up his crime solving "business". Cliche`y as well. It's all through some acquaintances. That's too coincidental and seen too many times. What I really liked, was the crime solving, mysterious environment. For instance, the scene where that kid's teacher wanted to come inside the house, couldn't, cause it was wearing that weird protection thingy that Harry developed there. That was classic mysterious, shocking outburst of mystery. No pun intended. It was really good.

    Anyway, this show is on the right track. I hope it lives up.
  • Has potential

    Now lets where it goes, i've seen lots of shows with great potential and start with a good 3 first episodes and 3 last episodes, in the middle all bad ones, lets see where this one goes, has potential, ill be in a look out and i hope it keeps workin' good =)
  • A review from someone who hasnt read the books. (SPOILER FREE).

    Having not read the books, I went into this show not really knowing what you expect, but in all honesty I dont think I was at any real disadvantage to those who have.
    The pilot grabbed my attention straight away, and doesnt let up all the way through. There is no real 'setting up' as such, and things aren't really explained and introduced as formally as you would expect in most pilots, but this seems to work great for this particular show. At first, certain elements seemed very bizarre and out of place, and as if they needed at least SOME explanation for those of us un-acquainted with the books, (most notably Bob) but these things are very easily gotten used to and before long, are accepted as part of the norm.
    I think Dresden's back-story was very well incorporated into the pilot, without overshadowing the plot in the present. We learned enough about his childhood and the conflict between his uncle and his father, to compliment the events of the episode, yet there were still parts left unexplained which make for very intriguing future storylines.
    Although there wasn't too much of an introduction as such to Harry's character, this didnt take away from the flow of the story and I get the impression that more about his past will be revealed in future episodes. The plot of this episode flowed perfectly and gave a glimpse of what to expect from the rest of the series.
    Keeping in mind, that I've not read the books, viewed solely as a TV show in it's own right, 'The Dresden Files' looks set to be a highly enjoyable series with just the right mix of sci-fi and reality.
  • Being a huge fan of the novels, I was extremely disappointed in the show. What did bother the crap out of me is the basic story changes. They did do somethings right however.

    Being a huge fan of the novels, I was extremely disappointed in the show. Now, a lot of the visual things I was prepaired for. The lack of the Blue Beetle, Murphy's appearance, Harry's appearance, ect ect. The ones I wasn't prepared for irk me but I can deal with also, I know that books don't translate perfectly into television. Loosing things like his amulet, duster, blasting rod, ect is bothersome also but not pivotal.

    What did bother the crap out of me is the basic story changes. Like Justin being alive and Harry's uncle, or introducing the Melissa character as Harry's friend on the High (What happened to White by the way?) Council. Or Harry having relations with some diner girl. Giving Murphy a kid was pointless, aside from creating some sympathy with the one lady. Also, I don't think Murphy acted like Murphy. She didn't seem like a tomboy trying to be taken seriously. She acted to much like your typical "attractive police agent that everyone listens to" persona we see all over crime shows. Declaring that Bob is a ghost and eluding to him being a former wizard bugged me, why can't he still be a air spirit? What was with the protective wards around his door being cheap ass paper that anyone could just rip down?

    They did do somethings right however. Harry's personality is pretty much right and that dry humor was maintained. Someone mentioned that Harry didn't do much magic, and I think that fits the books. Harry tended to try to avoid using magic constantly since it drained his energy. The fact that Harry got the holy carp beat out of him also really fits the books. Also, Bob's personality was a bit lacking (didn't seem as randy as he does in the books) but seems pretty close to Bob.

    Now, just show me Toot Toot and I'll make my final judgment. Hahaha.
  • I enjoyed “Birds of a Feather” for the most part. I loved the books, and I think that a few minor details in the show would have gone a long way.

    I enjoyed “Birds of a Feather” for the most part. I loved the books, and I think that a few minor details in the show would have gone a long way. For instance, The Blue Beetle it's not a jeep and what about the whole electrical interference thing. As a whole if I had not read the books, I would have loved the first show and given it about a 9.6; since I have read the books I still like it a lot but it's missing a little so 9.0.
  • Harry Dresden is a wizard who uses magic to solve crimes.

    Too bad Harry can't find the magic to solve the crime this series pilot committed. That of viewer death by boredom.

    I loved the Jim Butcher books and adored the audio books read by James Marsters even more. Under the skillful use of his voice, James Marsters brought Harry Dresden and his complicated world of magic to life.

    Can't say the same for this run of the mill, pilot that had neither spark or magic. The drab colors and 'artsy' filmography just didn't lend anything to this series at all. And could someone please give Harry Dresden an antacid so he can have more than just one facial expression besides the 'sour stomach' grimace he wore throughout the entire episode. All in all for me this was just way too bland a presentation of what in written and audio books is presented as a very colorful and complicated character who has depth of personality. The one on screen in the pilot had none of these things and neither did the world around him. This series might have worked more effectively with the minimal efforts made towards the special effects and the presentation of the demons/monsters if we hadn't already had the likes of, 'The X-Files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the currently running 'Supernatural' to set the standards for creepy and menacing. The Dresden files was just a pale imitation of those series.

    So, having seen the pilot and found it lacking, I will stick to watching Supernatural which is a far classier act when it comes to creepy things and has two great characters that are well fleshed out and well played by the actors behind them.
  • Caleidoscopic, artistically playful, moody and iconographic are the words coming to mind after watching the pilot of this show. Not much anything is established yet in this episode. Hopefully gets more interesting in the future.

    The plot and some other things differ greatly from the books (auth. Jim Butcher) which in my opinion makes things much more interesting.
    But then this pilot takes just a very caleidoscopic and artistic aproach in describing Harry's world. It kind of tries to capture the same feeling of plausible supernaturality mixed with smoke filled film noir and hard boiled private investigators (spotted some duotone and graffitic effects) as in the books although with less humor which is pity. At least I hope for more humour and comic situations for the future episodes.
    As a pilot this episode lacks definition and just flashes many mysterious characters without explanation (like the associate of high council or the woman in bed..) that it is difficult to get really interested. It seems Harry's universe must be really Mysterious with big M. That's why my score for this is just only 6.3 .
  • Definately different type of show, not perfect, but interesting and strange enough for me to watch.

    Harry Dresden is a different type of privite eye, he is a wizard. He also has a ghost, Bob, who lives in a skull. Bob seems to have a snappy wit. I especially liked the threat he made to Harry about belting out show tunes from the 16th century.

    Harry decides to help a young boy, Scotty, who fears monsters are after he and his mother. Harry had similar experiences when he was that age. The skin walker was is a cool idea for a monster/demon.

    I'm going to reserve my final decision until I see a few episodes.
  • As pilots go, this one didn't cover the spread, but it was OK and I could dance to it, so I'll give it an 8+. :)

    This was OK, but the Powers That Be need to be slapped. Hard.

    I liked it because I intended to like it. And I did enjoy the actors and the presentation (and it did have some "Angel"ic elements to it which I enjoyed).

    I also liked the fact that it's not obvious who the good guys and the bad guys are.

    It feels like he could've established his threshold protection a lot better than he did, or the second she started tearing it down that he could've made a run for his office and locked himself inside (that bracelet came off too easily, imo) but yeah, plotwise, it had to happen, so OK.

    It was cool that the protection spell actually worked, tho. The ravens were creepy and cool and the whipped cream thing was funny.

    But the pilot episode needed to establish these characters in a way I'm afraid it didn't. Am I meant to understand that there's a High Council but now Harry's connection to it is terminated pretty much the moment it's mentioned? So ... what was the point of bringing it up?

    The dad stuff could've held off for a few episodes. Let's get to know who Harry is in the here and now and [i]then[/i] start working on his backstory. They don't have to try telling us everything all at once.

    And I've never read the books, but I'm already seeing fan reactions in here where they've taken too much arbitrary license in translating this from one medium to another.

    This was a good story, but it was a bad pilot. Who was the blonde in his bed? Where did she go? What's [i]normal[/i] for him? What's the nature of his power and the world in which he inhabits?

    They must have just decided to let the story hit the ground running and drag us along for the ride.

    Also, if he can just conjure a Doom Box anytime he needs one, then how did he solve problems before? And why will he [i]not[/i] use one anytime something needs ... dooming? It's like a superhero armed with a nuclear weapon.

    Also, a skinwalker's not the only thing that can look like something else. A relatively low-level adept can throw a glamor.

    I really think they needed to establish some parameters. Harry is alternately too powerful and too powerless according to the dictates of the script, which seems a bit too much like the want'um mechanics of the Trek'verse.

    It sounds like I'm complaining a lot, and for that I apologize. I thought the acting was first-rate (especially given how hit-and-miss child actors can be) and I did find the storyline to be engaging and the photography was beautiful and the effects were first rate and I saw a ton of potential for this show. Harry is snarky and fun and his relationship with the police is well-established (if a little bit too shorthand in this episode).

    It was good. It could've been better. That's all I'm saying.

    And ... oh yeah:

    [i]* slaps the Powers That Be. Hard. *[/i]
  • A young boy finds Harry to ask him to keep him and his mom safe from monsters that no one else seems to see.

    All in one day Harry messes up a relationship, gets his car booted, and meets a boy who claims to have monsters in his closet. As it turns out, the "monsters" are really ravens who are looking out for the boy because they know he has "the gift." I was impressed by the episode and surprised by who was involved in looking for the boy. I like the way they interspersed flashbacks of Harry's life as a boy in the scenes to make the parallels between his childhood and the boy's. I also liked the role of the ravens. This looks to be an exciting series and I can't wait until next week's episode!