Is the Knuckles TV Show Based on the Sonic


  • Paramount+’s Knuckles TV series seemingly doesn’t feature any elements from the Sonic the Hedgehog games.
  • Knuckles seems to be following the formula of the first Sonic the Hedgehog movie and a focus on training a sidekick.
  • By not introducing iconic characters like Rouge and Team Chaotix, Knuckles misses an opportunity to set up Sonic 3.

Knuckles is the next entry in Paramount’s live-action adaptations of the popular Sonic the Hedgehog series. Focusing on the eponymous Knuckles the Echidna (voiced by Idris Elba), the streaming TV series will supposedly expand the universe of the films. Unfortunately, the initial trailer for Knuckles leaves a lot to be desired in terms of actually involving anything from the games.

Featuring almost none of the elements from the games, the Knuckles TV series looks almost wholly removed from Sonic lore. Additionally, there are key characters that are ripe for adaptation in the series who are sadly not present. This begs the question of how necessary the series is and whether it’s simply there to create content for Paramount+.

Paramount+’s Knuckles TV Series May Retread the Sonic Movies

Knuckles (Idris Elba) readies an attack in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Related Sonic the Hedgehog Star Shares Exciting Update on Part 3 and Knuckles Spinoff Sonic the Hedgehog movie actor Tika Sumpter shares an exciting update on the third film along with the Knuckles spinoff series.

As seen in the trailer for Knuckles, a lot of the series will seemingly be the same “fish out of water” humor from the first Sonic the Hedgehog movie. The main difference seems to be that, unlike Sonic, Knuckles doesn’t chuckle, instead having a more serious mindset. Despite this, he sets out on an adventure while trying to train “sidekick” Wade Whipple into a hero. All the while, they come against foes who’ve happened upon the technology once used by Dr. Robotnik, leading to what looks like a confrontation at a bowling alley. This is very much in line with a lot of what happened in Sonic the Hedgehog and even its sequel.

One line of dialogue calls back to what Knuckles said to Sonic in the second movie, making it even more obvious that the TV miniseries is treading a similar path. Given how different Knuckles is from Sonic, there was a lot of potential to do something different from the hedgehog’s movies. After all, the later 3D games in the video game franchise switched things up in terms of the characters’ gameplay. Sonic still rolled around at the speed of sound, but Knuckles’ adventures involved digging and searching for shattered shards of the Master Emerald. That concept could have easily been replicated in the TV series, but the fact that it wasn’t speaks to a major issue with the show, at least going from its trailer.

Paramount+’s Knuckles Seemingly Adapts Nothing From the Games

Knuckles The Echidna gliding in Sonic Superstars

Shadow the Hedgehog Related Sonic the Hedgehog 3 Set Image Reveals First Look at Shadow the Hedgehog Sonic the Hedgehog 3 director Jeff Fowler shared a new image from the set revealing a sneak peek at Shadow the Hedgehog.

Beyond Knuckles himself, the use of rings, Robotnik’s technology and a brief appearance by Sonic, there isn’t a lot in the Knuckles trailer that hearkens back to the actual Sonic the Hedgehog video game series. In fact, it’s almost surprising to see a particular deep cut in the form of Knuckles’ hat, which homages his appearance in the 1996 Sonic the Hedgehog OVA. There’s not much else connecting the series to the source material, which is arguably something that the first Sonic movie had to contend with. The difference is that Sonic the Hedgehog had to do a lot of narrative heavy-lifting in order to establish the proverbial rules and status quo.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was closer to the games, namely due to Robotnik’s altered appearance and the debut of Tails and Knuckles. In fact, the poster for the movie notably replicated the cover art for the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 video game, while the presence of the Death Egg Robot did the same thing with the game’s final boss. This was a major step in the right direction in terms of bringing the games to life on the big screen. Unfortunately, it appears that the Knuckles TV serie is taking a step backwards in that regard. It’s possible that the seeming lack of stakes or overtly fantastic concepts from the games is due to budget. After all, Knuckles is merely a streaming miniseries on Paramount+.

While certainly not a “low-budget affair,” it’s worth noting that Paramount+ is far from the most lucrative streaming platform. Conversely, it could be argued that the show’s existence is merely to add more content to Paramount+ and make it more marketable in the streaming wars. The Sonic movies were successful, with many fans and critics hailing them as the best video game movie adaptations ever made. This paved the way for the show to build upon the movies’ success, thus making it the sort of programming that kids and families might want to tune in for. That may still be the case, but the series also seemingly wastes the chance to introduce some of the game franchise’s most beloved characters and concepts.

Paramount+’s Knuckles Is a Missed Opportunity to Introduce Team Chaotix

Knuckles-in-Sonic-the-Hedgehog-2 Related Sonic Spinoff Knuckles Adds Mission: Impossible, Back to the Future Stars Mission: Impossible 7’s Cary Elwes and Back to the Future’s Christopher Lloyd board the cast of the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 spinoff, Knuckles.

The most obvious direction for the Knuckles TV show was to possibly adapt the video game Knuckles Chaotix in some way. This was theoretically Knuckles’ first solo game, though he shared the screen with several other anthropomorphic animals. Along with Mighty the Armadillo (who debuted in the arcade game SegaSonic the Hedgehog), he was also joined by Vector the Crocodile, Espio the Chameleon and the young Charmy the Bee. The latter three were eventually reintroduced in the 3D title Sonic Heroes, with the trio now dubbed as the detective group Team Chaotix.

While Knuckles Chaotix didn’t have the strongest plot (as was the norm for 2D Sonic games at the time), the basic premise of the series could have worked to some extent to inform the TV show. The plot involved a corrupted theme park created as a ruse by Robotnik. This might have been combined with the idea of Robotnik’s technology being found and used by others, especially since Jim Carrey’s Dr. Robotnik isn’t in Knuckles. Perhaps the most iconic part of Knuckles Chaotix, however, is a battle against an evil Sonic doppelgänger: Metal Sonic. Debuting in Sonic CD, Metal Sonic reappeared in Knuckles Chaotix and eventually took on a gigantic new form in the game’s final battle.

Shadow the Hedgehog Related Sonic the Hedgehog 3 Set Image Reveals First Look at Shadow the Hedgehog Sonic the Hedgehog 3 director Jeff Fowler shared a new image from the set revealing a sneak peek at Shadow the Hedgehog.

Sadly, Metal Sonic likely won’t appear in any form throughout the episodes of Knuckles. The most frustrating part to acknowledge is that he and another character might have perfectly segued into the third movie. Rouge the Bat is a common rival/love interest for Knuckles ever since her debut in Sonic Adventure 2, and some suspect that she may appear in Sonic the Hedgehog 3. It might have made more sense to put her in Knuckles first, however, to keep Sonic the Hedgehog 3 from being too narratively crowded. This would have built that movie up, as would the presence of Metal Sonic. After all, Metal Sonic’s place in the franchise was somewhat taken over by Shadow, who represents an organic mirror image of Sonic.

Metal Sonic being the villain in Knuckles could have shown that Shadow in the upcoming movie wasn’t the only evil hedgehog. Likewise, he, along with Rouge and Team Chaotix, might have brought in more elements from the comics, with Knuckles teaming up with the Chaotix to track down the Master Emerald shards that Rouge is also after. These shards might be what the human villains use to bring Metal Sonic to life, bringing the story together through this mystical object. Sadly, that’s clearly not what fans will be getting, making it questionable as to how the Knuckles series will meaningfully contribute to the movie franchise.

Knuckles flexes onto Paramount+ on April 26, 2024.


Release Date October 12, 2023

Cast Tyler Antonius , Idris Elba , Ellie Taylor , Rory McCann

Main Genre Adventure

Seasons 1

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