Last night I had the privilege to see the first episode of Camelot (don’t ask and won’t tell how), a new tv show which is to air on 1 April in the US at Starz Channel. After The Tudors (great), Pillars of the earth (so so), Rome (awesome) and Spartacus (excellent) some people of the TV industries have produced this new one, Camelot.
Camelot is about the legendary King Arthur claiming his throne as the bastard son of Uther Pendragon. Merlin the magician helps him achieve holding it while Arthur’s half-sister, Morgan, also sets her eyes on the throne. Morgan has not had any knowledge of Arthur existence. She has found out about this after Uther’s dead. What follows after this confrontation is war of course. This is the season one of Camelot all about.
The cast is well picked I must say. Jamie Campbell Bowers (Twilight, Sweeney Todd, RocknRolla, Winter in Wartime/Oorlogswinter) changes his fangs for Excalibur sword this time. This young hunk plays King Arthur. Joseph Fienes (Elizabeth, Shakespeare in love, Enemy at the Gates) sets Merlin to life. Eva Green (Casino Royale, Kingdom of Heaven, The Golden Compass) plays the cunning and ambitious Morgan. Sebastian Koch (Black Book/Zwartboek, The life of others/Das Leben der Anderen) appears briefly as King Uther Pendragon. Claire Forlani (Meet Joe Black, Dr. Peyton Driscoll at CSI NY, Hooligans) embodies surprisingly mature Queen Igraine, Uther’s second wife. And last but not least, the well articulated and charming James Purefoy (Marcus Anthony in HBO’s Rome, Salomon Kane, A knight’s tale) as King Lot.
Despite the footnote below I find it quite amusing to watch it. As this is not the first time Camelot has been captured in films or series. As a history nerd, it is rather entertaining for me to wonder what life was like at that Medieval age by watching Camelot. The splendor, the costumes, the Shakespearean dialogues and cinematography.
It is unfair to review this series only after having watched the first episode. My intention posting this is to an FYI for you who are interested in history based series. Perhaps the show’s writers would put more twist in the plot in the coming episodes. So I’ll faithfully watch Camelot and let you know at the end of season one my full review. Meanwhile, enjoy the preview here.
The details of Arthur’s story are mainly composed of folklore and literary invention (The Holy Grail, his famous sword Excalibur etc.). The exact location of Camelot, Arthur’s castle is not (could not be) revealed. Arthur’s historical existence has been debated and disputed by modern historians. Most of the story is romanticized, which happens a lot to folklore.