Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Starz's New Arthurian Drama: "Camelot"

The TV network Starz already (at least to me) capitalized on the success of HBO's Rome by releasing Spartacus: Blood and Sand and its upcoming prequel Gods of the Arena.

Now it seems they've got another entry into the "historical drama with lots of sex and violence" sub-genre with Camelot.

Here's the trailer:

This seems to take place in fantasyland Britain (think Excalibur or First Knight) and not historical post-Roman Britain (King Arthur).  I liked King Arthur and would like to see more historically-inclined Arthurian stories rather than Malory-esque fantasy, but that's no reason to prejudge this one.

From a casting perspective, it looks impressive--Morgan is played by Eva Green, who was Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale.  Joseph Fiennes, who played The Bard himself in Shakespeare in Love, plays Merlin.

Arthur looks a bit young, although at least he's not 12 like he was in The Sword in the Stone.  Perhaps that is important to the plot--the trailer has some enemy of Arthur claiming that Merlin has installed "a child in a ruin" and Arthur's courtship of Guinevere seems like a major part of the storyline.

It looks like they've expanded Morgan's role--rather than making her some random witch who seduces her half-brother in order to bear his eventualy destroyer Mordred, she's a rival claimant to the Pendragon throne. 

I wonder how they'll manage to incorporate that aspect of the Arthurian story if the two of them end up at war with each other?  The trailer and some of the promotional material indicate Morgan attempts to use evil supernatural forces against Arthur and The Once and Future King does depict her seduction of Arthur as being facilitated by sorcery, so maybe she'll try that if open war doesn't work.

It premieres April 1.  I'm not going to get Starz just to be able to watch it on TV--if I want to shell out for any premium channel, it'll be HBO so I can watch their adaptation of A Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, and True Blood all at once--but I'll certainly try to snag the DVD.

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