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 Camelot Reviews and Spoilers

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PostSubject: Camelot Reviews and Spoilers   Sat Mar 26, 2011 9:55 pm

http://www.zap2it.com/news/zap-camelot-story,0,4459830.story

New 'Camelot' a saga of sex, swords and sorcery
By John Crook, Zap2It | March 24, 2011

The timeless legends of King Arthur and Camelot have played to a variety of audiences over the years, ranging from Broadway musical fans in the Lerner and Loewe production "Camelot" to kids and families in the animated Disney hit "The Sword in the Stone" and beyond.

Make no mistake, though, the latest adaptation of the saga -- "Camelot," a new series premiering Friday, April 1, on Starz -- is definitely adult fare.

Created by Michael Hirst, whose Showtime series "The Tudors" was similarly red-blooded and lusty, and Chris Chibnall ("Torchwood"), the series introduces us to Arthur (Jamie Campbell Bower) as a teenager whose life is turned upside down when Merlin (Joseph Fiennes, "FlashForward") suddenly turns up at the doorstep of the country couple Arthur always has known as his parents to drop a pair of bombshells: (a) Arthur really is the son of King Uther Pendragon, who (b) is dead.

Having received a dark vision of the chaos that looms in the wake of the king's death, Merlin plans to whisk Arthur away to his new destiny as Britain's new ruler. That means confronting a formidable obstacle: Morgan (Eva Green, "Casino Royale"), Arthur's half sister (and Uther's murderer), who wants the throne for herself. Tamsin Egerton ("Silent Witness") plays Guinevere, who is betrothed to one of Arthur's knights but can't deny her attraction to the new king.

The story unfolds swiftly and entertainingly, but keep the kids out of the room while "Camelot" is on.

"We approached this as a drama for adults about characters with complex, conflicting desires," Chibnall says. "There is some sex in there. There is some violence in there. … It's not really a family show. We're more in the 'Rome' or 'Spartacus' mold."

Life imitates art somewhat in the casting of Campbell Bower, best known for playing the love-struck young Anthony in Tim Burton's "Sweeney Todd." The 22-year-old actor, who looks as if he would be perfectly comfortable on The CW, admits it was daunting to tackle a role so iconic to Brits both young and old.

"I never believe that I am going to get any job that I go up for, and then I do get it, but then the fear starts kicking in, because that's when I start thinking, 'How am I going to do this?' " Campbell Bower explains. "(Arthur) is taken from a place of great comfortability and thrown into a position of great respect, if not power necessarily, and he's being watched all the time. The fact that it mirrored the process I was going through definitely helped a little bit, because I was able to bring the experiences I was actually having at the time to the role.

"I guess I approached the job with some nervousness, fear and trepidation, but along with that comes great excitement when you get something right."

Although the two characters eventually find respect for each other, in early episodes the relationship between Arthur and Merlin is fraught with tension, he adds.

"It's a bickering stepfather-meets-stepson relationship," Campbell Bower says. "Merlin is very interested to see how Arthur develops, not just into a king but also into a man, and Arthur becomes worried about Merlin, so they put a lot of the arguing behind them as the story proceeds."

Arthur's relationship with Morgan, his half sister, is even more volatile, though.

"Above anything else, all Morgan wants is the throne, and this kid is standing in her way," he explains. "It really doesn't matter to her whether Arthur is family or not. As we see very dramatically at the beginning of episode one, she couldn't care less about her family. As long as she gets what she wants, she is happy, whereas Arthur has been brought up in a very loving household by Sir Hector and his wife, so he feels a great love for his brother. Morgan is someone who is related to him, not by brain but by blood, and that means a lot to him. She is his only connection to the 'real' family he never had. He is trying to establish a relationship with this woman, but she (isn't having any of that)."

Morgan and Merlin likewise have an explosive relationship, given that he is the man who has thrust Arthur between Morgan and the throne, but one of the most interesting aspects of this "Camelot" is how these two characters have very different attitudes toward magic, presented here as a dark pagan force.

"Magic is new to Morgan, and she's drawn to it," Green says. "It's like a drug. … You see people changing shapes, but it's mainly ancient magic, pagan magic, magic using nature and (its) forces. It's not 'Harry Potter.' "

"Magic is rather like a Class A drug," Fiennes adds. "If you dabble in this, you will be physically, mentally and spiritually drained. It's really not for the fainthearted. Merlin is nowhere near the Obi-Wan/Gandalf (level), … but even at that stage he understands the cost, that when you mess with that kind of power, it ultimately can destroy, if not take, your life."

Campbell Bower, however, hopes "Camelot" weaves a potent spell of its own over Starz viewers, because he's yearning to have the chance to chronicle the unfolding evolution of this callow boy into the legendary king who led his nation out of the Dark Ages.

"I think that's just a very exciting story to tell," the actor says. "I am very much hoping we can continue to a second series, but I don't know at the moment. I suspect some studio bigwigs are right now talking about whether I am good enough or pretty enough."
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PostSubject: Re: Camelot Reviews and Spoilers   Sat Mar 26, 2011 9:57 pm

http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117944893?categoryid=32&

Posted: Sat., Mar. 26, 2011, 4:00am PT
Recently Reviewed
Camelot
(Series -- STARZ, Fri. April 1, 10 p.m.)
By Brian Lowry
'Camelot'

Joseph Fiennes plays Merlin in Starz's original series 'Camelot.'
OTHER RECENT REVIEWS:

Filmed in Ireland by Octagon, Take 5 Prods. and GK-TV in association with Ecosse Films. Executive producers, Chris Chibnall; Morgan O'Sullivan, James Flynn, Graham King, John Weber, Fred Fuchs, Anne Thomopoulos, Tim Headington, Craig Cegielski, Douglas Rae, Michael Hirst; co-producers, Bill Goddard, Michael Parke, Seamus McInerney; director, Ciaran Donnelly; writer, Chibnall; story, Hirst, Chibnall;
Merlin - Joseph Fiennes Arthur - Jamie Campbell Bower Morgan - Eva Green Guinevere - Tamsin Egerton Kay - Peter Mooney Igraine - Claire Forlani Leontes - Philip Winchester Brastias - Diarmaid Murtagh Gawain - Clive Standen Vivian - Chipo Chung Sybil - Sinead Cusack
Spiritually closer to "The Tudors" than the simple-minded camp of "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" -- which helped put Starz's original programming on the map -- "Camelot" presents something of a double-edged sword. While stately and reasonably smart, the first three episodes unfold at a less-than-galvanizing pace, featuring a young King Arthur whose appeal seems more calibrated to please the "Twilight" demo than action-craving men. Despite that dichotomy, the show's not bad -- buoyed by an especially lusty performance by Eva Green as Morgan -- the caveat being Starz must make clear its latest sword-wielding international co-production scratches a slightly more refined itch.

For students of the Arthurian legend, it's always a bit disorienting sorting through the various wrinkles each new rendering brings to the mythology, from the musical to the animated Disney version to "Excalibur."

At least initially, writer-producer Chris Chibnall has put his own unique stamp on reorganizing the pieces. The glowering Merlin (Joseph Fiennes) is still an integral part of the story, but his magic is different this time around, and his impenetrable ways even harder to read than usual. The same goes for Arthur's half-sister Morgan (Bond girl Green), who occupies the juiciest role and wears it quite handsomely.

By contrast, the weak link here is "Twilight" co-star Jamie Campbell Bower as the young king -- a difficult part, admittedly, given that during the first couple of hours he's understandably mystified to discover his noble origins.

In this telling, Arthur is a pampered brother to Kay (Peter Mooney), not his squire, having been raised from birth by a humble family thanks to Merlin's machinations. When his biological father, King Uther, suddenly dies (a victim of Morgan's treachery), Merlin drafts Arthur to fulfill his destiny, counseling him as the revelation of this heir thrusts Arthur into conflict not just with Morgan -- who covets the throne herself -- but with the bloodthirsty King Lot (guest James Purefoy, playing a character very similar to the one he did in "Rome"), with whom she forges an uneasy alliance.

Chibnall's take is less overtly magical than paganistic, with Morgan and Merlin possessing vague powers but seldom exercising them -- and paying a physical toll whenever they do. Still, both magic and swordplay crop up sparingly in the early going, and the third hour -- when Arthur's court begins taking shape, and Guinevere (Tamsin Egerton) enters the scene -- might be the slowest of the three.

Shrewdly cast and handsomely shot in Ireland, the series will launch with a two-hour premiere. There's such an abundance of material surrounding the Camelot legend that the maiden 10-part season certainly needn't worry about lacking for stories; nevertheless, Bower's callow boy king has a whole lot of maturing to do, pretty rapidly, if he's going to comfortably grow into that crown.

"Everything you are right now is because of me," Merlin snaps at one point. "Remember that."

Actually, "Camelot's" other modest enchantments notwithstanding, that's the one part you sort of wish you could forget.
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PostSubject: Re: Camelot Reviews and Spoilers   Fri Apr 01, 2011 2:59 am

http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/tv/hot_in_camelot_uCKE0F5Z4saVdeCMuNU4bK?CMP=OTC-rss&FEEDNAME=

Hot in 'Camelot'
Merlin & Arthur get a steamy makeover

By LINDA STASI

Last Updated: 1:38 AM, April 1, 2011

Posted: 1:38 AM, April 1, 2011

"Camelot" Tonight at 10 on Starz
* * */4

If you're looking for a pointy hat, flowing robes with stars, a smoking cauldron and a big, white beard, I suggest you make a right at Disney and keep going.

Starz's new CGI-infused "Camelot" series is not your father's "Camelot" and certainly not the Merlin, Arthur or Guinevere of your own childhood either -- or anyone's.

In fact, Starz, the channel of the flying blood, boobs and bare bottoms of "Spartacus" fame, is even promoting this new series as "the story of Camelot that has never been told before."

And that's probably with good reason. Unless you are a teenage boy, a man who loved playing "Dungeons and Dragons" as a kid, or someone who spends weekends doing Medieval reenactments in parking lots, you might not be all that enthralled with this latest take on the sword-in-the-stone story.

The series begins with nasty Morgan (Eva Green), who really has no choice but to be evil, seeing how her father doesn't love her and never did. So, she kills him.

The fact that he's the king, means, of course, that she will fight for the throne. Unbeknownst to her, however, the real heir and future King -- Arthur (Jamie Campbell Bower of "Twilight") -- is toiling away as a peasant teen who doesn't have any clue that he's the rightful heir.

That's where Merlin the buff (Joseph Fiennes) comes in. Eschewing the pointy hat, flowing beard and white hair for a Spartan, shaved-head and warrior look, Merlin is more muscle than magic when he shows up at said peasant farm to reclaim Arthur.

Anyway, Arthur's brother, Kay (Peter Mooney), who isn't really his brother because he was born to Arthur's adopted peasant farmer parents, goes with him to be his right-hand man.

Much sword fighting and bare breasting later, Arthur meets Guinevere (Tamsin Egerton) when she comes walking out of the ocean like a medieval Bo Derek in "Ten." Somehow, only her hair is wet and that's good because she's packing. A sword. Don't ask.

It's not until episode two that Arthur gets to pull the sword from the stone. Of course, in this version, he has to rappel up the side of a waterfall on a pulley and retrieve the sword from inside the rushing falls.

Fiennes is fine as the pumped Merlin. James Purefoy as King Lot, lover of Morgan, is the strongest actor in the cast and steals every scene. (No wonder he's not around for long.) Green is gorgeous as Lot's lover who, when angry -- I swear -- calls him the c-word. (Who knew that word was even around in the middle ages? See the things TV can teach you?)

Unfortunately, lightweight Bower (more Dude Arthur than King Arthur) and an even lighter-weight Egerton can't carry a series, let alone a kingdom.

Nonetheless, it's still lots of lush, plush, silly good fun.
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PostSubject: Re: Camelot Reviews and Spoilers   Fri Apr 01, 2011 3:00 am

http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110401/ENTERTAIN/110339990/-1/NEWSMAP

'CHAOS' and 'Camelot' debut
By Kevin McDonough
April 01, 2011 12:00 AM

The success of the USA network's cheeky comedy drama blends from "Burn Notice" to "Psych" can be seen in "CHAOS" (8 p.m., CBS, TV-14), the new network dramedy set in the CIA. The show's title refers to Clandestine Administration and Oversight Services (CHAOS). It's also a nod to "Get Smart," the 1965 TV spy spoof written by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry. In that comedy, CHAOS were the bad guys who tangled with Maxwell Smart and the good guys of CONTROL.

Don't go looking for shoe phones or slapstick here. In fact, the humor sometimes revolves around how low-tech the CIA can be because it's a government agency and therefore adapts to new technology at the speed of the post office or the DMV. Their computers still run Windows '97.

Rick Martinez (Freddy Rodriguez) wants to be a spy very badly but discovers that his job has been downsized before he's even done interviewing for the position. Or at least what the big boss H.J. Higgins (Kurtwood Smith) tells him. Higgins hires Rick to spy on the CHAOS group, a clandestine outfit with their own agenda. But once ensconced with CHAOS he seems smitten with their he-man derring-do. Being spies, they're also hip to his mole status and entrap him in a compromising position so he belongs to them.
The pilot episode ricochets all over the globe with neither the viewer nor hapless Rick entirely aware of which end is up. With the exception of a brash Scotsman, the CHAOS spies seem particularly generic and the show never really finds its center. As a thriller, it's rather tepid and as a comedy it's only sporadically funny. And if it were on USA, that network would have the good sense to air it for grown ups at 10 p.m. and not squander it at 8. Ultimately it's a hybrid that reminds us that there's only one letter separating "blend" from "bland."

Filled with swordsmanship, exalted talk of destiny and damsels in undress, "Camelot" (10 p.m., Starz, TV-MA) becomes the latest expensive, critic-proof sex-and-violence mythic drama from the pay-cable network.

Like most re-imaginings of the Knights of the Round Table, it borders on parody. Arthur (Jamie Campbell-Bower) looks and acts like a medieval surfer, a righteous dude with blond locks more interested in deflowering the local damsels than discovering his destiny. But fate arrives in the person of Merlin (Joseph Fiennes), who looks a lot more like a Wall Street Hedge fund manager than a sorcerer. Whatever.

We soon learn that Arthur is the secret son of the just poisoned king Uther and that makes Arthur's existence a threat the fetching and scheming Morgan (Eva Green) who just bumped off her royal daddy to inherit his realm. Guinevere (Tamsin Egerton) also appears in the pilot, but only in Arthur's dreams. And rather racy dreams at that. Like "Spartacus" and "Pillars of the Earth," this "Camelot" is a lot more about spectacle than making sense.

I think Starz is on to something here. Television appears to have gotten smaller at the very time that people's entertainment centers got bigger. Sure you can watch a lot of reality fluff better suited to the web, or inspired by YouTube. But that's not why a lot people bought huge digital TVs and home theater systems. They've got the hardware. They need something spectacular to watch. Starz has set out to fill that void. It's a smart idea.
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PostSubject: Re: Camelot Reviews and Spoilers   Fri Apr 01, 2011 3:04 am

http://www.unclebarky.com/reviews.html

Starz rewinds its way back machine to Camelot during a big month for Arthurs and royals
03/30/11 09:57 AM

Joseph Fiennes' Merlin looms over Arthur and Guinevere. Stars photos

Premiering: Friday, April 1st at 9 p.m. (central) on Starz
Starring: Joseph Fiennes, Jamie Campbell Bower, Eva Green, Tamsin Egerton, Peter Mooney, Claire Forlani, Philip Winchester, Clive Standen, Diarmaid Murtagh
Produced by: Chris Chibnall

By ED BARK
April's a big month for Arthurs, with the same-named big screen remake opening on April 8th while Starz takes the reins on Fools Day with the Arthur-fueled, 10-episode Camelot.

Quickly back in the swords 'n' armor game after Spartacus and its recent prequel, Starz urges urges prospective viewers to "Forget Everything You Know. This is the Story of Camelot That Has Never Been Told Before."

Not that we'd really know. This is, after all, the stuff of 5th and 6th century "Arthurian legend." So the producers and writers of innumerable treatments over the years can pretty much do as they please while retaining the essential principal characters of Arthur, Merlin, Guinevere and Morgan. In other words, you probably can't just throw a Sir Herb or a Lady Whoopi in there. And you'll need a big sword-in-the-stone scene in one form or another. Which Camelot has in Episode 2.

Joseph Fiennes' manipulative Merlin is bald, with his left cheek bisected by a thin horizontal scar. In an interview with TV critics last summer, he quotably described the character as "sort of a cross between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Donald Rumsfeld."

Fiennes schemes and often glowers his way through the first three hours made available for review. But he's a piker compared to Morgan (Eva Green), the potion-mixing, shape-shifting, very bitter half sister of Arthur (Jamie Campbell Bower) and exiled daughter of King Uther. A scene-stealing Green brings Morgan vividly to life, baring her fangs and later other impressive attributes in a closing Episode 2 scene opposite a snarling wolf.

Arthur's a malleable kid in comparison, unknowingly born with royal blood and reared by a peasant family until Merlin comes to claim and mold him into the rightful King of the Britons.

"Why? Why do you need me?" Arthur wonders.

"Everything in time," Merlin assures him.

And later: "Are you really a sorcerer?"

"I can do things others believe impossible," Merlin replies. "Is that sorcery?"

Oh that Merlin. Even Rumsfeld might find him a bit cryptic. But nothing can be allowed to stand in the way of Arthur's destiny or Merlin's reminders that he'd still be nothing without him. So it gets complicated when Arthur first feasts his eyes on the beauteous Guinevere (Tamsin Egerton), who's already betrothed to his goodly protector, Leontes (Philip Winchester). Merlin is vexed and Arthur would sextext her night and day if the technology were available. Instead they couple clandestinely in the great outdoors. But "just once," she tells him a scant three days before her wedding bell blues.

It all gets pretty involving in time. Based on the first three hours, this is a sturdy production from a producer/scriptwriter (Chris Chibnall) whose well-appointed credits include Torchwood, Doctor Who and the United Kingdom version of Law & Order.

As Camelot's helmsman, Chibnall takes his first crack at medieval times, which have never lost their pulling power. So away we go again, with Arthur, Merlin, Morgan and Guinevere parrying, thrusting and lusting all the way up to and through the latest royal wedding, on April 29th, between Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Camelot's out-of-body tricks and turns at best will provide a subdued but tasty appetizer for the rampaging media feast to come. It also begs the question of what an Arthur/Guinevere wedding would be like in these days and times. Although their legends live on, it's better that both will never know.
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PostSubject: Re: Camelot Reviews and Spoilers   Fri Apr 01, 2011 3:08 am

http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117944893?categoryid=32&cs=1&cmpid=RSS|News|LatestNews

Posted: Sat., Mar. 26, 2011, 4:00am PT
Recently Reviewed
Camelot
(Series -- STARZ, Fri. April 1, 10 p.m.)
By Brian Lowry
'Camelot'

Joseph Fiennes plays Merlin in Starz's original series 'Camelot.'
Filmed in Ireland by Octagon, Take 5 Prods. and GK-TV in association with Ecosse Films. Executive producers, Chris Chibnall; Morgan O'Sullivan, James Flynn, Graham King, John Weber, Fred Fuchs, Anne Thomopoulos, Tim Headington, Craig Cegielski, Douglas Rae, Michael Hirst; co-producers, Bill Goddard, Michael Parke, Seamus McInerney; director, Ciaran Donnelly; writer, Chibnall; story, Hirst, Chibnall;
Merlin - Joseph Fiennes Arthur - Jamie Campbell Bower Morgan - Eva Green Guinevere - Tamsin Egerton Kay - Peter Mooney Igraine - Claire Forlani Leontes - Philip Winchester Brastias - Diarmaid Murtagh Gawain - Clive Standen Vivian - Chipo Chung Sybil - Sinead Cusack
Spiritually closer to "The Tudors" than the simple-minded camp of "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" -- which helped put Starz's original programming on the map -- "Camelot" presents something of a double-edged sword. While stately and reasonably smart, the first three episodes unfold at a less-than-galvanizing pace, featuring a young King Arthur whose appeal seems more calibrated to please the "Twilight" demo than action-craving men. Despite that dichotomy, the show's not bad -- buoyed by an especially lusty performance by Eva Green as Morgan -- the caveat being Starz must make clear its latest sword-wielding international co-production scratches a slightly more refined itch.

For students of the Arthurian legend, it's always a bit disorienting sorting through the various wrinkles each new rendering brings to the mythology, from the musical to the animated Disney version to "Excalibur."

At least initially, writer-producer Chris Chibnall has put his own unique stamp on reorganizing the pieces. The glowering Merlin (Joseph Fiennes) is still an integral part of the story, but his magic is different this time around, and his impenetrable ways even harder to read than usual. The same goes for Arthur's half-sister Morgan (Bond girl Green), who occupies the juiciest role and wears it quite handsomely.

By contrast, the weak link here is "Twilight" co-star Jamie Campbell Bower as the young king -- a difficult part, admittedly, given that during the first couple of hours he's understandably mystified to discover his noble origins.

In this telling, Arthur is a pampered brother to Kay (Peter Mooney), not his squire, having been raised from birth by a humble family thanks to Merlin's machinations. When his biological father, King Uther, suddenly dies (a victim of Morgan's treachery), Merlin drafts Arthur to fulfill his destiny, counseling him as the revelation of this heir thrusts Arthur into conflict not just with Morgan -- who covets the throne herself -- but with the bloodthirsty King Lot (guest James Purefoy, playing a character very similar to the one he did in "Rome"), with whom she forges an uneasy alliance.

Chibnall's take is less overtly magical than paganistic, with Morgan and Merlin possessing vague powers but seldom exercising them -- and paying a physical toll whenever they do. Still, both magic and swordplay crop up sparingly in the early going, and the third hour -- when Arthur's court begins taking shape, and Guinevere (Tamsin Egerton) enters the scene -- might be the slowest of the three.

Shrewdly cast and handsomely shot in Ireland, the series will launch with a two-hour premiere. There's such an abundance of material surrounding the Camelot legend that the maiden 10-part season certainly needn't worry about lacking for stories; nevertheless, Bower's callow boy king has a whole lot of maturing to do, pretty rapidly, if he's going to comfortably grow into that crown.

"Everything you are right now is because of me," Merlin snaps at one point. "Remember that."

Actually, "Camelot's" other modest enchantments notwithstanding, that's the one part you sort of wish you could forget.

camera, Joel Ransom; production designer, Tom Conroy; editors, Sidney Wolinsky, Stephen O'Connell; music, Mychael Danna, Jeff Danna; costume designer, Joan Bergin; casting, Frank Moiselle, Nuala Moiselle, Jeremy Zimmerman. 120 MIN.
With: James Purefoy.
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PostSubject: Re: Camelot Reviews and Spoilers   Fri Apr 01, 2011 3:09 am

http://www.todayonline.com/Entertainment/Television/EDC110328-0000002/Joust-a-touch-of-magic

Joust a touch of magic

Hark! A return to the pre-Camelot era
by May Seah
04:46 AM Mar 28, 2011
THE early morning mists crept lazily off the rolling green hills and swirled around my ankles like an insistent cat. There was a nip in the air, and one could almost hear faint strains of fiddling swelling in an epic paean to the dawn, as the morning Guinness wafted like a gentle aubade.

Yes, I was in Ireland. And, yes, it was way too early.

But my senses were startled into wakefulness by the first sight that confronted me upon arriving at Ardmore Studios in County Wicklow: A bunch of dudes clad in spun tunics and leather doublets running around a field after a ball, each clutching an oddly shaped stick, playing some sort of medieval lacrosse game. "Hurling," I was informed. "One of Ireland's native Gaelic games."

I was on the set of Camelot, the latest television series to re-invent the undying legend of King Arthur. And the extras, as it turned out, were getting in a little recreation time.

Camelot jumps on the prequel bandwagon with the story of a young Arthur, played by Twilight's Jamie Campbell Bower. 'Lil Art is brought from his foster home to court by the sorcerer Merlin - Joseph Fiennes as you've never seen him before - to take his place as the rightful king after his long-lost father, King Uther Pendragon (Sebastian Koch), is poisoned by his own daughter, Morgan (Eva Green).

Like any edgy period drama worth its corset these days, it's full of fighting, plotting, and 'twixt-the-sheets action. Tamsin Egerton co-stars as Guinevere and Claire Forlani as Arthur's mother, Queen Igraine (luscious lips clearly run in the family).

As I wandered around the sprawling sets depicting overgrown ancient castle halls, a fur-strewn throne room, a dungeon stocked with all manner of torture implements, and explored the even larger storage sheds holding endless shelves of prop swords, shields, goblets and saddles, a fellow journalist gallantly offered me a hand navigating a high, pot-strewn step.

Well, swash my buckles - chivalry isn't dead. At least it isn't in Camelot.

JOSEPH FIENNES as Merlin

He's played William Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth I's lordly lover at the movies, so it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that Fiennes is tackling another legendary - albeit literally so, this time - British figure. Although with his shaven head and not-so-wizened visage, you can be sure Fiennes's Merlin isn't quite the one you've seen in cartoons. Far less often spotted on television, the 41-year-old married father of a baby girl was last seen in the short-lived drama Flash Forward.

Coming off Flash Forward, were you looking to do something like Camelot?

I was looking for a really good long rest! Exhausting regime. Hats off, I have to say, to television actors.

I don't have a map or ambitious road that I'm following. I just go with what feels good. I wasn't really sort of looking out for this. It sort of picked me. And to tell the truth, when I heard, "Hey, what do you think of Camelot?" I think my first reaction was, "What - the musical? No", and, "Do we really have to see another Merlin?" But I (eventually) felt that actually Merlin had all the colours and the range that you can play with.

How do you go about playing a legend like Merlin? You certainly don't look like the Disney version.

I didn't want to do an off-the-shelf Merlin with a long beard and long, prophetic hair and staff. I guess the short hair is just, "Let's get away from the crystal ball and (present a) more straight, up-front thug who can handle himself with a sword if he needs to." Magic's a last resort - there's a cost - but there's a way of doing these things with logic.

With Merlin, he has a duality. He's not to be trusted. He's part angel, part devil. He's a manipulative politician. And I think his magic for me lies more in his mind skills and his manipulation and his political agenda. I'd liken him to a sort of Donald Rumsfeld and an Obi-Wan. I look at him as a warrior monk. I liken him to a sort of David Blaine - all that neuro-linguistic programming.

JAMIE CAMPBELL BOWER as Arthur

Rougishly handsome 23-year-old Bower made his film debut opposite Johnny Depp in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street and was last seen on the big screen in Twilight: New Moon as Caius, leader of the Volturi Vampires. The Brit returns to the cinemas as Gellert Grindelwald in Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (he is engaged to Bonnie Wright, who plays Ginny Weasly), but for now, in his first leading television role, the former model is finding that uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.

How does it feel heading up a production as lavish as this? As a self-professed geek, is it hard to cut a kingly figure?

I remember calling my mum about a week into it and saying, "Mum, I don't know if I can do this. I just don't feel like I can be the leading man." I was like, "Send me home. They've made a mistake. They're joking." I'm not very cool. I'm quite clumsy; shunned from the cool crowd at school.

There were a lot of days spent in front of the mirror trying to look big and macho. And then at the back of your mind there's always this, "What are you doing? Idiot. Stop that. We know what you're like." You have to put those demons to rest and absorb yourself in this role. And now, I feel like I fit the character.

What's been the coolest moment during the shoot so far?

I got to climb a waterfall. I never got to do any wire-work before this - there was a flip involved. And on camera it looks amazing but you can't really see that it's me. But I know it's me. And my mates know it's me because I've told them!

What's working with Joseph Fiennes like?

He's one of the finest actors that I think I've ever had the pleasure to work with. Don't tell him, because he doesn't know, but I do watch him very, very closely and go, "That was good. Maybe I can do that later".

The relationship between Arthur and Merlin, it's sort of an Obi-Wan-Luke-Skywalker kind of thing. And, yes, at the beginning there's a lot of tension, but as the series progresses, Merlin and Arthur come to understand one another. And by the end of the show, there's a real appreciation for each of their strengths and weaknesses. But that hasn't happened in (real life) - I don't think Joe has any weaknesses.

If you became king tomorrow, what's the first thing you would do?

Free cheese. For everyone!

TAMSIN EGERTON as Guinevere

Egerton, the star of several British films including St Trinian's and Keeping Mum, grew up in the same town as co-star Bower. The 23-year-old plays a young Guinevere who is betrothed to Sir Leontes (Philip Winchester) but finds herself drawn into an irresistible forbidden romance with Arthur.

What do you like about shooting a period drama?

I think it's the different locations and the world that you enter with a period drama. We've been climbing cliffs and I've been horseriding across country with sheepskin and a cloak billowing. I've learnt to wield a sword; I've learnt how to use a bow and arrow. I've been filming in castles with trees growing through rock. You just walk in and you've got a room full of knights in leather with swords, and chickens running around and goats ... And you're just going, "What? This is crazy. This is my work?"

What about the downsides, like chicken poop?

We were filming in Luggala in the middle of nowhere and it was mud up to your calves. I was wearing six thermals underneath but I was still freezing - and the mud was seeping up my dress, which was long, and mud was in my boots. Even getting your leg up over the saddle was hard - it was so heavy with the mud.

But then, my wedding dress is so lovely. It's pale vintage antique silk with this metallic interlaced material on top, and it's just so beautifully tailored and handmade. Everything's meant to fit you perfectly. I never get to dress like that in everyday life.

Is the crossbow fun?

I prefer swords, but the crossbow is fun. I'm not very good at it, though. I'm meant to be, in the job. So there's a great scene where I hit the target perfectly and Leontes goes, "We're not killing rabbits." I go, "No, we're killing men - and they're bigger and slower." And it's really great because it just sums (Guinevere) up. But then actually when we were filming it, it was, "Okay, Tamsin, can you actually aim it a little bit more towards the target? Jamie, maybe you shouldn't stand there." (Laughs)


Catch Camelot starting next Monday (Apr 4) at 9pm on AXN Beyond (StarHub TV Ch 525).
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PostSubject: Re: Camelot Reviews and Spoilers   Sat Apr 02, 2011 3:10 am

http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/the-fien-print/posts/review-starz-camelot

TV Review: Starz' 'Camelot'
By Daniel Fienberg - Jamie Campbell Bower and Eva Green star in this 'One Camelot Hill'

Friday, Apr 1, 2011 5:22 PM

The United States of America may rule the world in many things -- international basketball, childhood obesity, Kate Hudson movies -- but as a relatively youthful nation, we lack in one key resource that more venerable countries take for granted: A rich tradition of folklore and legend.

Yes, we have our John Henrys and Paul Bunyans, but if you're a writer, try walking into a pitch meeting and leading with, "Pitch this: Chad Michael Murray *is* Johnny Appleseed."

That's why it seems like scarcely a year passes without a big or small screen interpretation or reinterpretation of the same British semi-historical tall tales. It's not that I don't have an appetite for the adventures of Robin Hood or King Arthur, but I've discovered all too quickly that said appetite is not insatiable.

For me, but perhaps not for you, I've long since past the point at which merely being introduced to the Knights of the Round Table or Robin's variably Merry Men is no longer enough. You can't just say, "This is a great story and I want to tell it. Again." You have to be able to say, "This is a great story, but my previously unimagined angle-of-approach is..."

Even if Starz' new series version of "Camelot" were nicely produced, brilliantly acted and energetically rendered, it would still lack that previously unimagined (or previously under-imagined, at least) angle of approach. It's slightly different from previous Arthurian tales, but it's no more illuminating, which far supersedes the sins of looking cheap, crawling at a snail's pace and featuring performances which never rise above lackluster.

As Starz sent out three episodes of "Camelot," that's the number I watched, but even the alluring possibility of admirable nudity isn't likely to bring me back again.

Full review of Starz' "Camelot" after the break...

"Camelot" was developed by Chris Chibnall and Michael Hirst, but it's the fingerprints of the latter scribe that are most evident. From his two "Elizabeth" biopics to his long run as sole scribe on "The Tudors," Hirst has proven repeatedly that his approach to historical intrigue is almost invariably through the prism of "The Godfather." His commitment to courtly whackings remains unblemished and if you've seen previous Hirst production, you can chart the plotting of "Camelot" almost point-for-point.

As our story opens, Morgan (Eva Green) has orchestrated the murder of her father Uther and the exile of mother Igraine (Claire Forlani) in order to take her father's crown, which is less impressive than it sounds, since Uther's just one of many warlords battling over chunks of land. Morgan's certain that her ascension is at hand, until she learns that Merlin (Joseph Fiennes) has been keeping a secret: He packed up Uther's bastard son Arthur as an infant and deposited him with a family of loving commoners. Years later, Arthur (Jamie Campbell Bower) is a head-strong pretty-boy teen, more accustomed to stealing voluptuous girlfriends from brother Kay (Peter Mooney) than leading. But when Merlin comes calling, Arthur only whines for a few minutes before embracing his royal destiny and trotting off with his new warlock buddy to Camelot, a rundown castle by the sea. There, he meets blonde hottie Guinevere (Tamsin Egerton) and a familiar assortment of political clashes and love triangles ensue.

It's not that the Arthurian legend has been told and retold to death, but the number of available fresh permutations is definitely limited. The BBC and Syfy are currently airing "Merlin," a very straight-forward, cheesy-effects-heavy version of the story that I quit on after six episodes due to its lack of interesting motivation. I vaguely remember its Guinevere was slightly spunkier than some who came before, but I wouldn't want to guarantee that that remained true. The last big screen incarnation was Antoine Fuqua's 2007 feature, which drained all magic from the story and aspired only to specious historical accuracy, which was to say that all of the knights and rulers were identically grimy and the only magic was the cinematic magic Fuqua filched, with lesser execution, from various Ridley Scott films. If you go back over your favorite King Arthur tales, you might have enjoyed seeing him animated, parodied and singing.

Hirst and Chibnall have taken the much less razor-focused "Throw a bunch of stuff against the wall and see what thematically sticks" approach.

Arthur, the man himself, is a fairly callow, Tiger Beat-ready youth. Bower, so tremendous in AMC's "The Prisoner," has little to clearly play here, so he goes with "petulant," "bratty" and "unconvincingly regal." This Arthur, you see, hasn't been raised to be a king, so he's quick to protest when Merlin confers the mantle, but when required, he proves every inch a king, complete with an instant sense of entitlement. I mockingly reference Chad Michael Murray as Johnny Appleseed earlier, but if "Camelot" has been done for The CW, this is the way CM-squared would have played Arthur. Take that as you will, I suppose.

Merlin is the pivotal supporting character and Joseph Fiennes has transferred his "FlashForward" growl and clenched brow. I believe we ought to have learned by now that whatever gifts Joseph may possess at earnest yearning or even at lightly comic romanticism, he's useless when it comes to dark or tortured or mysterious. Although he has some abilities and he's potentially ageless, Fiennes may be playing the least magical Merlin ever committed to screen. As I observed in this week's podcast, he's there to try to state whatever message Hirst and Chibnall are floundering to convey. As such, he's less a sorcerer and more a political science professor schooled in the manufacturing of power. I take back what I said about the writers not having an angle, since I guess their angle focuses on legend-building, with Merlin delivering a few lines so post-modern he might as well quote Joseph Campbell or maybe "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence." Nobody on screen listens to Merlin or understands him, so viewers can be forgiven if they get distracted by Eva Green's breasts.

The "Casino Royale" and "The Dreamers" star is easily the most captivating part of this series, playing Morgan as vicious, venial and sexual. It's a truth that Arthur is frequently the least interesting part of Arthurian legends and in this case, more than a few viewers will find themselves sympathizing with Morgan's cause and wishing this were a revisionist "Arthur" story that focuses on Morgan as The First Modern Woman, the clear and deserving ruler of Camelot brushed off for a flaxen-haired dilettante who just happens to have man-parts. Green is the reason to watch "Camelot," for many different reasons. But she's not enough, even when she has a worthy scene partner in somebody like James Purefoy. When she's paired with Bower or Fiennes, the result is an unintentional mismatch.

The rest of the cast is pretty, but I didn't care who any of them were or if any of them were supposed to have characters to play. Egerton? Pretty. Mooney? Handsome, for viewers who find Bower too pretty. Philip Winchester? The "Crusoe" star keeps getting cast in stories of this type because he looks like he belongs and not because he has any real charisma. Claire Forlani? Well, it's nice to have Claire Forlani back, but if this is "One Camelot Hill," she's playing the Moira Kelly role where you keep wanting people to come up to her and comment on how she looks much to young to have such a kingly son.

There are lots of stories to tell within the Arthurian legend, but already by the third episode, you can sense wheel spinning. Arthur's just pining away for Guinevere in the least interesting way possible, while two of his followers wander off on their own to recruit The Future Sir Gawain. It's an amazingly dull episode, but it suggests the sort of stagnant storytelling that may be required to make a long series run. Certainly the action scenes, cinematography -- Yes, Ireland is pretty, what else? -- and special effects won't prove to be much of a lure.

Really, anything that "Camelot" does, HBO's "Game of Thrones" does many times better. Just hold off for two weeks and watch that instead.

I could ramble on about "Camelot" for a bit, but I'm writing this review from San Francisco, where much of Team HitFix will be covering WonderCon over the next few days. I've gotta go register and catch a panel for "Falling Skies" and a screening of next week's "Nikita."

Short version: You've seen this story before and you've seen it told better. The end.

"Camelot" premieres on Friday (April 1) night on Starz.
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PostSubject: Re: Camelot Reviews and Spoilers   Sun Apr 03, 2011 2:42 am

http://inyourhonour1989.wordpress.com/2011/04/02/camelot/

Camelot.

So, brand new series. New take on the classic stories. Up-and-coming actors appearing alongside well-established talent. Raunchy and violent in equal measure. What’s not to love?

Camelot is a brilliant new take on the classic story of King Arthur, Merlin, Morgan Le Fay et al. With cast including the brilliant Joseph Fiennes as Merlin, the superb Jamie Campbell Bower as King Arthur, the wonderful Eva Green as Morgan, and the beautiful Tamsin Egerton as Guinevere, this show was always going to impress. Supporting cast including Philip Winchester, Peter Mooney, Claire Forlani, James Purefoy and Sean Pertwee can only add to the brilliance of the show.

The opening two episodes were captivating throughout, with excellent plots and great acting on show. There’s plenty of surprises as you watch; with nudity, blood, swearing, and more blood. I was on the edge of my seat constantly, and there’s plenty of excitement to keep you watching. The actors make the characters believable, and it’s easy to get behind them because of this – surely a testament to a great show.

I’m a fan of the show Merlin, but this makes it look like the Tweenies. In a good way. I haven’t been this excited after watching the opening couple of episodes of a series ina very long time. If you don’t watch it, you’re a fool (Starz Network in the USA, currently showing on Friday nights; it’ll start on Channel 4 in the UK soon).

Thank you for reading.

XX

This entry was posted on April 2, 2011 at 7:17 PM
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PostSubject: Re: Camelot Reviews and Spoilers   Sun Apr 03, 2011 2:42 am

http://www.goodtobeageek.com/?p=1013

Posted by Jessa Phillips aka "SultryMinxZoe" | Posted on 31-03-2011

Category : Entertain Me, Featured, Television

Tags: Camelot, Claire Forlani, Eva Green, Jamie Campbell Bower, Joseph Fiennes, king arthur, king uther, magic, merlin, morgan le fay, morgana, Peter Mooney, Philip Winchester, series, Starz, Tamsin Egerton, television, tv
Starz offers a re-telling of a classic tale – taking on power, love, magic and betrayal in their new series Camelot.

Courtesy of Starz Entertainment



In the past few years, Starz has been making a name for itself with great original programming. Hoping to capture the hearts and imaginations of viewers, their newest series Camelot offers a different perspective on the classic tale we all know.

“In the wake of King Uther’s sudden death, chaos threatens to engulf Britain. When the sorcerer Merlin has visions of a dark future, he installs the young and impetuous Arthur, Uther’s unknown son and heir, who has been raised from birth as a commoner. But Arthur’s cold and ambitious half sister Morgan will fight him to the bitter end, summoning unnatural forces to claim the crown in this epic battle for control. These are dark times indeed for the new king, with Guinevere being the only shining light in Arthur’s harsh world. Faced with profound moral decisions, and the challange of uniting a kingdom broken by war and steeped in deception, Arthur will be tested beyond immagination. Forget everything you think you know…this is the story of Camelot that has neve been told before.”

With a phenomenal cast, including well-known actors Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare In Love, Elizabeth), Eva Green (Kingdom of Heaven, Casino Royale), Claire Forlani (Meet Joe Black, The Rock, CSI: NY) and Philip Winchester (Crusoe, Alice), as well as some lesser known actors, such as the lead, Jamie Campbell Bower (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Sweeney Tod and the Demon Barber of Fleet Street), Tamsin Egerton (St. Trinian’s) and Peter Mooney (Falcon’s Beach, Summer’s Blood), and such a dramatic story, this series could be a hit.

Camelot premieres on Starz tomorrow, April 1st, 2011, with a 2-hour episode starting at 10PM ET/PT. New episodes will air Fridays at 10pm ET/PT. For more information on Camelot, visit the Starz website.
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PostSubject: Re: Camelot Reviews and Spoilers   Sun Apr 03, 2011 2:44 am

http://starnewscast.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=413:camelot-premieres-april-1-2011&catid=57:drama&Itemid=80

'Camelot' Premieres April 1, 2011 on Starz

Written by Rakesh Ramsaywack Thursday, 31 March 2011 09:52

{StarNewscast.com} --- "Camelot" is a historical-fantasy-drama set to premiere April 1st, 2011 on Starz.

Series Synopsis

In the wake of King Uther's sudden death, chaos threatens to engulf Britain. When the sorcerer Merlin has visions of a dark future, he installs the young and impetuous Arthur, Uther's unknown son and heir, who has been raised from birth as a commoner. But Arthur's cold and ambitious half sister Morgan will fight him to the bitter end, summoning unnatural forces to claim the crown in this epic battle for control. These are dark times indeed for the new king,with Guinevere being the only shining light in Arthur's harsh world. Faced with profound moral decisions, and the challenge of uniting a kingdom broken by war and steeped in deception, Arthur will be tested beyond imagination. Forget everything you think you know…this is the story of Camelot that has never been told before.

Character Descriptions:

ARTHUR (Jamie Campbell Bower)

©2010 KA PRODUCTIONS LTD / T5 Camelot Productions Inc. AN IRELAND-CANADA CO-PRODUCTION. All rights reserved.
A handsome, carefree young man, Arthur is torn from his home and family upon learning he is
the only male heir to the throne as a result of the king's untimely death. Arthur's intense
education in a dark, unruly world inspires him to pursue a kingdom based on justice, hope, and
freedom from tyranny while the lands he oversees are corrupted by violence, greed, and
despair.

MERLIN (Joseph Fiennes)

The sorcerer is creator and custodian of the legend of Camelot. As Arthur’s greatest and most
powerful ally, Merlin believes in him even more than Arthur believes in himself. He can foresee
the threats to his king more clearly than anyone, but he must fight the dark nature of his power
and harness it to bring forth a new Camelot.

MORGAN (Eva Green)

The beautiful and ruthlessly ambitious Morgan, daughter of King Uther, wishes to claim her
right to her father’s throne. But she has not counted on Merlin’s plans or the existence of
Arthur, her newly revealed half brother. In her pursuit of power, Morgan gives herself over to
dark forces that allow her to threaten the court of Camelot from within.

GUINEVERE (Tamsin Egerton)

Pure-of-heart Guinevere may be innocent and naïve, but her ambition and strong will makes
her a source of great support and strength to Arthur as he grows into his role as king. Although
she is betrothed to Leontes, one of Arthur’s most loyal knights, she cannot deny the attraction
she and Arthur feel for each other.

KAY (Peter Mooney)

Fiercely loyal to his brother with whom he has shared everything since childhood, Kay
encourages Arthur to take up his destiny as King of Britain. As the king’s Marshal - the supreme
force of law in the Kingdom – Kay has the freedom to become his own man, but will always
remain Arthur’s older brother and closest friend.

IGRAINE (Claire Forlani)

©2010 KA PRODUCTIONS LTD / T5 Camelot Productions Inc. AN IRELAND-CANADA CO-PRODUCTION. All rights reserved.
Arthur’s birth mother and second wife of King Uther, Igraine is estranged from her son and
despised by her step-daughter Morgan. She has lived a life of deep pain and agony, but has
never lost her faith or her heart. Igraine quickly becomes an ally and figure of strength not only
for Arthur but the entire court of Camelot.

LEONTES (Philip Winchester)
One of King Uther’s bravest knights, Leontes pledges his loyalty to the new king after his
master’s death and joins Arthur in Camelot. Betrothed to Guinevere, his loyalty and experience
are invaluable to the young king as he attempts to secure order in a land beset by violence and
threats from rivals to the throne.

GAWAIN (Clive Standen)
Once a great knight, Gawain has become disillusioned and has lost his way in life. Kay and
Leontes recruit him to join the court of Camelot as a warrior. Although reluctant at first, he
comes to Camelot and realizes Arthur is different and not just another warlord. Inspired, he
finds reason to fight and train Arthur’s men.
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PostSubject: Re: Camelot Reviews and Spoilers   Sat Apr 09, 2011 4:11 pm

http://blogcritics.org/video/article/tv-review-camelot1/

"What if he isn't the one?" sighs poor Guinevere, on the eve of her marriage.

Seriously, Guinevere? In the second episode of Starz's series Camelot, titled "Guinevere," the young princess (Tamsin Egerton) is having doubts about her upcoming marriage to Leontes (Philip Winchester) because of studly young Arthur (Jamie Campbell Bower). You want to be conflicted girl, just wait until Lancelot rides into town.

Meanwhile, on the more interesting side of town, Morgan (Eva Green) invites Merlin (Joseph Fiennes) and Arthur for dinner — she's given her father Uther's castle "the woman's touch." Merlin doesn't have much of an appetite until Morgan tastes their food herself. Morgan, the perfect hostess, shows up in shirtless half-brother Arthur's bedroom to tuck him in and tell him a bedroom story. At least that's what he thinks, as she "accidently" gives him a scratch and exits with a blood sample for later use.

Busy Morgan then slips Merlin a mickey, which also stirs Merlin's visions — he sees the truth of Uther's death at her hands. Dopey Arthur has another sexy dream about Guinevere and takes off without telling Merlin or Morgan (what a bad guest). He shows up in Guinevere's bedroom a la Morgan, trying to mess up Guinevere's life (and mess around).

The sex scenes are less gratuitous and more necessary to the story in this episode. I'm still not very convinced by Arthur or Guinevere or their supposed dilemma — Merlin and Morgan are a much more interesting pair. The series does use the beautiful settings of Ireland to full advantage, and I still like its limited color palette. The "enlisting" of Gawain to serve Arthur was a fun side story and probably closer to how it might have played out then in some of the more flowery versions of the tale. Gawain was always my favorite knight of the Round Table. He is hot-headed and a true individual. He is also supposed to be Arthur's nephew, but I'm not sure they're following the genealogy so strictly here.

Arthur left Merlin at the mercy of Morgan and her spells and potions and the wizard wakes up to find himself tied down to a sumptuous bed. If you're going to be held hostage, at least it should be in velvet and silk. I doubt Arthur would have been of much help anyway, as Merlin quickly Houdini's himself out of her clutches. Guinevere has a lovely wedding, by the way. But from the look of the scenes from next week's episode Arthur may not let something like a little marriage between friends deter him. It also looks like Morgan's magic may have some pretty bad side effects. You need to read the small print on that eye of newt, Morgan. Merlin and Morgan have good chemistry and an interesting rivalry and are the main reason to keep tuning in to Camelot.
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PostSubject: Re: Camelot Reviews and Spoilers   Sat Apr 09, 2011 4:13 pm

http://aftwatershed.blogspot.com/2011/02/camelot-s01e01-preview.html

Saturday, 26 February 2011
Camelot S01E01 (preview)
Camelot showrunner Chris Chibnall has revealed that sex is a vital part of the new Starz drama. The writer - who has previously worked on Doctor Who and Torchwood - told Blastr that the new series would be an "adult" retelling of the Arthurian legend. "[Sex is] part of our palettes, and also we have some beautiful actors as well," he explained. "This is an adult drama."

He added: "The extraordinary thing in all the versions of Camelot and Arthurian legend is it's all about the romance. It's all about the passion. It's all about great ideals compromised by falling in love with the wrong person. So it's an element of our storytelling."

Series star Joseph Fiennes, who plays Merlin, agreed that the show is 'romantic'. "It's a beautiful, riveting, romantic, sensational epic story that has never been told in all of its episodes," said the actor.

Television Series: Camelot (S01E01- preview)
Release Date: February 2011

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PostSubject: Re: Camelot Reviews and Spoilers   Sat Apr 09, 2011 4:15 pm

http://aftwatershed.blogspot.com/2011/04/camelot-s01e02.html

Sunday, 3 April 2011
Camelot S01E02

I need more... tell me what I have to do


French actress Eva Green, 30, all angular features and piercing blue eyes, got her start playing a clothing-averse hedonist in Bernardo Bertolucci’s erotic political drama The Dreamers. Since then she's worked hard to challenge the assumption that she is some latter-day Maria Schneider, writes Nisha Gopalan, yet has sorta stoked it, too, by starring as a hottie princess in Ridley Scott’s Crusades drama Kingdom of Heaven and a smarter-than-average Bond girl in Casino Royale.

Now she can be seen in the new series Camelot, playing her ugliest role yet: sneering sorceress Morgan Le Fay, who's out to destroy her sun-kissed half-brother King Arthur (Jamie Campbell Bower) and his bestie, Merlin (Joseph Fiennes), in a bid for the throne. This being a Starz series, there is a heap of sex and violence. But as Green explains to Vulture, Camelot may finally be her ticket to another specialty: weirdness.


You've said that when you do a nude scene, you have to think twice. Why is that?
The Dreamers was the first movie I ever made, and people made such a fuss when it came out. Sex was a theme, but there was more to it. And then I saw a lot of pictures of me naked [on the Internet] — oh my God. This was terrible. I love the movie, but now I know that if I do a nude scene that people will talk about it. I always feel like I have to prove myself. I want to be taken seriously.

Knowing Starz has earned a reputation for pushing boundaries, why would you take this role?
This is not Spartacus at all. I have one sex scene. I don’t want to disappoint people [laughs]. That is it. Then Morgan's a nun. She’s disappointed by men. She’s not a lesbian, either, but she surrounds herself with strong women. This is not, like, a show about sex and violence.

Have you seen Spartacus?
I don’t know if I can talk about that. I’ve seen bits and pieces. It’s … interesting. But this is not Spartacus.

Camelot certainly has violence, though.
Yeah. You’ll see it evolve. I mean, for my character.

Are you a fan of the fantasy genre?
I loved Willow as a child. But you don’t have a lot of magic here. It's more earthly magic. It's not fantasy fantasy.

Describe yourself.
I’m very kind of shy and very clear. People put me in a box: They think I’m a dark, sexy, French whatever. But in drama school, I loved playing Lady Macbeth. There’s something electric about those types of characters. They’re powerful. They’re strong. Because in real life, I’m like this [gestures to her small frame].

And Morgan fits into that?
She's … complex. It's like digging into somebody’s mind. There’s a movie I just did called Cracks. You had to read the script again and again to understand why my character would behave a certain way. Bad people are baddies for a reason. Damaged people are fun to play. Because in real life, I'm not a baddie. But that’s the great thing about Morgan: She has this vulnerable side which you will discover little by little. You don’t see it straight away, because she can be ruthless in the beginning.

You also do a pretty good English accent.
The French is … gone. I have a good dialect coach. It took me a while. When you look at The Dreamers, that was my real accent. During Casino Royale, the studio put the pressure on me to, like [says in a nasally American accent], "have a British accent." Oh my God! I worked like hell. Like hell. Now I have to do an American accent for Dark Shadows [an upcoming Tim Burton film].

There have been so many adaptations of Camelot. Did you base your Morgan on any previous one?
I read a lot of books on Morgan. There’s this amazing French book; she’s described as a saint, a Joan of Arc character. She’s not the image that we first have in mind: a sorceress. She wants to restore pagan ways — celebrate sexuality, love.

Did you explore any modern-day paganism?
I met a shaman. She was the mother of a makeup artist who was on set! She was an amazing person — not, like, a weirdo. She’s not creepy, but the way that she looks at you, there's something there. Her pupils are, like, [intense stare] moving or something weird. It's as if she’s seeing your aura or something. She was talking about shape-shifting, because my character shape-shifts into animals sometimes.

Did she claim she could shape-shift?
Yes, it's fascinating! She said my animal was a crane bird. But Morgan is a tiger [in Camelot]. There was like an energy about her. She kind of baptized me. She gave me a stone and said, "You will do, and it will be good." She told me it’ll be all right.

Television Series: Camelot (S01E02)
Release Date: April 2011

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PostSubject: Re: Camelot Reviews and Spoilers   Sat Apr 09, 2011 4:15 pm

http://aftwatershed.blogspot.com/2011/04/camelot-s01e03.html

Saturday, 9 April 2011
Camelot S01E03
Tamsin Egerton had only one scene in the premiere of the new Starz series Camelot, but it was a doozy: In this latest incarnation of the Arthurian legend, her Guinevere (or at least the naked, REM-state version of her) appears to young Arthur (Jamie Campbell Bower) in a dream on the beach, and they engage in some things in the sand that are, shall we say, not suitable for detailed description in a newspaper, writes USA Weekend's Brian Truit.

Like what the Spartacus series did for Roman gladiators, Camelot aims to take a realistic and gritty look at the ol’ roundtable tale, with Joseph Fiennes as the sorcerer Merlin, who comes to Arthur’s side with his dad Uther is killed, and Eva Green as Morgan, Arthur’s scheming half-sister who aims to take over the kingdom. And not to mention the love triangle that arises between Arthur, Guinevere and the dude to whom she’s betrothed, Leontes (Philip Winchester).

“That is the key to the season and this program,” Egerton says. “These are real humans, and people are often caught between a rock and a hard place. Guinevere’s a prime example of that.” The show also marks a chance of pace for Egerton, a British actress mostly known for her comedic roles — such as in the recently released (at least in Europe) Chalet Girl.

You have quite the introduction in the first episode, through a nude sex-dream sequence where you emerge from the sea.
Yes, exactly. I’m introduced just as an image and then you find out who I am, which is quite nice. I think everyone knows who Guinevere is and everybody’s waiting to see who she is and who’s going to play her or what the character’s going to be like. It’s quite nice to be introduced in a dream at first, so people can be guessing for at least the first hour and a half. That was quite cool. I admit, I was quite chuffed.

That’s a heck of a scene to be introduced to American cable audiences, too.
Yeah. [Laughs] That was my first day filming as well. It was quite hardcore. I was very embarrassed and obviously meeting a crew and the director and all the producers for the first time and then suddenly having to do those kinds of scenes, it was a bit nerve-wracking.

The second episode has a similar kind of scene, but you’re clothed for that one. Did you shoot both these scenes at the same time?
We shot a lot of beach stuff in the same day actually for episodes 1 and 2. We have the introduction with Arthur, the dream sequences, and the coming out of the water. Most of the day I was soaking wet, with wet hair, wet clothes and everything. And pretty cold. Ireland in the June/July time sounds really warm, because you’re from America! In Ireland, it’s really cold still. [Laughs] Unfortunately, you haven’t had the summer to warm up the sea either. It’s freezing cold. I did some more scenes in the sea later on in September, and it’s so much warmer because the temperatures had risen and warmed up the sea gradually over the months. The difference was insane.

How does one prepare for being naked on a beach?
I don’t think anyone’s really comfortable being naked on a beach in front of lots of people when it’s freezing cold. [Laughs] A lot of girls would probably have gone to the gym and not eaten or whatever, but I actually knew I was going to be cold, so I had two pints of Guinness and some pasta the night before with the guys. Purely because I just thought, “I’m gonna eat these calories. I need this because I’m going to be freezing!” I’m not gonna lie, I really suffered during that day. I had to take half an hour out and paramedics had to come and see if I was all right. But then afterwards, one of the producers was very sweet and made sure I had a massage at a sauna and was like, “There you go!” I went straight from the set after my ordeal and had a nice pampering session, so that was lovely. Being naked comes with the territory. A lot of people are so quick to judge and I’m not a prude, but the character calls for it. This is a saucy piece, and I feel very privileged to be playing Guinevere. To a certain extent, if it’s written, I’m happy to do it. She’s coming out of the sea, and it’s a great image. I’m not going to show everything, I always say I wouldn’t, and what we’re showing is lovemaking. It’s not just any old gratuitous sex. That’s my point of view. I’m personally in a very loving relationship, and I’m not doing that in real life. I mean, I’m an actor! [Laughs] I think people get confused sometimes.

Like the other historical Starz series Spartacus, there’s both sex and violence. Do you have action sequences later in the season?
I do. Camelot’s a little bit more character-driven than Spartacus — there’s a lot of violence in that and a lot of fight sequences. I learned to ride horses for this program. In the beginning, I was quite scared of horses, and by the end, I’m doing my own galloping stunts. And I wield a dagger and I learned how to use an arrow during filming. Yeah, I do a little bit of fighting. The good thing about Guinevere is she’s quite feisty, so there’s more of her arguing and saying, “Why can’t I fight? You warriors are out there fighting, why can’t I? I don’t want to sit here and get raped by whoever comes along. I’m not going to be a sitting duck.” She’s growing into that as well. She’s going to be quite the feisty one in the future.

Is it exciting to potentially break out on a show like this in a whole new country?
Well, I hope a whole country full of people will watch this. [Laughs] In England, I’ve got a certain niche at the moment — I do a lot of comedy, which has been fantastic. The last few years, I’ve mostly done very independent, young-schoolgirl comedy roles. To come and do Camelot where I’m playing, first of all, a part I’ve wanted to play since I was a kid, but also it’s serious and it’s a lot more emotional wallowing and playing action and there’s love and turmoil and grief and betrayal — all these things you don’t get in comedies. It’s been fantastic to explore that territory. And it’s an American job and I’m so thrilled to be from this side of the pond. I wanted this part so badly when I was auditioning for it and I worked so hard to get it and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.

The Arthurian stuff plays well over here. A lot of people watch Merlin on Syfy, and there’s a lot of interest in Spartacus and other Starz series.
With Merlin, it’s so funny because over here, it’s more for children. Camelot’s not really for young kids. [Laughs] This is more for the adults.

Television Series: Camelot (S01E03)
Release Date: April 2011

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PostSubject: Re: Camelot Reviews and Spoilers   Sat Apr 09, 2011 4:18 pm

http://soniagensler.blogspot.com/2011/04/tv-tuesday-camelot.html

Tuesday, April 5, 2011
TV Tuesday -- CAMELOT

Okay, so . . . I had low expectations and ended up pleasantly surprised.

[WARNING -- this is a frivolous discussion. And it's a wee bit spoilery.]

Things I liked:
Eva Green is AWESOME, as expected.

The Irish locations are breathtaking.

Camelot is a ruin. You know how I love a ruin!

James Purefoy certainly made an impression. (Lot's "Eff this!" was priceless.)

Kay is a nice guy. How refreshing!

Jamie Campbell Bower works just fine for me as a young Arthur. But is he Keira Knightly's long lost baby brother? They have the same snarly mouth. (Omigosh he is engaged to Ginny Weasley! So cute, but they are BABIES!)

I'm warming to Joseph Fiennes as Merlin. Wasn't sure at first, but he grew on me.

The writers include traditional elements of the Arthurian legends, but put their own spin on them. I liked the sword in the stone scene -- nice re-imagining of a rather stale Arthurian convention. I also was intrigued by how they took the "Mordred gets speared and then pulls himself toward Arthur to stab him" (one of my favorite gory moments from Malory) and assigned the roles to Ector and Lot. The writers must have decided to use this early in case the series is cancelled!

Things I didn't like:
Guinevere. Why did they have to give her contemporary hair and makeup and dress her in VELOUR? (Maybe it was supposed to be velvet, but did velvet even exist that far back? Yes, it's a fantasy, but they've tried to create a pre-Saxon world in this show, right? Oh, and I hate how she's dancing like a teen girl at homecoming when Arthur approaches her at the party. Yuck. It was all yuck. But then again, I love hating Guinevere. So maybe this is a positive instead of a negative? (And I DID enjoy Merlin's agitated reaction when he was spying into Arthur's sexy dream about her. That was cool.)

Speaking of contemporary hair, what's up with Philip Winchester (Leontes)? How can he see through that flop of hair when he's sword fighting? He looks like the lead singer of a band, not a knight of the Round Table.

This is old ladyish of me, but my main complaint is the sexual content. In many cases the scenes had some faint connection to plot or character development, but on the whole it seemed a matter of "insert boobs at regular intervals." My dear husband, being a guy (a key demographic for STARZ), did not complain. I, however, was rolling my eyes.

Who else watched? What were your thoughts?

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PostSubject: Re: Camelot Reviews and Spoilers   Sat Apr 09, 2011 4:18 pm

http://www.medievalarchives.com/2011/04/04/camelot-homecoming-episode-1-recap

4
Apr
Camelot “HomeComing” Episode 1 Recap

We have a guest blogger, Philip the Dazed, who offered his services to write up episode recaps for the Starz Original Series Camelot. I have not decided if there will be podcast recaps of the show yet. However if I do a podcast it will not be until the show is out on DVD. Right now the show is only available in the USA.

Synopsis of Camelot:

In the wake of King Uther’s sudden death, chaos threatens to engulf Britain. When the sorcerer Merlin has visions of a dark future, he installs the young and impetuous Arthur, Uther’s unknown son and heir, who has been raised from birth as a commoner. But Arthur’s cold and ambitious half sister Morgan will fight him to the bitter end, summoning unnatural forces to claim the crown in this epic battle for control. These are dark times indeed for the new king, with Guinevere being the only shining light in Arthur’s harsh world. Faced with profound moral decisions, and the challenge of uniting a kingdom broken by war and steeped in deception, Arthur will be tested beyond imagination. Forget everything you think you know…this is the story of Camelot that has never been told before.

Enjoy and thanks to Philip the Dazed for his episode recap.

WARNING:

The recap may contain spoilers so if you haven’t watched Episode 1 “Homecoming” you may want to skip the recap.

~The Archivist

Camelot Episode 1: “Homecoming”

King Uther Pendragon is a cruel king, despised by and feared by almost all in his kingdom. He takes what he wants from whomever he wants it, by force or even magic, if necessary. Uther (whose own wife has since died), entreaties his court wizard, Merlin (Joseph Fiennes), to enchant him with a spell to make Uther appear to the queen he covets of a neighboring kingdom to look like her husband, but not before first having her real husband murdered. From this liaison, this queen, Igraine (Claire Forlani) bears Uther a son. He then marries Igraine. His new son, Arthur (Jamie Campbell Bower), is spirited away at Uther’s urging within one week of his birth by Merlin to be raised in the care of Sir and Lady Ector, alongside their own son Kay (Peter Mooney). Arthur grows up knowing only the Ectors to be his family.

Meanwhile, Uther has since banished his first-born daughter, Morgan (Eva Green) from the kingdom, at the age of three. He has kept from her and everyone else (but Merlin and, of course, Igraine) the knowledge that he has a son who is the true heir to Uther’s kingdom. Morgan returns home to announce to her father that, as the eldest, she intends to lay her rightful claim to the throne. She then promptly murders him by mixing poison into one of his meals. Merlin acts on this and has Uther sign a certificate on his deathbed acknowledging Arthur as his rightful male heir, and then travels to the Ectors’ town to fetch Arthur to take his place at the throne.

Realizing that she will not be accepted as the rightful heir to the throne without a consort by her side, Morgan throws in with King Lot (James Purefoy), whom she convinces (rather easily, with seduction) that he will share the throne of her kingdom alongside his own. While traveling with his brother, Kay and Merlin at his side, Arthur journeys to Camelot. Camelot will be the new kingdom Merlin envisions where Arthur, as king, will flourish and unite neighboring kingdoms in peace in the near future. Upon learning of Arthur’s existence from spies, Morgan has Lot’s minions attack Arthur en route to Camelot. Lot’s men include his eldest son, whom Arthur is forced to kill in self-defense.

Upon reaching Camelot, the three are met by defectors from Uther’s troops who have already sworn allegiance to their new king at Merlin’s behest. Chief among these men is Leontes (Phillip Winchester). Arthur also meets his birth mother, Igraine, for the first time, and she explains to him that, out of fear of retaliation from Uther, she could not reach out to him before now. Meanwhile, having learned of the death of his son at Arthur’s hand, King Lot has ordered Lady Ector, Arthur’s mother who raised him, seized, and in a fit of rage, Lot murders her right in front of Arthur. The episode ends with Arthur screams at Merlin: “What have you done to me”? “What have you done to me”?
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PostSubject: Re: Camelot Reviews and Spoilers   Sat Apr 09, 2011 4:29 pm

http://www.myoutlanderpurgatory.com/2011/04/we-interrupt-this-outlander-blog.html

Sunday, April 3, 2011
We interrupt this Outlander blog...
OK so clearly we're all fans of period pieces...may I safely assume that? (snicker) Then lads and lassies...you need to run, RUN to the Starz Channel and watch CAMELOT on demand if you didn't see its premiere last night. Oh my LORDDDDDDDD I enjoyed it. Just watched - LOVED Joseph Fiennes...LOVED Claire Forlani (the beautiful and talented wife of one of the greatest Scottish actors of all time, Mr. Dougray Scott)...LOVED Philip Winchester (who was once my top Jamie candidate but is no longer)...but most of all, I absolutely FAN GIRLED over that cutie pie Jamie Campbell Bower. He is ridiculously adorable and SO good in this role. It's so nice to see his talents appreciated...instead of the paltry two lines he was given as "Caius" in New Moon. "She knows too much. She's a liability". Geez, if you blinked, you missed him. And yet there is Kristen Stewart...present in every single second of the film. One wonders...

OK enough about that... Another thing I love about JCB; he is hilarious. His are pretty much my favorite tweets on Twitter, just because he makes random moments like waiting on a plane absolutely hysterical in their simplicity. And - tonight I came across a blog he keeps with information about filming Camelot...and other random silliness. Check it out! AND CHECK OUT CAMELOT!!
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PostSubject: Re: Camelot Reviews and Spoilers   Sat Apr 09, 2011 4:37 pm

http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_17746612?source=rss

Series offers different take on the 'Camelot' legend
By Rob Lowman, Staff Writer
Posted: 03/31/2011 09:50:56 PM PDT

In this publicity image released by Starz, Eva Green is shown in a scene from the Starz series "Camelot." (AP Photo/Starz, Karina Finegan)

Myths survive because they are malleable.

The Arthurian legend dates from the sixth century and has been the source material for numerous works of literature, a musical, films and TV shows. It has all the elements for a great tale - valor, loyalty, betrayal, sexual intrigue and magic.

Beginning tonight Starz has conjured up a new, sophisticated version of "Camelot." It stars Joseph Fiennes as the magician Merlin and one-time Bond girl Eva Green as the beautiful Morgan - a sorceress and half sister to Arthur (Jamie Campbell Bower, from "Sweeney Todd" and the upcoming "Twilight" movie).

" 'Camelot' has so many sides to it," says Fiennes, known for the films "Shakespeare in Love" and "Elizabeth." "It kicks off in Season 1 with patricide, ends up - and this might be a spoiler alert, although it's been written many years ago, so it's out there - with fratricide. I think these are very compelling and contemporary themes. And so for me, it's less about the costumes and it's more about the interior human condition."

Executive producer/writer Chris Chibnall ("Torchwood" and "Doctor Who") says the filmmakers of "Camelot" started with the myth as imagined by Thomas Malory in the 15th century "Le Morte d'Arthur" but are creating their own path.

"Once you start seeing what people like Eva and Joe and Jamie are doing with the characters, you then follow the emotional lives of those characters," he notes.

So while the will have the sword in the stone, the Lady in the Lake and "the very beginnings" of a Round Table, it's a very different take on the legend than what we have seen. One of the changes involves Guinevere (Tamsin Egerton), who instead of being the daughter of another king is betrothed to one of Arthur's knights, Leontes (Philip Winchester). This dangles the possibility of a different infidelity, instead of Lancelot's affair with Guinevere. (By the way, Lancelot is yet to be seen.)

Starz has placed "Camelot" - which reportedly cost $7 million per episode, about twice the price of a network drama - in the same time slot as its hit "Spartacus." While not as overt in sex and violence as the racy sword-and-sandals dramatic action show, "Camelot" is still geared for a mature audience.

"We've approached it as a drama for adults about characters with complex, conflicting desires," says Chibnall. "There is some sex in there. There is some violence in there. I think it's its own beast. It's a show for adults. That would be my main thing. It's not really a family show.

"There are other versions of the myth that have been told in family shows really brilliantly, but we're more in the `Rome' mold or the `Spartacus' mold."

One aspect of the myth that will be brought out is the contentious relationship between Merlin and Morgan - the witchy character played by such great actresses as Helen Mirren in John Boorman's "Excalibur" (1981) and Helena Bonham Carter in the miniseries "Merlin" (1998).

Directors Guy Ritchie ("Sherlock Holmes") and Bryan Singer ("X-Men") are both supposedly working on remakes of "Excalibur," and there is even a King Arthur-inspired "Pendragon" rumored to be in development.

" `Camelot' is full of villainous antagonism, which is always good," says Fiennes about the rival wizards. "There's a great chemistry between the two, and there's essentially good and bad. But yet I think in Season 1 with Morgan you realize and understand where her evil roots stem from."

For those hazy on the story, Morgan hates Merlin because he has put Arthur on the throne. "But she kind of respects him," says Green ("Casino Royale," "Kingdom of Heaven").

"She adores toying with him, like a cat with a mouse. We have a lot of taunting and teasing scenes. And it's just fun."

And Merlin is not the good wizard like Gandalf is in "The Lord of the Rings," but a complicated figure. "Merlin is sort of Machiavellian," says Fiennes. "So he is not all light. He walks with a very dark shadow as well."

"Their relationship to magic is quite different also," notes Green.

"Merlin is kind of world-weary ... . He has seen and experienced too much. And for Morgan magic is new to her, and she's drawn to it. It's very exciting. It's like a drug."

While Merlin and Morgan are towering figures in the Arthurian legend, the king himself was often seen as almost a secondary character. (This is not a new observation; critics were noting that in the Middle Ages.) But not so in the Starz production.

Bower says he approached the role of Arthur with trepidation. "I was scared about being such a high-profile character within a television show," says the actor, who will be seen in "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" in November. Chibnall told him that it was important that the character still seem in his late teens.

"I think that people should be able to see that he's got to grow into this man," says Bower. So the 22-year-old actor didn't try to pump iron like the guys in "Spartacus," although he did more sword fighting and his physique did bulk up. Actually, the first time we meet Arthur he's naked, in a tryst with a girlfriend of his brother, Kay, and he first spies a nude Guinevere in a dream, which tells you this "Camelot" is not for the kiddies.
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PostSubject: Re: Camelot Reviews and Spoilers   Sat Apr 09, 2011 4:48 pm

http://zayzay.com/testsite/news/starzs-camelot-showtimes-the-borgias-tell-historymythology-as-soap-opera/

Starz’s ‘Camelot’ & Showtime’s ‘The Borgias’ tell history/mythology as soap opera
March 31st, 2011 | By admin

“The Tudors” is dead, but its history-as-soap-opera style lives on with two new series debuting this weekend: Starz’s “Camelot” (Friday at 10 p.m.) and Showtime’s “The Borgias” (Sunday at 9 p.m.). “Camelot” borrows “The Tudors” creator, Michael Hirst, while “The Borgias” airs on “The Tudors” old channel, and both are very much in the same spirit, where history or mythology are largely excuses for whispered palace intrigue, love triangles and as much nudity and simulated sex as pay cable will allow while still leaving time for a story.

There’s definitely an audience for that approach, but lord did I find both of these shows tiresome.

“Camelot” is probably the better of the two, though it also has the handicap that there have been so many King Arthur-themed projects lately (including the BBC’s “Merlin,” which currently airs here on Syfy) that virtually none of it can possibly be new, or surprising.

Still, Jamie Campbell Bower (Caius from the “Twilight” films) isn’t bad as the young king, whom we meet as he’s having the crown thrust upon him by Merlin (Joseph Fiennes). Hirst and co-creator Chris Chibnall (“Torchwood”) have conceived of Arthur at this stage as a wide-eyed kid learning as he goes, and Bower sells both that and those brief moments where Arthur is able to dig deeper and inspire his new army of knights.

And Eva Green is quite good (and also frequently nude, this being a show on the same network as “Spartacus”) as Arthur’s treacherous, magic-wielding half-sister Morgan. Her character has to constantly shift back and forth between insanity and cunning, charm and anger, and Green makes it all work as a whole, demonstrating the charisma and screen presence she showed back in “Casino Royale.”

Fiennes, unfortunately but unsurprisingly (if you’ve seen him in virtually anything he’s done since “Shakespeare in Love,” including ABC’s “FlashForward”), is a blank, choosing the play the mysterious Merlin largely by growling. And the series as a whole seems much more interested in the love triangle involving Arthur, his bravest knight Leontes (Philip Winchester) and the beautiful Guinevere (Tamsin Egerton) than in actually showing the growth of a king. It doesn’t help that parts of that story are bizarrely anachronistic, like a scene where Guinevere says of Leontes, “What if he isn’t… the one?” (I presume a later episode will feature Merlin telling Leontes, “She’s just not that into you.”)

Still, the ongoing identity crisis of “Camelot” is a tiny bit more entertaining than the more consistent tedium of “The Borgias,” which tells the tale of the infamous 15th century Spanish family, whose patriarch Rodrigo became one of history’s most controversial popes. That show has a more impressive pedigree – created by “The Crying Game” director Neil Jordan, and starring Jeremy Irons as Rodrigo – yet it would be hard to imagine a Hirst-penned version being any different (and Hirst is still a credited producer), and Irons seems surprisingly bored by the whole project.

Irons briefly lights up on occasion when he’s asked to deliver a joke, like his incredulous reaction when his wife (Joanne Whalley) suggests he will have to stick to a vow of poverty once he becomes pope. A black comedy version of this story, about an incredibly selfish and cruel man somehow ascending to the holiest job on the planet, would be a lot of fun, but those moments are few and far between. It’s a very straightforward, sincere, dull accounting of all the trouble caused by Rodrigo, son Cesare (Francois Arnaud, frequently nude), daughter Lucrezia (Holliday Grainger) and company cause with their newfound power and station.

Of course, I felt exactly the same about “The Tudors,” and that show ran four seasons. I’m not the target audience for either of these new series. But when I saw that Jordan and Irons were involved, I allowed myself a scintilla of hope for “The Borgias,” only to be rewarded in much the same way the College of Cardinals was when they wound up anointing Rodrigo.

By Alan Sepinwall – Some fine actors, lots of nudity, and fairly dull shows
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PostSubject: Re: Camelot Reviews and Spoilers   Sat Apr 09, 2011 4:48 pm

http://www.tee-shirt-time.com/camelot-review-starz-promising-new-drama-debuts-this-friday

Camelot Review: Starz’ Promising New Drama Debuts This Friday

by pokerchi on March 30, 2011

published: 2011-03-30 19:43:02

With the Spartacus series once again on hiatus, Starz has a pretty big hole to fill in their Friday night line-up and they're attempting to do that with Camelot, an Irish-Canadian co-production from Octagon and Take 5 Productions, which retells the classic story of King Arthur.

Camelot begins with the death (or murder) of King Uther and the ensuing chaos that follows all around Britain. Believing herself to be the sole blood heir to the throne, Morgan (Eva Green), armed with magical dark powers, prepares to take over. But sorcerer Merlin (Joseph Fiennes) throws a wrench in her plans when he retrieves Arthur (Jamie Campbell Bower), the King's unknown son. Raised as a commoner, with no knowledge of who he really is, Arthur must quickly learn the meaning of true leadership as he rises up to take the throne. He's joined by Kay (Peter Mooney), the man he's known as a brother all his life. Leontes (Philip Winchester) is one of Uther's bravest knights and quickly demonstrates this by taking Arthur's side.

Banished from the kingdom by Morgan, former Queen and Arthur's biological mother Igraine (Claire Forlani) offers to help Arthur understand the role he's about to play. And of course, there's Guinevere (Tamsin Egerton), the beautiful woman who capture's Arthur's heart immediately. Unfortunately, she's nearly off the market as she's betrothed to Leontes.

Camelot gets off to a running start with Arthur quickly being plucked from obscurity and thrust into his role as leader, despite his youth an inexperience. While Merlin uses age and wisdom to steer Arthur in the right direction, Fiennes' performance as the sorcerer leads the pack. Merlin is by far the most interesting and intriguing character introduced to us from the start. Forlani delivers a warm but strong performance as Igraine, while Green brings just the right amount of dark, twistiness to Morgan. But it's Fiennes who appears to be the backbone of this series right now, playing the part of the wizard with just the right amount of confidence, determination and a subtle hint of humor. Jamie Campbell Bower plays Arthur well but, just as Arthur needs time to grow into his role as King, I have high hopes that Bower will grow into this part as the character continues to develop.

Camelot doesn't waste any time getting into the drama. A lot happens within the span of the first three hours, all of which is fairly easy to follow. The biggest criticism I can give is really the only one I have; the story moves along at such a quick pace that we don't really have much time to fully get to know the characters or speculate on their motivations and what really makes them tick. There's still plenty of story to tell but not a lot of mystery or suspense brewing from the start, and it feels as though almost everything is on the surface. There's certainly something to be said for that kind of nearly immediate pay-off, especially at the beginning of a series, but a bit more character development and build-up might make for bigger reveals and resolutions in the long run.

Camelot may need some time to settle into a pace, but viewers will have plenty to appreciate about the series when it premiers on Friday. It should be noted that this probably won't be one to watch with the kids. To compare it some other recent period dramas, it doesn't contain nearly as much sex, violence and nudity as Spartacus: Blood and Sand or what little I saw of HBO's Rome, but there's enough of all three to warrant a suggestion of parental guidance. And, while I won't pretend to be an expert in Arthurian Legend, I'm under the assumption that Starz' version of the story is taking some dramatic license for the sake of suspense and originality. This is a drama series, after all. Expect pretty costumes, gorgeous landscapes, castles, swords and a familiar story.

Starz' latest original series shows promise and could be another must-watch Friday night drama, with plenty of action, romance and drama to keep us entertained over the course of its run. Much like Arthur himself, with time and the right kind of guidance, Camelot has all the makings to be something truly great.

Camelot premiers Friday, April 1st at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on Starz.
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PostSubject: Re: Camelot Reviews and Spoilers   Sat Apr 09, 2011 4:52 pm

http://www.batcavetv.com/2011/camelot-a-tv-series/

Camelot: A TV Series
March 24th, 2011 1 Comment
Camelot TV Series 2011

The Legend of Camelot is now a TV Series!

I know that you knew Camelot, who doesn’t? How many times did the story of brave and just King Arthur and his round table had bought you to sleep? The story of Camelot was told in so many generations, and it was told in so many ways.

In my childhood years, my grandmother told me the story of Camelot in a fairytale like manner. In my young mind I viewed King Arthur as somewhat a dashing prince riding on his horse and brandishing his magical sword Excalibur. In my childish dreams I can see the Camelot as fantastic and magical castle with faeries and dragons. As I grew up I learn more about Camelot, the fairytale becomes a legend and the legend becomes a history.

I had read, listened and watched several version of Camelot. I even participated in debates during my high school years of about the existence of Holy Grail and the King Arthur round table. The last Camelot/King Arthur story that I watch was the Disney Channel “twisted” and funnier version which was entitled Avalon. BTW, Avalon is the place where King Arthur is taken after fighting Mordred at the Battle of Camlann to recover from his wounds.

I have seen many TV version of Camelot, there are animated versions and some live version. Some of them are good others are just travesty of the legendary epic story. I thought I have seen it all, and I am wrong.

When the Starz announced the about their brand new series Camelot, I was surprised. Starz network is not known for fantasy/fairytale like TV program for kids but rather more on adult oriented shows like Spartacus. And when I get to watch the previews of the Camelot TV series, I was really surprise, because, boy oh boy, it was another kind Camelot. It was the sexier and bloodier version of Camelot.

The Camelot TV series is indeed a Camelot version for adult. It will air on Starz premiering on April 1, 2011. It stars Jamie Campbell Bower as Arthur, Joseph Fiennes as Merlin, Eva Green as Morgan, Tamsin Egerton as Guinevere, Peter Mooney as Sir Kay, Clive Standen as Gawain, Claire Forlani as Queen Igraine, Sinéad Cusack as Sybil, Sebastian Koch as King Uther, Philip Winchester as Leontes.

The Camelot TV series airs every Friday at 10:00 PM (EST). A two-hour episode premiere is set to air on April 1, 2011 on Starz. A special preview showing of the pilot episode “Homecoming” was aired on Starz Friday night, February 25, 2011.

Forget everything you think you know about Camelot, this is the story of Camelot that has never been told before.
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PostSubject: Re: Camelot Reviews and Spoilers   Sat Apr 23, 2011 4:53 pm

http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/whats-alan-watching/posts/review-starzs-camelot-showtimes-the-borgias-tell-history-mythology-as-soap-opera

Review: Starz's 'Camelot' & Showtime's 'The Borgias' tell history/mythology as soap opera

By Alan Sepinwall - Some fine actors, lots of nudity, and fairly dull shows

Thursday, Mar 31, 2011 9:00 AM

Review: Starz's 'Camelot' & Showtime's 'The Borgias' tell history/mythology as soap opera

"The Tudors" is dead, but its history-as-soap-opera style lives on with two new series debuting this weekend: Starz's "Camelot" (Friday at 10 p.m.) and Showtime's "The Borgias" (Sunday at 9 p.m.). "Camelot" borrows "The Tudors" creator, Michael Hirst, while "The Borgias" airs on "The Tudors" old channel, and both are very much in the same spirit, where history or mythology are largely excuses for whispered palace intrigue, love triangles and as much nudity and simulated sex as pay cable will allow while still leaving time for a story.

There's definitely an audience for that approach, but lord did I find both of these shows tiresome.

"Camelot" is probably the better of the two, though it also has the handicap that there have been so many King Arthur-themed projects lately (including the BBC's "Merlin," which currently airs here on Syfy) that virtually none of it can possibly be new, or surprising.

Still, Jamie Campbell Bower (Caius from the "Twilight" films) isn't bad as the young king, whom we meet as he's having the crown thrust upon him by Merlin (Joseph Fiennes). Hirst and co-creator Chris Chibnall ("Torchwood") have conceived of Arthur at this stage as a wide-eyed kid learning as he goes, and Bower sells both that and those brief moments where Arthur is able to dig deeper and inspire his new army of knights.

And Eva Green is quite good (and also frequently nude, this being a show on the same network as "Spartacus") as Arthur's treacherous, magic-wielding half-sister Morgan. Her character has to constantly shift back and forth between insanity and cunning, charm and anger, and Green makes it all work as a whole, demonstrating the charisma and screen presence she showed back in "Casino Royale."

Fiennes, unfortunately but unsurprisingly (if you've seen him in virtually anything he's done since "Shakespeare in Love," including ABC's "FlashForward"), is a blank, choosing the play the mysterious Merlin largely by growling. And the series as a whole seems much more interested in the love triangle involving Arthur, his bravest knight Leontes (Philip Winchester) and the beautiful Guinevere (Tamsin Egerton) than in actually showing the growth of a king. It doesn't help that parts of that story are bizarrely anachronistic, like a scene where Guinevere says of Leontes, "What if he isn't... the one?" (I presume a later episode will feature Merlin telling Leontes, "She's just not that into you.")

Still, the ongoing identity crisis of "Camelot" is a tiny bit more entertaining than the more consistent tedium of "The Borgias," which tells the tale of the infamous 15th century Spanish family, whose patriarch Rodrigo became one of history's most controversial popes. That show has a more impressive pedigree - created by "The Crying Game" director Neil Jordan, and starring Jeremy Irons as Rodrigo - yet it would be hard to imagine a Hirst-penned version being any different, and Irons seems surprisingly bored by the whole project.

Irons briefly lights up on occasion when he's asked to deliver a joke, like his incredulous reaction when his wife (Joanne Whalley) suggests he will have to stick to a vow of poverty once he becomes pope. A black comedy version of this story, about an incredibly selfish and cruel man somehow ascending to the holiest job on the planet, would be a lot of fun, but those moments are few and far between. It's a very straightforward, sincere, dull accounting of all the trouble caused by Rodrigo, son Cesare (Francois Arnaud, frequently nude), daughter Lucrezia (Holliday Grainger) and company cause with their newfound power and station.

Of course, I felt exactly the same about "The Tudors," and that show ran four seasons. I'm not the target audience for either of these new series. But when I saw that Jordan and Irons were involved, I allowed myself a scintilla of hope for "The Borgias," only to be rewarded in much the same way the College of Cardinals was when they wound up anointing Rodrigo.
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PostSubject: Re: Camelot Reviews and Spoilers   Sat Apr 23, 2011 4:54 pm

http://www.cinemablend.com/television/Camelot-Review-Starz-Promising-Drama-Debuts-Friday-31033.html

Camelot Review: Starz' Promising New Drama Debuts This Friday
Author: Kelly West
published: 2011-03-30 19:43:02

With the Spartacus series once again on hiatus, Starz has a pretty big hole to fill in their Friday night line-up and they’re attempting to do that with Camelot, an Irish-Canadian co-production from Octagon and Take 5 Productions, which retells the classic story of King Arthur.

Camelot begins with the death (or murder) of King Uther and the ensuing chaos that follows all around Britain. Believing herself to be the sole blood heir to the throne, Morgan (Eva Green), armed with magical dark powers, prepares to take over. But sorcerer Merlin (Joseph Fiennes) throws a wrench in her plans when he retrieves Arthur (Jamie Campbell Bower), the King’s unknown son. Raised as a commoner, with no knowledge of who he really is, Arthur must quickly learn the meaning of true leadership as he rises up to take the throne. He’s joined by Kay (Peter Mooney), the man he’s known as a brother all his life. Leontes (Philip Winchester) is one of Uther’s bravest knights and quickly demonstrates this by taking Arthur’s side.

Banished from the kingdom by Morgan, former Queen and Arthur’s biological mother Igraine (Claire Forlani) offers to help Arthur understand the role he’s about to play. And of course, there’s Guinevere (Tamsin Egerton), the beautiful woman who capture’s Arthur’s heart immediately. Unfortunately, she’s nearly off the market as she’s betrothed to Leontes.

Camelot gets off to a running start with Arthur quickly being plucked from obscurity and thrust into his role as leader, despite his youth an inexperience. While Merlin uses age and wisdom to steer Arthur in the right direction, Fiennes’ performance as the sorcerer leads the pack. Merlin is by far the most interesting and intriguing character introduced to us from the start. Forlani delivers a warm but strong performance as Igraine, while Green brings just the right amount of dark, twistiness to Morgan. But it’s Fiennes who appears to be the backbone of this series right now, playing the part of the wizard with just the right amount of confidence, determination and a subtle hint of humor. Jamie Campbell Bower plays Arthur well but, just as Arthur needs time to grow into his role as King, I have high hopes that Bower will grow into this part as the character continues to develop.

Camelot doesn’t waste any time getting into the drama. A lot happens within the span of the first three hours, all of which is fairly easy to follow. The biggest criticism I can give is really the only one I have; the story moves along at such a quick pace that we don’t really have much time to fully get to know the characters or speculate on their motivations and what really makes them tick. There’s still plenty of story to tell but not a lot of mystery or suspense brewing from the start, and it feels as though almost everything is on the surface. There’s certainly something to be said for that kind of nearly immediate pay-off, especially at the beginning of a series, but a bit more character development and build-up might make for bigger reveals and resolutions in the long run.

Camelot may need some time to settle into a pace, but viewers will have plenty to appreciate about the series when it premiers on Friday. It should be noted that this probably won’t be one to watch with the kids. To compare it some other recent period dramas, it doesn’t contain nearly as much sex, violence and nudity as Spartacus: Blood and Sand or what little I saw of HBO’s Rome, but there’s enough of all three to warrant a suggestion of parental guidance. And, while I won’t pretend to be an expert in Arthurian Legend, I’m under the assumption that Starz’ version of the story is taking some dramatic license for the sake of suspense and originality. This is a drama series, after all. Expect pretty costumes, gorgeous landscapes, castles, swords and a familiar story.

Starz’ latest original series shows promise and could be another must-watch Friday night drama, with plenty of action, romance and drama to keep us entertained over the course of its run. Much like Arthur himself, with time and the right kind of guidance, Camelot has all the makings to be something truly great.

Camelot premiers Friday, April 1st at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on Starz.
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PostSubject: Re: Camelot Reviews and Spoilers   Sat Apr 23, 2011 11:10 pm

http://wayfarer2006.blogspot.com/2011/04/tv-preview-camelot.html

Monday, 11 April 2011
TV Preview: Camelot

Episode One - Homecoming

I was primed for another, more adult take on the Arthurian legend. I've not had any interest in the BBC Saturday, tea-time, child/family friendly version called Merlin. I've always been more of a fan of the Morte D'Arthur poem and it's movie translation in John Boorman's excellent Excalibur. In my view the movie has never been bettered, in the same way that Robin of Sherwood has never been bettered as a version of the Robin Hood story.

With early scuttle-butt suggesting that Camelot was nearer Bernard Cornwell's initially superb trilogy of Warlord books (the first book was great but I found the subsequent two underwhelming), I was a keen viewer.

Filmed in Ireland with a healthy dose of CGI, the series looks the part. It's refreshing to see a version of the legend on screen during the Dark Ages, for once. So, initially, to the cast:

The episode begins with Morgan (a version of Morgana, no doubt) played by the sultry actress Eva Green. Any objective reviewing goes out of the window when thinking about her. Not only is she achingly sexy, she's also a world-class actress. For me, her role as Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale was perfect. In Camelot, Morgan returns to her father's castle and enacts revenge for her being kept in a monastery for 15 years. This is carried out by poisoning King Uther. She then takes over the Castle, using a local Warlord, King Lot, played by the reliable James Purefoy (Solomon Kane, Rome) as muscle and back up. Morgan banishes the King's wife, not knowing that she had, and gave up, a son; Arthur. James Purefoy is great when he plays the bad guy; all over blown confidence and swagger. He doesn't disappoint in Camelot.
To counter Morgan's claim on the throne, Uther's advisor Merlin (Joseph Fiennes) aims to embed Arthur as the true King of England that will unite all the bickering kingdoms under one monarch. Fiennes looks like he's having great fun playing the bald warrior monk-like Merlin: Far from the ordinary and bored-looking performance he turned in on the show Flash-Forward, he plays Merlin with enthusiasm and conviction.

Moody but fun Merlin played by Joseph Fiennes

Arthur is played by Jamie Campbell Bower, who I'm reliably informed is in the Twiglite saga of vampire films. At first look, I was disappointed. We first see him making out with a stunning looking actress, that turns out to be his brother Kay's girlfriend. Here is where the trouble lies within, at least, the first three episodes. In an attempt to rival HBO's Sword and sex epics, Arthur is portrayed as a character who's sexual appetites seem to get in the way of his honour and duty. I wouldn't want the character to be too whiter than white but as we'll see in episodes 2 and 3, there's something too contrived about Arthur's romances. See my review of Episode 3 for more detail. I put it down to the writer's approaching the era with too much 21st century sensibility.

Arthur in action

Despite the fact that Campbell Bower has naturally been chosen for his looks, he shows later in this episode that he has the gravitas and believability of a leader.
His mother is played by Clare Forlani. I feel my age now that Forlani is old enough to play the Mother of a sixteen year old (or whatever age Arthur is supposed to be). Was it really that long ago that I saw her in Mallrats, and The Rock? Yes, it was.
Arthur was fostered, having been given to his foster parents by Merlin. Ector (played by Sean Pertwee) raised Arthur with a strong moral compass (except for lusting after the women). Sean Pertwee is, yet again, perfectly cast. Together with Purefoy and Fiennes, it's the older generation of actors that shine through the initial episodes.

Chris Chibnall, the show runner of Camelot has worked on Doctor Who, Torchwood and Life on Mars. His pedigree holds him in good stead for this show. There are hints of magic in Camelot's world. I'll go out on a limb and say that Morgan's ability to shift into her younger self is definitely dark magic and not just an illusion within the show. Merlin's full abilities are not explored so much in this inaugural episode, other than he appears to not have aged in a long time.

Episode Two - The Sword and The Crown

To make a series about the Arthurian legend interesting, the makers of that show have to find some different ways of putting the story onscreen that is both recognisable and fresh enough to make viewers want to return. For me, the cast is a main draw, the production values are high enough, and the adult tone is, on the whole, welcome. That's not to say that it's perfect. Episode 2 showed signs where this series might fall flat on it's ass. I found the scenes with Arthur and Guinevere, in both episodes 2 and 3 faintly ridiculous.

Arthur's foster mother was murdered by King Lot, last episode. Ector was nowhere to be seen, which begged the question; has Sean Pertwee, the serial victim, been dispatched off screen? That would have sucked! With events from the previous episode still fresh, Arthur is doubting that he can take on the responsibility of leader with a tragedy hanging over him so soon after his intent to rule. To get Arthur to up his game and submerge into the leader he promises to be, Merlin sets a challenge for Arthur. He convinces Arthur to retrieve the "Sword of Mars" that is located high up on a rock face waterfall. Reminding me of a line in the David Lynch movie "Dune", previous attempts have failed; they've tried and died as opposed to tried and failed.
The location makes the attempt look a little odd as I would have thought that there could have been an easier way of retrieving the sword. Merlin doesn't so much give Arthur the solution to getting the sword as hinting at it though something he says. Arthur manages to scale the rocks, push in the sword and pull it out, and then fall to the water below. The scene is quite tense and an innovative way in showing the sword in the stone aspect of the legend. The resulting injury takes him out of the story for a while and allows the writers to concentrate on the rest of the plot.

King Lot and Morgan's alliance seems to be crumbling. Perhaps, if Morgan hadn't put out to Lot so quickly, he might have been less cocky. A spat results in Morgan calling Lot the "C word" in front of his men, the price for which he ties her to a stake and leaves her out overnight. Here, we get more of the hints that Morgan intends to serve a higher, darker, power but the union between her and the darker power hasn't quite happened yet.

Guinevere is introduced in a scene at the beach. She is shown emerging from the sea (Lady in the Lake parallel?) and in a surprise twist later turns out to be the betrothed to Arthur's most trusted and loyal soldier, Leontes (played solidly by Philip Winchester).

The episode builds up to Arthur's coronation and Morgan changes her strategy by warning Camelot that King Lot intends to invade and conquer the castle at anytime. Arthur recognises disguised henchmen and a short and bloody battle ensues in the main hall.

Once again, Sean Pertwee exits a production in a fitting, dramatic manner that suggests he is far too busy doing voice overs to remain any longer than he has to. One of my favourite British actors, he has gassed himself to death in the TV series Chancer (my first glimpse of this superb actor), had his guts ripped out in Dog Soldiers, and been strung up, burnt alive and eaten in the movie Doomsday. I name only a few of the shows where he has been dispatched far too early. In Camelot, he confronts Lot in a terrific scene. Ector asks about his wife's untimely death at Lot's hand. The warlord feigns a lack of interest, as if he carried out such deeds so often that even the mother of a future king is irrelevant. Lot seems uninterested and sees Ector as no threat at all; to the point where it looks as if he'll let Ector live. But, naturally, Ector will not let Lot move forward. Using his experience and guile, Lot easily gets the better of Ector and spears him in the gut; except that Ector makes good use of the killing stroke by pulling Lot in close and dispatching him. Both actors, will be missed but go out in style.

The episode ends with Morgan going back to the forest to seek out the dark power that resides there. Here she confronts a Black Wolf before she slips her dress off, standing naked before the end titles roll; not an unweelcome sight and a great time to be an Eva Green fan.
The always watchable Eva Green
The pretty but vacuous Tamsin Egerton


Episode Three - Guinevere

Sadly, some of the writing flaws open up a bit in this one.

We had the introduction of Guinevere last episode with an odd introduction by the sea and an uncomfortably amateurish scene on a balcony where Tamsin Egerton plays an exchange between Arthur and her character as if she was chatting up a guy in a bar or nightclub. Egerton is undeniably pretty (if a little too skinny looking at times) but is far too contemporary in my view. Watching her, I felt as if she was reading for a part in Hollyoaks and not a drama set in the Dark Ages. It's not just Egerton's fault as the screenplay uses words like "wobble" when relating to Guinevere's doubts about marrying Leontes amoungst other examples. I don't expect a Deadwood approach; to mimicking the style of talking in the Dark Ages - that'd be ridiculous - but the modernistic approach to writing, a couple of times, took me out of the show.

This episode is all about lust, longing and wanting. Arthur thinks he has fallen for Guinevere. She is to be married to Leontes sooner, now, rather than later because a wedding would be good for the country, so sayeth Merlin. I've heard that somewhere before...
Morgan wants to seduce Merlin, presumably for his knowledge and get to know her brother more, which includes getting into his head, literally. Merlin is showing the first signs of interest in Morgan by worrying about the cost of her using dark magic.

It's only in this episode that I noticed more of a rush to push elements of the story forward; it's almost as if the makers thought "we might not get a second season". The love triangle between Leontes, Arthur and Guinevere didn't work for me. Why is Arthur acting like a kid in heat over one dream? Why is Guinevere ready to throw everything away because of the attention of the "King" only to submit to one shag and then protest that it was a one-time thing. Using my earlier analogy; the scene of the pair screwing up against a cave entrance was just a more flowery scene of a couple enjoying a knee-trembler in the back alley behind a club. It didn't feel right in context.

Leontes and Guinevere have been betrothed for three years and she gives her virginity to Arthur! This is another cack-handed couple of scenes where Guinevere gets hold of some blood to then splash it on the bed after sex with her now husband. I found myself laughing at this, it was so rubbish, especially when Leontes comes back from having a pee to look at the blood with a self-satisfied smirk. Cringe or laugh? I'll leave it to you to decide.

Instead of showing us scenes of Leontes and Guinevere early on, to give more dimension to their relationship and perhaps giving us clues as to why she gives it up to Arthur so easily, instead Leontes (is he Lancelot?) and Kay go off to find Gawain, a noble and dedicated warrior. The pair have to persuade Gawain to fight for Arthur, but Gawain has decided he has had enough of warlord kings. He's convinced to go to Camelot if he is tutored how to read and write; bargain!
Arthur and his sister Morgan strangely and briefly friends


Arthur and Merlin had travelled to the Pendragon castle upon Morgan's invitation. This was another plot point that didn't ring true. Not five minutes ago, Morgan had tried to take the throne, using a warlord that ended up killing Arthur's mother and father. As Morgan had warned Camelot that Lot was on his way, last episode, it seems that everything's now ok and she can be trusted. What? You're kidding? Merlin learns that Morgan killed her father by transmuting into her younger self and poisoning him. Now, this I can understand as Morgan inadvertently served Merlin's purpose by removing Uther from the throne, but Merlin lets Morgan capture him a little too easily after that, so she can cut his toenails as ingredients for one of her spells.
Morgan's drugging of Arthur was less surprising as he acted like the Muppet King all episode. Like a co-ed getting the date rape drug at a party, Arthur drinks the ale and finds himself a bit sleepy. Either that or he’s a lightweight and can’t handle his drink. Here, she takes a sample of his blood for another spell.
Merlin and Arthur then return to Camelot for the wedding. Arthur spends his time looking like a blonde Anakin Skywalker sulking about the thing and making it quite clear that he's unhappy.

Quite how this will effect the future story remains to be seen. Has the love triangle subverted the Lancelot part of the story we all know? If so, it makes Arthur far more flawed than in previous incarnations of the story. This could work well, but it didn't during this hour of story. Presumably, now Morgan knows Arthur's thoughts about Guinevere, she can exploit them. Morgan's control of Merlin and his powers seems inevitable.

Episode three was easily the worst so far and I hope it was a bridge show to get key plot elements out of the way. I had given Jamie Campbell Bower the benefit of the doubt. It’s too early to say if he’s a weak link. I blame the writers for this one.

Eva Green nudity rating: Sadly, nil in this one.

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