Monday, August 01, 2011

Mourning Camelot

Though the literary connection here is not as strong as it would have been had the series been based on Jack Whyte’s terrific books, I have to express my bellowing outrage at the cancellation of Camelot, a superbly acted, written and directed series. It focused on the early part of the classic Camelot tale and starred Eva Green (Casino Royale), Josephy Fiennes (Flash Forward) and Jamie Campbell Bower (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows).

Camelot: the First Season is now available on DVD and it’s well worth watching but -- alas -- it will be the only season because the network announced they won’t be ordering further episodes.
In the wake of King Uther’s sudden death, chaos threatens to engulf Britain. When the sorcerer Merlin (Fiennes) has visions of a dark future, he installs the young and impetuous Arthur (Bower), Uther's unknown son and heir, who has been raised from birth as a commoner. But Arthur's cold and ambitious half-sister Morgan (Green) 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.
The series is well worth the unfortunately not terribly long amount of time it will take to watch it. One of the wonderful things here has been the costume design and art direction. I’m almost certain that I’ve seen some of the fantastic dresses created for Green in Pre-Raphaelite paintings and, in fact, the entire production seems steeped in the rich and beautiful images and textures from that particular school of art.

Though the Starz network has cited scheduling conflicts for some of the main stars of the show as one of the reasons for not continuing production, there have been rumors that Camelot couldn’t stand the heat shed by another costume-rich drama, HBO’s King of Thrones based on the best known work by George R.R. Martin. The series debuted around the same time as Camelot, but quickly picked up a rabid following.

I have yet to watch even a single episode of Game of Thrones, which stars Lena Headey, Jack Gleeson and Sean Bean. But since the series was renewed for a second season not long after its premiere, it seems likely it will be around long enough for me to sneak a peak.

Meanwhile, though, I’m still in mourning for Camelot and I’m having a tough time imagining anything will come close. Fiennes was mesmerizing as Merlin and Green was an evil nemesis worth keeping an eye on as Morgan Pendragon.

1 Comments:

Blogger Sue Bursztynski said...

Ah, what a shame! For what it's worth, though, I've read the novel of Game of Thrones and it was fabulous and the bits I've seen on YouTube were faithful to the novel.

Agree with you about Jack Whyte's books. He made you feel you were really there, in a Britain abandoned by the Romans with grass growing between the stones. amd he stuck in real historical events and characters. Must see if Camelot ever gets here...

Monday, August 1, 2011 at 4:30:00 PM PDT  

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