01 August 2011

Camelot on Channel 4: curiously compelling

Are you watching Camelot on Channel 4? I quite enjoy a medieval-fantasy but I’ll admit I wasn’t sure what to make of this at first. Pretty boy Arthur personifies the Scots word glaikit, while Joseph Fiennes as a glowering beard-free Merlin just seems a bit like a confused, angry, homeless person. Who should have a beard. And as for Igraine, the King’s birth mother, well, she’s only surpassed in simpering passive pointlessness by the faithless Guinevere.

The sorcery is silly, there’s a mysterious reappearing wolf and there are almost as many boobies on display as in the Tudors, which is really saying something.

But I’ve just rounded off my bank holiday weekend with a recorded episode and realised that, despite myself, I’ve become a fan. They’ve all grown on me somehow, and I’ve become almost fond of the eejits – especially Morgan, Arthur’s villainous half sister, who is played very dramatically (melodramatically?) by no less than Bond girl Eva Green. She and her superb smokey eye makeup steal every scene she’s in: I can’t take my eyes off her.

Morgan’s henchwomen, Sybil and Vivian, are also wonderful. Who doesn’t love an evil nun?  And even the king’s mother has grown on me with Claire Furlani (of Meet Joe Black) really coming into her own by episode 8, fittingly titled Igraine. Guinevere still sets my teeth on edge, but you can’t have it all. .

So, in a nutshell, while Camelot is no Game of Thrones, it will plug the gap nicely during the long, cold wait for series two.

What do you make of it yourself?
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