Chris Chibnall's Camelot

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Chris Chibnall's Camelot

Post by Sid Seadevil on Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:45 am

I've now watched the first 46 minutes of this new series from the Starz network which begins April 1st in the US. I won't say too much at this point except this: It's promising - very promising.

Here's a very brief character rundown and initial reaction to them:

Merlin -: Joseph Fiennes: A very physical interpretation of the character as a sort of cross between The Lord of the Rings Aragorn and a visionary profit intent on ensuring the future of the land itself via his manipulation of the people who inhabit it. He's made a concious decision to turn his back on the use of magic.

Eva Green - Morganna, or Morgan as she is here: Not just a stock villain, but a woman who has feels she has genuinely been done wrong and is intent on reclaiming her birthright. It's a very, very nice and subtle performance; she has no qualms about employing her magic - but it comes at a cost.

James Purefoy - King Lot: A rival king and lover of Morgan. This is the always charismatic Purefoy in full on chew-the-scenery, Mark Anthony from Rome mode. Worth the price of admission just for that.

Jamie Campbell Bower - Arthur: An intelligent and finely judged performance which highlights the unwillingness of an intelligent young man thrust into a position of power by the manipulations of Merlin and the hand of destiny.

Uniformly good performances, lovely production values and on the evidence of this first half of the opener a finely judged script from Chibbers.

I sense yet another potential hit on Startz increasingly impressive production slate.


Last edited by Sid Seadevil on Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:33 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Amending start date)
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Re: Chris Chibnall's Camelot

Post by Rich Flair on Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:13 am

Purefoy? I'm gonna download it now!
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Re: Chris Chibnall's Camelot

Post by Sid Seadevil on Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:22 am

Rich Flair wrote:Purefoy? I'm gonna download it now!
Now why am I not in the least surprised to hear that. Actually, my reaction was pretty much identical when I heard he was part of the cast.
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Re: Chris Chibnall's Camelot

Post by Zoltar on Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:29 am

Ah, missed that. I'll have to see if Starz is replaying it.

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Re: Chris Chibnall's Camelot

Post by Sid Seadevil on Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:32 am

Zoltar wrote:Ah, missed that. I'll have to see if Starz is replaying it.
If they aren't replaying it the actual series begins on 1st April I believe. Of course, I saw it via...other means... Suspect
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Re: Chris Chibnall's Camelot

Post by Zoltar on Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:36 am

Sid Seadevil wrote:If they aren't replaying it the actual series begins on 1st April I believe. Of course, I saw it via...other means... Suspect
Well, if I don't find a repeat time, I may employ the same means. Of course Starz is rather happy to provide multiple playings of Spartacus, so there's a good chance they'll do the same for Camelot.

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Re: Chris Chibnall's Camelot

Post by Sid Seadevil on Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:47 am

Zoltar wrote:Well, if I don't find a repeat time, I may employ the same means. Of course Starz is rather happy to provide multiple playings of Spartacus, so there's a good chance they'll do the same for Camelot.
Fingers crossed then. Oh, and do remember that this is only roughly half of the feature length series première - so don't be surprised when it ends rather abruptly.
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Re: Chris Chibnall's Camelot

Post by The Browncoat Cat on Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:52 am

Ooh goody, it looks as if Chibbers has actually sat down and read some Arthurianna and is sticking to the basics of the Myth. This is the polar opposite of what the makers of Merlin did when they played fast and loose with the Myth.
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Re: Chris Chibnall's Camelot

Post by Zoltar on Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:06 am

Sid Seadevil wrote:Fingers crossed then. Oh, and do remember that this is only roughly half of the feature length series première - so don't be surprised when it ends rather abruptly.
I'll keep that in mind. Smile

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Re: Chris Chibnall's Camelot

Post by Sid Seadevil on Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:11 am

The Browncoat Cat wrote:Ooh goody, it looks as if Chibbers has actually sat down and read some Arthurianna and is sticking to the basics of the Myth. This is the polar opposite of what the makers of Merlin did when they played fast and loose with the Myth.
Yep, I suppose it wouldn't have been too spoilerish if I had mentioned that myself. In fact I will mention a couple of other minor points worth noting - so don't peek if you don't want to know.

Spoiler:
Christianity is now the dominant religion. The Roman's have withdrawn from Briton and the dark ages are slowly, inexorably drawing in. Camelot, as introduced here is a once splendid Roman fort fallen into ruin - but there's a hint that its something much more than that - possibly an ancient and powerful mystic site. Sir Kay - or just simple Kay as he currently is, is Arthur's adopted brother. Arthur's mother, Queen Igraine, still lives and is played by the very lovely still Claire Forlani

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Re: Chris Chibnall's Camelot

Post by Sid Seadevil on Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:12 am

Zoltar wrote:I'll keep that in mind. Smile
Excellent. Smile
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Re: Chris Chibnall's Camelot

Post by The Browncoat Cat on Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:25 am

Sid Seadevil wrote:
The Browncoat Cat wrote:Ooh goody, it looks as if Chibbers has actually sat down and read some Arthurianna and is sticking to the basics of the Myth. This is the polar opposite of what the makers of Merlin did when they played fast and loose with the Myth.
Yep, I suppose it wouldn't have been too spoilerish if I had mentioned that myself. In fact I will mention a couple of other minor points worth noting - so don't peek if you don't want to know.

Spoiler:
Christianity is now the dominant religion. The Roman's have withdrawn from Briton and the dark ages are slowly, inexorably drawing in. Camelot, as introduced here is a once splendid Roman fort fallen into ruin - but there's a hint that its something much more than that - possibly an ancient and powerful mystic site. Sir Kay - or just simple Kay as he currently is, is Arthur's adopted brother. Arthur's mother, Queen Igraine, still lives and is played by the very lovely still Claire Forlani

It just gets better and better. Although I get my daily dose of Arthurian Goodness from Paul Gadzikowski's excellent web-comic Arthur King of Time and Space, which I thoroughly recommend to all Wrinklies.
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Re: Chris Chibnall's Camelot

Post by Sid Seadevil on Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:28 am

The Browncoat Cat wrote:It just gets better and better. Although I get my daily dose of Arthurian Goodness from Paul Gadzikowski's excellent web-comic Arthur King of Time and Space, which I thoroughly recommend to all Wrinklies.
Yep, it is sounding very good, innit. Oh, and thanks for the link - I'll certainly be checking it out.
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Re: Chris Chibnall's Camelot

Post by The Browncoat Cat on Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:44 am

Thinking about it, the strip has been running for the best part of a decade now, so it would probably be best to head for New Reader's Orientation Page first.
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Re: Chris Chibnall's Camelot

Post by Sid Seadevil on Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:49 am

Ta to you, old chap. Smile
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Re: Chris Chibnall's Camelot

Post by Zoltar on Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:22 pm

I'll try this again, as the forum was unhappy a few minutes ago.

Sid Seadevil wrote:I won't say too much at this point except this: It's promising - very promising.
I'll echo that. It started off a little stiff I thought, but improved as the episode continued. Definitely a different take on the legends from that of Merlin. It's a great cast, I was particularly pleased to see Sean Pertwee turn up. Purefoy, Forlani, Fiennes and Green were all quite good. I wasn't sure about the guy playing Arthur but he did a nice job with it, I'd like to see where he takes the character.

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Re: Chris Chibnall's Camelot

Post by Sid Seadevil on Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:56 pm

Zoltar wrote:I'll echo that. It started off a little stiff I thought, but improved as the episode continued. Definitely a different take on the legends from that of Merlin. It's a great cast, I was particularly pleased to see Sean Pertwee turn up. Purefoy, Forlani, Fiennes and Green were all quite good. I wasn't sure about the guy playing Arthur but he did a nice job with it, I'd like to see where he takes the character.
Yep, it's always nice to see Sean Pertwee pop up unexpectedly in something like this. My biggest problem with the chap playing Arthur (and it really isn't that big a problem at all really), was that for some inexplicable reason he kept reminding me physically of Shaggy from Scooby Doo - the cartoon Shaggy, that is.

A very odd resemblance for my mind to throw into the mix.
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Re: Chris Chibnall's Camelot

Post by Zoltar on Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:29 pm

Sid Seadevil wrote:Yep, it's always nice to see Sean Pertwee pop up unexpectedly in something like this. My biggest problem with the chap playing Arthur (and it really isn't that big a problem at all really), was that for some inexplicable reason he kept reminding me physically of Shaggy from Scooby Doo - the cartoon Shaggy, that is.

A very odd resemblance for my mind to throw into the mix.
Now that you mention it, I can see that... Very Happy

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Re: Chris Chibnall's Camelot

Post by Sid Seadevil on Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:01 am

Zoltar wrote:Now that you mention it, I can see that... Very Happy
Whew! Thank good it isn't just me. Very Happy
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Re: Chris Chibnall's Camelot

Post by Dave Webb on Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:38 pm

I'm mid catchup.

I have to say, I'm finding it all a bit forced.

Treating magic the way the series does has been done, and by Buffy The Vampire Slayer (and by Borman's Excalibur), and some of the aspects of Merlin are straight out of Bernard Cornwell's The Warlord Chronicles. Oh, and Battlefield. The good news is that Fiennes appears to have noticed and is working hard to give a performance that at least distracts you from remembering any of those influences.

I'm only at episode 5, but the political scheming to rally the middle classes to Morgan's cause is a bit...stupid...since it requires everyone to not think, ever, and Arthur is basically a git in a wispy beard who deserves to lose.

Oh, and there's quite a bit of nudity so you don't want to think too hard.

If you wanted to compare it with Merlin, you could. You see, for all that it's a kid's show, Merlin understands that Arthur has to turn out to be someone people will want to follow. It does this by making him a principled twit and then having Merlin help smooth his rough edges until he starts to become the man who will one day be king.

Camelot starts with Arthur as King and being about as worthy of devotion as celery.

I'm going to stick with it to see what happens with Arthur and Guinevere, because I cannot for the life of me see what she likes so much about him, and to see what Merlin gets up to.

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Re: Chris Chibnall's Camelot

Post by Zoltar on Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:21 pm

Fiennes' Merlin is a highlight, and there were some good moments along the way, but by the season's end I'd lost interest.

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Re: Chris Chibnall's Camelot

Post by Nick Barlow on Sun Jun 19, 2011 6:32 am

I've seen the three parts they've shown on Channel 4 so far (the double opener and last night) and I'm finding it all a bit meh, to be honest. There's nothing special going on with the story that hasn't been done before - most notably in Excalibur - while the style is all over the place. Fiennes and Green seem to be having an overacting contest, while the knights are playing it vaguely realistically and Arthur's wandering round with all the charisma of a wet dishrag.

IMO, it shows what Merlin has done right - putting a new spin on the myth and actually showing how Arthur progresses to being the sort of person the knights will want to fight and die for.

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Re: Chris Chibnall's Camelot

Post by Nick Barlow on Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:27 am

Has been cancelled, apparently.

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Re: Chris Chibnall's Camelot

Post by Zoltar on Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:01 pm

Nick Barlow wrote:Has been cancelled, apparently.
Yep. Starz says there were "significant production challenges" that made it not worth their while to make another season. I don't think I'd have watched it anyway.

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Re: Chris Chibnall's Camelot

Post by Dave Webb on Sun Jul 03, 2011 10:44 am

Heard about this the other day. It's not a great loss, although I will miss Fiennes as Merlin.

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