Jan 4 2011 6:29pm

First Look: Camelot

This mildly amusing video of very sexy actors and very ordinary looking non-actors heralds the arrival of the Starz original series Camelot, bowing April 1st. Revisionist Camelots are nothing new—I have, myself, co-authored an as-yet-unproduced pilot script called Lesser Knights of the Round Table, about the bumblers left behind when the cool kids are off grailing—but this one does appear to have a spirited, enthusiastic cast of extremely pretty people.

There is a place on television for shows about pretty people acting passionately in the midst of handsome production design. As long as the acting is passionate, it doesn’t even necessarily need to be good, and if the actors are sufficiently pretty (hello, Eva Green, and hey there Jamie Campbell Bower playing Arthur, I almost don’t care that you’re a dude) even the production design can skimp a little.

One assumes that this isn’t a practical joke, as it looks neither so stunningly bad nor impossibly awesome that it can’t properly exist in real life. Joseph Fiennes plays Merlin, who has, according to the press release, “visions of a dark future after King Uther’s death. 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 (Eva Green) will fight him to the bitter end, summoning unnatural forces to claim the crown in this epic battle for control.”

In about three months, the curious and those desiring to watch an amiably mounted show with an extremely attractive cast will be able to properly evaluate Camelot. Until then, we will have to deal with the anticipatory anxiety.

Danny Bowes is a playwright, filmmaker and blogger. He is also a contributor to nytheatre.com and Premiere.com.

Richard Fife
1. R.Fife
Ya know, I am oddly not a fan of "extremely attractive casts". Not that I don't appreciate a good looking person, by far no, but honestly, this looks about half a step up from Hercules/Xena/Seeker, but with more drama. I think I'll stick to kissing the ground Game of Thrones is walking.
2. Werthead
When I first heard about this project I thought it sounded great. An attempt to get the Arthurian legend on screen properly, rather than the entertaining-but-very-YA BBC series MERLIN. Of course, I then found out that Chris Chibnall (a terrible writer on multiple projects) was working on it and in fact they are skewing very young with the cast.

It might pull out all the stops and end up being excellent, and Fiennes and Green are usually good to watch, but this is looking more like a 'guilty pleasure' than 'event television'.
Fake Name
3. ThePendragon
Can't see the trailer, says it's private . . .
4. Jamie (Mithril Wisdom)
I'm looking forward to seeing Camelot, mainly as a comparison to BBC's Merlin. The trailer is the same for me; it comes up as private and I can't view it, sadly.
5. cranscape
Chris Chibnall? Oi. Though I remember saying at some point this year, "that wasn't bad for a Chibnall episode" so maybe improvements have been made. Ah, yes. Chibnall did Cold Blood/The Hungry Earth two parter from this last season of Doctor Who. Not great compaired to other writers, but a masterpiece for Chibnall standards.

Couldn't get the vid to work either, but if it completely different from Game of Thrones I'll be pleased. I was a little worried they were in the business of stealing thunder, but it sounds like a completely different tone.
Emily Asher-Perrin
7. EmilyAP
Think I'll stick with BBC's Merlin. I find it kind of despressing when people decide to do a reinvention right as another one is going on in the same medium--even if one is family entertainment and one is clearly more for adults. It just feels disrespectful to me. At least Sherlock and the current Guy Ritchie redux are in television and film, respectively.

Oh, who am I kidding? I'll probably end up watching it anyway for comparisons. But still. It's aggravating.
René Walling
8. cybernetic_nomad
Can't see the video either.

I'll just toss in a recommendation for Kaamelott. One of the best adaptation of the Arthurian legend of the past decade.
Mark McKibben
10. Manzabar
When attempting to watch the video embedded here at Tor.com, I get the following error message:

This is a private video. If you have been sent this video, please make sure you accept the sender's friend request.
After a bit of searching Youtube, I found this video which I think may be the same one uploaded by a different user. If the video I found is the same thing, then this show does not look all that promising.
12. a-j
Thanks Manzabar. That must be it. Looks like a Spartacus: Blood & Sand cash in.

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