Camelot (2011)

Featuring on 4OnDemand at the mo is Camelot; a new rendition of the Arthurian Legend. With a kickass cast including Joseph Fiennes (Merlin), Claire Forlani (Igraine), Eva Green (Morgan), Peter Mooney (Kay), Tamsin Egerton (Guinevere) and Jamie Campbell Bower (Arthur), show creator Chris Chibnall has imagined a visceral tale that is edgy in script and contemporary in thought. It’s myth and a little bit of history told for modern audiences – as a story.

With Michael Hirst – writer (and creator) of The Tudors and films including Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age – on board, the show’s audience will be privy to the politics, sex, violence and religious tension that accompany dynastic British history and are typical to ‘Hirst conceptualisation.’ A plot synopsis reads as follows:

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. In the darkest of times, Guinevere is 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.

With two episodes down (and eight to go) it’s clear that Merlin’s Machiavellian spirit is the driving force behind the country’s realisation of Arthur as King. There is a sword and there is a stone but not in the way that we are used to. There will be a Lady of the Lake but not as we know her. The brutality and romance that envelopes medieval history and captivates the collective consciousness of modern audiences is encapsulated and embellished in Camelot, which offers an intruiging new telling of Arthur’s tale.

Check it out on 4oD.