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Camelot - Season 1 [DVD]

84 customer reviews

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Product Description

Britain is steeped in war and deception when a young and reckless Arthur (Jamie Campbell Bower), unknown son and heir to the murdered king, is installed to the thrown. His enemies, including Arthur s ruthless half sister Morgan (Eva Green) are quick to declare war and the young king has to defend his kingdom with only one supporter on his side: the mysterious sorcerer Merlin (Joseph Fiennes).... Forget everything you think you know... this is the story of Camelot that has never been told before.

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Television has always managed to thrive, and find new angles, on period action adventure shows, returning in many cases to stories and legends of old. That’s what’s happened with the US television series of Camelot, which takes similar material that inspired the BBC’s Merlin show, but tries to do something a bit more grown up with it. That translates to more menace, more violence, and darker themes bubbling underneath.

This time, Jamie Campbell Bower takes the role of Arthur, with Eva Green faring well as his half-sister, Morgan. The cast is rounded out by the likes of Tamsin Egerton and Joseph Fiennes, and the show is billed as the Camelot story “that has never been told before”. That’s a bit of dubious claim, really, although it does try a few things with the legend that give it some distinction. But not as much as you’d hope.

The problem, though, is that Camelot never sparks consistently into life. There’s a lot to like here, from the quality of the production design, some of the direction, and the terrific turn from Eva Green that sits at the heart of many of the show’s best moments. But the acting performances are up and down, while the writing, too, lets the side down a little too often. Common sense doesn’t always prevail where this Camelot is concerned.

Camelot remains an enjoyable show, and one that’s certainly worth checking out. It’s not too hard, though, to work out the reasons why its light flickered out after only one season run. Eva Green, though, is really rather special here. --Jon Foster

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Iset TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 13 July 2011
Format: DVD
"Camelot" is a bit of a mixed bag. It has its good points, to be sure, but it also has its bad points, and whether the negatives outweigh the positives is something that I think is going to be down to individual tastes - already the series is receiving rather mixed reviews. So let's break this down.

The Good:

* The cinematography. Money has been poured into this production and you can really see it here. Sweeping vistas, use of CGI, even the title credits look slick and are thematically and artistically very similar to "The Tudors" and "The Borgias" (not too much of a surprise as some of the same people also worked on "Camelot" and apparently the show was aiming to follow in that vein).

* The cast. Again, one can sense the big spending here. You've got Eva Green as Morgan Pendragon, Joseph Fiennes as Merlin, Sean Pertwee as Sir Ector, and James Purefoy as King Lot. All bring a lot to their roles, putting in layered performances that bring the characters to life. Some of the lesser known, younger members of the cast such as Peter Mooney also succeed in pulling out some good, solid acting here.

* The show isn't afraid to be dark. Unlike the BBC's "Merlin", "Camelot" is much darker and contains a good deal more blood, sex, and language - most definitely aimed at adults, not children. If you felt that "Merlin" was a bit too wet behind the ears, you'll appreciate the darker "Camelot".

The Bad:

* Jamie Campbell Bower has been miscast as King Arthur. Arthur, who is after all the hero of the Arthurian legends, seems to be a whiny teenager here, cast on the basis of his prettiness. The character comes off as basically decent, but careless, reckless, driven by lust, sulky, and totally ignorant of the consequences of his actions.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jools on 13 Nov. 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Loved it. Great seeing the story from another perspective. Shame there's no season two!

Seeing Arthur played as a 'boy' rather than a man is an unusual twist but you still get the 'sword in the stone' storyline and the 'knights of the round table' starting to be assembled. Along with the family dramas, jealousy, rivalry, romance and of course sword fights it is a great watch. Defiantly worth the 10 hours taken out of my weekend. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
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By Fridi on 23 Dec. 2012
Format: DVD
Finally I've managed to see this series on dvd (actually with some minor quibbles due to the menu, beautiful but quite annoying to use), well I've to admit it was better than expected from the reviews read, & above all, even knowing that this has been the 1 & only season ever of this series, I feel like they kinda tied it up quite well for the little time they have had...
So long story short I've bought it on the strenght of Eva Green & Joseph Fiennes that I usually like, now I can easily say that Eva's performance alone is worth the price of this whole at least! Jo is ok but a bit "grotesque" overall, instead Morgan, as performance, steals the spotlight even when over the top seems believable at the same time in a certain way (where Arthur never too much, he's not well developed as a character so that we truly can feel for him). I've enjoyed also the actress who played the naughty nun (was also Armitage's mum in "North & South" series), such a curious role...

As it's in vogue these days the legend has been reinvented "Tudors' style" or so, therefore you can have an idea instantly if this is your cup of tea (cool cast, pitoresque Irish landscape, glamorous costumes, gore & sex...but not too extreme, so that the rumour is that it's been axed because of this doubtful nature): that said the story loses its point in the middle of the tale, it's like the writers didn't know exactly where to go with the plot (or probably they were just testing the ground but ran out of time), & especially Arthur himself along with his crew become boring very quickly, this has spoiled the balance of the thing for me.

Regardless all the flaws I've still had more fun with Camelot than watching BBC's Merlin, because darker & intense in its highlights.
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60 of 73 people found the following review helpful By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 29 Jun. 2011
Format: DVD
I love King Arthur and his legendary knights, whether it's gritty "historical" stories or a pile of medieval anachronisms a la Malory.

But the once and future king has really gotten more than his fair share of rotten movies and TV, and the latest disaster is "Camelot." No, not the Broadway musical or the movie adaptation -- this is Starz's attempt at updating the timeless Arthurian legends (which don't NEED updating), which just turns into a silly, sloppy and overly PC mess.

The evil princess Morgan (Eva Green) murders her father Uther, exiles her stepmother, and allies herself with her dad's enemy King Lot. But Merlin (Joseph Fiennes) is having none of this, and hunts down Uther's secret illegitimate son Arthur (Jamie Campbell Bower), who has been raised by an adoptive family in the country. With Merlin's guidance and training (in rock-climbing), Arthur claims the throne --and gains Morgan's wrath.

He also falls in love with Guinevere (Tamsin Egerton), the beautiful young wife of a loyal knight, and is deftly manipulated by Merlin in decidedly unmagical ways, sometimes with bloody outcomes. As young Arthur struggles to unite Britain under him, he must deal with Morgan constantly trying to undermine his rule and his power -- but with little idea of just how far she will go.

The idea behind "Camelot" is not a bad one, and even the rewriting of Arthurian lore (the origins of Excalibur) aren't that bad. The problem is in the execution. This series wants to be a plot-heavy, gritty, authentic "Game of Thrones"-esque story, but it's actually more of a silly, anachronistic BCC "Robin Hood" (complete with multiculturalism and modern feminism, which makes it doubly ridiculous).
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