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Posted by kahitanoito - - 1 comments

Image courtesy of AXN Beyond
I like seeing movies with setting dated back during the medieval period. I like the idea of having castles, villages, warriors in full metal gear and most especially a gigantic sword to complete their armor. As a child, I would prefer to have a sword as my toy and dream to be a knight someday, like the knights of King Arthur. I only have limited knowledge about King Arthur and primarily got it only from the movie "First Knight". Fortunately, AXN Beyond has a new series, Camelot, to tell us the dark and gripping tale on the medieval legend that was never told.

Rich and Kat hosting the event
Excited bloggers and members of the media fill up the seats of Greenbelt MyCinema theater last week for the press screening of Camelot. The event was hosted by Amazing Race 4 winner Richard Herrera and known host Kat Alano. They really set the mood as they are all dressed up on their medieval costume where Rich is like a soldier of King Arthur with his big sword at hand and Kat Alano is like a princess in her red gown.

I arrived just in time for the start of the press screening, which is good as every scene is a must see. I initially thought it would just like First Knight turned series but I was surprised it is really different. What set this series apart from other shows that have explored Arthurian legend is it traces the rise of a young king Arthur as he struggles to unite a kingdom torn by war deception and betrayal. The story will show us the start of young Arthur's journey to become king when his father, King Uther Pendragon, was murdered by supernatural means. Guided by Merlin’s magical foresight and belief, and aided by his brave knights, Arthur sets forth to bring justice, hope and freedom to a kingdom corrupted by violence, greed and despair.

L-R Kay (Peter Mooney), Guinevere (Tamsin Egerton),
Merlin (Joseph Fiennes), Morgan (Eva Green),
Arthur (Jamie Campbell Bower)
Camelot is being brought to life by a stellar cast. Rising star Jamie Campbell Bower (Sweeney Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, The Twilight Saga: New Moon) plays the young Arthur, while critically acclaimed actress Eva Green (The Golden Compass, Casino Royale) portrays key antagonist Morgan. Morgan’s foil, the resourceful, macho man-of-action Merlin is played by theatre veteran Joseph Fiennes (FlashForward, Shakespeare in Love). Budding British actress-model Tamsin Egerton (St Trinian’s, Keeping Mum) is Guinevere, who cannot help falling for Arthur even when betrothed to knight Leontes. Arthur’s birth mother Igraine is played by English actress Claire Forlani (Meet Joe Black), while Canadian actor Peter Mooney (Falcon Beach) takes the part of Arthur’s adoptive elder brother and loyal knight, Kay. I love how Eva Green portrays as the antagonist on this series and she is really believable for her role. You will really hate her character even just seeing the first episode of it.

A scene from Camelot during the press screening
Aside from the great casting and performances of the actors, I would say that the cinematography of this series is best of its kind. Even at the opening credits of the series, you will already have an idea that the shots are well-decided by the crew. The shots was really great because the series was shot at County Wicklow, Ireland ("dubbed as Garden of Ireland"), including on location at the stately Luggala Castle and the magnificent Powerscourt Estate. You may find the location with its breathtaking rolling hills familiar as it was also the location of the hit drama series The Tudors. The producers and crew really made a good decision to shot the series on location because it made the series more realistic and close as possible to the time of young Arthur's journey.
*Some pictures during the event. Thanks to Azrael for sharing some pics:)

After seeing the first episode, one would really say that the production quality is comparable to a well-budgeted movies in Hollywood. Well, you should not really doubt that as Camelot is really financed with almost US $50 Million with up to 400 cast and crew members taking part to make this series into magnificent 10-part series. Camelot is an Irish/Canadian co-production by GK-tv, the television division of Graham King and Tim Headington’s GK Films, the production studio behind the 2010 movie, The Tourist. The series is created by British screenwriter Michael Hirst, who was behind such works as The Tudors and movie Elizabeth: The Golden Age, and penned by Chris Chibnall of Torchwood and Life on Mars fame.

Chris Chibnall even revealed that he drew inspiration from Thomas Malory's literary classic 'Le Morte d' Arthur', which really provides great foundation for the screenplay of this series. I am excited to witness some of the famous events and characters, such as the 'sword in the stone', the 'Lady of the Lake', and the 'beginnings of the Round Table'. You might think it will be the same old scenes but the Chibnall promised that it will really different from what we expect. This will surely be something to watch-out every single week.

The press screening ended with trivia games based on the press screening of Camelot. Bloggers and members from the media run for their life to answer Rich and Kat's trivia questions proving that they attentively watched the series from beginning til the last second of it. Winners were handed out some goody bags from the event sponsor, Penshoppe.
Image courtesy of AXN Beyond

My Verdict: I believe this is again a must watch series from AXN Beyond. Some people may think medieval or period series is boring but you may have to think twice after watching this. The series has a good mixture of suspense, drama, action with some humor as well to make it more exciting. As noted, the cast and crew really portrayed very well on this series especially from Eva Green making the series something to watch-out for plus the great landscape and cinematography really completes the package. Your 1-hour every week should already be reserved for this series as this is really worth the time. With all the ingredients of a world-class production, Camelot promises an experience beyond your imagination as the epic, untold story is revealed this April, only on AXN Beyond.
AXN Beyond - I like!

Camelot premieres 4 April 2011 in the same week of its US debut
Airing Mondays 9pm (SG, MY, PH, HK) / 8pm (JKT)
First and exclusively on AXN Beyond

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