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April 19, 2014

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Review: 'Camelot' Tries to Find Magic in Arthurian Tales

by Maureen Ryan, posted Apr 1st 2011 11:00AM
'Camelot' (10PM ET Friday, Starz) a new retelling of the ancient Arthurian myths, makes some smart choices.

In a terrific performance, Jamie Campbell Bower makes Arthur seem both naive and impetuous, and Joseph Fiennes' Merlin doesn't go in for magical solutions; he's more a political operative consciously building a myth around the untested Arthur as ancient Britain threatens to descend into tribal anarchy. There's even a clever take on sword-in-the-stone tale.

Yet there are some tonal clashes within this handsome series, and there's an unfortunate stop-start quality to 'Camelot's' momentum. The first couple of episodes of the Starz drama have a relatively brisk pace, but the third one has elements of mawkish soapiness that slow down the action considerably.

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'Camelot' Preview: Sexy, Funny and Certainly Not a Musical (VIDEO)

by Chris Harnick, posted Jan 4th 2011 5:00PM
CamelotWhy should you watch Starz's new drama, 'Camelot'? Well, it's got sex, sword-fighting, magic, comedy and, according to star Joseph Fiennes, "because it's not a musical."

'Camelot,' which debuts April 1, features Fiennes as Merlin, Jamie Campbell Bower as Arthur, Eva Green as Morgan and Tamsin Egerton as Guinevere. Chris Chibnall of 'Torchwood' fame is writer and executive producer on the project, along with 'The Town' veteran Graham King and Michael Hirst.

The pedigree of the cast and crew not enough to get you interested? Check out a preview below, which includes behind-the-scenes footage along with cast and crew interviews that dissect the plot and discuss why this series is different than every other Arthurian tale.

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Review: The Prisoner - Part Six: Checkmate

by Jason Hughes, posted Nov 18th 2009 1:30AM
The Prisoner: Checkmate
(E06)
Well, that's that. All wrapped up nice and neat with a bow. Glad it's all cleared up and everything makes perfect sense... Did you read the sarcasm in that statement?

At this point, I can't tell if fans of the original The Prisoner will embrace this new iteration of the concept, or feel betrayed by it. Don't get me wrong, once all the secrets lie revealed, they've developed a pretty neat concept, and on that could quite possibly have sustained more than six episodes even. But was it The Prisoner?

I will give credit to all of the actors for their conviction in these roles. Ruth Wilson and Jamie Campbell Bower were particularly impressive as 313 and 1112. The layers of emotion that 313 displayed in her closing scenes with Two, and later with Six were just tragically beautiful. And 1112... well, tragedy appears to be the name of the game in the new Prisoner.

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Review: The Prisoner - Part Four: Darling

by Jason Hughes, posted Nov 17th 2009 1:32AM
The Prisoner: Darling
(E04) If you cannot break a man with family, or mistrust, then you must try love. For love is the greatest of things after all, is it not?


it seems we've fallen into a familiar pattern with The Prisoner. Two tries various schemes and techniques to break Six and Six resists them all, either through his own ingenuity or through the help of other Villagers who are sympathetic to his situation. But we still don't know why Two is trying to break Six. This week's tactic was love, but love was explored in many ways throughout the episode.

Six's love of the woman from New York is so strong that it cross boundaries from that world into the Village world. But in neither case is it clear if the love is real, or something manufactured.

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Review: The Prisoner - Part Three: Anvil

by Jason Hughes, posted Nov 17th 2009 12:29AM
The Prisoner: Anvil
(E03) I'm no closer to figuring out everything that's going on, but I am more appreciative of the fact that the entire story will be done by tomorrow night. Things are so confusing at times, I'm not sure I can keep it all in my brain if I had to wait a full week between each of these episodes.

Tonight's installment focused on espionage and spying. The target of all this spying appears to be everyone, but the primary focus is on the "Dreamers," those people who have dreams and vision of a life outside the Village. You see, they're a dangerous element, particularly if they were to organize.

The leading suspicion is that they have already done so, but where and to what end? Two wants to find them so he can send them all down for "Treatment," while Six wants to find them so he can rally them to his own cause of finding a way out of the Village.

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Review: The Prisoner - Part Two: Harmony

by Jason Hughes, posted Nov 15th 2009 11:02PM
The Prisoner: Harmony
(E02) The whole strategy behind the Village has been turned on its head and it's certainly interesting to watch. Two is bound and determined to have everyone who lives there believe that the Village is all there is, there is no world outside of the Village and the Village is all they've ever known. He's even got tangible proof to back that up.

It's an interesting change from the original, and again makes you wonder just who would be willing to invest this kind of money into a bizarre prison like this. Is the citizenry drugged, or just brainwashed? Why is Six so adamant that he is not a number, he is a free man, if no one else in the village is so sure? Or are they just being more quiet about it?

We've even reached the point in the series where as a viewer I'm not sure if what I'm seeing is real, much less what Six is seeing and experiencing. But it was nice to meet his brother and see that he has a family in the Village. "Uncle Six" indeed.

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Review: The Prisoner - Part One: Arrival

by Jason Hughes, posted Nov 15th 2009 10:00PM
The Prisoner
(E01) I can't help but feel tempted to compare this to the Patrick McGoohan classic from the '60s, but that wouldn't be fair. Attitudes, technologies and even our expectations of TV programming have changed so much in the intervening time. And yet, as an homage to the original, there are many elements to this new AMC mini-series that nod back to the classic paranoia suspense saga.

While The Village has been updated to be a much larger and more vibrant desert oasis (think kitschy Las Vegas) than the original's sleepy seaside villas, it's still as much an enigma, even in this first hour. And while Jim Caviezel doesn't command the role of Number 6 as powerfully as McGoohan, really who could? So I give him a pass, and enjoy him for what he brings, and try not to hear McGoohan's booming defiance when Caviezel shouts: "I am not a number! I am a free man!"

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