'Camelot: The Complete First Season'
(Jamie Campbell Bower, Joseph Fiennes, Eva Green, et al / 3-Disc DVD / NR / 2011 / Starz)
Overview: 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.
DVD Verdict: Well, it has to be said, that is is a GREAT SHAME that this wonderful show is not coming back. The season finale left a really nice setup into subsequent seasons and a lot of possibilities. sadly though, nothing will come of them as Starz decided to pull the plug on the show this year!
Eva Green's and Joseph Fiennes' characters as Morgan and Merlin were amazing. Arthur, on the other hand, is little hard to deal with in the first few episodes. I don't know if It's the acting or if he's written that big of an immature brat, but the rest of the cast and characters (excluding Guinivere) make it easier to overlook the senseless relationship Arthur and Guinivere start to develop.
The plot set up for the first few episodes is original and engaging. While it does slow down from there until the end, I never found myself bored and always looked forward to the next episode. Arthur did become a lot more likeable as the season went on.
It's beautifully shot and generally succeeds in presenting the atmosphere of the mythic era. And, as skated around above, Green's Morgan Le Fay offers just the right mixture of intelligence and wounded pride, and makes a convincing and genuinely fun villain. Fiennes owns every scene he's in. His Merlin is entirely sympathetic and evokes shades of Alec Guinness as Obi Wan Kenobi as he attempts to lead the young Arthur along the path of his destiny.
But, in truth, the real reason I watched the show lay in the complex and multifaceted characters of Morgan and Merlin. They left you wondering exactly what was going on underneath the exteriors they portrayed and the show brought a new dimension to these characters that I've never seen before. Morgan was seemingly painted as the cold-hearted villain, but I did not find this to be the case at all.
She was so much more than just a bitter woman after the throne. Merlin is painted in mystery from the very beginning and as his story unfolded it left me wondering who was he exactly and could he really be trusted.
And the always-stunning Claire Forlani as Queen Igraine really added something to the show. Not always on point, a little left-of-script-center, you believed though that she was capable of more; and that the writers had better avenues for her to explore come the second season.
As for realism, the legends of Arthur are mostly speculation and fiction anyway. I appreciated the original approach to an old tale. I really hope Starz reconsiders and finds a way to make more seasons happen. And so, as we must all, it's onwards and upwards to 'Game of Thrones'! These are all Widescreen Presentations (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs, and comes with the Special Features of:
The Knights of Camelot
The Women of Camelot
On The Set: Mooney’s Movie