An ambitious big budget version of the King Arthur and Camelot story that appeared the same year as the first season of Game of Thrones and ultimately suffered because of the massive amount of press garnered by that show and unfair comparisons between the two.
There was a lot of emphasis on Magic, Merlin and Morgan Pendragon (the bitter half-sister of Arthur) and like GOT also focused on the internecine rivalries of who should be ruling the kingdom.
In this version Guinevere is in love with Arthur and he her but she is married to Leontes, one of Arthur’s key knights. Their relationship has to be conducted in secret.
The first episode was given a special preview on Starz was broadcast on 25 February 2011 before the series began properly on 1 April. The series was predominantly filmed in Ireland and Canada and Starz said they didn’t continue with the series because of various production challenges not least the scheduling conflicts of most of the lead players.
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.
These are dark times indeed for the new King, with Guinevere being 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. Forget everything you think you know – this is the story of Camelot that has never been told before.
Ireland – Canada / Starz – Ecosse – GKTV – World 2000 – Take 5 Productions / 10×60 minute episodes / Broadcast 25 February – 10 June 2011
Creators: Chris Chibnall, Michael Hirst / Music: Mychael Danna, Jeff Danna / Executive Producers: Michael Hirst, Chris Chibnall, Fred Fuchs, John Weber, James Flynn, Ann Thomopoulos, Craig Cegielski, Tim Headington, Graham King, Douglas Rae, Morgan O’Sullivan
Joseph Fiennes as Merlin
Jamie Campbell Bower as King Arthur
Eva Green as Morgan Pendragon
Tamsin Egerton as Guinevere
Claire Forlani as Igraine
Chipo Chung as Vivien
Sinéad Cusack as Sybil
Peter Mooney as Kay
Clive Standen as Gawain
Philip Winchester as Leontes
Sebastian Koch as King Uther
James Purefoy as King Lot
Diarmaid Murtagh as Brastias
Jamie Downey as Ulfius
Lara Jean Chorostecki as Bridget
Daragh O’Malley as Leodegrance
Sean Pertwee as Sir Ector
THE EPISODES 1 April – 10 June 2011
2. THE SWORD AND THE CROWN
4. LADY OF THE LAKE
6. THREE JOURNEYS
7. THE LONG NIGHT
9. THE BATTLE OF BARDON PASS