OMG OMG OMG!!! I was soo excited when I came across the Trailer for Spike TV 3 hour miniseries based on the short reign of the Egyptian boy king; Tutankhamun. Ever since his tomb was uncovered in 1922 by Howard Carter, the world has been fascinated by his tale or lack of it. From theories recounting his last days (circumstances surrounding his death remain shrouded in mystery) to tales of curses an untimely deaths of those who uncovered the tomb have only added to the mystic of his life.
The real history of ancient Egypt has always eluded Egyptologists and scholars for centuries and now the cable network; Spike seeks to fill in some of those gaps through a 3 day series. Anyone who knows me, knows Ancient History especially ancient Egypt holds a special place in my heart; My Love of Egypt. So like I stated earlier, I was eager to see what the producers had come up with.
Part One titled POWER, begins with young King Tut learning a gory lesson in ruling from the rebel King Akhenaten. Fast forward 10 years after we see young Tut has a vibrant restless 18-year-old on a quest to discover his path in a tumultuous world, surrounded my vultures. From the vizier Ay played by Sir Ben Kingsley, the High priest Amun played by Alexander Siddig (last seen in Game of Thrones Prince Doran Martell of Dorn and General Horembeb our own Nonso Anoize another Game of Throne alum to mention a few. Part one of the series seeks to reveal the characters and some of their intentions. It is safe to say that no one has Tut’s best interest at heart. It is a peak into the only time a king was in control by his advisors and a king who also seeks to establish a voice of his own, through self discovery. Seeking that voice is the cause of friction throughout the episode and it looks like the entire series.
Now that we’ve established that, lets delve further into the production, the genre of fantasy action blockbuster series seems to be the new cash cow for networks. The success of shows such as HBO’s Game of Thrones and History’s The Bible have made other networks sit up and take notice and increase their viewership through high productions. And I must say that Spike hit the jackpot with this one. From the set design to the costumes and makeup, the attention to detail is jaw dropping and for the entire one hour 45 mins, I felt I was transported to another century. The production pair of Michael Vickerman and David Von Ankorman could not have picked a worthy cast for such a production; first and foremost the role of Tutankhamun himself is such a daunting role that it requires a quiet commanding performance but my my 23-year-old Canadian Avan Jorgia delivers in spades. His performance reminds me of the first time I saw Russell Crowe in Gladiator; he filled every screen with his presence and till tomorrow the performance still leaves me with goose bumps. Executive producers Michael Vickerman says of all the young actors that auditioned, Avan was the clear choice and I must agree, he becomes Tut and one cannot begin to imagine any one else in that role. Scenes with High Priest Amun played by Alexander Siddig brings to mind the late Omar Sheriff on the set of Lawrence of Arabia and its no surprise that he brings the role of the cunning snake of a priest to life , he is so convincing that I forget that I am watching an actor play a part. It is no surpise that Sir Ben Kinglsey thrives in his role as the royal vizier, he steals every scene from the other actors; this is his role and the rest are just along for the ride. However, the female characters; Tut’s sister/ wife Ankhe (Sybilla Dean from the Tyrant) and the peasant girl who saves Tut, Suhad (Kyle Bunbury) come across as one-dimensional. The love struck peasant , the conniving wife, I really wish the producers gave them more to work with but since this was the first episode, I am hoping the producers redeem themselves and flesh out their parts.
All in all, it seems like a great show and I am anxiously waiting the next episodes.. Don’t worry I’ll fill you in.
Until next time.