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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Complete First Season


Starring: Joseph Fiennes, Eva Green, Jamie Campbell-Bower, Tamsin Egerton, Claire Forlani and James Purefoy
Entertainment One
RRP: £29.99
Certificate: 15
Available 01 August 2011

Camelot (2011) was to be another in a range of high value fantasy series, unfortunately due to its comparison to Game of Thrones (2011) and the way the strong beginning seemed to dissipate into a lot of relationship problems, it was cancelled after its first season. This first season is now available as a three disc box set.

The first disc contains the first three, and arguably the strongest, episodes. King Uther dies, poisoned, leaving only his daughter as the heir apparent. That is until Merlin reveals that he has hidden Uther’s son, Arthur, away since his birth. Having seen the future he realises that Morgan, Uther’s daughter, would tear the realm apart, ushering another dark age. Arthur has the potential to bring the country together under one ruler, leading to a golden age for Britain.

There was much that was good and bad about the series. On the plus side the settings and costumes are impressive; Joseph Fiennes is by far the most impressive character in the show, playing Merlin, even if the magical side of his character is mostly missing.

Jamie Campbell Bower as Arthur and Tamsin Egerton as Guinevere seem to lack a certain gravitas for two such heroic figures. Eva Green is better as the scheming Morgan and like many recent shows the girls get naked on a regular basis, though not for any reason which pushes the plot forward. Once the power play has passed, and Arthur is ensconced as King, things get a little samey.

All the episodes are presented with either a 5.1 or 2.0 audio track, given that the show was from this year (2011) the picture is suitably fine and faultless. So, as well as the first three episodes the first disc also contains subtitles and six character pieces, short vignettes about each of the major characters as well as pieces on the knights and the women of Camelot.

Disc two and we have another three episodes as well as more vignettes. Camelot Starz Studios is a lengthy advert for the show. Candid Camelot shows amusing shots from the show, with the actors goofing around. The disc wraps up with three Scene Breakdowns. The ultimate disc in the set contains the remaining four episodes.

It’s a shame that the commercialism of modern television no longer allows a show to find its audience, today you’re either an immediate hit or your cancelled. This is very short sighted as it has meant the cancellation of many good shows, which were still trying to find their feel. True, Camelot did have aspects which needed to be improved, but it was in no way a dog of a show. The costumes, setting and music were all excellent, even if some of the scripting and casting could have been better, but now with the show cancelled we may never know how this could have progressed.


Charles Packer

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