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DVD Review

DVD cover

Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands


Starring: David Ajala, Kieran Bew, Lee Boardman, David Bradley and Lolita Chakrabarti
Distributor: ITV Studios Global Entertainment
RRP: £24.99
Certificate: 12
Release Date: 28 March 2016

Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands (2016) is a twelve part mini-series, written by James Dormer. The show was based on the ancient poem, oddly enough also called Beowulf. Obviously they have played fast and loose with the original adding in new characters and storylines and fatally not kept the central action of Beowulf killing the monster, Grendel, but rather consigning it to an odd representation in the first episode.

What we do get feels more like an eighties show or a bit of a soap opera, with Beowulf delivering weapons, looking for cures and falling in love. There is a Troll fight, but compared to Game of Thrones this show never stood a chance. It’s not its sets or costuming which lets the show down, which swing between great and so-so, once again it is the scripts and the acting.

It just not interesting enough to hold the audience’s attention, if it was competing with Xena (1995 – 1999) it may have stood a chance, but there is an overall lack of historical accuracy in the name of cultural diversity, for a story based on in Scandinavia there is a distinct shortage of appropriate looking actors.

It’s a bit of a case of too little too late, had this been made ten years ago it may have been better received as it is it comes over as a poor cousin. The DVD set is presented over three discs.


Charles Packer

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