The short-lived TV series Camelot, which lasted for just one series before being cancelled, was an attempt to retell the King Arthur legend for audiences weaned on the sex-and-blood drama of Spartacus: Blood and Sand. It didn’t work very well, with audiences switching off in their droves after the first couple of episodes.
One of the problems was the weak, diluted writing. Much of the show’s storylines resembled those of a long-running soap opera, with much promised and little resolved (despite copious amounts of running time devoted to the subject). There were hints at greatness – Eva Green and Joseph Fiennes bagged a pair of excellent roles – but many were put off by the sickly, skinny-looking male model cast as the once and future king.
The fantastic elements were kept to a minimum – there was a little shape-shifting here and there – and one of the biggest drawbacks was the lack of budget, which resulted in poor effects and numerous other problems, like a pitched battle between two armies reduced to half a dozen extras milling around a field.
Some gratuitous nudity added to the mix failed to work, key character actors were underused (a delightfully lusty James Purefoy has far too small a role) and we were left with glimpses of might have been. Thankfully, a fellow fantasy show, based on a certain series of books by one George R. R. Martin, turned out a lot better…