To be completely honest, while Tut was an interesting topic in Middle school, that isn’t what got me interested in this mini-series. If anything, it was the casting of Avan Jogia as King Tut, and Jogia reuniting with Kylie Bunbury, who he last shared the silver screen with in the ill-fated Twisted. As for everything else, my expectations were low if only because I can’t recall the last time I ever watched something on Spike TV. Now, as for whether Jogia and Bunbury maybe the only thing worth watching? Well, look below.
Characters & Story (with Commentary)
Topic 1: Politics – Tutankhamun (Avan Jogia), Vizier Ay (Ben Kingsley), and General Horemheb (Nonso Anozie)
Within Thebes lies a political dynasty which seems to slowly be creeping toward its end. Akhenaten (Silas Carson) has been poisoned, and now his son, a 9 year old, is expected to be king. Luckily though, Ay, a loyal Vizier to Akhenaten, plans to be by the boy’s side and help guide his reign.
Well, at least that is what he says. For 10 years later it seems Ay, alongside General Horemheb, take advantage of the youth of King Tut and mostly decide on political matters without him. Thus making him seem like a figurehead to those within the palace, and with his appearances far and few outside the palace, all there is are rumors of his disfigurements. Something which doesn’t sit well with King Tut for he is the descendent of great kings, ones which may not have been great warriors, but had great rules. Yet, what has he? Advisors who disregard his opinion, little glory of his own, and an utter lack of respect.
Topic 2: Love – Ankhesamun (Sibylla Deen), Tut, Ka (Peter Gadiot), and Nahkt (Alistair Toovey)
An issue which extends past those interested in power, but also those interested in love. For, you see, while Ankhesamun, Tut’s sister and wife, does seem to try to procreate with him, off-screen, it seems her true love is Ka – the boy who helps Tut train in combat and seems to be some sort of friend to Tut. However, with her mind loyal to her brother, but lips and libido not, it seems the two have had an affair for years. Not one producing a child, oddly enough, but nevertheless they are in love.
As for Nahkt’s place in this? Well, to be honest I was left unsure at times when it was Nahkt or Ka around, but what can definitely be said is that while Ka may have a love for Ankhesamun, in a romantic sense, what Nahkt is growing to love is power. For with it being all around him, but not in his grasp, it seems he grows tired of his father, but not by birth, Ay, simply speaking about opportunity. For while born of common blood, it seems he will refuse to settle in life due to such things.
Topic 3: War – General Horemheb, Ka, Tut, Lagus (Iddo Goldberg), and Suhad (Kylie Bunbury)
For quite some time it seems that Tut decided to roam the streets, incognito, to perhaps get a feel of the people. Often this led to people speaking ill about him, worrying about the safety of the empire, and him occasionally coming to a woman’s aide. However, during one excursion, he comes across Suhad. Within that moment, it almost seems like Jogia and Bunbury are a match which rivals Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet during the heights of Titanic. For with every glance, every cheeky moment, and every kiss, pant, sigh, or moan, it makes you wonder if perhaps these two will find their careers intertwined in such a way that perhaps being each other’s love interest will become a gag of sorts. As in, considering their chemistry on screen, why don’t they date in real life?
But, I digress, back to the topic of war, with Tut trying to make a name for himself, and him trying to not have his name become a smudge in Egypt’s history, he decides to exert himself into the battles to come against the Mitanni. A nation he has fought against on a small scale, against around 3 of them, but now he plans to wage a true battle. One in which he proves to General Horemheb he can fight, be a tactician, and more than simply some boy king whose decisions are made for him. However, during the battle Tut gets injured, and while the man he has grown close to, Lagus, tries to defend his person, he is ultimately overhwlemed and captured. Then, when Horemheb sets eyes on Tut, he leaves him to die.
Thankfully though, Suhad comes across him, perhaps a day or so later, and nurses him to health. Then, once that is done, she joins his cause to return to Thebes, but not before heading into Mitanni territory and saving Lagus. Leaving us watching the trio run from the prison camps and perhaps on their way back home.
While I get the Game of Thrones comparisons, to a certain degree, honestly that is only in the politics. As for the fighting, and the overall look of the show, something screamed 90s action shows like Xenon or even Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Which could very well be due to me not watching this in HD, but honestly I think it was because, even with the violence and handful of sex scenes being graphic, there is just something slightly corny about this series. Be it because you know this is a work of historic fiction, or just what may very well be a Game of Thrones inspired storyline, just something seems so off that it is hard to take most of the first episode seriously.
Granted, I am fully in love with Jogia and Bunbury’s reunion, and their chemistry from Twisted is seen in full force, but a part of me in on the fence on whether it was a good idea for this to be a mini-series or not. For, to be honest, watching this for an hour and a half led to a lot of highs and lows, of which watching Deen, Gadiot, and Toovey, were some of the lowest points; and while Kingsley is as commanding as ever, and Anozie brings intrigue, I do feel that the show could maybe have made it as a regular series, and might have been better if it did.
Still, considering the show is mostly painless to watch, and I am getting all types of feelings from watching Jogia and Bunbury interact on screen again, I would consider this something to stick around with.
Tut: Is that how we measure greatness? In the number of dead left in our wake?
General Horemheb: No my lord, it is measured by the number who are allowed to live peacefully and prosper because of it.