Camelot: Review: Season 1 Ep 3

Starz/Channel 4, April 8 (US) June 18 (UK)

While finding his feet as King, Arthur (Jamie Campbell Bower) has time to claim first dibs on his champion’s wife-to-be, Guinevere (Tamsin Egerton). Meanwhile, Merlin (Joseph Fiennes) tries to discover the extent of Morgan’s (Eva Green) magical abilities…

After the action-packed opening two episodes, the third Camelot instalment is something of a damb squib. There are no battles, or even any strong antagonisms to speak of, with the one sword fight being a faux encounter as Kay and Leontes attempt to recruit Gawain.

The weakness of the central conceit of casting Arthur as a young pretty boy for the Twilight demographic is laid bare in this episode: presumably the teens are supposed to swoon over him and get all excited by his ursurping Leontes in the bedroom department. The problem with this is that it prefigures the Lancelot-Guinevere-Arthur triangle from the legend that the series will eventually get around to tackling.

The face-off between Merlin and Morgan just about makes this episode worthwhile as Fiennes and Green raise the stakes in their competition to see who can be the most outrageous.

Verdict: It’s far too early for this series to be treading water, and this episode plays too blatantly to romance fans.

Episode 3 ‘Guinevere’: 5/10

Brian J. Robb

Read our review of episodes 1 and 2

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