Originally sold with the fascinating pitch of “what if the sword chose a queen” and promising a take on the Excalibur story from the perspective of The Lady of the Lake instead of King Arthur, it all sounded great. However, the final product is actually just some sort of prequel to the King Arthur story.
The reason this is disappointing is that the muddled reason for the shows existence means it fails to be a proper prequel to the King Arthur story whilst also failing as an effective spin off focused on the origins of the Lady of the Lake.
The show does have some impressive production values and a long take sequence in the first episode made me really think that we could be in for something special. In general, the show is watchable, but that isn’t the greatest compliment and that is about where the positives end.
The most startling issue with the show is that very few cast members in this expensive show are any good. I’m not saying they are bad actors, but they are just not good in the roles. Even Katherine Langford, who was so compelling in the first season of ‘13 Reasons Why’ really doesn’t pull off the troubled warrior queen here and gives quite a wooden performance.
Devon Terrell does his best in a quite poorly written role of ‘Arthur’, Gustaf Skarsgard grows into the role of ‘Merlin’ but struggles to recover from playing him like a magical Jack Sparrow, and Lily Newmark actually makes for the most engaging screen presence, despite her quite limited screen time.
The show also has ridiculous scene transitions that become animated all of a sudden, and while I’m sure it is done to make it more resemble the graphic novel on which it is based,
The final episode provides multiple ‘twists’ on who characters actually are and sets the stage for a more conventional Arthurian adaptation (which is a story I love to see usually) but I simply don’t want to see this creative team tackle that.
Rating = 2.5/5