Game On — at Last — For Beowulf on TV2

As frustrating as it is to see so many HD series stream in SD on TVNZ OnDemand before they ‘premiere’ on TV One or TV2, they do eventually make the transition from online to on air.

The latest is Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands. It launched on ITV in January and will make its TV2 bow overnight on October 7 at 3.05am.

Why so late? The series wasn’t renewed and as well as TVNZOD exposure, already has aired in SD on Duke.

“Cheap-looking special effects, a bland hero and barely any resemblance to the source material makes this Beowulf a flop,” lamented The Telegraph.

And The Sun reported ITV planned for the £17 million fantasy to run for five years before viewership sunk to a Sunday night average of only 1.4 million.

The Guardian said the series was pitched as “Game of Thrones but without the sex and violence” while the Los Angeles Times quipped: “It seems unfair to call any iteration of the epic Beowulf derivative, because Beowulf pretty much started it all.

“The 3,182-line tale of a Scandinavian hero keeping the world safe from monsters and dragons is not just the oldest known poem in Old English; it’s the blueprint for most every fantastic epic that followed.

“But the fact remains that sword ‘n’ sheepskin is now a genre, and even if you are taking it back to its roots, you have to bring something new. Creators James Dormer, Tim Haines, and Katie Newman do not.”

“The demise of Beowulf follows ITV’s ditching of Jekyll and Hyde — its other big Sunday night drama hope — also after just one series,” The Sun said.

Chances are you can expect that TVNZOD exclusive to bow in an overnight Friday slot, too.

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