Critical Condition: Troy: Fall of a City

Troy: Fall of a City | Netflix, from Friday

➢ “Predictably enough for a Saturday night drama rumoured to have cost £16 million to make, Troy: Fall of a City had its comically overblown moments. That’s no bad thing – Greek mythology without a slice of silliness would be like Strictly Come Dancing without the sequins. No fun at all. But the early indications are that, in this retelling of the Trojan war, writer David Farr (The Night Manager) has succeeded in his attempt to ‘focus on character’, rather than spectacle.” — The Telegraph.

➢ “Troy: Fall of a City, a reworking of the oldest drive-by in history, is so far removed from anything Sophocles might recognise, they should have named it The Real Housewives of Ilium.” — Sunday Times.

➢ “This is certainly an epic that wouldn’t have existed on TV two decades ago, its lavish set design, production values and sci-fi soundtrack – edgy but misplaced – an emblem of what the small screen now has to offer. Viewers are immediately transported to ancient locations (in actuality beautiful Cape Town) in scene one and never relents. If it’s escapism you’re wanting, series link away.” — The Independent.

➢ “It was self-assured enough to deliver an opening episode that, although it started with a cinematic horse gallop and a theatrical childbirth involving an episiotomy done with a hot knife, was mostly rather restrained … I’m glad the series has begun in a measured way and isn’t metaphorically jiggling its nipple tassels to make waves (although actual nipples did abound in that opium scene). I’m looking forward to it.” — The Times.

➢ “The associate director of the RSC, who also adapted The Night Manager for our screens two years ago, has given us an intriguing, relatively faithful version of the Iliad; older viewers can marvel at the silked lushness of the sea scenes while revelling in an old tale well told, younger ones can learn a little, about the names of the gods, and the fire-haunted dreams of Cassandra, and about mankind’s ancient rush towards betrayal (and ancient rush to blame it allon their being mere playthings of the gods); and both can hopefully expunge any residual memories of the 2004 Brad Pitt epic.” — The Observer.

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