Critical Condition: Tutankhamun

Tutankhamun (Prime, 8.30 Tuesdays)

“The discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb may well be one of the 20th century’s great stories — but naturally that doesn’t mean a television drama won’t want to jazz it up a bit. Or, in the case of ITV’s lavishly produced but distinctly corny Tutankhamun, quite a lot. The programme gives us a Howard Carter younger and considerably hunkier than in real life. It throws in a couple of smitten hotties to emphasise the fact. Above all, it transforms Carter into the archaeological equivalent of a maverick TV cop: a man who doesn’t play by the rules, isn’t afraid to follow wild hunches but, by God, gets results.” — The Spectator.

Tutankhamun tries to set itself up as factual drama, a sort of turgid stepchild of the History channel, in which the factual details sit alongside a freshly whipped up romance between archaeologist Howard Carter (Max Irons) and Evelyn Carnarvon (Amy Wren), the daughter of his backer Lord Carnarvon (Sam Neill). This is something of a bone which history (and the Carnarvon family) want to pick with the producers of Tutankhamun. The latter insist there is some suggestion it’s true. The family insist its poppycock, crafted to give this four-part drama a little injection of romantic adrenalin.” — Sydney Morning Herald.

“As the episode ended the drama began to gather pace, with the pesky First World War interrupting some jolly digging in the desert. It’s no Downton Abbey but that’s a good thing. It does have a hint of Indiana Jones though and it was a complete relief to be watching something other than Victoria. Some of us may need therapy after those eight weeks of ‘biographical’ musings.” — Daily Express.

Tutankhamun doesn’t require an awful lot of thought; more Downton than Brideshead, if we’re going to get snooty about our costume drama – Down-tomb Abbey … you can do better than that, please. Plus, if you haven’t had your head in a sand dune your entire life, then you’ll know exactly where it’s going. With a few extra jollities thrown in along the way, and if they’re not 100% historically accurate, then so what? It’s just a bit of fun. And it is fun.” — The Guardian.

“Tutankhamun looked like a combination of Indiana Jones and Agatha Christie. The only question was whether the Nazi gold-hunters would turn up before the first body with a jewelled dagger between its shoulderblades. In fact, neither cliché arrived. Instead, what turned up was Sam Neill as playboy toff Lord Carnarvon, and the drama became alive. Whether as King Henry’s corrupt adviser Cromwell in The Tudors, or the insane policeman in Peaky Blinders, Sam has made a habit of stealing entire TV series in recent years, and with the boldness of a tomb robber he’s planning to do the same here.” — Daily Mail.

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Reply