Tutankhamun – as well as a tale that’s been told a thousand times, it’s also the punchline of a childish joke:
- Q: How do you use an ancient Egyptian doorbell?
If you laughed as you haven’t heard that before, and you’re over 5, then where have you been?
Anyhoo, Howard Carter (Max Irons) is in Egypt, 1905 – an area known as a ‘Valley of the Kings’, and in search of the tomb of the legendary King Tut, who reigned between 1332 and 1323 BC, when he died at the early age of 18, so he’s unlikely to be in when Mr Carter comes a-knocking… especially since this is not X-Men Apocalypse.
I tuned in for Sam Neill as Lord Carnarvon, wanting to hire Carter in his search for the tomb, but for a four-parter, I expected this to crack along at a fair pace, and I think you could rebuild the pyramids from scratch in less time than it would feel like these episodes are passing. Slowed down by some romantic slush going on, by the time the first episode ended, I felt like things were only just beginning, but that it achieved in 45 minutes (plus adverts) what I expected to take no longer than the first ten.
Similarly, I’ve also seen episode 2, and I thought it might step up a gear, but it didn’t. Possibly a cog slightly turned, but that was it.
From what I read, it was in 1922 that Howard Carter unearthed the tomb. The series begins in 1905. So we’ve got a lot of nothing to happen, first.
Episode 1 Score: 1/10
Director: Peter Webber
Producer: Simon Lewis
Writer: Guy Burt
Music: Christian Henson
Howard Carter: Max Irons
Lord Carnarvon: Sam Neill
Maggie Lewis: Catherine Steadman
Herbert Winlock: Jonathan Aris
Flinders Petrie: Rupert Vansittart
Theodore Davis: Anthony Higgins
Selim: Waleed Elgadi
Street Food Owner: Joe Vaz
Arthur Mace: Leon Clingman
Sir Gaston Maspero: Vincent Grass
Murtaaz: Ernest St.Clair
Lady Carnarvon: Susan Danford
Edfu: Riaz Solker
Hamid: George Jackos
British lieutenant: Shaun Acker
French duke: Cedric Leherle
Workman: Gary Green
Young Evelyn: Chloe Sweetlove
French lady: Ashleigh Tobias
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.