Walk like an Egyptian: Ben Kingsley stars in 'Tut' mini-series

Published July 21st, 2015 - 03:56 GMT

Thirst for power, intrigue, conspiracies, battle scenes, great costumes - what's not to love about the story of Egypt's boy pharaoh? His rapid ascension to the throne, short life and mysterious death has fascinated storytellers for almost a hundred years.

"Tut" is the new mini-series loosely based on the famous King Tutankhamun on Spike, a US cable network. The six-hour series is being shown over three days, and was shot in Morocco.

Canadian actor Avan Jogia plays the eponymous Tut with creative license as a young action-hero - the real deal was said to be a sickly, inbred monarch with a club foot!  Gandhi star Ben Kingsley and Game of Thrones star Nonso Anozie play his advisors Grand Vizier Ay and General Horemheb who both have aspirations of their own.

The series follows the struggles of a swashbuckling teenage Tutankhamun who seeks to become a great leader despite his age. Sex and intrigue feature in the storyline surrounding the king's personal battle to choose between the woman he loves and his half-sister Ankhe whom he had to marry.

According to The Wrap, Tut's premiere registered a record number of viewers for the Spike network, with 1.7m viewers tuning in. Audiences gave an average rating of 7.9 out of 10 on IMDB, with critical praise coming in for the casting and performances of the leads. 

The New York Times criticized the series for relying on the now-standard "court intrigue — the embattled monarch, the duplicitous adviser, the loyal bodyguard, the murderous queen — you might find in England, Italy, China or Westeros". Slightly disappointed that the producers didn't decide to go down the over-the-top campiness route, reviewer Mike Hale concludes by claiming that "like a lot of period dramas, it settles for being slightly silly and mostly dull."

Variety‘s Brian Lowry also called the show out for it's campy fun, but added that the show’s first night was “filled with so much silliness that it’s difficult for the story to recover its bearings.”

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