Monday, 6 June 2016

Beowulf: Return To The Shieldlands ranty-review-thing

Just had this show on the Sky box and finally watched the last episode.


Yes. Well.

It wanted to be Game of Thrones. This much was obvious from the computer animated title sequence and the theme music, which took the Game of Thrones "dum dum dada dum dum dada" rhythm (in 3 to the bar) and replaced it with a "dum dum dada dada dum dum dada dada" four to the bar, but left everything else very familiar. That and there's a certain degree of Lord of the Rings, as Beowulf could pass for Aragorn...

Lots (yay) of female characters who weren't just window dressing, including Joanne Walley as Hrothgar's widow (that's really not a spoiler, he dies in pretty much Act 1 Scene 1). Lots (man, oh man lots) of SHOUTING! I'm sure there were a few characters whose only emotional level consisted of SHOUTING AT PEOPLE A LOT. (One of whom gets beautifully silenced by the title character).

It sort of... moseyed its way along, with a lot of shouting, a lot of dubious fighting... OK. So, you're defending a narrow high-sided bridge and massively outnumbered. Why in Odin's name are you standing out in FRONT of your wide-as-the-bridge shield wall? Also, a lot of 'why is this anything to do with Beowulf'?... Right up until the last episode, which suddenly threw in a name and a relationship and sort of made me want to go back and re-watch all the rest with the benefit of hindsight - only not enough to re-download them. It was kinda fun, and the scenery (NE England) was pretty, though.

And all the factions were, to quote TV Tropes, colour-coded for our convenience in variously blue, red and yellow - shades of all three that were perhaps a bit bright for Dark Ages dyestuffs. But...

(sounds of Mike banging head against wall)

Aside from those conveniently colour-coded cloaks etc, it was all shades of grey just like the Vikings series.

FFS, people. The Dark Ages wasn't called dark because of the colour of people's clothing! And grey's a really HARD colour to make with natural dyes.



  1. The series has been showing in New Zealand. I've not bothered to watch it. Seems I haven't missed anything. 'Bout what I expected.

  2. I gave up half way through episode two. Funny thing is; if they had called it anything else and not tried to pass it of as a Beowulf take, I may have stuck with it a bit longer.
    I felt conned.

  3. I thought it improved a bit in the second half but it was still cancelled.

    I've noticed that more and more films and TV shows are filmed in a sort of very slightly coloured monochrome. I want to see colour not black and white!


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