For every archaeology enthusiast who digs everything ancient Egypt, the discovery of the boy King Tutankhamun’s mummy by Howard Carter is probably the most glorified event to ever happen.
Or, maybe it’s just me.
Anyway, it is still hailed as the one of the finest archaeological discoveries of all times by many scholars. Since this unearthing happened way back in 1922, the new generation often needs a reminder about it from time to time. This is probably why we get a book, movie or a TV show inspired by the true events, every few years. The latest one being ITV’s 4 part production called Tutankhamun. It stars Max Irons *drool* as the archaeologist Howard Carter and Sam Neill as Lord Carnarvon.
The story takes place in Egypt and spans a period of roughly 20 years, starting with the meeting of a desperate Howard Carter with the wealthy Lord Carnarvon, who eventually becomes the financier for Carter’s digs for the search of King Tut. The series progresses with a steady pace and includes major events that affected and led to the famous discovery. Since I’d already seen a few documentaries about this subject and the people involved, I wasn’t expecting anything new or surprising to happen in the series. And I was not disappointed.
Having said that, let me also mention that even though there was nothing novel in the series, it still had an engaging and exciting pace, that kept me going till I finished all 4 episodes. It had enough romance, intrigue, tragedy and suspense to make a captivating drama but it still worked well on the lines of a documentary based on actual events, which for me made the characters and the story more real and appealing. My only big problem with the production was that the actors didn’t age as significantly as they should have over a 20 years long period. Apart from the thickness of the mustache and a few strands of grey hair, the characters show no sign of aging. (The Egyptian desert air must really have some magical preservation quality.)
Coming to the performances, Max Irons and Sam Neill both do justice to their characters, and I had no trouble imagining them as their respective ones. They are also backed by a decent supporting cast consisting of Amy Wren, Catherine Steadman and Jonathan Aris among others, who play Lady Evelyn Carnarvon, Maggie Lewis and Herbert Winlock respectively.
So is Tutankhamun worth spending 3 hours on, when there is a ton of other amazing content on TV?
The answer is yes, if you want to take a break from fiction and watch a drama/documentary series with a good bunch of actors. Also, if you’re a Max Irons fan, this is one series you should definitely watch as it is one of his best performances. But if you fell sick to miss your history classes in school, or associate the word ‘Mummy’ with only your mother, or simply can’t be bothered about what a certain world famous archaeologist discovered back in the early 1900’s, then you can probably give this one a miss.
Here’s the trailer.
In case you do not have access to ITV, you can watch the series here.