The rise and fall of the infamous Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun comes to life in TUT, a compelling visual narrative presented by Spike TV in a miniseries event starring Academy Award winning actor Ben Kingsley and Avan Jogia as Ay and King Tut.
Director-executive producer David Von Ancken and writer-executive producer Michael Vickerman “recounts the astounding saga of one of history’s most extraordinary rulers, Tutankhamun (King Tut), his rise to power and his struggle to lead Egypt to glory, while his closest advisors, friends, and lovers scheme for their own nefarious interests.”
In a story that centers around universal themes, there is something everyone can enjoy while watching TUT. I got to preview night one of the three night miniseries and I can honestly say this can rank in the top five scripted dramas of the summer. Below are recurring plot points that revolve around the Tut empire.
The political backstabbing and conspiracy: Tut (Jogia) rises to power at a very young age and is under the advisory of his “trusted” servants: Grand Vizier Ay (Kingsley), military General Horemheb (Nonzo Anozie), and the high priest Amun (Alexander Siddig). Along with Tut’s sister-wife Ankhe (Sibylla Deen) at his side, all seems promising but no one is as they seem with ulterior motives slowly revealed throughout the two-hour premiere.
Being the ruler of an Egyptian empire requires a cutthroat leader which each character displays throughout their internal transition. All these main characters are struggling with wanting to be the person in power and the audience is given the upper hand being that fly on the wall knowing what is happening at all times. Viewers will be transported right in the middle of the drama with just enough build up that reveals exactly what’s going on in the exact moment you need to know.
Jogia and Kingsley playing opposite one another draws viewers into the back and forth conundrum this Egyptian empire faces with the 23-year-old actor holding his own against the Hollywood heavyweight on screen.
The romance and jealousy:
TUT reunites Twisted co-stars Avan Jogia and Kylie Bunbury in a way fans from their ABC Family drama will appreciate. Bunbury plays the half Mitanni and half Egyptian commoner Suhad who serves as Tut’s backbone and lover. The chemistry between the young stars electrifies on-screen as the two characters fall in love. The performance these two give show the familiarity they have from previously working together, the ideal casting for on-screen lovers placed in a complicated situation, and a convincing portrayal of individuals during that time period.
On the other spectrum, the forbidden romance between Ankhe and one of Tut’s long time friends Ka (Peter Gadiot) rivals, what fans have already coined, Tuhad in the romance department. Deen and Gadiot’s portrayal of star-crossed lovers makes you emphasize with the characters, especially the queen who struggles with following her heart versus her duty to the kingdom. Adding Suhad to the mix brings out a different side to the queen, but if you think she is going sit idle with her position in the kingdom up in the air think again.
The battles and murder: TUT does not hold back when it comes to displaying vivid violence on screen and I don’t say that in a negative way because it adds to the importance of the story. There is certain imagery that could make one squeamish but accolades must be given to the cast for one scene in particular. There’s a grand battle sequence that included 800 stunt performers and extras that fought wearing heavy armor and wielding weaponry in 104 F while shooting. The quick camera movements and close up shots put the viewer directly on the battlefield in the best way.
Overall TUT has a compelling story line about a historic figure that has never been told like this. Be sure to watch the three night mini series event TUT premiering Sunday, July 19 on Spike.
Watch the latest trailer for TUT below and share your thoughts in the comments.
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