TV Highlights

Tut

Channel 5 - 9pm

Who's in it?

Ben Kingsley and a whole horde of generically hot young stars hammed it up in this lavish take on the legendary boy-king’s life.

In a nutshell

Remember when Ben Kingsley was one of the eminent thesps of the movie world? Probably not – it was ages ago when he made Gandhi. In recent years he’s popped up unashamedly in everything, generally playing snarling villains in cartoonish capers. Which is fine, and probably pays well, but it’s still funny to remember he was once so “worthy”. Anyway, here he is again, being gleefully cheesy in a production that’s clearly beneath him.

A glossy bit of “event” telly that’s presumably about as historically accurate as The Tudors. Most people with an interest in Ancient Egypt know that King Tut was a minor monarch. He’s only a household name now because he happened to have a rich and impeccable tomb, whose discovery triggered an Egyptology craze that’s never died away. But this epic drama treats him like a major figure of his era, and dripped with intrigue and glamour as it followed the teen Tut as he found his way in the world. There were high priests and grand viziers to deal with, not to mention a touch of incest to spice things up. Got to have a bit of incest in these things.

What's the verdict?

Filled with thrilling setpieces and gleaming sculpted bodies, this is Hollywood-style history with bells on. And Sir Ben Kingsley. What more could you want from a guilty pleasure on the weekend?

Star rating: 3/5

Check out Tut now on Virgin TV Anywhere

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07-07-2011