Posts Tagged With: Troy: Fall of a City

Troy: Fall of a City pt. 1 ‘Black Blood’

So, Troy: Fall of a City started on the BBC last night. The first episode – Black Blood – began with the Judgement of Paris and ended with Paris’ return to Troy from Sparta with Helen hidden aboard his ship.

If I had to describe the episode in one word, it would be ‘ordinary’. Everyone and everything in Black Blood was ordinary. The gods looked like any man or woman one of the humans might meet; the great hero Hector (played by Tom Weston-Jones, seen in the still below, riding Paris, played by Louis Hunter) was simply a fairly well built man rather than glossy, six packed hero; Menelaus could have walked into his palace from the Queen Vic. and while Helen was certainly good looking in a 21st century sort of way – high cheekbones and slender – there was nothing about her that said this is the face that launched a thousand ships or that she was the most beautiful woman in the world.

The dominant colours of the episode were grey and green, there was plenty dust and dirt; Hector’s fight with Paris was as epic as a bar fight and the sex scenes the same as so many others – grunt ‘n’ thrust; likely to appeal to 16 year old boys only. All so cliche’d and ordinary.

Of course, this was just Episode One (of Eight) so there is plenty of time for the series to improve. The aesthetic won’t, so we shall have to get used to the grungy feel of it. I don’t mind that – Wolfgang Petersen’s Troy (2004) told the tale of Troy’s fall in a more glamorous way so it would be boring to see the same done here. I do hope, however, that the characters are allowed to grow into the epic nature of the tale.

Credit Where It’s Due
Hector and Paris: The Independent

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A Quick Catch Up

It has been just over a month since my last post and I am afraid to say that in that time I have let my Alexander reading go a bit. As is common with me, I have been rather distracted by other books and writing projects.

One book that has been very much on my mind, or rather, in my ears is Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh. I have been listening to the audiobook version as read by Jeremy Irons.

Brideshead is one of my most favourite novels. You may know that Irons played the protagonist, Charles Ryder, in the superb 1981 ITV adaptation of the book. If you have not seen it, I can’t recommend the series highly enough. It is faithful to Waugh’s book and utterly sumptuous.

Despite all that, I would not have cause to mention it here except for one piece of dialogue, spoken by Ryder’s wife, Celia in Chapter Two of Book Three. There, Ryder – as the narrator – describes how his wife drew party guests ‘to the subscription list for the book of Ryder’s Latin America‘. He continues,

I heard her say: ‘No, darling, I’m not at all surprised, but you wouldn’t expect me to be, would you? You see Charles lives for one thing – Beauty. I think he got bored with finding it ready-made in England; he had to go and create it for himself. He wanted new worlds to conquer…’

‘He wanted new worlds to conquer…’

Depending on who you read, Alexander is said to have cried either because there were no new worlds to conquer or because when there was an infinity of worlds, he had not yet conquered one (for more on this, see the ‘Disputed’ section of Wikiquotes entry on Alexander here).


The BBC’s new Troy: Fall of A City series begins on 17th February. I will be writing about it on this blog. The series has aroused interest and controversy on social media due to its representation of certain characters; most notably, Achilles, who is played by a black actor.

What will I be looking for from the series? What with the fall of Troy being a myth, I would like to see a drama that speaks to our age as well as that of Troy: if I wanted The Iliad, I would read the poem. With that said, I would like to see the characters being faithful to Homer’s vision of them. The worst thing that could happen is that they are written as moderns. Period dramas where the characters are men and women of our age are an insult to the past.


The Fb Mary Renault Reading Group has changed its name to The Alexander the Great Reading Group. From March, the focus will move on to Renault’s Nature of Alexander. The change in name is wise for at some point or another we will move on from Renault. I am very disappointed, though, that we were not able to bring Funeral Games to a finish. The will, however, was simply not there.

I am most disappointed in myself. I enjoyed Renault’s previous Alexander books and I could have made a lot more effort to finish Funeral Games. There was always something else to read, though…

I’m determined not to forget Funeral Games, though; I will dig the book out and will make an effort to continue reading it in the coming weeks/months. I will post any thoughts I have here.

Categories: Books, Homer | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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