In UK, the Beowulf TV series debuted on ITV, last night. In the US, Beowulf premieres on Esquire, Saturday, January 23, at 10:00pm ET/PT. Downton Abbey‘s Ed Speleers, who plays Beowulf’s rival, Slean, is optimistic about the show’s future. Viewers seem to be less so.
In addition to Speleers, Beowulf stars Kieran Bew in the title role, with William Hurt and Joanne Whalley. Speleers tells Digital Spy that he hopes the series, based on the epic Old English poem, continues for years.
From Digital Spy:
“There was a time I didn’t work for months so the fact that someone wants to offer me a five-year contract… a lot of people would look at this as being tied down but I take it as a compliment,” he said.
“They want me to be a part of this thing and that’s a positive. It’s a massive role and I have never before had a chance to play a part like this ever – and there’s always time to do a few things on the side.” […]
“I hope this goes on for years and years – and that this is just the beginning,” said Speleers.
It is not clear that the audience feels the same way, at least those UK viewers active on social media. The Daily Mail reports the premiere did not meet expectations:
ITV’s attempts to topple the HBO series [Game of Thrones] based on George R. R. Martin’s books have fallen extremely short as fans swarmed Twitter to slam [Beowulf], which documents the eponymous hero’s battles with a monster and a dragon.
One Twitter user, expressed their thoughts simply and humorously, writing: ‘Beowulf: what a disappointment that was’ while another author of few words wrote: ‘Beyowulf [sic] was a bit pants’
A more expressive message came from a user who dramatically called for the show to be taken off air, writing: ‘@ITV stop the show. was amazed by the trailer. pilot was pretty bad. worst new series & the year hasn’t even begun. #BeowulfTV #Beowulf
What do you think? Do you expect the US to be more receptive to the Beowulf TV show? When it premieres on Esquire, do you plan to check it out?