…and by fantastic television I don’t mean really good television, that would be yesterday’s topic. Instead Netflix has released quite a number of fantasy themed miniseries for streaming.
“In this engaging miniseries based on the books by James Gurney, two young brothers survive a plane crash and wash up on the continent of Dinotopia, a secret world where dinosaurs and humans coexist in harmony.”
“Adapted from the award-winning novels by Ursula K. Le Guin, this epic fantasy follows the adventures of Ged (Shawn Ashmore), a rebellious youth destined to become the greatest sorcerer the mystical world of Earthsea has ever known. When Ged discovers the extent of his magical powers, he seeks to master the ancient arts — and his own impulses as well. Isabella Rossellini, Kristin Kreuk and Danny Glover co-star in this Sci-Fi Channel miniseries.”
“In this re-imagining of Lewis Carroll’s classic novels, Caterina Scorsone stars as Alice, a young woman who descends into the twisted world of Wonderland after her boyfriend is abducted by the Queen of Hearts (Kathy Bates, in an Emmy-nominated role) and forced to gamble in her royal casino. As the Hatter (Andrew Lee Potts) helps her battle a secret society called the White Rabbit, Alice uncovers the source of the Queen’s wicked power. Tim Curry co-stars in this miniseries.”
“In Victorian-era London, young Peter belongs to a gang of pickpockets run by enterprising criminal Jimmy Hook, and when they are all whisked off to a magical land inhabited by tree spirits, they find themselves competing with pirates for treasure.”
“That perspicacious wizard, Merlin (Sam Neill), takes center stage in this made-for-TV retelling of the legend of King Arthur and his court. As the king’s right-hand man, Merlin tries to protect Arthur as he gains Excalibur and constructs Camelot. Meanwhile, he suffers the betrayal of his wife, Guinevere (Lena Headey). John Gielgud, Helena Bonham Carter, Rutger Hauer and James Earl Jones also cross lances in this medieval epic.”
Merlin’s Apprentice (2006)
“In this splashy follow-up to the successful 1998 miniseries, Sam Neill returns as Merlin, who grooms an awkward young thief (John Reardon) into a bona fide sorcerer so that he can find the Holy Grail and save Camelot from utter ruin. Miranda Richardson (who appeared in the original production as the evil Queen Mab) co-stars as the enchanting Lady of the Lake, who helps the scheming Rauskaug (Alexander Kalugin) invade Camelot.”
Yes this is a sequel of sorts to the 1998 Merlin
Arabian Nights (2000)
“A betrayed sultan (Dougray Scott), obliged to remarry lest he lose his empire to his brother and unfaithful first wife, decides to behead new wife Scheherezade (Mili Avital) before she can betray him. But Scheherezade possesses a remarkable storytelling gift. She begins a tale, leaving it unfinished so the sultan will let her live another day. John Leguizamo co-stars in this production, which originally aired as a miniseries on ABC.”
Whatever you do, DO NOT mistake this for the 1974 one also available on instant. The 1974 version is fairly pornographic.
The Curse of King Tut’s Tomb (2006)
“Convinced that an emerald tablet once owned by King Tut has the power to control the world, archaeologist Danny Freemont (Casper Van Dien) and Egyptologist Dr. Barakat (Leonor Varela) set out on a quest to find it. But among Freemont’s various colleagues, only his nemesis, archaeologist Morgan Sinclaire (Jonathan Hyde), believes it actually exists. Malcolm McDowell co-stars in this epic action adventure directed by Russell Mulcahy (Highlander).”