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Troy: Fall of a City – Siege Review

Troy: Fall of a City continues to lumber, being one of the dullest attempts at a Game of Thrones clone. The Greeks have been unable to defeat the Trojans in battle so have changed tactics - placing the city under siege and launching a scorched-earth policy. Within a year Troy is on the verge of starvation and the government is forced to begin rationing. The only hope for the city is for Hector (Tom Weston-Jones) and Paris/Alexander (Louis Hunter) to go on a mission to connect with an ally and dig tunnels to reopen the supply lines. “Siege” had the potential to be a Bernard Cornwell style story - a deliberately smaller scale mission that would have big implications if successful. It could have been a chance to develop the Hector and Paris characters and their relationship whilst on the journey and show their fighting prowess in a couple of skirmishes against the Greeks. There was some of this in the episode, but Hector and Paris are so boring as characters that their relationship seems hollow and even when Hector considers taking drastic action it was hard to be invested. The other key story in the episode was Helen's willingness to give up her grain rations to the citizens of Troy – making a stand against some of the king’s advisors who kept the elites’ rations high whilst the rest of the city suffered. It’s a move that endears her to the people - earning her the title Helen of Troy, while making her the bane of the advisors. Yet, when Helen stands in the middle of Troy to give out grain, the city looks like a small village. It made me wonder how this is a place that can hold off an army that needed a 1000 ships to carry it to the city gates. It was this portion of the episode where the character development felt more sincere because Helen and her new mother-in-law (Frances O’Connor) actually have a chance to bond. Helen reveals a bit more about her character - like that she’s not really the maternal type. The Greeks also launch a secret mission, sending Achilles (David Gyasi) into Troy to retrieve Helen. Achilles, one of the most well-known heroes in Greek mythology, finally makes a proper appearance in the show having had an awesome introduction showing off his skills with a spear in the previous episode. Gyasi is a perfectly good actor and he bulked up for the role, but he is working with a weak script because the writers have forgotten a basic rule of screenwriting – show, don’t tell. When Achilles finally speaks to Helen, she talks about how he is defiant and that he does not respect his leaders – drama that would have been much more interesting to see on screen then just being told about it. Even the 2004 film Troy showed this with their version of Achilles. The series as a whole has been too boring to be worthy of interest, and it isn't really bad enough to be hate watched - except for one little scene. In the show Cassandra (Aime-Ffion Edwards) has visions of the futures and in “Siege” she has one of these visions whilst in bed. Edwards’ movements and delivery were so awkward that she looks like that she looked like she attended the William Shatner school of acting. Troy: Fall of a City has been an action-light show, but so was another BBC/Netflix collaboration: The Last Kingdom, a show that mostly had smaller scale action scenes or characters avoiding a fight, but there was a humor and realism to the Dark Age set show. The Last Kingdom had likable, complex - or the very least, sadistic - characters that made audiences care about what was happening on screen. Troy: Fall of a City was made by the production company Kudos, who have had some great shows in the past, like HumansSpooks, and BroadchurchTroy: Fall of a City is a big blemish to their filmography. It was a show that is meant to be a grand epic but it can’t hide what it really is: a cheap knock-off.
  • Some character development for Helen of Troy
  • Tells, doesn't show
  • Bland characters
  • Nothing much happens


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