TV Review: Spike’s ‘Tut’

Starring Avan Jogia and Ben Kingsley, Spike’s six hour, three-night epic miniseries Tut premieres July 19 at 9 p.m. ET. The series follows the story of King Tutankhamun and his rise to power and the scheming forces trying to end it. The following are reviews from TV critics around the web, compiled by B&C.

“Featuring Ben Kingsley as Tut’s scheming vizier, surrounded by young actors often photographed as if this were a shampoo commercial, there are modest pleasures relating to the various palace intrigues, but only marginal momentum to drag an audience across three nights, provided they know enough about history to realize the title character won’t be available for a sequel.”
—Brian Lowry, Variety

“Clearly, the producers started with the premise they could make this Tut anything they wanted. They just don’t seem to have ever decided exactly what that was.”
—David Hinckley, New York Daily News

“Famous Ben Kingsley appears as Tut’s adviser, and I was looking forward to seeing the great Alexander Siddig as Egypt’s high priest. A flaccid script leaves both men without much to work with, however, and the rings of black kohl around their eyes make them look like silent-movie stars in a Saturday Night Live skit.”
—Nancy Dewolf Smith, Wall Street Journal

“You might wonder about some of the script’s lapses in logic here and there, but most likely you’ll just shrug at them because Tut is primarily meant as an old-fashioned blood, sand and sex epic with cool battle scenes, grunt-filled lovemaking, serviceable dialogue, CGI and papier-mache sets, and minimal heavy lifting on the part of Oscar-winner Kingsley. He proves that he can glare with the best of them. In fact, he glares so often, you wonder if he got paid by the glare.”
—David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle

Tut may not be as silly as Steve Martin’s classic Saturday Night Live ‘King Tut’ dance, but Spike’s miniseries occasionally comes inadvertently close.”
—Rob Owen, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette