The Battle Against Evil Rages in Mirabilis
Tonight at 9pm ET, Sci Fi Channel will premiere the first of the two parts that comprise its latest original miniseries, the sword-and-sorcery saga Knights of Bloodsteel. Is it any good?
Well, perceptions of the miniseries’ quality depend largely on how you feel about Sci Fi Channel original movies in general. Viewers tend to either love ‘em or hate ‘em, with few opinions in between, and people who fall into the first camp are infinitely more forgiving of certain things that often irk the hell out of everybody else.
Let’s take the plot, which is both simple and fairly standard for a Good vs. Evil fantasy. When wicked Dragon Eye (Mark Gibbon, Stargate SG-1) becomes determined to take over the world, he enlists the quite hideous goblin Azenhawke (Gardiner Millar, Flash Gordon), his cruel second-in-command Swope (Peter Bryant, Dark Angel), and an army of merciless assassin Brood soldiers to set that plan in motion. Their task is to horde the supply of bloodsteel, a mystical ore found in the mining town Black Roc Keep, that delivers untold power to those able to extract it.
Equally determined to prevent Dragon Eye’s evil dreams from ever reaching fruition is respected elf sorcerer Tesselink (Christopher Lloyd, Back to the Future). To help stop the villain in his tracks, Tesselink gathers a ragtag bunch and sends them on their way to find the mystical source of bloodsteel called the Crucible.
The sorcerer’s recruits include Brood hater Serragoth (David James Elliott, JAG) and grifter Adric (Christopher Jacot, Eureka), both humans, along with scary-looking goblin Ber-Lak (Dru Viergever, Strange Days at Blake Holsey High) and butt-kicking warrior elf Perfidia (Natassia Malthe, Fallen).
The last group member is entirely worthy of the vampire-like eye teeth that elves sport on the made-up continent of Mirabilis. She draws much blood as her victims fall under her fighting prowess, one by one — or at least she would if the watered-down combat footage wasn’t so violence-averse and squeaky clean.
Tidiness issues aside, if the plot turns you on, then you’re pretty much good to go. Just keep in mind that what passes for special effects during the miniseries, such as swooping dragons overhead, are predictably laughable in their obvious fakeness, and the script isn’t going to win any awards, either.
Still, the pacing is effective, with ample high-energy and fight-to-the-death segments interspersed between the dramatic, funny, and obligatory romantic moments. So, if Sci Fi Channel original movies usually do a good enough job keeping you entertained, then Knights of Bloodsteel probably will, too.
Knights of Bloodsteel premieres on the Sci Fi Channel Sunday, April 19, at 9pm ET and concludes Monday, April 20, at 9pm
Knights of Bloodsteel photos courtesy of Carol Segal/Sci Fi Channel