First impressions of Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands is without a doubt positive one. One thing that stood out was how fast they get us into the action and acquaint us with the main character Beowulf. Granted he is a child during this sequence but still it shows his potential to be the beast hunter that he grows into in later years. Most of us who know the epic legend of Beowulf were really excited about seeing it on the big screen back in 2007. Sadly, the movie didn't live up to expectations but for all that was wrong with it, you have to give Hollywood credit for trying to bring attention to what is already a masterful tale.
When I heard that they were making a series based off of the legend, I will admit, I was less than optimistic but after a few minutes in I was hooked. The CGI characters are just absolutely beautiful. In fact, I would put them up against any recent high budget film CGI that is currently gracing theaters across the world. Usually television series no matter how high their budget is fail to deliver realism. Most appear the same as they would have back in the 90s. Luckily, this show bucks the norm and places people into a world with monsters and men who look just as real as you and I.
Kieran Bew embraces the role of Beowulf as though he was born to play this role. I wouldn't say his acting ability is put to the test, at least not early on in this series but the look and feel to the character that he brought made it memorable. I was disappointed that the action sequences that involved him didn't feel like a man who possesses immense power. Especially someone of Beowulf's potential but this was only the first episode so there is still more time for his character to fully develop.
When it comes to the characters that surround Beowulf they basically didn't stand out in any way. We didn't learn much about them from the first episode and frankly, I don't care that much about finding anything else out about them. They might as well have been part of the background as none of them seemed all that interesting. Of course, I want paint all of them with the same broad brush as there were a few with potential but it is yet to be seen whether they will peak the viewers interest or merely bring the show down with them. I am rather optimistic that there will be someone who will have a breakout role other than Beowulf, especially since the script appears to be a real strength of the series.
I really think this is a show that will garner massive ratings. The CGI and acting are above par. The story is interesting so far, even though in the first episode they leave a lot up to the imagination. There were more than a few subplots with unresolved tension between some of the main characters that will cause you to tune in next week in the hope of learning new information.
For those of us who were disappointed with the movie but still felt like Beowulf had potential then fear not as Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands might just be the show you have been waiting for.