Dark fantasy has always been one of those hard-to-predict sub-genres, with audiences either totally buying into the premise and world-building, or wholeheartedly rejecting it. But now that Netflix is taking its chance on The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, other streaming services were bound to follow suit. And while Netflix is aiming younger, Amazon Prime is moving towards an older audience with Carnival Row.
Originally pitched as a film called A Killing on Carnival Row, the show follows Rycroft “Philo” Philostrate, a human, and Vignette Stonemoss, a faerie, as they navigate a world wherein magical creatures are being moved from their homes into the city. Vignette, who think Philo died in battle, comes to the city as a servant while Philo is a detective on a murder case. The two are re-united after Vignette learns he is still alive but there’s a killer on the loose who is neither human nor fae. There’s not much else on the plot yet, but the allegory of refugees moving to bigger places should probably fill in a lot of the idea as to where the show is going.
Our two leads are Orlando Bloom as Philo and Cara Delevingne as Vignette, joined by cast members Indira Varma, David Gyasi, Tamzin Merchant, Andrew Gower, and Karla Crome in several roles. The show was created by screenwriter Travis Beacham and The 4400 creator René Echevarria. Fun fact, one of the episodes is written by fantasy nerd and guy-I-assumed-had-a-hand-in-making-this Guillermo del Toro.
The Victorian-style setting and special effects looks pretty great, and there’s chemistry between Bloom and Delevingne, so there’s a good chance that Carnival Row will, at the very least, be interesting to watch. Still, it’ll have to be seen to be believed…and thankfully we won’t have to wait long.
Carnival Row will premiere on on Amazon Prime Video on August 30, 2019.