Comic Con: Sneak Peek At NBC's Kings
NBC was a big player at this yearís San Diego Comic Con, with a big showing from the casts of Heroes and The Office. In addition to the NBC shows you already know, they also debuted a show that no one knows about yet: the new Ian McShane starring series Kings.
Kings isnít set to hit the airwaves until February, but NBC gave Comic Con audiences a 20 minute sneak peek at the first episode of the show. Itís loosely based on the biblical story of David and Saul. For those of you who arenít Bible readers, the story of David goes a little something like this: Poor farm boy named David kills a giant named Goliath and becomes a national hero. As a reward King Saul makes him a part of his royal court. David befriendís Saulís son Jonathan, but eventually overthrows king Saul, takes over his kingdom, and becomes King David.
Kings however, is not set in ancient Israel. Instead, it takes place in a sort of alternate universe, on a planet Earth where a country that looks very much like the United States (but isnít called the United States) is ruled by a king. Theyíre at war with a neighbor, and the Kingís son is taken prisoner by enemy soldiers. David (Christopher Egan) is a grunt in the Kingís army, and against orders stages a one man rescue mission to save the Kingís son. He succeeds, and in the process defeats one of the enemyís unstoppable Goliath tanks. As a reward for saving his son, the King (Ian McShane) brings David into his household and gives him anything he asks for. You can guess where it goes from there.
The twenty minutes we saw were the showís opening in which David rescueís the Kingís son and defeats the Goliath tank. Whatís most surprising about the show is how well shot it is. Itís slick and well produced, and seems to have a pretty big budget for such a high concept show. Ian McShane is compelling as the king, and every second heís on screen is impossibly gripping. It sags a little when weíre watching David, but you get the feeling that itís only going to get better after they get the whole origin story thing out of the way. I found Kings incredibly compelling, and plan to be there on day one when it finally hits weekly programming.
Itís hard to say though whether this thing will ever catch on with general audiences. Itís extremely high concept, and the idea of some alternate modern world where Kings rule is likely to be a little hard to latch onto, particularly for American audiences. The clip we saw came with no explanation intro, and you had to really stick with it to make sense of what was going on. Once you did, and bought in, the thing works brilliantly, but getting the average viewer to stay with the show long enough to make sense of where they are and what theyíre doing is going to be a pretty tough task if NBC hopes to get ratings, especially right off the bat.
The showing of the first part of Kings was followed by a Q&A hosted by Heroes star Greg Grunberg, which NBC has graciously popped up online for you. Watch it below, for more info on what the series is about:
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