Carnival Row
Amazon Studios

Amazon’s ‘Carnival Row’ has arrived and the results are… mixed.    The series was created by Travis Beacham based on a film spec script he penned.  Beacham serves as executive producer on the series, along with Marc Guggenheim.

‘Carnival Row’ is set in Victorian London, which has been overrun by mystical creatures who have fled there after their own homelands have been invaded and conquered by humans. Orlando Bloom stars as human Rycroft “Philo” Philostrate, who was one of the soldiers that invaded these fantasy lands, where he engages in a forbidden romance with faerie Vignette Stonemoss, played by Cara Delevingne.  Now, in the “real world,” Philo and Vignette are pulled together again, as he investigates a series of brutal murders of magical beings in Carnival Row.

While promoting the series, Beacham and Guggenheim had nothing but praise for their cast.  Speaking to Collider, Guggenheim stated:

“I’m not objective, but I feel like they disappear into their roles. Yes, when you first start watching, you go, ‘Oh, that’s Orlando Bloom, and that’s Cara Delevingne’. But eventually you just go, ‘Oh, that’s Philo and Vignette’.”

Beacham added:

“Both of them are doing things that are so different from anything they’ve done before. The baggage that they bring – and baggage, in a good way – with Orlando having played Legolas and Cara having the faery, Tinkerbell look about her, it’s nice that they bring that to it. Orlando comes with this very baritone voice that you’ve never seen him do.  (Guggenheim compared this performance to playing Batman and Bruce Wayne.)  And Cara has that steely edge. It’s those little points of flare that they bring to it, that just make all the difference in the world, and really elevate these casting choices beyond what you would expect them to be.”

‘Carnival Row’ also stars David Gyasi as Agreus, Tamzin Merchant as Imogen Spurnrose, Andrew Gower as Ezra Spurnrose, Karla Crome as Tourmaline, Arty Froushan as Jonah Breakspear, Caroline Ford as Sophie Longerbane, Indira Varma as Piety Breakspear, Jared Harris as Absalom Breakspear, and Simon McBurney as Runyan Millworthy.

The first eight-episode season of ‘Carnival Row’ is now available on Amazon Prime Video.  A second season has already been ordered.