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"Why can't you harness Might so that it works for Right?"

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | December 20, 2010 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | December 20, 2010 |

Starz has picked up “Camelot” to replace “Spartacus: Blood and Breasts” in its Friday time slot between seasons. There is essentially no information out about it yet, except for some particularly good casting. They’ve gotten Joseph Fiennes to play Merlin, because apparently there’s a “playing legendary wizards” gene in the family. I’m pretty sure that despite the fact that smoldering hot Merlin is obviously fantastic in its own way, this casting exists solely so we can imagine the Fiennes family sniping over the holidays. “My super wizard is smoking hot and lives backwards in time. Yours looked like a snake and got killed by the kid who has sex with a horse in Equus.”

They’ve also gotten Eva Green to play Morgan, because seductive evil is the best kind. Finally, there’s Jamie Campbell Bower as “a reckless” Arthur, who I know nothing about except what I just found on Wikipedia. He’s had roles in two Twilight films, the last two Harry Potter films, and has a minor role in HBO’s “A Game of Thrones.”

I assume that they’re starting pretty early in Arthur’s life since they’ve cast a 22 year old for the lead and also haven’t yet announced who will play Lancelot, who usually comes in a little bit later in the legends. I hear Richard Gere is available though.

The only thing that is really surprising is that Starz has time slots, which is something that should have occurred to me since it’s a television station of sorts. I’ve never seen this station other than looking briefly at satellite or cable packages that I can’t afford or seeing it on the occasional trade news post. See, I grew up without cable, because my parents thought books were a better investment. Television came on a massive antenna bolted to the roof of the house. If we rotated it one way we got Fox and nothing else, rotated the other way we got everything except Fox. So since the 49ers were in the NFC (and thus on Fox for those years), we’d have the antenna pointed towards Fox during football season and the other way for the rest of the year. A lot of people have stories like this, except that they were set about twenty five years earlier than mine.

In any case, the point is that my brain has been hard wired from childhood to have a few slots for television. There are the networks, which are free. Then there are seventy or so more channels you can get on the normal tier of satellite or cable. Then it gets really vague. I know HBO exists in theory, but only because it’s in hotel rooms and on DVD boxes. Then there is a nebulous pile of additional channels like Showtime and Starz that I collectively classify as poor-man versions of HBO that I have never ever seen except on the side of DVD boxes.

Do many people in these parts get those additional channels? Is it even meaningful for Starz to announce a timeslot other than the release date for the DVDs?

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Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.