Jungle
Labyrinth

Based on the book of the same name in Kate Mosse's Languedoc Trilogy, Labyrinth is a 4 hour miniseries event coming at the end of May on the CW. Filmed in 2011 and originally aired in other countries in 2012 and through 2013, is this adaptation worth the wait for American audiences?

The story of Labyrinth takes place in two eras. The first is the modern day as Alice Turner, a volunteer at a French archaeological dig, stumbles into an ages old mystery. Meanwhile, back in 1209, Pope Innocent is crusading to bring an end to the heretic Cathars, a branch of christianity the Vatican has deemed to be a threat, and an even older order strives to hide from the crusaders the secret of the Holy Grail. As the story in the past unfolds, through a mystical connection, Alice is able to get glimpses of Alaïs Pelletier du Mas as she becomes embroiled with the fight to protect the Grail and the clues lead her toward the location of the Grail today.

Sounds pretty cool, right? If nothing else, this series made me go research the Cathars and Catharism and why they were persecuted - the short, over-simplified version is that they believed that the Old Testament God and the New Testament God were actually two different gods. I really enjoyed digging into that and gaining knowledge. Unfortunately, this miniseries is fairly dull.

I can't comment on the source material or how closely it was adapted, but one major flaw in the tale is that since the people in the present are still looking for the Grail, then in the past we know that it must end up safely protected somehow, or at least hidden where no one can find it.

Despite the lackluster story, the production values on Labyrinth are quite good and all the actors do their jobs well. It was neat to see Sebastian Stan doing a gig he filmed long before becoming The Winter Soldier in this year's blockbuster. And personally I like John Hurt in just about anything.

But is it worth 4 hours (3 without commercials) of your time? I can't say I hated it, but it isn't something I would likely watch again, and it wasn't good enough to make me hope they'll make the rest of the trilogy into miniseries or movies. There are better ways you could spend 2 nights of television, but there are also much much worse ways as well. And obviously, since it took two years for it to get to American TV, most of the networks agree with that.

Review by Jason Pace
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