Labyrinth: TV review

This conspiracy-filled quest for the Holy Grail is a muddled mess

1/8

Emun Elliott as Guilhem du Mas, Jessica Brown Findlay as Alais Pelletier du Mas, Katie McGrath as Oriane and Tom Felton as Viscount Trencavel in Labyrinth

2/8

Vanessa Kirby as Alice Tanner in Labyrinth

3/8

John Hurt as Audric Baillard in Labyrinth

4/8

Matthew Beard as Sajhe and Jessica Brown Findlay as Alais Pelletier du Mas in Labyrinth in Labyrinth

5/8

John Hurt as Audric Baillard and Vanessa Kirby as Alice Tanner in Labyrinth

6/8

Tom Felton as Viscount Trencavel in Labyrinth

7/8

Vanessa Kirby as Alice Tanner in Labyrinth

8/8

Jessica Brown Findlay as Alais Pelletier du Mas in Labyrinth

Premieres Thursday, May 22 at 7pm on the CW.

The miniseries might not be dead but it certainly is an endangered species in television. The rise of the more trendy "limited series event" might be the final nail in the coffin, but no one told that to the CW. For the next two nights, the network that's been making its name on vampires and demons will air the 2012 conspiracy-laden series about the quest for the Holy Grail. More Dan Brown than Stephanie Meyer, this is one overseas import that should have stayed across the pond.

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Set in Carcassonne, France, in two different time periods, Labyrinth follows the modern day Alice Tanner (Vanessa Kirby) and the medieval Alais Pelletier du Mas (Jessica Brown Findlay). While lending a hand during an archaeological excavation, Alice uncovers some mysterious artifacts that lead to visions of Alais and head her straight into altercations with some suspicious characters. Back in the Middle Ages, Alais and her village are preparing for an invasion of Crusaders that want to exterminate the town's Cathar population. As the army approaches, Alais also learns that her father is one of three guardians tasked protecting books that lead to the Holy Grail.

Had Labyrinth solely focused on the historical plot line it might have been moderately amusing. Brown Findlay's character is likable enough and the determination of the Catholic nobles in Carcassonne to protect the Cathars in their village from being exterminated is moving. But everything to do with Holy Grail and the murderous conspiracy to obtain it ridiculously convoluted and horribly executed. The modern storyline pits the wilting Alice against a string of mustache-twirling villains in meandering confrontations that are hopelessly cheesy and dull. The two halves of the story never successfully gel, resulting in a ghastly patchwork narrative.

A tangled web of interlocking stories, Labyrinth dilutes its historical drama with stale biblical fantasy. Perhaps the miniseries does not have eternal life.

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