If there is one thing Ian McShane knows how to do right, it’s run a town. The erstwhile saloon-keeper/boss of Deadwood returns to television as the cunning King Silas of Shiloh in a strange, engrossing, modern-day monarchist fantasy. The series begins when a young soldier named David (Christopher Egan) rescues the king’s son (Sebastian Stan), who has been captured by hostile enemy forces. Naturally, David solidifies his emerging legend; by firing an grenade at the enemy’s feared Goliath tank—raise your hand if you’ve heard this one before—the unassuming grunt is thrust into limelight. David, while comfortable on the field of battle, is in over his head in the king’s court, caught between at least half a dozen competing intrigues. We all know how the biblical story plays out, but amid all of these agendas, it’s hard to imagine that David will reach adulthood in one piece.
Once viewers are acclimated to the familiar yet subtly altered reality that governs the Kings universe, it’s easy to get pulled in to the story. Power struggles, schemes within schemes within schemes, deposed sovereigns—it’s all just as interesting now as it was in Machiavelli’s day. And as the individual destinies of both Silas and David come to fruition, we’ll see whether love or fear wins out.
Kings premieres Sun 15 at 8pm on NBC.
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