For those of you on the European side of the water who haven’t seen it as yet: the E4 channel in the UK is showing, on Christmas Day and Boxing Day / St. Stephen's Day, our 2004 miniseries Sword of Xanten (this being the goofy name that co-production partner Channel 4, like a terminally confused fairy godmother, wished on The Ring / Curse of the Ring / Die Nibelungen / Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King).
Kristanna Loken is absolutely worth watching in this as Queen Brunnhild. And there is, of course, the story: a somewhat-reworked but not too damaged version of the great German epic poem the Nibelungenlied. (The trouble with the Ring mythos is picking and choosing which bits you’re going to keep and which you’re not. Our producers chose to avoid the Wagnerian additions to the story, hewing closer to the storyline as set out in the poem; though we also drew on the Eddaic sources for some pieces of business.)
We had fun writing this. If you have time, pop a beverage and sit back and watch Brunnhild whale on Siegfried with that spear. (And chuck poor King Gunter out of bed before the real trouble starts.) Watch the fantasy-film debut of a young actor named Robert Pattinson (playing King Siegfried's young brother Giselher). Watch the dragon engage in mortal battle with Bennu Fürmann’s wig. (Those wigs never worked on the poor man.) And watch South Africa look really amazingly like the Rhine valley…
Check the E4 program schedule pages for details. Part 1 airs on Friday, December 25, 2009 at 10:15 AM (repeating on E4+1 an hour later). Part 2 airs on Saturday, December 26 at 12:10 on E4, 1:10 on E4+1.
Kristanna Loken as Queen Brunnhild fights Benno Fürmann as King Siegfried
in Sword of Xanten