Tutankhamun's efforts to rule over his empire
Thousands of books have been written about Tutankhamun since his nearly intact tomb was discovered by Howard Carter and George Herbert in 1922. The boy king was only eight or nine when he became ruler of Egypt somewhere between 1333 and 1324 BC, and was only on the throne for about 10 years before dying in his late teens. Other than this, many of the conclusions that have been drawn about the pharaoh’s life are wildly speculative. Some have suggested that the king was sickly and disfigured and died of his various ailments before the age of 20. But this has obviously never been proved, and this notion of interpretation has clearly given the makers of this epic two-part historical drama Tut, Channel 5, 9pm, (which concludes tomorrow) room for manoeuvre when it comes to chronicling the boy king's life. The result is a swashbuckling yarn, which is perfect to while away the hours on a warm August evening. Avan Jogia stars as the title character, who at 19, 10 years after taking the throne upon his father’s death, seeks to lead his people justly and secure his legacy as a great king in the mould of his popular grandfather. However, the young king faces obstacles at every turn and is dismissed by those around him, including chief adviser Vizier Ay, army leader General Horemheb and double-dealing high priest Amun, as still a child. Tonight, he sneaks off to Thebes, where he is recruited by a group planning to wage war against a rival empire, the troublesome Mitanni, and comes to the rescue of beautiful village girl Suhad. On the domestic front, his sisterwife Ankhe (Sibylla Deen) tries in vain to give her brother an heir, but is frustrated by repeated miscarriages. If you can get past this incestuous thread, Tut and Ankhe are the era’s ultimate power couple — young, rich, beautiful and lethal. Oscar-winner Ben Kingsley anchors the show as Ay, bringing the gravitas required to keep a lavish production like this grounded in drama. And it was a role he clearly relished playing. "What I find fascinating is this: the Ancient Egyptians were committed to the idea of immortality," he told Yahoo. "They placed their pharaohs in extraordinary devices, mathematically-calculated and herbally-infused, so that the body could stay alive forever and join the gods."
Pharaoh Avan Jogia stars in the historical drama.