Beowulf: Season 1 (2016)


Season 1
Beowulf

Critics Consensus

This iteration of Beowulf will not inspire songs and epic poems in the years to come, with its heroic attempt at grounding the myth in an authentic reality dashed by corny stylization and unconvincing performances.

58%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 12

67%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 146

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Episodes

Air date: Jan 23, 2016

Adventures of a mercenary warrior living in a mythological place called the Shieldlands. In the opener, Beowulf battles the terrifying monster Grendl and wins the respect of a local community.

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Air date: Jan 30, 2016

Thanes from across the Shieldlands travel to a mass gathering when an inter-tribal election draws near.

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Air date: Feb 6, 2016

Beowulf and Rate search in the forest for Slean and Thane Scorann when they disappear, but they soon discover it's a dangerous place. Meanwhile, Rheda comes under increasing pressure, with her bid for leadership dependent on Scorann's vote.

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Air date: Feb 13, 2016

Rheda tasks Beowulf and his gang with a mission to help cement her position as Jarl of the Shieldlands. Meanwhile, a furious Slean is forced to make a sacrifice for his mother's campaign and play, but his loyalties become deeply conflicted.

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Air date: Feb 20, 2016

The party proceeds towards the Mere to cement a new treaty, only to find that new dangers await them as they are welcomed by the aging thane Gorrik with something less than open arms. A new crisis erupts when Gorrik's daughter Mara is taken ill. Elvina knows what to do, but the necessary cure can only be found within one of the Shieldlands' most dangerous Mudborn creatures.

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Air date: Feb 27, 2016

Iron miner Greff is attacked by a troll and Beowulf soon learns that the trolls have been deprived of the salt that is usually fed to them to keep them placid. Meanwhile, tension mounts when Slean overhears and misunderstands a conversation between Beowulf and Elvina.

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Air date: Mar 5, 2016

The Wulfing Raiders set their Barghest wolves free to terrorize Herot. Beowulf rushes into action but cannot prevent an important hostage from being captured. Rheda agrees to meet her old enemy Jogan to negotiate an exchange but an unexpected turn of events forces Beowulf and Varr to join forces and meet the threat head-on.

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Air date: Mar 12, 2016

As Herot is preparing for Slean and Keta's wedding, shocking secrets are revealed and the couple must decide if new loyalties are to be forged. Meanwhile, Abrecan is forced to choose between stepping aside and accepting his sister's rule or standing against her in a declaration of war.

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Air date: Mar 19, 2016

Rheda's new laws permeate the tribes, which forces Abrecan to choose between stepping aside or standing against her in a declaration of war. Meanwhile, Abrecan must ensure the people of Bregan have a successful harvest season of the dangerous pandiri fish, an event on which their very survival depends.

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Air date: Mar 26, 2016

Beowulf and Elvina steal a private moment together away from Herot's inquisitive eyes, but when the pair stray into danger's path Elvina is forced to reveal a dark secret about herself in order to save their lives.

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Beowulf: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

Adventures of a troubled warrior living in a mythological place called the Shieldlands.

News & Interviews for Beowulf: Season 1

Critic Reviews for Beowulf Season 1

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (7)

Return to the Shieldlands bore as much relation to the old English epic poem as would Tolstoy to a note for the postie.

Aug 21, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The vast budget appeared to have been splurged mainly on grooming products for a magnificently bearded cast, while the special effects resembled something from a late Nineties action movie.

Aug 21, 2018 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

It is all pledges to "avenge", dodgy punk haircuts, bad child acting and monster animation that recalls Ray Harryhausen's in the Sixties.

Aug 21, 2018 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

The fact remains that sword 'n' sheepskin is now a genre, and even if you are taking it back to its roots, you have to bring something new. Creators James Dormer, Tim Haines, and Katie Newman do not.

Jan 25, 2016 | Full Review…

For fans of fantasy, this might be worth a try.

Jan 25, 2016 | Full Review…
Top Critic

That's the smartest move on the part of the creators: delivering fantastical occurrences with a realistic tone.

Jan 22, 2016 | Rating: B | Full Review…
Top Critic

Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands may begin with a copycat title sequence, but it quickly stands on its own feet as a swashbuckling tale of a young hero who battles giant, vicious creatures.

Jan 19, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Best of all, though, is our lead Bew. As Beowulf, he's gruff, grizzled and with just a hint of darkness lurking behind the reluctant heroism - and it's his winning performance that'll bring you back to Beowulf week-in, week-out.

Jan 4, 2016 | Full Review…

If you can get past its unwieldy title, Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands works terrifically well as family viewing - or a fantasy epic for the mildly squeamish.

Aug 21, 2018 | Full Review…

This first episode suggests that the series will be an interesting mix of the innovative and the traditional.

Aug 21, 2018 | Full Review…

It was as if two series were running in parallel, with neither having anything to do with the other, and it was even more boring than the Napoleonic Wars. I know, I know, you wouldn't think it possible, but there you are...

Aug 31, 2017 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

Elvina [Laura Donnelly] adds a much needed amount of levity to an otherwise dark story and an overwhelming amount of courage that seems to be lacking by a number of the men in this series.

Jan 25, 2016 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Beowulf: Season 1

  • Oct 09, 2020
    I think it is one of the better syfy-mith based tv shows I've seen it wast wasone. it was put out at the wrong time because of game of thrones and Beowulf wasn't promoted properly. I'm of any type of tv shows but I just found out about it 4 years later. I have almost all the live streaming apps subscription
  • Jun 25, 2020
    Beowful. Firstly, when a story has stood successfully for 1,000 years, why would you change it beyond all recognition? Beyond naming some characters the same, there is nothing remotely similar. People tuned in to see BEOWULF and had to sit through Land of the Lost. Grendl was a major threat in the original. There are no major threats in this show, just episodic small ones. A troll here. A man there. Ok, now two trolls, or three men or some snow-goggle people. Danger doesn't even get off the ground. But you don't have to know the plot of the epic poem to be turned off by this series. Costumes are a general mishmash of parts of thrift clothes that show up, still looking like the 1950s alligator handbags or 1970s trouser belts they were re-purposed from. Thrift shop re-purposing also means there is no cohesive style or 'look' for the series. Everyone in Bregga wears the same blue shade. Everyone in Varni wears the same shade of gold. Its lazy of the costumers and shouts out its low-budget. Too many synthetics...and that's unacceptable...audiences demand more from their epics now than aluminum swords and nylon tunics. Acting? child actors were horrible. And though pretty to look at, for our hero we get a two-dimensional Kieran Bew because Sean Bean is too old. Ed Speleers was one of only two talents in the series; though he was written a one-dimensional character (forever frustrated man), he does as much as he can with the little he was given. The second talent is David Ajala. Ajala is given a one-dimensional character to work with (forever indignant warlord), but he made that 1 dimension pop. The rest do what they can, but William Hurt's Hrothgar is a throwaway. I wanted to love Joanne Whalley in it..so I'll give her this; that she couldn't feel powerful in the bad hairstyles and Maid Marian's hand-me-downs they stuck her into. Since all the acting was bad across the board, that can only be the directors' faults, though the child actors was obviously casting failure. You have to direct actors to pull their emotions from them, not just tell them to move from point A to point B. CGI could be better. Grendl is Gollum when Grendl was supposed to be/could have been so much more. Writing? generally poor but some good moments. People ride off into the woods or wander into 'no-go zones' for the sole purpose of getting into trouble so they can be rescued...and they are rescued by the end of the episode. What was good and creative: The running of the fish in Bregan, plus the writers uncharacteristically gave Elliot Cowan some dimension during it. Slean and Kela. Slean and Kela's slow growth toward love and passion would have eventually turned out to be a better romance than Beowulf/Elvina jumping into the sack so quickly. All potential for romantic tension or yearning, is lost immediately if you throw your primary couple together right away. Finding ways to fit actors from other parts of the world into indigenous white and ethnically northern folklore. Sela: a character arc we haven't seen before. Though dadgumit it, writers started creating an obviously intelligent and expert character for her, and then POOF..they wrote her suddenly inept and stupid (in the truth circle) so they could force the episode's sub-plot to end tidily with the end of that episode. But Abrecan and Sela are still a better love story than Beowulf/Elvina. Summary: wanted to love it, I'm all about swords and heroes. But when your swords are aluminum and your heroes aren't heroic? We can only continue to hope that one day someone will film Beowulf the way it was written.
  • Apr 18, 2016
    A deeply flawed yet compelling series. Much of the acting was excellent. Set design was great. Some of the creature CGI was unconvincing but still fun given the low budget. Many of the scenes were very imaginative and fun. What really let this series down was some truly idiotic writing. This series could have been subtitled "Gaping plot holes, unmotivated character behavior, and reckless abuse of viewers' willing suspension of disbelief". The writers should be put to a slow, agonizing death -- or at least never be allowed to write another screenplay.
  • Apr 03, 2016
    Great story; well-acted. Super visuals
  • Mar 22, 2016
    2nd best saga after Game of Thrones. Can't wait for series 2. Keep football, tennis etc. Lets have more Beowulf
  • Mar 05, 2016
    Meh! Feels like Shannarah + GOT in C quality...
  • Feb 20, 2016
    Interesting story line but lacks continuity, directing is sporadic like the writing. Find it a bit difficult to follow, or else, the editing is bad and leaving out critical elements.
  • Jan 20, 2016
    Gorgeous sets, rip-off from Game of Thrones opening, but predictable dramas and characters, and very unlikely sense of history, "monster" aside.
  • Jan 16, 2016
    This tale of Norse champions uses anglo-saxon mythology, obviously fake (you can see that they are very thin aluminum) shields, anglo-saxon burial goods (sutton hoo helm anybody?), anglo-saxon noble titles (thane instead of jarl), and poor costuming: the "thane's" guards look more like late eastern roman soldiers or franks instead of Norse huscarls. The characters have no depth and I'd love to know why there are oil wells in the middle of the settlement (look for the flares of burning gas when the camera pans across the whole settlement). There have been so many good pseudo-historical dramas in the last few years that there is no reason for a show to made this sloppily.

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