Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire hit BBC2 last night, having been previously aired in the US via Comedy Central (this was a joint BBC and CC production). As a spoof of a fantasy genre, it was pretty much required watching by yours truly, being as I am torn between indulging my inherent sci-fi/fantasy geekdom, and being cynical about the general derivativeness of most of the genre.
It was a strange beast – a real melting pot of some genuinely funny moments mixed in with some predictable gags; occasional comic gems mixed with a smattering of naff, crude humour. I can see why many of the critical reviewers hated it, but I’m not ashamed to say that I enjoyed it. I can happily ignore the duff bits, because the good bits were fun, and the subject matter is right down my alley – how often do you actually get to enjoy a spoof fantasy story written deliberately for comedy effect (rather than being accidentally hilarious, which is sometimes good too)? Ok, so this wasn’t exactly The Princess Bride, but at times it was channelling elements of it, even if it was erratically.
The stars of the show were Sean Maguire (Krod), as the delightfully insecure hero, and Matt Lucas (Dongalore) as a public-school educated, fantasy version of Dr Evil. Lucas was the more consistent, being almost 100% funny for his entire screen time; even though I’m personally not much of a Little Britain fan, I think he was very good in this. Maguire definitely had his moments though as a post-modern male hero.
I’ll definitely be watching the next episode: if you’re willing to not be too critical about the weaker parts and just want some fantasy-oriented laughs, it’s on Thursdays at 9pm, BBC2.