Created by Daniel Knauf

Written by Daniel Knauf and others

Starring Nick Stahl,
Adrienne Barbeau, Clea DuVall, Amy Madigan and Michael J Anderson

I am currently slowly making my way through the first season of this show for the third time. My question remains the same as ever. What’s it all about?

Okay, I’m not quite that stupid. It’s a Gothic allegory about the eternal struggle between good and evil, incorporating strong religious imagery and set against the backdrop of the Great Depression. The best description I have come across is that it’s John Steinbeck imagined by Todd Browning.

‘Carnivàle’ was created by Daniel Knauf, who writes for the Marvel comic ‘Iron Man’. He apparently wrote his original script over a period of time between 1990 and 1992, inspired by the attitudes of people he had witnessed as a child towards his father, who was disabled.

The show aired for two seasons of twelve episodes each on HBO between 2003 and 2005 before being cancelled. The production budget per episode was $4 million and considerable care was taken to accurately reproduce the historical look of the period 1934-5. The title music was written by Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman, who are now the musical directors on the TV show ‘Heroes’.

This is an ensemble piece, although Nick Stahl plays the central role. Stahl had previously appeared in ‘Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines’, playing John Connor. The cast includes Adrienne Barbeau and Clea DuVall, in the perfect role for her. The story is very slow moving. In fact, it revolves around two separate story strands with different groups of characters -- and was originally conceived as three “chapters” of two seasons per chapter.

I really need to get the DVD of season two.


No comments: