This month, Amazon Prime will be premiering a new series called Carnival Row. Directed by Jon Amiel, the neo-noir fantasy stars Orlando Bloom as Rycroft Philostrate or simply, Philo, and Cara Delevingne as Vignette Stonemoss. Bloom also serves as the show producer. The 8-episodic series is based on a screenplay by Travis Beacham called A Killing on Carnival Row initially made for a feature film that didn’t get picked up till now.
Amazon has dropped a few show trailers, two of which contain prologues by Philo and Vignette each.
Here’s the official trailer for Carnival Row:
This is Philo’s Story:
And this is Vignette’s Story:
Carnival Row is a story about mythical creatures fleeing their war-torn homeland to live in a new city among humans. Unfortunately, the humans here treat them like low-class citizens and use them for tough labour work and other jobs that basically serve the humans’ needs. It’s so bad that there’s even a sign in town that says, “WARNING: Any individuals seen flying will be shot on sight. By Order of the Acting Chancellor.“
The city continues to grow more chaotic as a number of unnatural murders starts happening, suggesting that there’s a dangerous unknown monster amongst them. Meanwhile, Philo, a human detective investigating the crimes, meets with his former lover Vignette, a faerie.
With a premise that shows a world divided by racial tensions and societal chaos, I think it’s brilliant that they released different trailer versions to tell the story through the different perspectives of the main characters.
In this case, Philo is a human, part of the race that is causing all this unrest and ill treatment of the mythical creatures, but he is also an orphan who is grateful for the city that helped him. Then there’s Vignette who barely managed to escape war comes to a new city that doesn’t treat her kind well.
As seen from the trailer, the two had some sort of affair before the war and Vignette thought Philo had died during the attacks. They eventually reunite in the new city so it would be interesting to know the back story of how he managed to survive.
The trailers have done a fantastic job introducing this original Victorian fantasy world and its characters. There are not only humans and faeries, but also centaurs and such. The visual effects look amazing too.
And for those mythology fans, the story is also inspired by the Irish mythology of Tír na nÓg, aka Land of the Young. It’s a realm of the Otherworld “where the Fae lived and heroes visited on quests”. It knows no sickness or death or time, only happiness and beauty.
Carnival Row premieres on 30 August on Amazon Prime.