How Accurate Is 'Tut'? Spike's Miniseries Works With What History Has To Offer
On Sunday night, Spike rolls out its three-night miniseries, Tut. It stars Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley, but he doesn't play the ancient pharaoh of Egypt. No, Kingsley plays another character named Ay, and the role of King Tut falls to Avan Jogia, who starred in ABC Family's Twisted. The miniseries has solid names attached to it and seems to bring some Hollywood flair to the ancient tale, but just how accurate is Tut ?
To know that, you first have to recall the actual story. Tut, or Tutankhamun, held his throne as Pharaoh from 1332 to 1323 B.C.E. He was also 10 years old at the time he became Pharaoh. The character that Kingsly plays, Ay, really did exist, so already that's one point in the accuracy column. Ay was basically the Pharaoh's adviser, and didn't just help out Tut during his rule, but a few Pharaohs before him as well. Following Tut's death (oh spoiler alert I guess, but you should remember that from school, OK?), Ay took over the throne.
We're going to see all of this happen in Tut, but not quite in that order. The miniseries picks up following Tut's death, and then brings us back in time to show us the events leading up to it. And as for how much it will really rely on the true events of Tut's life, executive producer/writer Michael Vickerman is going to take some liberties, as he explained to Biography.
As far as the balance between history and fact, I have always maintained that it would be impossible to do a dramatic retelling of Tut based on absolute fact. Number one: There's too much we don't know. Number two: It just wouldn't be dramatic enough for a movie. However, we have always tried to stay 'historically accurate' within the world we created. No machine guns or iPads!
That's all true. Seeing as how Tut lived in the 1300s, there's not a whole lot we know about his life, even after decoding all the hieroglyphs in his tomb, and running scientific testing on his mummy artifacts. A good chunk of Tut will also revolve around trying to figure out who killed Tut, or if it was just completely an accident. That is also something we don't really know today, and there continues to be wide speculation as to just how he died.
So what we'll see in Tut will be accurate for his life as a Pharaoh, but from there, it will head into historical fiction. That is totally fine with me, because right now, Tut seems like an epic, Game of Thrones-like miniseries, complete with a giant pyramid. What more could you ask for?
Image: Spike TV