Kings

Season 1 Episode 1

Goliath, Part 1

1
Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Mar 15, 2009 on NBC
AIRED:
9.1
out of 10
User Rating
195 votes
8

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Part 1 of the special two hour premiere episode, in which battles between the neighboring nations of Gilboa and Gath rage. One soldier named David Shepherd, takes action when he sees prisoners of war taken. After crossing enemy lines to rescue them, he is told he just saved the king of Gilboa's son. His life forever changes in that moment.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • This pilot episode starts off on the day that a new country's King Silas is dedicating the completion of the new capital city, Shiloh. A parallel story of a country boy named David's experiences are shown to us as well.moreless

    9.5
    I really enjoyed the pilot much more than I though I would from the advertisement. The storyline has much more substance than I predicted. I watched originally because of Ian McKellen, I adore his work. I was pleasantly surprised to find that recognized most of the actors and that the casting was as excellent as the writing was. I enjoyed the drama as well action. The family interactions within each family the Kings and David's made it even easier to relate to the characters. The symbolism shown in the show is surprisingly good. You usually do not get that on television. I cannot wait for the next episodes.moreless
  • A great start to a great new series.

    9.5
    Besides being a little hard to follow the pilot episode of this episode was very well done. I loved every minute of it. The story was new fresh and interesting. Acting was great on all accounts I was a big fan of everyone's character especially the King and David both did great. Hopefully the show stays on this track, and picks up viewers because it was very entertaining and new to watch not many shows are this good anymore. This was one of the better Pilot episodes of anything that I have seen lately this is a great addition to television hopefully it stays this good, and NBC keeps it going and gives it maybe better marketing.moreless
  • A King with no crown huh? Weird. Could be mistaken for anyone. Good show, though.

    8.0
    As usual, I give a new pilot until it's first commercial break to keep me interested. Kings is lucky the premise is so fascinating. I was ready to tune out by minute 15, but by minute 20, I was really interested in where things were going. There seems to be so much depth filled behind McShane's words as King Silas that really, I think the show would be even stronger focusing only on him and his rule and not the young upstart, David. I like the kid, but he's played kind of like the "perfect" human being. What I mean by this is he has no flaws. He's young good looking, fixes cars, super polite, humble, a dedicated patriot and soldier, and even plays the piano! Look out ladies! (Gag me.) With the drama behind Silas' son (the prototypical young prince who's wild night life may cost him the throne) and the possible affair by the queen, this has the makings of something on the level of The West Wing + The Sopranos, something I'm much more welcome to if they keep the O.C. elements out. "Kings" is the ultimate in escapist TV (who doesn't daydream of being royalty?) and as long as the writing stays compelling, I'll be able to overlook the silly names of these places (Gilboa?) in this 'alternate-universe'.moreless
  • I would have liked a show like Kings not to live on the mercy of the ratings and instead see it be able to lead a quiet and conclusive life on a cable network like HBO, AMC or Showtime.moreless

    9.0
    Goliath is a great start for a show, but I can't help but wonder why a network like NBC bothered to pick this up. Saga-like series doesn't work on network television and NBC should understand that, especially after their struggles with Heroes. Kings is bound to dwindle in the ratings and die before the show really hits its stride, and it's near-guaranteed demise makes it a lot harder for me to follow. This is a shame because the premise is great, the show exhibits excellent production values with good writing, and the acting is mostly well-executed by an ensemble cast lead by the charismatic and eloquent Ian McShane. I would have liked a show like Kings not to live on the mercy of the ratings and instead see it be able to lead a quiet and conclusive life on a cable network like HBO, AMC or Showtime.moreless
  • It's the King! Doing King things! :D

    9.5
    Wow. Just ... wow. I thought some parts were dragging too much but they were part of the momentum that built with the storyline. I'm glad David Shepherd didn't show up in Shiloh and just relax like everyone expected him to. He was out of place and quickly intuited that the palace was at least as dangerous as any battlefield, and he resented being dragged from his deployment. I liked his matter-of-fact commentary and his reactions to everything, including the king.



    And what a King! I've never really encountered Ian McShane in much before this, but what an outstanding job -- no one's "puppet," btw, just politically savvy and as beholden to interests as anyone in power. The military-industrial complex, just to comment, is real, and kings hew to legitimacy in government (divine right, etc.) as much as presidents rely on mandates from a constituency.



    I loved Queen Rose looking out for her son's public image, and I also loved that the King had a consort and an illegitimate heir -- given his misgivings about the Prince -- and of course Rose will find out about her and them and then oh, the palace intrigue that will unfold.



    I love the official historian, I love the Princess and her squishy heart and social-minded nature, and I love the mutual attraction between her and David, and how it scrapes at the king's soul (although I didn't have a sense that there were other suitors in the wings -- surely there's a Paris somewhere in the mix).



    Ultimately, the producers have created an intriguing world in which all familiar human history seems to have led up to this prismatic shift of perspective. King Silas is something other than Josiah Bartlet, Darth Cheney or Bill Clinton, but he's something like all of them, and his court, to me, is extremely interesting.



    Well done, everyone! Keep up the good work. :)moreless
Christopher Egan

Christopher Egan

David Shepherd

Ian McShane

Ian McShane

King Silas Benjamin

Allison Miller

Allison Miller

Michelle Benjamin

Sebastian Stan

Sebastian Stan

Jack Benjamin

Wes Studi

Wes Studi

General Linus Abner

Susanna Thompson

Susanna Thompson

Queen Rose Benjamin

Sarita Choudhury

Sarita Choudhury

Helen

Guest Star

Dennis Boutsikaris

Dennis Boutsikaris

Minister Fawkes

Guest Star

Armando Riesco

Armando Riesco

Sean Savoy

Guest Star

Marlyne Afflack

Marlyne Afflack

Thomasina

Recurring Role

Joel Marsh Garland

Joel Marsh Garland

Klotz

Recurring Role

Michael Mosley

Michael Mosley

Eli Shepherd

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (4)

    • The Goliath tanks were modified Soviet T-54/55 Battle Tanks.

    • The song David plays on the Broadwood Grand is Un Sospiro by Franz Liszt.

    • The military vehicles of the opposition seems to be Swedish. The registration plates are the same as used in the Swedish military, and when David meets with the Gath-officer, a glimpse of an Volvo L3314 (also known as Pltgb 903) with the Swedish text "Maxlast 570kg" on it.

    • The skyline of Shiloh is a CGI-modified New York City. The capitol building is actually the New York Public Library.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • King Silas: Is there a problem?
      David: I'm not sure I can answer that without insulting my king.
      King Silas: Well, your king hears insults with alarming regularity.
      David: I just don't think I'm cut out for the city, sir.
      King Silas: (to bodyguard) Walter, next time you hear Captain Shepherd say, sir, I want you to take out your sidearm and shoot him. (To David) What have you got against our city?
      David: Well, I'd probably have an apartment the size of my dog shed at home, and no one talks about the war here. My company is fighting just a few hours from here, and it's as if nothing is happening except on TV. Plus the city sort of smells like trash.

    • Eli: (On field hospital bed) Hey, tell me something, how did you know those tanks weren't gonna shoot? Come on; don't make me die before I know.
      David: Their tank teams like to use the exhaust stakes to heat up their field rations. They drop the entrées in when they're idling. You can hear them gun the engines to blow the packs up. They always do it before they shell.
      Eli: So they can have a hot meal in peace while we had our heads in the sand. (Coughs) It's not good out there.
      David: It's gonna get worse. I don't know what to do.
      Eli: No, no you'll figure something out. You're always good at fixing things.
      David: They're so much bigger than me there.
      Eli: Bigger than you? You're the kid in front of the tank. You're a hero.
      David: I'm not what you think I am. I'm not a hero. That whole picture's a lie.
      Eli: But you stood up to them.
      David: When they took that picture I wasn't standing up. I was surrounded. They had me, so I surrendered. I dropped my gun, my grenade went off. I got a lucky shot off. It wasn't even luck, it was stupid. I surrendered. Everyone thinks I'm brave. But I'm not.
      Eli: Be brave now.

    • David: You want blood? Come here and take it. It's fresh, still warm from the life that just left it. The blood of my brother. So take it, take his blood and call it enough. If you need more, take mine. Do it. I surrender! Shoot me and call that enough. Or can one of you come down here, and show me your face. Show me that you're more than tank, metal, and shell. That you're human like we are, that you breathe, that you bleed, that you feel, and feel pity. That you live for more than our death. Come, any of you who have lost a brother. Come and tell me it's enough.

    • Reverend Ephram: You are very polite, David.
      David: This is the way I was raised.
      Reverend Ephram: Well, do something about that before you grow up.

  • NOTES (2)

  • ALLUSIONS (2)

    • Biblical Allusion: Samuel the Prophet:

      The character of Rev. Samuels is clearly an allusion to the Biblical prophet and last of the Hebrew Judeges, Samuel. In the Bible Samuel was key in installing Saul as King of Israel and acted as his counsellor, sometimes giving advice Saul disapproved of. This episode makes clear that Rev. Samuels was a king maker in Silas's rise to the throne.

    • Biblical Allusion: Gath

      Kings has been marketed as a modern re-telling of the Biblical story of David. The premiere episode sets the stage immediately as the country Gilboa is at war with is called "Gath." In the first book of Samuel, the Philistine warrior Goliath is referred to as Goliath of Gath, one of five Philistine city-states of that period.

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