REVIEWED: SEASON 1 (ALL EPISODES) | WHERE TO WATCH: SYFY UK, NOWTV
When a terrorist funding his attacks through black-market sales of stolen art uncovers the tomb of Cleopatra and Mark Antony, art expert and former FBI agent Danny teams up with thief and con artist Lexi to stop him, also becoming embroiled in a centuries-old battle between secret organisations for the power the ancient bodies possess.
Some TV shows start off seeming overly simplistic and straightforward, but over time it’s revealed they possess hidden depths that become slowly apparent and ultimately belie the apparent shallow setup. Blood & Treasure is most definitely not such a show.
The surface concept of beautiful people hunting villains all over the world, searching for mystic artefacts, engaging in derring-do and battles with faceless henchmen, and uncovering ancient conspiracies is pretty much all there is to it, and that’s what makes it such fun. It’s trash, completely, utterly and unequivocally, but that doesn’t mean it’s not highly entertaining trash.
The show lifts every kind of treasure hunting, globe-trotting, grave robbing adventure trope from everything from King Solomon’s Mines through Indiana Jones to Tomb Raider and Uncharted, thrusts them into a blender and liberally pastes the resultant glamour and excitement in a vibrant watercolour of anarchic fun. Danny and Lexi have an established romantic history that ended badly, so them being forced to work together leads to endless angry flirting and simmering romantic tension that thickly permeates their every conversation when they aren’t saving each other’s lives or criticising their every thought and decision. Such is their antagonistic rapport, they even snark with each other in voiceover as they narrate recaps at the beginning of each episode.
The entire season is a barrage of exposition and unlikely yet inevitable revelations that drive standard and predictable plotting, but the familiarity of events’ progression is part of what makes it so harmlessly enjoyable. The action leaps from one international location to another, accompanied by local legends and lost relics that all form a map to the hidden secrets the series inches towards. As well as the exploratory and thievery shenanigans, events also periodically jump back in time to chart the sarcophagus’ journey after the tomb was breached by the Nazis during the Second World War, revealing the curse guarding them that the modern-day terrorists look to weaponise.
Blood & Treasure provides everything you’d expect of it, holding no surprises to distract you from its sexy and fast-paced antics. Everything about it screams its unbridled lunacy, and barely lets up for a moment from the opening of the first episode right to the climax of the finale. It’s throwaway nonsense, but it neither pretends it’s anything more than that nor tries to be it, which is exactly why it’s such compelling viewing and a wild thrill ride.