During the Great Depression, an Oklahoma farm boy and a charismatic minister learn that they are key players in a proxy war being fought between Heaven and Hell.

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2005   2003  
Top Rated TV #198 | Won 5 Primetime Emmys. Another 9 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Series cast summary:
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 Samson (24 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Ruthie (24 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Brother Justin Crowe (24 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Lila (24 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Clayton 'Jonesy' Jones (24 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Sofie (24 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Rita Sue Dreifuss (24 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Libby Dreifuss (24 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Felix 'Stumpy' Dreifuss (24 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Iris Crowe (24 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Ben Hawkins (24 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Gabriel (24 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Apollonia (18 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Professor Ernst Lodz (16 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Reverend Norman Balthus (16 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Henry 'Hack' Scudder (15 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Burley (14 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Tommy Dolan (13 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Gecko (12 episodes, 2003)
Karyne Steben ...
 Alexandria (12 episodes, 2003)
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 Varlyn Stroud (12 episodes, 2005)
Sarah Steben ...
 Caladonia (12 episodes, 2003)
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 Osgood (12 episodes, 2003-2005)
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Storyline

1934, America. The Dustbowl. A fugitive named Ben Hawkins finds refuge within a traveling carnival comprised of a tarot card reader and her catatonic/telekinetic mother, a blind mentalist, a bearded lady, and conjoined twins, amongst others. The carnival is owned by the mysterious and unseen Management, who has designs on the young Hawkins, for the boy is concealing an untapped gift: he can heal the lame and raise the dead--at a price. Ben also finds himself disturbed by cryptic and prophetic dreams, which he shares with a Methodist preacher in California, Brother Justin Crowe. Brother Justin, convinced by his dreams he is following God's will, has begun to practice his own extraordinary talents, although the preacher's plans increasingly lead to disturbing and tragic consequences. In this "last great age of magic," Ben Hawkins and Justin Crowe are moving toward a great conflict between Good and Evil, although it not yet clear on which sides these men will stand. Written by matta2k

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Into each generation is born a creature of light and a creature of darkness. See more »


Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

14 September 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La feria ambulante  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Both K Callan and Cynthia Ettinger have played Superman's adoptive mother, Martha Kent. K Callan played Martha Kent in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993). Ettinger played Martha Kent in Smallville: Unaired Pilot (2001) but before the pilot aired her scenes were reshot with Annette O'Toole, who then played the role on Smallville (2001). Clancy Brown voiced Superman's archnemesis Lex Luthor in numerous cartoons. See more »

Goofs

Whenever "Russian" dialogue is heard, most of it is just gibberish. See more »

Quotes

[Ben, unbeknownst to him, is translating Latin]
Ben Hawkins: "In hoc signo vinces." By this sign you will conquer.
Samson: When did you learn Latin?
Ben Hawkins: Latin?
Samson: You better hurry up and get born, kid.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Making 'Carnivàle': The Show Behind the Show (2003) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Please Read
12 December 2004 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

This is one of the most addictive television shows that has been aired in many years; It is finally on DVD, and I cannot wait until the premiere of the second season on January 9, 2005. The casting of this series is excellent- I especially love Linda Hunt as the voice of Management to Clancy Brown as Brother Justin to Michael Anderson as Samson- the whole cast is wonderful- along with the scenery and pace of the show; it does not have the "rollar Coaster" mentality, but rather sets up all of the characters so you begin either begin to care for them or despise them accordingly. THe First Season set up the cast of Characters, and from what I can tell, the second season will put everything in motion and have more action involved. I am going to go buy the season one on DVD as soon as possible (as soon as I finish writing this review). There have only been twelve episodes so far, and I hope there will be at least 30 more (or however many more it takes til the story is told.) I also enjoy the Carnie Lingo, and to see the contrast of how people lived in different areas.

Samson: Before the beginning, after the great war between Heaven and Hell, God created the Earth and gave dominion over it to the crafty ape he called man. And to each generation was born a creature of light and a creature of darkness. And great armies clashed by night in the ancient war between good and evil. There was magic then, nobility, and unimaginable cruelty. And so it was until the day that a false sun exploded over Trinity, and man forever traded away wonder for reason.


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