Oklahoma Dust Bowl, 1934. 18-year-old Ben Hawkins is a young man whom lives with his physically sick, God-fearing mother. After his mother dies from a long illness, Ben unceremoniously buries her in the back yard of his home which is then repossessed for outstanding late payments. Ben is taken in by a traveling carnival troupe (titled Carnivale) and becomes acquainted with the residents whom include the kind-hearted dwarf owner Samson; his right-hand man and head rigger Clayton Jones; Gypsy tarot reader Sofie; the bearded lady Lila; girlie tent owner Felix "Stumpy" Dreifuss, his wife Rita Sue whom Felix solicits to some of the patrons, and their two teenage daughters Libby and Dora Mae; Gekco the Reptile Man; snake charmer Ruthie; Ruthie's son Gabriel, the low-IQ strongman; and conjured twins Alexandria (Alex) and Caladonia (Cat). Ben is revealed to have strange mystical powers of clairvoyance and healing which worry Professor Lodz, the blind mystic of the traveling troupe. Meanwhile ... Written by
Did You Know?
The approach of the bulldozer and its driver during a dust storm in the opening strongly resembles a similar scene in chapter five of John Steinbeck's novel The Grapes Of Wrath. See more
When Sophie is giving Ben a reading, she puts three cards on a board resting on the table and places the rest of the deck on the table next to the board. Before she turns the third card over, the deck is set half-on/off the board. In the reverse shot, the deck is back on the table itself. See more
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 there 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 traded away wonder for reason.