Review: The Legend of King Arthur
DVD: The Legend of King Arthur (1979)
It tells the iconic story of Arthur, how his mother was taken by Uther Pendragon and resulting in his birth and his stepsister’s (Morgan) extreme dislike of him, his finding of Excalibur, Merlin, Guinevere and Lancelot, the lady of the Lake and even the round table. Interestingly it expands on the story to include the WHOLE saga; in some legends Merlin sticks around throughout Arthur’s life, in some he leaves soon after he takes the throne, entrusting Arthur into the care of his sister Morgan Le Fey. We see all the important Knights revealed and even includes King Pelles, Galahad and The Holy Grail.
The Legend of King Arthur reminds me very much in look of ‘I, Claudius’, that sort of creaky 70s BBC scenery and ropey costumes (believe me the costumes seem to be from the early middle ages, but from Persia rather than England!), and let’s not forget the well-pronounced, solid ‘we’ve performed for the Royal Shakespeare company’ acting.
Having said all that, this is what the BBC have always done well; history, and Davies’ pedigree goes before him (House of Cards, War and Peace, Little Dorrit), so it’s a no-brainer that this is, not only pretty good, but very entertaining. I ‘collect’ history DVD’s and this is one is well worth a purchase. In fact if you want your (older) kids to see a true Legend from the dawn of time, you can’t go wrong with this; no nudity, swearing or violence, just a corking story.
One final bit of trivia; have a good look at Merlin and try to remember where you’ve seen him before! It took me to the end of episode 2 to get him!