Monday, 26 June 1972

Saison 1, episode 1: Arthur est mort

Auteur: Terence Feely


Scène d'ouverture


Dans la campagne, Arthur, Kai et trois autres Celtes à cheval, en ligne se préparant à débuter une course.

Kai: A travers la corniche jusqu'à l'arrière du village.

Arthur: Puis à travers la forêt. Maintenant. Voyons qui sera le premier.

Kai: Prêts? Partez!

Les cavaliers s'élancent. Un à un, les trois autres cavaliers tombent ou restent en arrière. Arthur est en tête, Kai le suit de près. Arthur regarde derrière lui, et une branche basse le désarçonne. Il reste immobile à terre. Kai descend de cheval, s'agenouille près de lui et saisit sa tête. Deux des autres cavaliers s'approchent. Kai lève la tête vers eux.

Kai: Allez annoncer au village, annoncez au monde entier, qu'Arthur est mort.

Les cavaliers s'éloignent au galop.

[Générique de début]


Première partie

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Season 1, Episode 1: Arthur is Dead

Writer: Terence Feely


OPENING SCENE


Arthur, Kai, and three other Celts, all mounted, line up for a race.

Kai: Across the ledge at the back of the village.

Arthur: Then through the forest. Now. Let’s see who’ll be first man.

Kai: Everybody ready? [shakes reins] Har!

They thunder across the landscape. One by one, the other three horsemen fall – or are thrown – from their horses, leaving Arthur in the lead, with Kai close behind. Arthur looks behind him, and a low branch knocks him from his horse. He lands flat on his back, and lies motionless. Kai dismounts, kneels beside Arthur, and carefully moves his head. Two of the other Celts arrive. Kai looks up.

Kai: Go and tell the village. Tell the world. Arthur is dead.

The others gallop away.

[OPENING CREDITS]
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"Arthur is Dead" – at least, the main part of it – was the first episode to be filmed, in late June and early July 1972. However, the horse-racing scenes at the beginning and end of the episode were clearly filmed in autumn, judging by the colour of the leaves on the trees.

The version of Arthur’s village seen in this episode had recently been built at Woodchester National Park, near Stroud, in Gloucestershire.

According to Sophie Neville, whose family owned some of the other filming locations, the ‘swamp’ where the Saxons were drowned was at the family farm in the village of Compton Dando.

Cerdig’s camp is thought to have been in the Mendips.

Of the filming, Director, Peter Sasdy says:

I was engaged to direct the opening episode of the series, with the understanding that, waiting for me there, was Arthur’s ‘village set’ already built. However, on arriving in Bristol and being taken to see this village set, all I’ve seen in the middle of the forest were a great number of trees with big chalk marks and numbers on them. "That’s where the village WILL BE BUILT!" I was informed. Not a good start...

After some panic, and bringing in outside crews – as always in the film industry, under pressure, working day and night for 7 days a week – more or less everything was ready to start the production on schedule.

I know I had very little time during pre-production, but I was happy with the casting of the main characters, and with the costumes ...

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