Monday, 11 September 1972

Episode 1.6: The Duel

Writer: Terence Feely


OPENING SCENE


A misty morning. The sounds of birds. Arthur, Kai, Llud and two other Celts ride into view, over a hill. Some other riders are seen in the distance, coming to meet them.

Arthur: Mark of Cornwall.

Kai: He won’t be pleased to see us.

Llud: He’s a Celt. And like us he cannot always have what pleases him.

Llud rubs his left shoulder.

Llud: Oh ...

Kai casts a worried glance at Llud, then looks at Arthur and shakes his head. Llud makes another sound of pain.

Arthur: Perhaps it was wrong for all of us to have come. One of us should ride back and keep command of the camp.

Llud: My place is at the battle – not at the hearth with the women and children.

Kai: It’s a long hard ride, even to reach the battle area.

Arthur and Llud turn to look at him.

Llud: I was making long, hard rides before you were born.

Kai: [as if Llud has just made his point for him] Ye-es.

Llud: It’s this weather gets into my shoulder. Well, are we going to stay here gossiping, or are we going to see Mark? Come on!

They ride forward to meet Mark and his four companions.

Arthur: This is the battle that decides.

Mark: Decides what? I’m in no trouble.

Mark and his men chuckle.

Arthur: Unless the Saxons are stopped at Modred’s Field they’ll overrun us. And then you … will be in trouble.

Mark: You asked for men, I gave you men. Now you come begging for horsemen.

Arthur: A messenger has brought word that the Saxons outnumber us, six to one. But as warriors they are raw. And they’ve never met cavalry.

Mark: Why should it be I must get you out of trouble once again?

Llud: Because you’re a Celt. And there’s such a thing as loyalty to the blood. Perhaps you haven’t heard of that in Cornwall.

Mark and Llud give each other hostile looks.

Llud: If you’ve no stomach for the fight, say so, and let those who have get on.

Mark: I’ve no cause to like you, Arthur. But I like Saxons less. I’ll help you fight your battle. But I give you fair warning. It’s a long way to Modred’s field. Keep him … [points at Llud] out of my way. [to horse] Hah!

Mark and his men turn and ride away. Llud watches them go.

[OPENING CREDITS]


PART 1

Read more... )
Back to school for King Arthur’s knights

Stars of stage and screen have been going back to school in Stroud over the past few weeks, to polish up their riding skills.

They have been going to a riding school in Beeches Green to become accomplished horsemen for a TV film about the legendary King Arthur.

Involved

Among well-known actors involved are Jack Watson, who lives in Biddestone, near Chippenham; Rupert (Maigret) Davies and Oliver Tobias1, who takes the name role in the commercial TV film.

Also very much involved is Mr. Bernard Ford2, who owns the carriage museum and stables.

He has been recruited as horse master in charge of 22 horses required for various battle scenes.

His niece, 21-year-old Maria Tolwinska, has also been riding, and acting as serving wench during filming in the West Country.

Battle

Mr Ford’s sister, Mrs. Dorothy Tolwinska, told me the horses are changed most evenings.

“If they get supposedly hurt in a battle scene, or wet in the water, the television people have to use new ones in the next scene or they would be recognised,” she said.3

Work in the 24 episodes continues until December.


1 This is probably inaccurate. As the Saxon leader, Cerdig, Rupert Davies is never seen on horseback in the series, and Oliver Tobias was already an accomplished horseman, as seen in the film, “Romance of a Horsethief.”

2 This probably refers to Ben Ford.

3 In fact, this happened on just one occasion: in “Rowena”, when horses ridden by Arthur and Kai have supposedly been stolen in an ambush, Arthur is seen riding a dark horse for the only time in the series, as well as a white horse who is never seen again in the series. There are other occasions, such as in, “The Gift of Life”, when Kai is seen riding two different horses, when he should have been on the same one throughout the episode.

Further details on the Equine stars of "Arthur of the Britons" can be found here.

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