[personal profile] arthur_of_the_britons
Plot

We hear ominous music. Llud is chased down a hill by a huge masked warrior, carrying a spear, and gets trapped against a tree. The warrior, Brosk, throws his spear, missing Llud by inches. Llud stumbles down a bank into a river, and falls to his hands and knees. Brosk closes in.

In the grip of a nightmare, Llud cries out, waking Arthur, who rushes over and tries to calm him, and eventually resorts to throwing a bucket of water over him. Llud wakes, relieved.

Arthur goes out to fill the bucket from the trough, and calls Lenni, the village healer.

Back in the Longhouse, Llud refuses to discuss his dream. Arthur thinks he’s unwell, and insists that Llud allow Lenni to take care of him.

Llud is concerned to hear that Brandreth is leading an armed contingent their way; he says Brandreth’s tribe are treacherous. But Kai checks out Brandreth’s party, and soon joins them around their campfire. Brandreth wants to meet Arthur, and swear a pact of allegiance.

Back in the Longhouse, while Lenni sits sewing near the door, Llud lies in bed, experiencing his nightmare vision again.

One of Brandreth’s men secretly tells Brandreth’s twin brother, Gavron, about the planned meeting. Gavron means to ambush his twin en route. Brosk, the warrior from Llud’s vision – one of Gavron’s men – wheels a large hand-cart into position.

Outside the Longhouse, Llud looks at his hands in a worried manner.

On Gavron’s signal, Brosk upends the hand-cart, blocking the path of Brandreth and his party. Gavron’s men attack, and take Brandreth prisoner. Gavron prepares to take his place at the meeting with Arthur.

When Llud realises that the rendezvous between Arthur and Brandreth will be at the place he dreamed about, he wants to attend, but Arthur tells him to stay behind, in command of the camp.

As Llud lies on his bed, staring fearfully at the visions in his head, we see a large pendant hanging from a thong around his neck. Lenni wakes Llud, and presents him with a sleeping potion. Llud tells her to send Arthur to him, and puts the sleeping powder into a drink he has poured for Arthur.

The next morning, while Arthur lies in a drug-induced sleep, Llud tells Kai that Arthur agreed to let him take his place at the meeting. Kai knows Llud is lying, but sets out with him anyway. When they arrive at the meeting place, Gavron takes them prisoner, and ties them up. Kai berates Llud for not speaking of his premonition.

Arthur wakes, and realises what has happened. He asks the Minstrel how long ago Kai and Llud left, then sticks his head in the water trough.

Gavron reminds Kai and Llud that, four years ago, Arthur killed his father in battle. He has Llud taken out and staked to the ground, where Brosk thrusts Llud’s good hand into a fire, to force Llud send Arthur a message. Llud eventually agrees to do it. He pretends to try to write, but says his hand is too badly hurt. He suggests that Gavron write the message for him, and send his pendant in lieu of a signature.

Arthur receives the letter, and agrees to attend.

Still tied to a pole, Kai asks his guard for a drink. When the man returns, Kai trips him, breaks his neck, and uses his sword to free himself. But when he makes a run for it, he encounters more of Gavron’s men, and has to surrender.

Arthur approaches the meeting place, and falls into the same pit-trap as Kai and Llud. Gavron’s men surround him, but Arthur’s superior force surrounds and captures them in turn. Arthur then makes Gavron lure the rest of his men out, and Arthur’s men overpower them.

Arthur reveals that he knew something was wrong because the message claimed that Llud could not write because of his injured hand, whereas Llud never learned to write at all. Gavron is taken away at spear-point.

When Brosk breaks away from his Celt captors, Llud chases after him, and they begin to re-enact his nightmare, but this time, Brosk throws a spear into the river bank; Llud manages to pull it out, and kill Brosk with it.

Back in the longhouse, Kai lies in bed, apparently in the grip of a nightmare. Arthur and Llud wake him, and Kai tells them about his horrible dream, where he is carried off by a giant, which turns out to be a woman, whose captivity he has no desire to escape! Kai and Arthur both start laughing, and Llud throws a bucket of water over them both.


Author note

The script for “Go Warily” seems to have been the only work by Jonathen Crown that saw the light of day.


Timeline

“Go Warily” appears after “People of the Plough” in both the “Konig Arthur” book, and the German DVDs, so that order seem likely to be correct. The grass looks quite dry, as would be expected in late summer, and thistles are flowering near Gavron’s encampment.

vlcsnap-2015-01-27-01h25m36s110 Gavron defeated (3)

Suggested shooting order so far

Arthur is Dead
Daughter of the King
The Challenge
The Gift of Life
Enemies and Lovers
In Common Cause
The Penitent Invader
The Slaves
People of the Plough
Go Warily


Locations

We don’t see much of Arthur’s village in this episode: just a small area to the south of the longhouse, where Arthur goes to speak to the Minstrel, and another, further to the south west, where Kai and Llud have words near a small hut. The rest of the village was probably being adapted to accommodate both Yorath the Jute’s people, and Hecla’s, in the next episode: “Rowena.”

According to Executive Producer Patrick Dromgoole, Brandreth/Gavron’s camp was in the Blackdown Hills.


Inside information

The daughter of one of Michael's friends recalls: "At the end of 'Go Warily', when Arthur and Kai are winding Llud up, you see Kai laughing at the trick he has played; that was exactly the way he was if he was laughing so hard he couldn't stop.

The more I see of ‘Arthur of the Britons’, the more I see that there is SO much of Michael in Kai."

The rest of the memories she has shared can be found here.


Cast notes

Sally James who plays the mute healer, Lenni, is perhaps better remembered as a presenter of shows such as Pop Quest and the anarchic Tiswas. She now owns and runs a business that supplies school uniforms.

Having recently played Col, the blacksmith in “The Slaves”, Dave Prowse, better known as Darth Vader, plays the huge masked warrior, Brosk. Presumably, the mask was to hide the actor’s identity.

Arthur starts work (10) Dream (5)

Jeremy Taylor, who played the Minstrel, is a folk singer and comedian.

Arthur wakes (11) Jeremy Taylor

The unmistakeable Tom Baker, best known as the fourth Doctor in “Doctor Who”, plays the twins, Brandreth and Gavron.


"By the Gods!"

The only religious references in the episode are when Llud invites Gavron to “Burn in hell” and when Kai, fooling around at the end, cries out “In the name of the gods, no! No!”


Dark Age Men

Most of the problems our heroes encounter in this episode could have been avoided, if Llud hadn’t insisted on keeping his worries to himself. Instead of telling Arthur and Kai about his horrible dream, he just apologises for making a fuss, and warns Arthur not to intrude. And when Arthur refuses to include him in the planned trip to visit Brandreth, he makes sure that it is Arthur who takes a sleeping draft intended for him, because real men don’t need rest or medication!

Kai takes Llud’s insistence on assessing Brandreth for himself as a slight: “Are you not prepared to accept my word?” – and is quite annoyed when they are captured. Llud explains: “I brought you both up never to show any fear. Would you have had me admit to it?”

At the end, Llud feels honour-bound to personally dispatch the man who has haunted his dreams.


The best laid plans …

Gavron’s plan to take revenge upon Arthur might actually have worked if Llud hadn’t drugged him. Instead, Llud tricks Gavron into giving himself away, allowing Arthur to take counter-measures.


Family Ties

Gavron’s determination to kill Arthur is because of a battle, fought, four years before, in which Arthur killed the father of Brandreth and Gavron. Gavron, the Evil Twin, says his brother is weak for wanting to make peace with Arthur.


Celts and Saxons

Explaining Brandreth’s desire to make peace, Kai says: “He also has the Saxon wolves snapping at his heels. He would move his people to greater safety and join his army to ours.” Brandreth believes that revenge is simply impractical; he tells Gavron, “We Celts are fighting the Saxon now. Old hatreds, Brother, lie behind us.”


Don’t call me old!

Llud gets angry when Arthur suggests that he is ill or over-tired: “Llud is not old yet. Nor feeble … I need no nursemaid!”

This seems to be the first episode in which Llud is credited with more than usual foresight – later referred to in terms of his “nose twitching.” But it seems the future is not set in stone, providing one takes precautions.


“That is bloody dangerous!”

There is a minor skirmish when Gavron’s men ambush Brandreth’s, in which Brandreth is dragged from his horse.

Kai and Llud, and Arthur all have to fall into a pit trap.

Trapped (27) Arthur turns the tables (37)

Brosk is hit with a spear and drowned. The person who actually goes under is a stand-in; witness the disappearance of Brosk’s beard!

Dream laid (30) Dream laid (49)


“Night-night, Kiddies!”

Llud’s torture, and Kai breaking a man’s neck between his thighs, might be considered a bit much for today’s teatime audience!

Torture (3) Kai escapes (22)


Dressed to kill?

Arthur wears his woolly blue shirt with the embroidered cuffs for most of the episode. When he goes to meet Gavron, he wears his ring armour over it. In the final scene he once again wears the pale blue lace-up shirt he wore in “In Common Cause”: the same one Kai wears in the first scene of “Daughter of the King.”

For his meeting with Brandreth and discussion with Arthur and Llud, Kai wears the new studded tunic first seen in “People of the Plough.” When he sets out to meet Brandreth for the second time, he is wearing the brown suede shirt he wore in “The Challenge.” In the final scene, Kai wears the white shirt he wore in “People of the Plough.”

Llud wears the same old white shirt for most of the episode, as well as the significant pendant. When he goes to meet Brandreth, he wears what looks like the same jacket he wore in “The Challenge”, but with a brown shirt under it. Gavron deprives him of both of these, leaving him in just his white shirt again while he is being tortured.

Brosk’s mask is the same one used by King Athel in “Enemies and Lovers”, but with some extra bits of metal, leather and fur stuck on.

Aftermath (21) Dream laid (30)

Out of Brandreth and Gavron, the evil twin – as one might expect – seems to be the snappier dresser.

Ambush (32) Ambush (31)


“A man on a horse is worth ten on foot”

Kai rides Moonlight. Llud, as usual, rides Curly, and Arthur rides Skyline. Brandreth and Gavron both ride Pythagoras. Other horses involved in the scenes where Brandreth and subsequently Gavron are ambushed are Blondie, Merlin, Flame, Pinkie, and Jim. Also in the melee are the dark brown horse with the star, first seen in “People of the Plough”, and a new horse, with a wide blaze, Outlander.

Outlander

See this post for further details of the horses of "Arthur of the Britons."


On the table

Brandreth has some bread in a bowl at his camp. Arthur has a bowl of what looks like pears on his table in the longhouse.


Quote/unquote

Arthur: They say you should never disturb another man’s dreams.
Llud: Or intrude on them afterwards.

Llud: Bed’s no place for any warriors.

Arthur: The way Llud feels today, he’d suspect his own shadow.

Llud: He’s mine! I have a dream to put to rest!


Great moments

The scene where Lenni, as part of her duties, wakes Llud up to give him a sleeping draft. Typical nurse!

Every scene where Gavron looks gleefully into camera.

Kai breaking the guard’s neck with his thighs, and the furtive look he gives afterwards.

Llud soaking Kai and Arthur at the end.


What’s going on here?

Arthur’s method of waking Llud – shouting at and shaking him – doesn’t seem very likely to calm him down!

He then gets water for Llud – who he thinks might be sick – from the horse trough, and later sticks his own head in it. Health and Safety?

Why is Lenni, the village healer, mute? Were they being inclusive, or just saving money by giving actress, Sally James, a non-speaking role?

In these scene where Brandreth is ambushed by Gavron’s men, he is pulled from Pythagoras’ back. Gavron then arrives – also riding Pythagoras. Has the horse, too, got an evil twin?

Brandreth on Pythagoras Ambush (26)

Given Llud’s forebodings, it seems odd that he and Kai still manage to fall into a trap, even though Gavron’s suggestion, “Leave your horses to water, and approach”, could hardly have sounded more suspicious.

If Brandreth’s people are from East Anglia – “the eastern marshlands” – why were they fighting over hunting grounds in Sarum (Salisbury), more than 100 miles from their home?

When we first see Kai tied to the post, he is still wearing his shirt; a few minutes later, still tied to the post, he is somehow – once again – stripped to the waist. One of Gavron’s men must have untied him, removed his shirt, and tied him up again. But why?

Gavron's demands (25) Writing (18)

There are some interesting paintings on one of the hangings in Gavron’s tent.

Kai escapes (20)

Very few people in those times could read or write; why would Gavron assume that Llud was one of them?

Why does Llud insist on describing his pendant as a “brooch”? Is it because he’s a man, and he’s not supposed to know about jewellery? And if Arthur knows it so well, why is this the first time we’ve seen it? Even assuming Arthur recognised it, how would it serve as a sign of Llud’s agreement with the contents of a letter? Wouldn’t it occur to Arthur that Gavron might have taken it without Llud’s permission?

Gavron’s man, Kellas, evidently considers himself a medical man. When Arthur asks if Llud is badly hurt, he diagnoses “a sprain”!

When Arthur has been captured, his men ride to the rescue on some of the same horses that previously belonged to Brandreth or Gavron.

If Gavron was really so intent on revenge, he would have killed Arthur while he was in the pit, regardless of the fact the Arthur’s men had arrived. Evidently he was not prepared to risk his life.

When Llud is chasing Brosk at the end, it seems a bit foolish to throw his sword at him. And why is Llud seen running down this hill, when he’s already run off in the opposite direction?

Dream laid (34) Dream laid (24)

In his dream about being chased by Brosk, Llud is shirtless, but when he re-enacts the dream in real life, he is wearing the white shirt.


Music

As the Minstrel, Jeremy Taylor sings:

Where the grass lies low, and the wind sweeps wide.
Where the black dove flies, by the green lakeside.
There I must go ... must stand … must stare.
For ’twas there on the lake, that I lost me a bride
If the stones could walk, and the mountains move.
If the trees could talk …


Unlike most of the songs that have featured in the show so far, Jeremy Taylor’s doesn’t seem relevant to the story.

Some of the music tracks used in this episode were:

Track 12, Duel: used whenever Llud is experiencing the nightmare vision.
Track 19, Celtic Dance: Arthur fetches water and speak to Lenni.
Track 5, To Battle! – Brosk prepares to ambush Brandreth.
Track 6, Infiltration and Treachery: Llud drugs Arthur’s drink, and departs with Kai.
Track 16, Danger Mounts: Gavron threatens Llud and has him tortured.
Track 11, Desolation and Despair: Llud is forced to try to write a message.
Track 26, Evil Stirs: Kai kills his guard; Arthur is trapped,
Track 23, Arrival of Arthur: Arthur’s men come to the rescue.

The whole suite of music, beautifully written and orchestrated for the series by Paul Lewis, is now available on CD.


Cast

Arthur …………….... Oliver Tobias
Kai ……………….… Michael Gothard
Llud ………………... Jack Watson
Brandreth/Gavron …. Tom Baker
Kellas ……………… Colin Rix
Cador …………......... Alfred Maron
Brosk …………......... Dave Prowse
Lenni …………......... Sally James
Minstrel ……………. Jeremy Taylor
Guard …………......... Michael Ely

Crew


Director ………….…. Sidney Hayers
Story ………………... Jonathen Crown
Executive Producer …. Patrick Dromgoole
Producer …………….. Peter Miller
Associate Producer …. John Peverall
Production Manager … Keith Evans
Post-production ……... Barry Peters
Fight Arranger ……… Peter Brayham
Cameraman …………. Graham Edgar
Camera Operator …… Roger Pearce
Editor ……………….. Barry Peters
Sound recordist ……... Barrie White
Dubbing mixer ……… John Cross
Art Director …………. Doug James
Assistant Director …… Mike Roberts
Production Assistant … Maggie Hayes
Costume Design .….… Audrey MacLeod
Make-up …………….. Christine Penwarden
Incidental music …….. Paul Lewis
Theme music ………... Elmer Bernstein
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Arthur of the Britons

August 2015

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