Season 2, Episode 9: Daughter of the King

Writers: David Pursall and Jack Seddon


It is winter. Arthur and Kai squelch through the flooded village to the longhouse. Arthur is carrying a sack of provisions; Kai has a dead stag slung across his shoulders. The sentry holds the door open for them.

Inside, Llud is draining some mead from the barrel, tilting it to get the last few drops. He raps on it; it sounds empty. He goes to sit down and smiles at Arthur and Kai as they come in.

Llud: The mead. You’ve forgotten the mead. The barrel’s almost empty.

Arthur and Kai put down their burdens.

Kai: Since you seem to be drinking it all, perhaps you’d like to get your feet wet, bringing it from the store hut.

Llud: A wager’s a wager.

Arthur: We gambled for one journey only. Fetching the mead is a separate wager.

Arthur swipes Llud’s goblet, takes a drink, then hands the goblet to Kai, who also drinks. Llud gets to his feet, smiling and nodding.

Llud: As you wish. Another wager! [he laughs smugly]

Kai aims at a target board on the wall, and throws a knife.

Llud: Your aim is off, Kai. I could do better with my silver hand.

Kai: We have three attempts.

Kai sits on the table as Arthur gets up to take his turn; Arthur’s knife lands a bit closer to the centre, but still in the outer ring.

Llud: Arthur’s rest did him good while you were womanising. To keep a steady hand, you need rest.

Arthur sits next to Kai. Llud prepares to throw.

Kai: Arthur grows old before his time.

Kai gives Arthur an affectionate nudge. Llud throws; his is the worst effort so far.

Llud: But his eye is keen.

Kai gets up to take another throw.

Kai: The keenest eye sent Arthur to his bed, whilst I was chosen to keep the young lady company. [Kai nudges Arthur with the handle of the knife] Leesa’s sparkling eye chose me, eh?

Arthur leans in and speaks softly.

Arthur: Which one of her three eyes did she use, eh?

Both smile. Kai nudges Arthur out of the way as he prepares to throw. His knife lands the closest yet.

Kai: Your pride was hurt more than I thought.

He goes to sit down. Llud steps up, but Arthur puts a hand out to stop him.

Arthur: It takes more than Leesa to touch my pride. The Celts get slaughtered by that murdering butcher Bavick. That’s when my pride is hurt as a leader.

Arthur aims and throws the knife with some venom; the knife hits quite near the middle of the target.

Arthur: Would the weather break, that it could have been for him.

Llud: You must hold your patience. The rains will at least keep Bavick close to his fire.

Llud throws, with a bit more accuracy than before, but still no match for Arthur’s best throw. Kai gets up to take his turn.

Kai: Until the first glimpse of sun through the storm clouds. Then he’ll rampage the country again, fighting his own kind, killing and pillaging.

Kai throws, still with not much luck. He goes to sit down and Arthur gets up.

Arthur: When he moves more than one league out of his own territory, I’ll split his head in two.

Arthur throws – this time wildly off-target. He goes to sit down again.

Llud: Your anger spoils your skill. I trust you will have better control when you come face-to-face with Bavick.

Arthur: When we ride out again, my anger will have calmed enough to come face-to-face with Bavick. In the meantime, I’m still nearest to the centre of that target.

Llud chuckles. He throws and hits the centre.

Llud: It seems the position has changed … and with Arthur in second place – [to Kai] you fetch the barrel of mead!

Llud laughs.

Kai: Mmm.

Kai heaves a sigh and gets to his feet.

Arthur: Don’t get waylaid by the fair Leesa. We’re thirsty.

Kai: Gaaah …

Kai gives Arthur a friendly shove. Llud laughs. Kai makes his way across the muddy yard to the store hut.

Read more... )
This fascinating glimpse into the early planning stages of "Arthur of the Britons" was kindly supplied by Paul Lewis, who preserved the article.

HTV to spend £1/2 m on King Arthur series

HTV West is to spend more than £500,000 one a new adventure series, a 24-part saga devoted to the exploits of King Arthur.

The story of the West Country’s own legendary hero will be filmed on the locations actually associated with Arthur, among them Cadbury Camp, the reputed site of Camelot, and holy Glastonbury.

Filming will begin in June.

“This is a very exciting project by any standards and reflects our confidence in the production team, led by Patrick Dromgoole, we have created at Bristol,” said managing director Tony Gorard last week.

The series will be done by the same team who produced the 13-part series, Pretenders, and the play Thick as Thieves, which was the winner of the Royal Television Society’s “Pye Oscar” as the best regional production of the year.

HTV has found an American distributor, Heritage Enterprises, for the new series. Mr Arthur Steloff, of Heritage, said, “There is enormous interest in a programme based on King Arthur and I am confident we can achieve world-wide sales.”

Lord Harlech, Chairman of HTV said, “The series will be as historically authentic as we can make it. Arthur was a young and powerful fighter who fought savagely and successfully to defend the remnants of Roman Britain against the invading Saxons.”

“We are tearing up the cosy Victorian water-colour picture of Arthur and showing instead the hard tough cavalry leader he must really have been,” he added.

The series will show how Arthur moulded the splintered British tribes into the force that repelled barbarian invaders bent on conquest, and moulded still more – the shape of a kingdom to come.

The role of Arthur will be played by Oliver Tobias, star of the London production of Hair. Michael Gothard, well-known for his appearance in The Last Valley and in Ken Russell’s The Devils plays Kai, a loyal follower of the King.

Jack Watson who starred in Pretenders is cast as Ludd The Silver Handed, a powerful Celtic warrior who rides as Arthur’s right hand. Merlin will be played by Maurice Evans.

Peter Miller is the producer and his team includes Roy Baird, the executive producer for Women In Love, Henry VIII and If.

Writers engaged include Terence Feely, Robert Banks Stewart, Jack Seddon, David Purcell, Stuart Douglas and Bob Baker and Dave Martin the Bristol playwrights responsible for both Pretender and Thick As Thieves.

It is interesting that at this stage, they were still referring to Arthur as "King Arthur", though he is never referred to as such in the series. Also interesting is the fact that nowhere is it stated that the series is for children, though in the UK, it was shown late afternoon, when children would be watching after school.

Early plans to film at sites connected with the little we know, or think we know, of the historical Arthur - including Cadbury Camp and Glastonbury - must have been abandoned at an early stage.

Also abandoned was Merlin, whom the article says was to be played by Maurice Evans - Dr Zaius in "Planet of the Apes"(1968). As Patrick Dromgoole has said: "It was difficult to stick to a realistic theme of an available gang of pro-British professional soldiers available where needed, without losing the mystical aspects of Merlin."

£500,000 was a great deal of money to spend on such a series at the time, so it isn't surprising that selling it to foreign networks was a high priority. This plan came to fruition, with "Arthur of the Britons" being shown, in various forms, sometimes under a different name, and either dubbed or subtitled, in France ("Arthur, Roi des Celtes"), Germany ("Konig Arthur"), Spain ("Arturo de Bretaña"), many Eastern European countries, Australia, the USA ("King Arthur") and South America ("El Rey de los Guerreros").

TV Today 15 June 1972 small


Arthur of the Britons

August 2015

161718 19202122


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Monday, 23 October 2017 06:11 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios