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Arthur of the Britons

Does the name Arthur....;

Conjure up images of Knights in shining Armour;

Damsels in distress;

Of a place where good rules over evil;

Of a castle on a hill;

A round table perhaps;

Or maybe an old wizard called 'Merlin'.

Well this could be correct if you've just been watching Rod Taylor in the 'Knights of the Round Table' or Nigel Terry in 'Excalibur'.

These are just some of the typical elements that you might find in a Hollywood epic!

In a small and grimy collection of mud huts, thatched with straw and straggling along a lake shoreline, we find the perfect setting for HTV's 'Arthur of the Britons'. It's not the sort of thing you'd find in a Hollywood set, but HTV has given this Arthur a bit of reality. HTV has brought to life the real Arthur and how the Celts would have lived after the evacuation of the Roman armies from our shores, which left the Britain defenseless against the Picts from the North, Angles, Saxons and Jutes from the continent, who saw this country as ripe pickings for food, farming and settling.

Arthur's role was simple but challenging, he had to unite all the Kingdoms and villages under one military command, so that the invaders could be repelled effectively. Each episode brings Arthur a new challenge and our hero, played by Oliver Tobias (24yrs), had to encourage and persuade other Celtic Chiefs that a mounted force had to be formed from all the tribes to be able to withstand and repel the barbarians. He did this in the first episode where he brought about his own death so that the neighbouring chiefs would come to Camelot (his village), to pay their respects, and in doing so he managed to bring them altogether under one roof to propose his strategy.

Famous actors such as Jack Watson, Michael Gothard and Brian Blessed featured throughout the series. Jack Watson plays Lud, Arthur's right hand man. He is a valuable asset to Arthur because of his knowledge and wisdom. Michael Gothard plays Kai, a Saxon by birth but raised as a Celt along with Arthur. Kai is a head strong warrior and constantly argues with Arthur. Brian Blessed plays Mark of Cornwall, what more can I say.

There were twenty-four episodes produced over two series with production costs of £500,000. It was filmed on location in a wood six miles from Stroud and half a mile off the road to Bath (Nr Bristol), which is owned by the Forestry Commission.

In December 1998 I bought a long awaited TV series on video (NTSC version) called "Arthur of the Britons" (King Arthur - The Young Warlord - USA title) from (Book & Video store in the US)

Starring Oliver Tobias, Jack Watson, Michael Gothard and Brian Blessed, I remember watching this when I came home from school in 1972.

The video contains the following episodes:

The King Is Dead (Season 1)
The Pupil (season 1)
The Marriage Feast (Season 2)
The Prize (Season 1)
The Treaty (Season 2)

All Copyrights remain with the original author.

This webpage was created 5th December 1998 and updated on 1st January 2004