THE LEgEnd Of King ArTHur Camelot ’70s-BBC style
released OUT NOW! 1979 | PG | dVd
Director rodney Bennett Cast andrew Burt, Felicity dean, Maureen O’Brien, david robb
Somehow, despite being written by UK scriptwriting juggernaut Andrew Davies (A Very Peculiar Practice, House Of Cards), this eight-part Arthurian fantasy series is largely forgotten. There’s a reason for that. It’s pretty forgettable.
Only Doctor Who fans tend to remember it, because former First Doctor companion Maureen O’Brien plays Morgan Le Fay. She’s actually not bad, adding an air of arch evil to a series that’s desperately earnest. Magic is at a minimum here – Merlin exits in episode two – as the series tries to make the Shakespearean version of Camelot Will himself never got round to.
There’s some gorgeous dialogue, solid acting and wonderfully silly costumes and make-up. But it’s very static and stagey, lurching from setpiece to setpiece as it tries to remix the entire Le Morte D’Arthur into a series of underdeveloped vignettes. The main story – Morgan destroying Arthur’s idyll of Camelot by stirring things between Lancelot and Guinevere – provides only a flimsy backbone. And the fight scenes are amusingly terrible.
Historically interesting, then, but far from legendary.
Extras None. Dave Golder
Patsy Kensit played Morgan Le Fay as a girl, hair dyed red. She was promised it’d wash out, but it took a year to go!
The hipsters’ Grand National began.