I Remember Television

S24 E9 | FULL EPISODE

The Adventures of Sir Lancelot

On the next I Remember Televison, we follow a character that has captivated audiences for 800 years - Sir Lancelot.

AIRED: January 10, 2018 | 0:55:47
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

(whooshing) (pleasant music)

(lively music)

- [Announcer] Now wasn't that nice?

- Hello, I'm Dr. Piers Britton, welcome to

I Remember Television, again.

I hope you enjoyed our recent

I Remember Television showcasing Robin Hood,

because we have a very similar treat tonight.

Once again from ITC Entertainment,

the producer Hannah Weinstein,

featuring costumes, sets and choreography

that was remarkably advanced for the time,

and a magnificent theme song that would

play over the end credits.

And once again, with a monumental part

of British folklore as the inspiration,

we have The Adventures of Sir Lancelot.

In medieval literature there arose three great

groups of stories, the matter of Rome

which offered fresh takes on that empire's

renowned mythology, the matter of France,

which involved the legends of King Charlemagne

and the matter of Britain, which focused on its kingdom's

of lore, especially that belonging to King Arthur.

While Sir Lancelot might be best known

to audiences nowadays for his comedic segment

in Monty Python and the Holy Grail,

he has a secure spot in the Arthurian legend

as the king's most notable knight.

From his very first appearance in poems

by Chretien de Troyes, to the five prose volumes

collectively known as the Lancelot Grail,

which truly cemented his legacy,

to the Le Morte d'Arthur, which used

the 15th century's revolutionary technology

of the printing press to immortalize Lancelot for all time,

to his portrayal by Robert Goulet

in the classic musical Camelot.

To his 21st century incarnation in

the form of Ioan Gruffudd, in the movie King Arthur,

to of course tonight's show, this character has

captivated audiences for over 800 years,

and will continue to do so forever.

Without further ado, from September the 15th, 1958,

The Adventures of Sir Lancelot's pilot episode,

The Knight with the Red Plume.

(dramatic music)

(regal music)

(cheerful music)

- [Hermit] Good day, Sir Knight.

- Good day!

I seek King Arthur's court.

- You have not much farther to travel.

- Thank you.

What's your name old man?

- I am known as Leonides, the hermit.

My cave is on the crest above the rocks.

From it you can see the spires and towers of Camelot.

- Then my journey is almost over.

Which road, Leonides?

- That one.

But why go you to King Arthur's court?

- I seek to join the Knights of the Round Table.

- I thought as much.

Well if you hurry you can dine at the castle,

there will be birds, and joints of fish,

and pasties by the score, all stuffed with forest meat

and flavored with herbs of of the richest kind-

- Please, stop!

- Did I perhaps arouse in you a sinful and fleshly appetite?

- No, but my horse is hungry and the

talk about food might upset him.

But who comes here?

- They are knights of King Arthur's court.

(hooves clattering)

- Good day Sir Knight, you travel to Camelot?

- I do. - Who are you?

- I am Sir Lancelot of the Lake.

I seek to join the Knights of the Round Table.

- I am Sir Kay.

Sir Christopher, Sir Lionel, of the Round Table.

- I don't know your name, or your shield.

- I come from afar.

- You seem somewhat shabby to appear at King Arthur's court.

- My armor was battered in honorable combat.

- Yet your shield is not scratched.

- This was not the shield I carried into battle.

- Exactly.

- What are you hinting at, Sir Lionel?

- That perhaps you changed your shield in order

to change your identity, after having fled from a battle.

Or worse. - Worse?

What on Earth could be worse than that?

- I ask you to take back your suggestion,

it casts a doubt on my honor.

- I take back nothing until you explain why

you changed your shield.

- This knight seems most anxious to avoid a fight.

- I wish that our paths had not crossed

on this pleasant morning. - I don't doubt that.

- I came in peace to join the Round Table.

I sought no fight. - Explain about your shield!

- I've already explained, you force my hand.

- You needn't fight you know.

You could always use the excuse that you're wounded,

your armor-- - I would just make

one request.

I would fight on foot, for my horse is weary.

- We are challenged.

I suppose one of us has to fight him.

- Our squires are not far away, when they come along

we'll pitch a pavilion and prepare for combat.

- I'm ready now. - Which one of us

do you wish to fight?

- All three of you. - Very well, which one of us

do you wish to fight first?

- All three of you, at once.

I have no wish to dally over this affair,

I might miss the mid-day meal at Camelot.

(dramatic music)

- You should not have said that about the mid-day meal.

They are very angry! - Exactly, Leonides.

And angry men fight like fools.

(suspenseful music)

(dramatic music) (weapons clattering)

Ah ha!

(weapons clattering)

Ha, ho!

- [Knight] Oh!

(weapons clattering)

- I yield.

(dispirited music)

(regal music)

(mysterious music)

(popping)

(suspenseful music)

(regal music)

(relaxing music)

- [Servant] Sire.

- Good King Arthur, Knights of the Round Table,

I have a prediction!

(popping)

Before the sands will have fallen to the bottom

of the glass, there will appear at this court,

seeking a place at the Round Table,

a knight so powerful that he fights

with the strength of three men!

- Be more tidy with your magic!

- How do you know this, Merlin?

- Pondering the secrets of the stars,

I fell into a trance and in a vision

I saw this knight approaching Camelot.

Does my news disturb you?

(groaning) - Forgive Sir Gawaine,

his brother lies upstairs, sorely wounded.

None of us has yet recovered from the terrible battle

last week against King Gwile of Lothan.

- Perhaps I should withdraw, and take my glass with me.

- No.

If your prediction is accurate,

this knight will arrive most fortunately.

(poignant music) So many empty seats,

so many noble knights gone from us forever.

The war against King Gwile was a just one,

and our victory glorious!

- We are plagued with the unkingly thought,

that neither side emerges victorious.

Such a bloody battle.

- My Lord, Queen Guinevere.

(pleasant music)

- Our heart is heavy, Gawaine.

Your brother Gaheris is dead.

- Why?

I know who cut my brother down!

- How so? - This piece of steel was

found in his wood!

It comes from the sword of the most

formidable of King Gwile's knights,

he who wore the red plume.

- I remember him well, the red plume was

everywhere in the battle, and its owner inflicted

grievous losses upon us.

- Sir King, I ask a boon.

- Speak, Gawaine.

- Go on a quest, seek out this Knight of the Red Plume,

fight him to the death, and thus avenge my brother.

- This boon we grant you, Gawaine.

The sand's run out, Merlin.

Where is this champion knight who fights with

the strength of three men?

- He will arrive.

(regal music)

- Why do you return so soon, Sir Kay?

- We have been overcome in combat, Sire.

We return as prisoners.

- Were all three of you overcome by one man?

- Yes, by one formidable knight.

- Honest fight, it only fair to mention.

- Our captor requests an audience, Sir King.

- Send him in!

- Sire, observe the glass.

(pleasant music)

(dramatic regal music)

- My Lord King, I am Sir Lancelot of the Lake.

- We were expecting you.

Your coming was predicted by Merlin, the Magician.

You hold three of my knights prisoners by combat.

What ransom must I pay for them?

- If you will accept me as a Knight of the Round Table,

and judge me only by the deeds I do henceforth,

then I will gladly yield the prisoners.

- Our ranks are thin, Sir Lancelot.

A man of your prowess would be welcome indeed.

But there is much about you yet to be proved.

Prowess in combat means nothing,

unless that prowess is used to uphold the laws of chivalry.

- It was to uphold those laws that I came here, Sire.

- We rule that you be given a fair trial.

Come.

Will you swear to revere our royal person?

Will you ride abroad, redressing human wrongs?

Will you be valiant, courteous, and merciful?

(tense music) Will you serve and defend,

women of all ranks in every kind of need?

- [Lancelot] I will.

- Then prove yourself worthy, and you shall

take a place at the Round Table,

among these most noble knights.

(dramatic music)

(metallic clanging) (lively music)

- Master Armorer!

(steam hissing)

Another challenge for your art, Master Mark.

This is Sir Lancelot of the Lake.

- Yeah. - His equipment is badly

in need of repair.

- Who mended this last, an apprentice?

- No I did, it was in the midst of a battle.

- Yeah...

- Don't worry, he growls and complains

but he's the best armorer in the land!

- What concerns me most is my sword.

- Uh, that'll have to be heated and beaten out.

- I can't believe there's anything dishonorable about him.

- If he is an enemy, then we must know it.

Will you help?

- Yes, I should like to know the truth.

- Then, I must have that sword, before it is reforged!

- You mind if I watch while you do it?

The proper balance of my sword is important to me.

- Sir Lancelot.

- My Lady!

- Since you are a stranger in Camelot, I thought it only

courteous to show you something of your new surroundings.

- My Lady, I, I should be most honored!

It's only a sword, do as you think fit.

(pensive music)

- Give me that!

(dramatic music)

(relaxing music)

- The King brought me up here on the day I came to Camelot.

The day of our marriage.

- It's very beautiful.

It had long been my dream to kneel

and pay homage to King Arthur.

- He is a great man.

- Yes, he is.

I think the reason is that he, inspires loyalty.

- That is true.

Once having known him it becomes unthinkable

that one could be disloyal to him in any way.

- It would be quite impossible.

- Sir Lancelot,

are you pledged to the service of any young damsel?

- I came to Camelot with a free heart.

- There are many fair ladies in Camelot, it would be

your privilege to champion one.

You shall meet some soon.

- I'd rather not. - But why?

- Well, I may never be a Knight of the Round Table.

- Is there any reason why you should not be?

Anything you have not told us that would disqualify you?

- Nothing that I know of, Lady Guinevere.

- My Lord!

Here is proof Sire!

Sir Lancelot is the knight with the red plume!

He is responsible for many of those empty seats.

He and he alone slew my brother!

I intend to kill him.

- How, Sir Gawaine?

He has hardly rested from his travels.

- I count each minute lost as my brother's

death stands unavenged.

You granted me a boon, Sire.

- It is true I gave you my word.

The battle then will be this afternoon.

(sword clanking)

- May I intrude, Master Merlin?

I see you're at work. - Part of my work is to

consult with knights who seek my aid.

They often come up here asking for prophecies.

- I'm not interested in any new prophecies just now.

I'd like to know how you reached your last one,

about my arrival.

My destination was known only to myself.

May I ask how you reached your decision that I was coming?

- I have a reputation as a magician.

- I know but, I would still like...

- Something else disturbs you, Sir Lancelot?

- Yes.

You were writing as I entered.

- True.

- This parchment is completely blank,

there's nothing written on it.

- An excellent precaution against inquisitive visitors,

wouldn't you say?

- I've never seen a fruit like this before.

- It was brought to me from the Iberian Peninsula,

it is called lemon.

Any other questions?

- A few.

Do you believe in magicians? - I believe in myself.

A man's peace of mind demands that!

- I won't gain much enlightenment if I have

to depend on your answers to my questions.

This mirror is most inconveniently located

for looking at one's self.

- I am long past the age of such vanities.

- But it is ideally placed for, shall we say,

- What? - receiving light signals

from some distant point?

Merlin, are you acquainted with one

Leonides the hermit of the crossroads?

- Lancelot, it is not only your skill at arms

that makes you a most unusual knight,

but I hope you have one other virtue.

Discretion.

- Enough not to make the enemy of a Master Magician.

I won't say a word. - Lancelot!

(dramatic music)

To the death!

- Why do you challenge me, Gawaine?

- You are the knight in the red plume!

I have proof that you, killed my brother!

(dramatic music)

- It grieves me to decree a fight unto the death,

yet I cannot deny Sir Gawaine's right of challenge.

If you are indeed the red plumed knight

who slew his brother.

Do you deny the charge? - I do not deny it.

- Then let the battle begin.

(dramatic music)

(hooves pounding) (suspenseful music)

(dramatic music)

(suspenseful music)

(dramatic music)

(gasping)

(suspenseful music)

(pounding hooves)

(dramatic music)

(swords clattering)

(onlookers gasping)

(dispirited music)

- Sire, with your permission I would spare

the life of this great knight!

Sir Gawaine and I have no real reason to be enemies!

- But did you not kill Sir Gawaine's brother?

- Sir Gaheris and I fought as honest knights,

each defending his king!

Sire, I must explain!

I am the son of King Ban, of Benwick.

When I was 12 years old, my father lost a war.

Before he charged into that last hopeless battle,

he made me swear an oath.

I swore to seek my father's friend King Gwile,

and serve him as his true son.

Thus when you, King Arthur, fought King Gwile,

I found myself arrayed in battle against the

Knights of the Round Table.

- But when you come here seeking to join

the Round Table, are you not betraying your

sacred vows to King Gwile?

- During the battle King Gwile was badly wounded.

On his deathbed he released me from my oath.

Then I came here, free at last to serve the

cause that has for so long been closest to my heart!

(audience cheering)

- Quickly!

Bring the leeches to attend to the wounds of Sir Gawaine!

(audience applauding) Knights of the Round Table!

I order you to assemble in the great hall, within the hour!

(dramatic music)

Can anyone offer reason why Sir Lancelot should not

be accepted as a Knight of the Round Table?

- My Lord, I feel that forces powerful and mysterious,

are about to show us a sign.

(mysterious music)

Observe.

(dramatic music)

- Kneel.

I proclaim you, Sir Lancelot of the Lake,

a Knight of the Round Table.

By custom, you are entitled now to ask one boon,

which I will grant, if it be in my power.

- Sire, a knight is not yet fully armed

until he wears a favor of a lady fair.

- Certainly you will have the right to champion a lady,

and dedicate your deeds to her.

When you have chosen. - I have already chosen, Sire.

I would champion Queen Guinevere.

- I'm sure that Queen Guinevere will take

great pride in being championed by so noble a knight.

(dramatic music)

(cheerful music)

♪ Now listen to my story

♪ Yes listen while I sing

♪ Of days of old in England

♪ When Arthur was the king

♪ Of Merlin the Magician and Guinevere the Queen ♪

♪ And Lancelot the bravest knight the world has ever seen ♪

♪ In days of old, when knights were bold ♪

♪ This story's told, of Lancelot ♪

♪ He roamed the wilds of England, adventures for to seek ♪

♪ To rescue maidens in distress and help the poor and weak ♪

♪ If anyone oppressed you he'd be your champion ♪

♪ He fought a million battles and he never lost a one ♪

♪ In days of old, when knights were bold ♪

♪ This story's told, of Lancelot ♪

♪ In days of old, when knights were bold ♪

♪ This story's told, of Lancelot ♪

- Now you know the origins of Lancelot,

in this show's version of the story,

and what an honorable reputation he earned.

Whatever variations there have been in the countless

re-tellings over the centuries, one fairly constant element

has been the knight's love for Arthur's wife,

Queen Guinevere, the beginning of which we see here.

In the traditional fables, that helped lead to a civil war,

and ultimately the downfall of their castle Camelot.

This series remained more upbeat over its

remaining 29 episodes however, and you get to see

quite an inspiring one right now.

From September the 22nd, 1958,

The Adventures of Sir Lancelot's second episode.

(dramatic music)

- My Lord Arthur, there is a lad outside,

he begs audience and speaks of a castle besieged

and a damsel in distress.

- We will hear his story.

(tense music)

- Sire, I have traveled on foot two days and a night,

my master's castle is besieged,

the fair maiden Helen is in danger!

- Calm yourself, lad.

What is your name?

- Brian, my Lord. - And who is your master?

- He is named Urgan the Strong,

his castle lies in the black hills.

- In what capacity do you serve Lord Urgan?

- I am the kitchen boy.

- This would seem a likely mission for Sir Lancelot.

- Sir Lancelot is new to the Round Table,

the lifting of a siege is no light matter.

- But Sire, he's anxious to serve you.

- Very well, Merlin. - I will fetch him myself.

- Who is it that lays siege to your master's castle?

- A villainous lord named Melius the Mighty,

and his two sons, both powerful knights.

- Your pardon, Queen Guinevere,

Sir Lancelot, the king commands your presence,

you are about to be given your first mission

for the Round Table.

- Good, is the mission important?

- Who can tell, fair maiden in castle,

besieged by wicked knight, they all sound important.

But come, the king awaits you!

- Will you pardon me my Lady?

- I wish you luck, Sir Lancelot.

- Come on!

Come!

There is the lad that will lead you to the fray.

- Sir Lancelot?

But no one's ever heard of him.

Sire, if you can just spare one knight,

can it not be a champion like Sir Gawaine, or Sir Tristram

or one of the others the minstrels sing about?

- All the knights of the Round Table are champions.

Furthermore, we are not used to having

our decisions questioned by a kitchen boy!

- [Brian] I spoke not for myself Sire, but for my master.

- It would seem that this is a most particular kitchen boy.

(Lancelot chuckling) Stay here a moment,

and I will stage an entrance for your arrival.

- But Sire he-- - Rise, Brian!

Sir Lancelot is a good knight, it matters not that

minstrels have yet to sing about him.

- Yes but s-- - Any more of your insolence,

and I'll have your ears boxed!

- But Sire, I feel sure that your young friend,

when he sees Sir Lancelot, will be more than satisfied.

Brian, Prince of Pots and Pans, I present to you

Sir Lancelot!

(explosion cracking)

- Ah, there you are, Lancelot.

Sir Lancelot, you will accompany this youth

to his masters castle, there to impose

Justice with your sword, and rescue the fair Helen.

- Sire, I thank you for granting me this mission.

I shall go at once. (dramatic music)

(suspenseful music)

(vigorous music)

- Tell me, Brian, with the castle besieged

how did you manage to get out?

- There's a wall on one side that can be

climbed easily, if you know how.

- And didn't they see you?

- One of their bowmen did, but he missed me.

- So you risked your life.

Why? - My master ordered me too.

- But once you'd escaped, you didn't have to go to Camelot.

- Oh, I wanted to, I've always wanted

to go to King Arthur's court.

Why do knights risk their lives?

- Well, that's what a knight is supposed to do.

Protect the innocent against those who attack them,

you swear an oath when you get the accolade.

- Do all knights take the oath seriously?

- Some do, some don't. - I think if I were a knight

I'd take the oath seriously.

But who's ever heard of a kitchen boy becoming a knight?

I'll have to be satisfied with being a prince,

like Merlin said, the Prince of Pots and Pans.

(chuckling) (dramatic music)

(rattling)

(shouting) (crashing)

- Pagans surrender!

(laughs) You black hearted, fish stealing dog!

- Never, you filthy poacher!

- Up again! (chuckling)

(rattling)

(crashing)

(birds chirping) (hooves pounding)

- That's the castle,

and there's Sir Melius and his men!

- [Melius] How do you like that, Urgan (laughs)!

- Does Melius or any of his men know you by sight?

- No. - Then you'll act

as my squire, a squire can't be punished for

the deeds of his knight.

Don't be worried, the laws of chivalry will protect you.

- Laws of chivalry?

I doubt if Melius or his sons have ever heard of them.

- Tether the horses squire.

- Squire!

(laughing) - Who's this?

Who are you? - Sir Lancelot,

Knight of the Round Table.

- What Round Table? - King Arthur's.

And in his name I order you to raise this siege, and go.

- Yes, and what if we don't?

- Force will be used against you.

- How many men do you bring with you?

- I'm alone.

(laughing)

- It's a pity nobody taught you to keep your nose

out of private fights!

(twanging) (dramatic music)

(grunting)

Andred, Ralph, cut him down, no mercy!

(swords clattering)

- Well done, Brian!

- Mercy, mercy, Sir Knight!

You wouldn't let him strike an unarmed old man?

- Yield!

- I, I yield.

- (chuckling) You have delivered us from defeat

and death at the hands of these monsters!

- They seem to have done some damage with this

catapult of theirs.

If I were you I'd set them to work repairing it.

- We'll hold them to account for it don't worry.

Clodion, take these prisoners to the dungeon

till I can deal with them!

Never did I see such a valiant battle fought

by one against so many.

- Luckily for me I wasn't alone.

Your young man here helped me out when I needed it most.

- Brian!

Ah, my daughter Helen,

Sir Lancelot who has rescued us from our enemies.

- Welcome Sir Lancelot,

we are indeed grateful for your help.

Will you please enter? - In one moment, my dear.

Helen is 19 years old, but as yet unwed.

She's a gentle, obedient girl, and as you see, beautiful.

- She is indeed, but I must finish telling you about Brian.

Do you realize if it hadn't been for him

I might well have been overcome?

- [Urgan] You're jesting, he's but a kitchen boy!

- Your kitchen boy traveled all the way to Camelot for help.

- Yes I know he did, and we missed him.

Your work's been neglected, look!

You'll have to work hard, so we can entertain our champion!

Now that you have refreshed yourself Sir Knight,

the time has come to discuss your reward.

- Thank you Sir Urgan but, I seek no reward.

- No reward?

The idea is unthinkable!

After all you've done for us, unthinkable.

- I'm a Knight of the Round Table, as such I'm pledged

to fight that serpent which threatens us all.

- Serpent, Sir Knight?

- A serpent with many heads, Urgan.

One is called injustice, another is greed,

a third is prejudice.

I'm sure you've come across it from time to time.

- Oh, that serpent. - Yes, that serpent.

And whenever I'm lucky enough to land a good solid blow,

as I think I did today, well, that's reward enough for me.

- And quite right too, my boy.

But I'm sure there's nothing in your oath to say

that you're not allowed to receive a little something extra.

The most valuable gift we have to bestow.

- I'm sure Lady Helen is most--

- No wait, wait, let me speak.

With my daughter's hand go no less than

80 gold pieces as a dowry.

- Oh father how can you? - Urgan, I don't want to

suggest that your offer isn't extremely generous--

- All right, all right, one mustn't quibble

at a time like this.

For a Knight of the Round Table,

the dowry is 100 pieces of gold.

- Oh! - Lady, please!

- She's a sensitive child,

not used to the ways of the world.

Do you find her beautiful? - Yes of course but--

- Good then tell her so.

I think I'd better leave you young people alone.

Get to know her. Take all the time you want.

(tender music)

- Why are you so sad?

Is the prospect of marriage to me so unpleasant?

- Noble, sir! - My lady, I'm sorry

to see you like this but-- - Sir Knight, before you speak

I beg you to understand-- - Helen, you must allow me

to explain. You and I can--

- It won't be fair to let you go on, Sir Lancelot,

when the truth is I cannot accept your proposal.

- You can't what? - I can never be yours!

- Why do you say that? - My heart is already

pledged to another. - Ah, well that

certainly changes things. - Not that I'm not grateful

for all that you've done for us!

I owe you life, and if you wish to claim

the debt, you may, only, I implore you!

Have mercy on me! - Helen, sweet Helen,

there's no need to talk of mercy or of gratitude,

the fact is I'm rather relieved.

- Do you mean, you never meant to marry me at all?

- Well I'm, I'm sure you'll make someone

a wonderful husband, uh, wife! - Come, come, Sir Knight,

you must do better than that, it's not every day

that a lady is jilted! - Jilted!

- You must have been terribly embarrassed when my father

started throwing me at you!

(chuckling) - No more I suppose than you.

That's a situation I would just as soon avoid in the future.

- But in the future you must confine your rescue

to widows and children! - (chuckles) I'm not usually

given the choice but I'll try!

Now, speaking of your father,

how are we going to handle him?

I presume he doesn't know about your romance?

- Oh no, it's the strictest possible secret!

We have to meet where no one can see us!

- Then it's best for both of us if

I turn out to be an unspeakable scoundrel,

and simply walk out on you.

Your father won't be able to put the blame on you for that,

and he won't find out your secret either.

- I shall never forget you, Sir Lancelot.

- Now, is there any way I can get back

to where I left my horse without being seen?

- Yes, I'll show you. - Perhaps you can tell

Sir Urgan I was tired and went to my bed chamber?

- It's clear.

- By the time they look for me I'll be

well on my way to Camelot.

- I shall pray for your happiness, Lancelot.

- And I for yours, Helen.

(tense music) (metallic rattling)

I have to say goodbye Brian.

- You're gone already, for good?

- I must, unannounced. - I hoped at least,

I was finishing my work so I could go out with you

in the morning, show you the best places to hunt.

- I would have liked that, but it can't be.

- What about your other horse, the one I rode?

- It's yours, it's a small enough reward

for what you did for me.

Farewell, Brian. - Farewell, Sir Lancelot.

(dramatic music)

(pleasant music)

- Brian, what are you doing here!

- Cooking your breakfast.

It was a chilly morning so I gathered some wood

and started a fire, and caught a rabbit and

got some water and-- - Now wait a minute,

you know what I mean!

Why aren't you at your master's castle?

- I ran away, more or less it's your fault.

- Oh?

So I forced you to run away?

- Oh I didn't say that quite, but you did

make me your squire yesterday for a time,

and afterwards you said I'd done well.

- True. - Well it had a strange

effect on me!

I don't ever want to wash another pot.

All I can think of is being a squire, your squire,

and riding 'round the country,

helping you in your adventures!

Try some broth.

I know I'm a little young, but I'm strong

and can be useful to you in more ways than one!

I can do-- - We'll see about that.

You go and look to the horses.

(pensive music)

(suspenseful music)

What's the meaning of this, who are you?

- My name is Andred, and you'll never marry

Lady Helen while I'm alive!

- How do you know I'm going to marry her?

- Urgan her father insisted so!

- You must be the man she really loves!

- I am, and I'm prepared to fight for her.

Stand and fight, coward!

(swords clattering) (water splashing)

(swords clattering)

(thumping) Ooh!

(crashing)

- What's that?

- What's what?

Oh, oh that, that's only my castle being attacked again.

- Well don't just stand there!

- [Andred] Oh it's all right it happened many times.

- Well all the more reason not to stand there, come on!

- Me too? - Why not?

- An adventure already!

I don't care what happens to me,

I'll never wash another pot!

(dramatic music)

- Ready!

Fire!

(rattling)

(crashing) - Who is the leader here?

- Lancelot, our champion!

- Urgan! - I thought you were

asleep in my castle!

- Ha ha, we didn't need your help this time sir,

we decided to let you rest!

- Urgan.

Why are you assaulting this castle?

- Why not, there's nobody there but women and children.

The men are our prisoners thanks to you.

In an hour the castle will be mine.

Let me explain my strategy-- - Never mind the strategy!

Get back to your castle!

- What are you saying?

I thought you were on our side!

- I see no difference between what they

were doing yesterday, and what you are doing now.

- Well the difference is today they're

the helpless ones, thanks to you!

- You're pledged to our cause, on your honor as a knight!

- My pledge to you ended when I freed your castle

from the siege, now it is you who are breaking the peace!

- What peace?

Between Urgan the Strong and Melius the Mighty

there is no peace, and never will be!

- We shall see about that!

You stay here.

- I think he's turning against us.

You'll have to kill him.

- You mean me, kill Lancelot?

Why that's the most unfatherly suggestion I've ever heard!

- Sir Lancelot, you're not going to kill him,

you won't kill my Andred!

- I was only going to free his father and brother.

- Have you been meeting secretly with that enemy girl?

- Father I just can't think of her as an enemy!

- Then you better start!

- Apparently the younger generation doesn't share

your fierce feelings about this family quarrel.

Come on, we're gonna have a peace conference!

- Peace, never!

- Now, what's this feud all about and how did it start?

- Oh yeah, oh yeah it was a great many years ago,

something about fishing rights.

Oh yes, his people kept fishing in my stream!

- My stream!

His poachers stole my fish!

- Wasn't it possible to reach a compromise?

- Compromise?

Never! - Our quarrel can

only be settled in blood!

- Yes, and the pity is it has to be the blood

of your sons and liegemen, while you two sit back and watch!

Of course, if you both weren't both too old to fight--

- Who's too old? - I'm still as mighty

as I ever was! - I can cleave you in two

with one blow! (chuckling)

- Then that's our solution!

Single combat between the heads of the families!

- Right! - Right!

(dramatic music)

- [Lancelot] When I give you the signal.

- Now you've started another fight.

- Well at least you're not taking part.

- It's so ridiculous, in their minds they fight

major battles and in reality, it's just two old men,

a handful of servants and a catapult.

- Yes. - And it goes on

and on and on! - Well, maybe this

will be the last one.

(tense music)

Now!

(weapons clattering) (dramatic music)

- Don't you think they'll hurt each other?

- Not a chance, a few bruises maybe.

Faster, Sir Urgan!

Stronger, Sir Melius!

They don't look as fierce as they sounded do they, Brian?

(dispirited music)

And they're losing their audience.

Parley, time for a parley!

There can be no victor in this contest,

you are both invincible!

- Water!

- My heart... - Fetch them water.

Now, you have two choices.

You want to go on fighting?

- Can't. - My legs.

- Then you must settle this quarrel for good,

and learn to live as neighbors.

Now, can we reach some agreement about this fishing stream?

- No stream now. - Dried up years ago.

- (chuckles) Well, you might have told me that before.

Anyway the only thing to be decided is,

which child inherits which castle.

- Not dead yet, quite.

- Child? - Look, unless I miss

my guess there's a marriage in the making

between your children, and there's nothing

you can do about it, except give them your blessing.

Unless you wish to fight again.

- Friend.

- Like old times.

- My boy, your girl. - My girl, your boy.

- You've done a lot for us, Sir Lancelot.

- Yes, we'd like to give you a boon!

- Well there's only one thing I'll accept from you.

- Name it!

- The custody of Brian. - Brian, the kitchen boy?

Oh take him of course, but we wanted

to give you something valuable!

- I for one consider Brian as valuable.

He's cheeky, disobedient, and he has a lot to learn.

But he has a good head, a strong right arm, and courage.

Coming, squire?

(cheerful music)

(perky music)

♪ Now listen to my story

♪ Yes listen while I sing

♪ Of days of old in England, when Arthur was the king. ♪

♪ Of Merlin the Magician, and Guinevere the Queen ♪

♪ And Lancelot the bravest knight the world has ever seen ♪

♪ In days of old, when knights were bold ♪

♪ This story's told, of Lancelot ♪

♪ He roamed the wilds of England, adventure for to seek ♪

♪ To rescue maidens in distress and help the poor and weak ♪

♪ If anyone oppressed you he'd be your champion ♪

♪ He fought a million battles and he never lost a one ♪

♪ In days of old, when knights were bold ♪

♪ This story's told, of Lancelot ♪

♪ In days of old, when knights were bold ♪

♪ This story's told, of Lancelot ♪

- This episode contained a couple of things

revolutionary for when the story was set,

and maybe even ahead of its time for when it was filmed.

We saw Brian overcome class barriers and

achieve his dreams through ambition and determination,

and we saw Helen will her way to marriage

with the man she loved instead of the one

to whom her father wanted to pay a huge dowry.

I like to think the latter was inspired by

Producer Helen Weinstein's own stature as

a breaker of barriers for women, and it's also hard to

deny the influence of Romeo and Juliet on the episode.

Once great stories enter a culture's

collective consciousness, they continue

to come to life in some form over and over the way

tales of Sir Lancelot have.

We hope you enjoyed our look back at

his television series tonight.

Join us next week as we go in an entirely different

but equally fun direction, and watch some Atomic Age shorts

as I Remember Television, again.

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