I've been watching this series on DVD, and it's good, wholesome fun. Since I still have this Big Little Book from when I was a kid, I most likely watched it then too, but I don't really remember. What I do remember is this snappy theme song. Click arrow to play:
Sir Lancelot Theme
Produced in England by Saphire films, the series premiered in 1956 and ran 30 episodes. In the U.S., it was shown on NBC, and rerun on ABC. The final 14 episodes were in color. The DVD set below contains the complete series.
According to IMDb, Saphire films was allegedly funded by the American Communist Party, and the producer hired blacklisted American writers to provide scripts under carefully guarded pseudonyms. At the time Sir Lancelot was on the air, they were also producing The Adventures of Robin Hood (with Richard Greene) and The Buccaneers (with Robert Shaw). The shows made use of the same pool of actors, so if you've seen all three (like me), there are many familiar faces.
This show has plusses and minuses. On the plus side, the castles are cool, as are the costumes. There are some good actors here, most of them better than star William Russell, who is a bit too fresh-faced and righteous to be believable (There is, for example, no hint of any untoward interest in Guinevere). Most of the stories are pretty good. Far more entertaining than another series I've been watching lately - The Green Hornet.
On the minus side, the sword fights are pretty tepid affairs. The swords are flimsy, and the actors pull their strokes, probably for fear of breaking the blades. And the budget doesn't allow too many bodies. So when King Arthur leads his army to storm a castle, the army consists of four knights, while there are rarely more than three defenders on the castle walls.
But make no mistake, this set was well worth my time and money. Overlook it at your peril.
Overlooked Films (and other Audio and Video productions) is hosted each Tuesday by Todd Mason. Check Sweet Freedom for links to the rest of today's posts.
(click to enlarge)