In 1978 – fresh from the success of its Roman romp “I Claudius“, the BBC aired a medieval historical drama from April to August of that year called “The Devil’s Crown“. Following the stories and intrigues of the early Angevin, or Plantagenat if you prefer, monarchs from Henry II to John. It was quite bloody as I recall, being a teenager at the time, and involved some hapless prince being castrated in a dungeon – which was certainly the talk of the school playground the next day.
Brian Cox – he of Troy and countless other movies – played Henry II. The greatest knight that ever lived, or so it was said at the time, William Marshal – was played by former Doctor Who actor Patrick Troughton. The episodes had titles like “Bolt From The Blue”, “When Cage Birds Sing”, “Before the Dark” and “The Hungry Falcons”.
The BBC seems to have shown a certain reticence about releasing this on DVD. You can get details on the IMDb website here. But you will look in vain for a video. So – should a petition be drummed up to get this series – highly relevant to the Templars of course – out in the shops and online. Give us The Devil’s Crown BBC!
Here is an audio recording of the TV theme: