The Devil’s Crown – the series the BBC won’t repeat

Français : Temple Church, Temple, London EC4, ...
Français : Temple Church, Temple, London EC4, effigy of William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke, on the south side of the Round Church (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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 Plantagenet 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”.

After some reticence to have the video made available on YouTube, the BBC seems to have relented and here is an episode for your enjoyment. Bit dated – but fascinating viewing:




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