Back in the 1970s, we may have had less TV channels but there was some great Saturday morning viewing. Including a French Knight Templar series, Thibaud ou Les Croisades with the hero played by the French-Canadian actor André Lawrence. It first broadcast between 1968 and 1969 and was then repeated for several years after before disappearing.
Interestingly, the hero – Thibaud – was supposed to be half-French and half-Arab, which was very advanced thinking for that time. Not made for little children, it got bought by the BBC as yet another cheap European drama series to be dubbed and played out. But actually, the themes were surprisingly adult and the action sequences quite stunning at times.
I’m sure that it was a series like Thibaud that introduced me to the Knights Templar. The hero is more like a police officer trying to maintain peaceful relations between the different communities as opposed to a blood-soaked conqueror. Of course, I’m sure we can now dissect Thibaud in some very negative and critical ways. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
It was a product of its time.
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