Knightfall – the first episode!



The Knights Templar have been due a good dramatic treatment for a while – and Knightfall looks like it’ll deliver the goods. Of course, much of the politics and intrigue of that historical period had to be explained in the first episode, which has just broadcast in the United States – but I thought this was done effectively without resorting to clunky dialogue.

The plot for Knightfall involves a quest for the Holy Grail and readers of this blog will know that there has been a long association between that sacred vessel and the Knights. People were making the Templar/Grail connection when the order was still in business in the 13th century. Is there a 100% proven link? No, of course not. But it’s fun to speculate and the Templars’ search for the lost Grail will give the series a thrilling impetus.

The action starts in the first episode in the aftermath of defeat for the crusaders at Acre, now called Akko in modern Israel. That brought the crusader project in the Middle East to a thundering close.

Knightfall opens with the Holy Grail disappearing!

During the fighting, the Grail has been lost. A knight called Landry must now retrieve it by whatever means. Everything moves to Paris where the Templars are kicking around with no crusades to fight, their Holy Grail is missing and the King of France, Philip, is involved in some dubious dealings with Pope Boniface VIII. In the middle of all the intrigue is the king’s scheming counsellor William De Nogaret – who has a major downer on the Knights Templar.

The performances from Jim Carter as Boniface VIII and Julian Ovenden as De Nogaret are delicious. They reminded me of the kind of fine acting that made the 1970s BBC series I Claudius such a timeless classic. Sure they’re eating the scenery but it’s fun to watch.

Rather unfairly, in my view, some reviewers of the first episode have made constant comparisons with another History series, Vikings. Well, I guess the simple answer is – the Knights Templar weren’t Vikings. I’d also point out that Vikings got off to a pretty slow start before audiences fell in love with the series.

Keep watching Knightfall and tell me what you think!

One thought on “Knightfall – the first episode!

  1. Hi Tony ! Thank you for the review of the 1st episode ! Haha–you know that i watched it both times, back to back & would watch it again! Moving on, my 1st ,out of the gate impression was also that it was a slow start, but as i contemplated it further, i quickly realized that the producer, cast & historians did an amazing, outstanding thing !! I am so—very pleased that you took the time to present & revert back to the historical, foundational stage of the Templar’s beginnings & the times before Jacque de Molay! This indeed set the stage in my mind,clearly allowing me to grasp & understand fully what was taking place beforehand! I did however wish that your starting place would have been at the point that they were still just humble monks, serving in their monastery, going about their daily routines! Nevertheless ! A slow start? Yes, and bravo for it !! You all did exactly—the right thing !! Some things are best tasted, savoured & chewed on, a little at a time for sure ! I am thrilled & sincerely hope that you continue on-slowly! Bravo again !!! Thank you so much ! God Bless you all !!

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