Cert 15 Stars 3
There’s a strong northern accent to this admirably earthy take on Arthurian legend, as it’s written and directed by Yorkshireman Giles Alderson, and stars the solid presence of Geordie actor Richard Short as a battle hardened Arthur.
Freeing England by defeating the Romans has taken a toll on Arthur, who’s living in France as a drunk and bearded brawler and must overcome his personal demons in order to unite his unruly Knights of the Round Table to save England again, this time from his illegitimate adult son Mordred, a sneering and arrogant Joel Phillimore.
Stella Stocker’s solemn and steely Queen Guinevere is captive in Camelot. and though we see less than we’d imagine of Richard Brake as Arthur’s mercurial spiritual guru, the wizard Merlin, we’re not shortchanged of Lancelot or Percival, and the Lady in the Lake, and the Sword in the Stone of course appear.
Filmed only in natural light and making good use of locations, this is very much the Game of Thrones version of Arthur, as supernatural elements combine with a dour muddy realism to create a meaty experience.