Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Maybe I’m going soft in the head in my old age, but I watched the final episode of Cock Knockers. Why? I’m not sure really. Maybe it was to see whether it had improved at all, bringing it up from batshit crazy to comfortably dumb. So, basically, I wasted another hour of my life.

My interest had been piqued by the fact that they were after Excalibur this time, although judging from the story, had this been a running subplot throughout the series? You see, I love the Arthurian legends and all the various takes on them, whether it’s John Boorman’s Excalibur or Mike Barr and Brian Bolland’s Camelot 3000 or Gilliam’s The Fisher King.

Unfortunately, that love wasn’t carried over to this load of old pants which turned out to be the sort of thing that once upon a time would have made by the Children’s Film Foundation. These silly little stories, with their quests for the cross of Christ and the sword of Arthur, and whatever toss went on in between, seemed almost a throwback to the nutty ITC dramas greenlit by Lew Grade in the 1960s and early 70s.

ITV tried to resurrect this sort of entertainment, which is usually only now fully appreciated by people with severe frontal lobe damage, a couple of years back with The Outsiders. Aiming to be in the vein of Danger Man or The Persuaders!, it was frankly awful because it was written by some idiot who simply didn’t have a fucking clue.

Oddly enough, even the pilot of Fringe, the new science fiction drama from JJ Abrams harks back to the opening episode of ITC’s Department S in that the plot revolves around the landing of a passenger jet and the resulting danger to its passengers. Of course, in this day and age, Fringe gives it some juice with a biological hazard that turns people into puree, which makes it just slightly more frightening than Peter Wyngarde’s Jason King.

Anyway, after the twaddle of Crack Snackers was over, I mooched around its website for the first time, looking to see if there was anything that made sense. Hilariously, there was a number of history pages that tried their damnedest to connect all the tommyrot in the half-dozen episodes to some semblance of truth.

Amazingly, the King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table page didn’t confirm that Excalibur came to Earth in 2222 BC, so I assume that opening for the episode was either artistic license or simply complete stinking bullshit. That aside, when it comes to Arthur, the historian writes:

His most famous victory was at Mons Badonicus, a place that can be translated as Badbury Hill - of which there are several in southern Britain. This battle is significant as it is also described by Gildas in De Excidio Britanniae, a sixth century source, but which notably fails to mention Arthur; Gildas’s victor is Ambrosius Aurelianus.

Okay. So what he’s saying is that in St. Gildas’ Concerning the Ruin of Britain, which is regarded as the sole writings of any substance that survive from the Anglo-Saxon conquest of Britain, the events from the fifth century, out of which came the legend of King Arthur, completely fail to mention Arthur. I see. So, what he’s really saying is... King Arthur didn’t fucking exist! Really? Who would have thunk it?

We haven’t yet heard whether a second series has been commissioned. Really, the fate of the numpty archaeologists should be left in the hands of J.J. Hunsecker:

You're dead, son. Get yourself buried.


At 7:18 pm, Blogger Ian said...

Sounds like you need to play the Bonekickers drinking game:

At 8:13 pm, Blogger Good Dog said...

Oh, yesh!

If only we all had this knowledge before. I think, though, our livers would have blown up before the end of the first episode.

To add to the list, when poor Hugh Bonneville came out with "Don't mess with me, I'm an archaeologist!" (or whatever tripe it was) in the final episode everyone should have smashed the empties against their skulls.


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