Did the networks think to involve the author of a certain recent book about a medieval king who had, in fact, a very interesting entourage? No—but that article suggests that their oversight is probably for the best. “Costume dramas have had a rough time on broadcast television,” the writer claims, and boy, is she right, especially when they’re set in the Middle Ages. As far as I can remember, the last time such a show appeared on American network television was 15 years ago, when seven episodes of “Covington Cross” limped across the prime-time schedule.
If you don’t remember “Covington Cross,” head over to the invention that always makes me glad I don’t live in the Middle Ages—namely, YouTube—and watch the opening titles, which appear to combine the arming sequence from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight with surplus equestrian footage from the “Blackadder” credits.
You can also enjoy a few scenes from the show, including some that feature the enchanting Ione Skye as the tomboyish Eleanor. Unfortunately, no one on YouTube has posted my favorite scene: the one where a young squire spends the evening outside Eleanor’s tower window holding a box over his head. (Tragically, nothing happens, because D-cell batteries for boom boxes wouldn’t be invented for another 500 years.) Right after that, Eleanor’s father takes her aside and reminds her, in a tender and memorable moment, “Wotest thu wel, thu canst enye thynge seye unto me.”
Ah, nostalgia. It’s enough to make one praise the resolution of all those fruitless searches and buy the DVDs…