Wednesday, April 12, 2017

In Memory of Don Rickles

Comedian Don Rickles passed away recently. Arthurian enthusiasts might remember his portrayal of Cornwall, one half of a two-headed dragon, in the animated film Quest for Camelot (1998). The character is introduced (along with his other half, Devon) in the following musical number.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Kalamazoo 2018 Session

The Alliance is interested in sponsoring a round table on the upcoming King Arthur: The Legend of the Sword film (the first of a sex-film series, we are told) for next Kalamazoo (i.e. 2018).

Please contact us at should you be interested in participating.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

New article on Ritchie's King Arthur

Sci Fi magazine, a publication of the Syfy channel, has released a 3-page piece on the upcoming King Arthur film in its June 2017 issue. The number is available at newsstands and bookstores; you can also receive the magazine by subscription. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Synopsis for "Camelot/3000"

The Futon Critic website has posted the following plot synopsis for this week's upcoming episode of Legends of Tomorrow:



"Camelot/3000" - (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET) (TV-14, LV) (HDTV)

ALL FOR ONE - The Legends continue their quest to hunt down the Spear of Destiny before the pieces fall into the hands of the Legion of Doom. The Legends discover that pieces of the Spear are each being guarded in different time periods by members of the JSA. Their first stop is the future where they find Dr. Mid-Nite (guest star Kwesi Ameyaw) which eventually leads them to the past and King Arthur's Camelot, where Stargirl (guest star Sarah Grey) is protecting her piece of the Spear. In order to protect the Spear shard from the now-evil Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill), the Legends must join forces with the Knights of the Round Table. Caity Lotz, Franz Drameh, Victor Garber, Brandon Routh, Dominic Purcell, Nick Zano and Maisie Richardson-Sellers also star. Antonio Negret directed the episode written by Anderson MacKenzie (#212). Original airdate 2/21/2017.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Transformers: The Last Knight Super Bowl Extended Teaser

Here's the most recent trailer on Transformers: The Last Knight. Nothing specifically Arthurian or medieval here.

Transformers: The Last Knight Teaser

I found the first teaser for Transformers: The Last Knight. This was released last December. The "Arthurian" section appears near the beginning.

More on Transformers: The Last Knight

Another video from Nerdist News on Transformers: The Last Knight, but nothing specific on the Arthurian link.

Transformers: The Last Knight Speculation

I need to track down the trailer to Transformers: The Last Knight, but for now the following overview from offers some possible plot points, including speculation about Merlin, Excalibur, and Arthur.

Camelot/3000 Trailer

CW released a trailer last week for the upcoming Legends of Tomorrow episode "Camelot/3000". The episode airs next Tuesday, 2/21.

The website offers set of stills from the episode and plot details at

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Legends of Tomorrow Update

It was announced late last year that an upcoming episode of the CW series Legends of Tomorrow would be titled "Camelot/3000." Immediate speculation online (see for example  suggested a connection to the comic book series Camelot 3000 (details on the series at, but series co-creator/executive producer Marc Guggenheim has finally pronounced on the episode's content in a recent interview for IGN (, where he explains:
Yeah, that's a great episode. Actually Phil [Klemmer] and I were just on the editing room for that yesterday. I think the show does a great job with the production value and creating different time periods and Camelot sets a new bar. I will say, just managing expectations, we are not doing our adaptation of Camelot 3000 by Mike W. Barr. That slash in the title, Camelot/3000 is very much there for a reason. I'll just say it takes place in two time periods - the year 3000, and it takes place in Camelot. I was like, if we have an episode where we happen to be in Camelot and we happen to be in the year 3000 and we don't call it some variation of Camelot 3000, we're doing something wrong. That's sort of all I'll say.
Further details to follow as they become available. The episode is set to air on 21 February 2017.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Medieval in American Popular Culture sessions

Our affiliate, Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture is sponsoring a session on "The Medieval in American Popular Culture: Reflections in Commemoration of the 80th Anniversary of Prince Valiant." Complete details can be found at our main site at

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Kalamazoo 2017 News

Please check out our sibling blog, Medieval Studies on Screen, for details on our call for papers for next year's International Congress on Medieval Studies. The session is devoted to animated representations of the medieval and is offered in memory of the late Michael N. Salda, author of Arthurian Animation: A Study of Cartoon Camelots on Film and Television.

Details at

Friday, July 10, 2015

Brennan on BBC's Merlin

From the latest number of Arthuriana:

Brennan, Joseph. “ ‘You Could Shame the Great Arthur Himself’: A Queer Reading of Lancelot from BBC’s Merlin with Respect to the Character in Malory, White, and Bradley.” Arthuriana 25.2 (Summer 2015): 20-43.

Accessible at Project MUSE at

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Holy Grail on Film Updated

Here is the full information about Kevin Harty's new collection:

The Holy Grail on Film: Essays on the Cinematic Quest
Edited by Kevin J. Harty

Print ISBN: 978-0-7864-7785-2
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-4766-2053-4
17 photos, notes, bibliographies, index
256pp. softcover (7 x 10) 2015

Buy Now! Price: $45.00
Available for immediate shipment

About the Book
This collection of new essays is the first to study film depictions of the quest for the Holy Grail—the holy Christian relic of legend supposedly used by Jesus at the Last Supper. Scholars from a range of disciplines discuss American, Australian and European films that offer fresh perspectives on this enduring myth of the Arthurian world and Western culture, including The Silver Chalice (1954), Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), Excalibur (1981), The Road Warrior (1981), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), The Fisher King (1991), The Da Vinci Code (2006), The Waterboy (1998), and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead (2009).

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction 1
Holy Grail, Silent Grail (Kevin J. Harty) 7
The Silver Chalice: The Once and Future Grail (K. S. Whetter) 21
Lancelot du lac: Robert Bresson’s Arthurian Realism (Joan Tasker Grimbert) 37
Perceval of the ­Avant-Garde: Rohmer, Blank and von Trier (Alan Baragona) 50
Hans-Jurgen Syberberg’s Parsifal: Remystifying Kundry (Jon Sherman) 67
"Lovely Filth": Monty Python and the Matter of the Holy Grail (Christine M. Neufeld) 81
John Boorman’s Excalibur and the Irrigating Light of the Grail (Raeleen ­Chai-Elsholz with ­Jean-Marc Elsholz) 98
The Da Vinci Code and the Myth of History (Susan Aronstein) 112
Percival in Cooperstown: Arthurian Legend, Baseball Mythology and the Mediated Quest in Barry Levinson’s The Natural (James Jesson) 128
Terry Gilliam’s The Fisher King (Cory James Rushton) 143
A Son, His Father, Some Nazis and the Grail: Lucas and Spielberg’s Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Joseph M. Sullivan) 158
A Grail or a Mirage? Searching the Wasteland of The Road Warrior (Paul B. Sturtevant) 173
The Grail as Symbolic Quest in Tarkovsky’s Stalker (Andrew B. R. Elliott) 187
The Waterboy and Swamp Chivalry: A Grail Knight for American Teens (Laurie A. Finke and Martin B. Shichtman) 202
Holy Grail, Schlocky Grail (David W. Marshall) 215
About the Contributors 233
Index 237

About the Editor
Kevin J. Harty, a professor and chair of English, and coordinator of the Undergraduate General Education Core, at La Salle University in Philadelphia and associate editor of Arthuriana, the official journal of the North American Branch of the International Arthurian Society (of which he is the former president), has written 14 books.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

TV Scholarship in Arthuriana

The latest number of Arthuriana is devoted to recent Arthurian-themed television. Contents are available (to subscribers only) at the journal's website ( and on Project MUSE (

Details as follows:

King Arthur in the Twenty-First Century: Kaamelot, BBC’s Merlin, and Starz’s Camelot
Tara Foster & Jon Sherman 3

Kaamelot’s Global Fifth Century
Tara Foster 5

Kaamelot’s Paradox: Lancelot between Subjugation and Individuation
Cédric Briand 22

From ‘Unthinking Stereotype’ to Fearless Antagonist: The Evolution of Morgan le Fay on Television
Cindy Mediavilla 44

Casting, Plotting, and Enchanting: Arthurian Women in Starz’s Camelot and the BBC’s Merlin
Jennifer C. Edwards 57
Source, Authority, and Audience in the BBC’s Merlin
Jon Sherman 82
Pendragons at the Chopping Block: Elements of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight in the BBC’s Merlin
Erin Chandler 101

Multiculturalism, Diversity, and Religious Tolerance in Modern Britain and the BBC’s Merlin
David C. Tollerton 113

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Re-Posted: The Middle Ages on Television

McFarland is publishing a new book on medieval-themed television in 2015. Full details have posted on the Medieval Studies on Screen blog (, but it is work noting here that the book will also cover Arthurian material, including Merlin, Camelot, and Mists of Avalon.

Coming Soon: The Holy Grail on Film

It's been a while since I last posted, but there are some exciting new developments in the field. The first is an interesting new collection edited by Kevin J. Harty, the most active proponent of Arthurian film/television studies. The book is due out this spring just in time for Kalamazoo. Details as follows:

Edited by Kevin J. Harty 

Print ISBN: 978-0-7864-7785-2
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-4766-2053-4
ca. 15 photos, notes, bibliography, index
softcover (7 x 10) 2015
Price: $45.00
Not Yet Published, Available Spring/Summer 2015

About the Book
This collection of new essays is the first to study film depictions of the quest for the Holy Grail—the Christian holy relic of legend supposedly used by Jesus at the Last Supper. Scholars and critics from a range of disciplines discuss American and European films that offer fresh perspectives on this enduring myth of the Arthurian world and Western culture, including The Silver Chalice (1954), Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), Excalibur (1981), The Road Warrior (1981), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), The Fisher King (1991), The Da Vinci Code (2006), The Waterboy (1998), and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead (2009).

Complete contents will be posted separately once they are made available. 

About the Editor
Kevin J. Harty is professor and chair of English, and Coordinator of the Undergraduate General Education Core, at La Salle University in Philadelphia and associate editor of Arthuriana, the official journal of the North American Branch of the International Arthurian Society, of which he is the former president. He is the author or editor of fourteen books, seven of which are on film and medieval studies.  

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Tristana Returns to Video

 Luis Buñuel's 1970 film Tristana, a modern-day recasting of the Tristan story, has recently been released to home and on-demand video as part of the Cohen Film Collection (details, trailer, and images at with a number of features, as noted on the product pages (DVD; Blu-Ray), unique to the physical media versions.

Synopsis (from Cohen Film Collection)

Tristana stars Catherine Deneuve as an orphaned young woman who becomes the ward of a nobleman (Fernando Rey) who seduces her. She then leaves him for an artist (Franco Nero), but returns to her aging benefactor and calculatingly hastens his demise.

Filmed in Toledo, Spain, it was released in 1970 after protracted skirmishes with censors in Generalissimo Franco’s government.

Restored by Cohen Film Collection in conjunction with Filmoteca Española, Madrid to its original glory not seen since its original release in 1970.

DVD/Blu-Ray Extras: (from Amazon)

- Feature Length audio commentary with Catherine Deneuve and critic Kent Jones
- 30 minute featurette with Bunuel scholar Peter William Evans
- Alternate ending
- Catherine Deneuve's diary entries written during production
- New essay by Cineaste editor Richard Porton
- Chapter excerpt from scholar Raymond Durgnat from his now out of print book on Bunuel
- English and Spanish dub tracks
- New restoration trailer

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Camelot on the Small Screen (2014 CFP)

Another belated CFP:

Call for Submissions: Camelot on the Small Screen (Edited Collection)
Publication Date: 2014-02-28 (Archive)
Date Submitted: 2014-01-21
Announcement ID: 210619

Call for Submissions: Camelot on the Small Screen (Edited Collection)

In the past five years, there have been three television series based on the Arthurian legends: the French Kaamelott, the BBC’s Merlin, and Starz’s Camelot. Previous decades have seen dozens of series, miniseries, made-for-television movies, and animated incarnations of the legends, from The Adventures of Sir Lancelot in the 1950s to Australia’s Arthur! and the Square Knights of the Round Table or the 2001 miniseries The Mists of Avalon. The proliferation of these productions testifies to the enduring power of the myth and its continued relevance to modern audiences. Until now, most Arthurian scholarship has focused on the medieval literary corpus, modern literary adaptations, and cinematic treatments of the tales, and relatively little attention has been paid to television portrayals of Arthur and his court. We therefore plan to propose an edited collection that addresses this imbalance. Essays might analyze contemporary issues and themes (gender, marginalization, or religious intolerance, for example), compare TV series to literary texts, focus on a particular character within a single series or across several series, etc. We are particularly interested in essays that examine the following programs: --The Adventures of Sir Lancelot (British series from the 1950s) --The Legend of Prince Valiant (American animated series from the 1990s) --Arthur of the Britons/ Arthur, the Young Warlord (British series from the 1970s) --Mr. Merlin (American series from the 1980s) --Merlin of the Crystal Cave (British miniseries from the 1990s) --adaptations of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (many have been made over the years) --Japanese anime (King Arthur, King Arthur: Prince on a White Horse, Tears for Tiara, etc.) --The Mists of Avalon (American miniseries from 2001) --Merlin (American miniseries starring Sam Neill) --The Legend of King Arthur (British series from the 1970s) --Guinevere (American made-for-television movie from the 1990s) --King Arthur and the Knights of Justice (American animated series from the 1990s) --Sir Gadabout: The Worst Knight in the Land (British series from 2002) --extended Arthurian subplots in otherwise non-Arthurian programs The preceding list is not exhaustive, and we would be interested in essays that cover any number of Arthurian shows; however, we are not seeking essays on the three most recent series (the French Kaamelott, the BBC’s Merlin, and Starz’s Camelot).

Articles should be 7,000-8,000 words in length including references. Please send abstracts of approximately 500 words and a short biography to Drs. Tara Foster ( and Jon Sherman ( at Northern Michigan University; any queries can also be sent by e-mail.

The deadline for abstract submission is February 28, 2014. We will respond to submissions by mid-March, and first drafts should be submitted by the end of August 2014.

Tara Foster
Modern Languages and Literatures
Northern Michigan University

Saturday, April 26, 2014

TF1's Merlin Mini-Series

The French television network TF1 aired a two-part miniseries called Merlin in 2012 . There is sparse information online about the series (see the sidebar under 2010-2019 productions), but the film, a comedic retelling of the Arthurian legend, offers yet another Merlin-centered version of the story.

Part one opens with a very Gandalf-looking Merlin (played by Gérard Jugnot) at the court of Uther Pendragon, where he helped raise and educate the young Arthur and (sometimes) Guenièvre. Ten years later, a less hirsute Merlin retires to Brocéliande after Arthur has grown up and begins to live with Viviane and her son Lancelot. However, Merlin is called back when Camelot is threatened by Arthur's cousin, Morgane, (herself a powerful magic-wielder, trained by her aged aunt) and her ally the barbarian king Vortigern (!) on the eve (?) of Arthur and Guenièvre's wedding. (Morgane had, apparently, expected to marry Arthur and become queen.) Merlin, Viviane, and Lancelot spend some time at court here, and (I think) the two mages are instrumental in stopping Morgane and Vortigern at this time. However, the villains return in part two, and Merlin is ill-prepared because the title of part one, "L'Enchanteur Désenchanté," refers to the fact that Merlin loses his powers as the years pass and he falls in love with Viviane and becomes a surrogate parent for Lancelot.

Taking place seven years later, part two, "Le Secret de Brocéliande," centers on Merlin's struggles to regain his magic in order to save the realm and restore Guenièvre to flesh after she has been turned, by the returned Morgane, into stone. This section also focuses on a quest for the Grail undertaken by Merlin and a teenaged Lancelot--the prophesied Grail-winner--to save Viviane, who is held by Morgane.

There are lots of images and some plot summary at the series official site ( but no video. The following trailer comes from YouTube: