The Adventures of Sir Lancelot
|The Adventures of Sir Lancelot|
Titlecard from the colour episodes
|Created by||Leslie Pointon (Head writer)
Based on traditional legends
|Opening theme||Edwin Astley|
|Ending theme||Alan Lomax|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||1|
|No. of episodes||30|
|Executive producer(s)||Hannah Weinstein|
|Production company(s)||Sapphire Films|
|Distributor||ITP Co Ltd|
|Picture format||Film 35mm 4:3
16 Black and white
|Original release||15 September 1956 – 20 April 1957|
The Adventures of Sir Lancelot is a British television series first broadcast in 1956, produced by Sapphire Films for ITC Entertainment and screened on the ITV network. The series starred William Russell as the eponymous Sir Lancelot, a Knight of the Round Table in the time of King Arthur at Camelot.
It is one of the very few British television series ever to have been screened on one of the major broadcast networks in the US (as opposed to on PBS or cable television stations). Its success on NBC led to it becoming the first British television series ever to be produced in colour, the last fourteen of the thirty half-hour episodes being shot on colour stock, although they were seen in colour only in the US.
As was common with other British television series of the time, the programme employed several American screenwriters who had moved to Britain after being placed on the Hollywood blacklist, often under pseudonyms. These included Ian McLellan Hunter and Ring Lardner Jr. The series was made at Nettlefold Studios in Walton-on-Thames.
Cast and characters
- William Russell as Sir Lancelot
- Ronald Leigh-Hunt as King Arthur
- Bruce Seton as King Arthur (first two episodes only)
- Jane Hylton as Guinevere
- Cyril Smith as Merlin
- Robert Scroggins as Brian, Lancelot's squire
- David Morrell as Sir Kay
The series debuted in the UK on Saturday 15 September 1956, on London weekend ITV franchise holder ATV, and on the NBC network in the United States nine days later. The last episode was shown on 20 April 1957 in the UK and 16 September 1957 on NBC. It later transferred networks in the US to ABC, who repeated the episodes from October 1957 to September 1958.
The complete series of 30 episodes was released as a DVD boxed set in the UK by Network DVD in 2004. Of the 14 episodes made in colour, only 12 are presented in colour due to financial reasons. The other two colour episodes ('The Ugly Duckling' and 'The Missing Princess') are taken from black and white prints. In the US, the series was released as a DVD boxed set on 19 August 2008 by The Timeless Media Group with 14 episodes presented in colour, taken from US public domain prints.
- Terrace, Vincent (2009). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2007 (Volume 1). Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-3305-6.
- Thompson, Raymond H. (1991) "Television Series". In Lacy, Norris J. (Ed.), The New Arthurian Encyclopedia, pp. 445–446. New York: Garland. ISBN 0-8240-4377-4.
- Vahimagi, Tise (1994). British Television: An Illustrated Guide. Oxford. Oxford University Press / British Film Institute. ISBN 0-19-818336-4.