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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Big Thanks to Network........AOTB
Does the name Arthur....; Conjure up images of Knights in shining Armour; Damsels in distress; Of a place where good rules over evil; Of a castle on a hill; round table perhaps; Or maybe an old wizard called 'Merlin'.

Well this could be correct if you've just been watching Rod Taylor in the 'Knights of the Round Table' or Nigel Terry in 'Excalibur'. These are...
Published on 18 Mar 2008 by P. Thorpe-willett

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting revisionist spin on the King Arthur myth
Part of that curious British tradition of half-hour adventure series made largely for children's television, 1972's Arthur of the Britons offers an interesting revisionist spin on the King Arthur myth, with its young Celtic warlord trying to unite the divided tribes against the Saxon invaders, and is better funded than you might expect (it even boasts an Elmer Bernstein...
Published on 18 Dec 2010 by Trevor Willsmer


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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Big Thanks to Network........AOTB, 18 Mar 2008
By 
This review is from: Arthur Of The Britons - Series 1-2 - Complete [DVD] (DVD)
Does the name Arthur....; Conjure up images of Knights in shining Armour; Damsels in distress; Of a place where good rules over evil; Of a castle on a hill; round table perhaps; Or maybe an old wizard called 'Merlin'.

Well this could be correct if you've just been watching Rod Taylor in the 'Knights of the Round Table' or Nigel Terry in 'Excalibur'. These are just some of the typical elements that you might find in a Hollywood epic!

In a small and grimy collection of mud huts, thatched with straw and straggling along a lake shoreline, we find the perfect setting for HTV's 'Arthur of the Britons'. It's not the sort of thing you'd find in a Hollywood set, but HTV has given this Arthur a bit of reality. HTV has brought to life the real Arthur and how the Celts would have lived after the evacuation of the Roman armies from our shores, which left the Britain defenseless against the Picts from the North, Angles, Saxons and Jutes from the continent, who saw this country as ripe pickings for food, farming and settling.

Arthur's role was simple but challenging, he had to unite all the Kingdoms and villages under one military command, so that the invaders could be repelled effectively. Each episode brings Arthur a new challenge and our hero, played by Oliver Tobias (24yrs), had to encourage and persuade other Celtic Chiefs that a mounted force had to be formed from all the tribes to be able to withstand and repel the barbarians. He did this in the first episode where he brought about his own death so that the neighbouring chiefs would come to Camelot (his village), to pay their respects, and in doing so he managed to bring them altogether under one roof to propose his strategy.

Famous actors such as Jack Watson, Michael Gothard and Brian Blessed featured throughout the series. Jack Watson plays Lud, Arthur's right hand man. He is a valuable asset to Arthur because of his knowledge and wisdom. Michael Gothard plays Kai, a Saxon by birth but raised as a Celt along with Arthur. Kai is a head strong warrior and constantly argues with Arthur. Brian Blessed plays Mark of Cornwall, what more can I say.

I have campaigned over the last 4 years to get this series put onto DVD and this is excellent, Thank You Network Videos.........

Phil TW
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79 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Powerful Memory, 24 April 2008
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This review is from: Arthur Of The Britons - Series 1-2 - Complete [DVD] (DVD)
For many of us of a certain age, the release of AOTB on DVD has brought some powerful but half forgotten childhood memories to the surface. It really did surprise me how well I remembered some of the episodes, despite having watched them only once three decades ago. That is in itself a great tribute to the story telling. What I did not remember so well - because I was too young to appreciate it fully at the time - was how subtle and literate much of the writing was. The Seventies really was the Golden Age of British Television writing. There is nothing of the same quality here today - especially in "children's television", which was how AOTB was categorised. It was in fact a very grown up version of history, avoiding on the one hand the fairy tale fantasy of Arthurian Romance, and, on the other, the equally unrealistic ultra-grunge that undermines some recent versions. This Arthur is indeed a hero, but his heroism lies in the fact that, when he decides to do the right thing, there is a real possibility that he might have done the opposite: if he spares someone, it means something precisely because the initial instinct of everyone involved was to kill that person. This Dark Ages mindset is wholly credible. Equally credible is the look of the thing. Oliver Tobias, Michael Gothard, Jack Watson, and, of course - compulsory in any Seventies television series - Brian Blessed all look like hardened warriors who could have persuaded other men to follow them. A very strong guest cast includes Tom Baker, the lovely Catherine Schell, Alfie Bass, a superb Clive Revill, Dave Proswe, a young Sally "Tiswas" James, Gila von Weitersahausen, Bernard Bresslaw, and the future Sir Michael Gambon - the last two of whom seem to be sharing the same blond wig! There are flaws - budgetary constraints are obvious, not least when Arthur raises an army that totals nine horsemen, but despite, or perhaps because of them, one soon finds oneself so deep in Arthur's world that one cannot help thinking, "This is how it could have been". Everyone involved should be proud of themselves and it would be great if a younger generation could be introduced to this superb example of British television at its best.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I cannot believe it!!, 27 Feb 2008
By 
R. A. Lasseter "Bobby" (London UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Arthur Of The Britons - Series 1-2 - Complete [DVD] (DVD)
I am in so much shock!!
I can vividly recall running home from school in the early 1970's in order to see this show; remember, no video/DVD/Sky+ in those days. If you missed, it, you missed it!
It was a great show for kids; lots of fight scenes and great characters, including Brian Blessed, and of course Oliver himself.
I know that many people have tried to get this show recreated onto DVD, including myself; no one quite knew who owned it. All I can say is this is great news.
Of course, it will be dated. But it's linked to my past and catapulted Oliver and others to bigger things [no, not The Stud]. The stars even did their own stunts, but to people of my generation it was fun and enjoyable to watch.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Arthur You Can Believe In!, 17 Nov 2009
By 
M. Friedlander (California, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Arthur Of The Britons - Series 1-2 - Complete [DVD] (DVD)
Nothing will ever top Arthur Of The Britons for those of us who waited with baited breath for each episode back in the 70s. The feel of authenticity that made you want to travel back in time, the great stories, the sword play, and most importantly the very human stars that seemed so superhuman to us ... it all added up to magic greater than any Merlin could have conjured up. And of course it didn't hurt to have two heartthrobs like Oliver Tobias and Michael Gothard on the screen together much of the time, supported by a wonderful cast. While waiting for the DVDs to arrive a few months ago I feared the series wouldn't live up to my memories. It did that and more. How I wish our children would be lucky enough to be exposed to such wonderful historical fiction, without bells and whistles and blood and gore, but with the simple power to enchant and trigger a lifelong interest in history. Although the series was targeted for kids, viewers of all ages enjoyed it tremendously. Oliver Tobias was the perfect Arthur, and in spite of his large body of work since, he will always be Arthur first and foremost.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arthur of the Britons, 12 Mar 2010
This review is from: Arthur Of The Britons - Series 1-2 - Complete [DVD] (DVD)
This brought back wonderful memories of when I was 15 years old and madly in love with the gorgeous Oliver Tobias. It was a great series with what, to my untrained eye, seemed like a fairly authentic representation of the Dark Ages after the withdrawal of the Romans from Britain. Lots of mud and everyone and everything looks quite grubby and unkempt. Much more believable than the politically correct 'historical' series we see today with the leading ladies in full make up and wearing polyester. I remembered some of the episodes quite well which shows what an impact it made on me. After all I only saw them once - no VCR's or repeats in those days! Others I hadn't remembered at all - and it was a joy to watch them all. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Has stood the test of time, 29 Mar 2009
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This review is from: Arthur Of The Britons - Series 1-2 - Complete [DVD] (DVD)
Excellent children's television series which should appeal to adults as well, particularly those who remember it from when it was first aired. I was certainly impressed with the series as a child without necessarily understanding fully it's appeal. In short it dispenses totally with the idealized, romantic twaddle surrounding the Arthurian legend and delivers a believable and what would appear to be a realistic account of life in Britain after the Romans left. Tobias is excellent as our eponymous hero. Camelot is a collection of wooden huts and his knights rough and ready peasants who eke out an existence in a land thankfully devoid of grails, round tables and chivalric code. He is wonderfully supported by the always reliable Jack Watson and the superb Michael Gothard. Brian Blessed always gives an extra lift to those episodes where he makes an appearance. OK, the fight scenes are a little clunky and awkward but all the episodes are well written and constructed. The Bernstein score is rousing and helps make this a classic piece of seventies TV.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The wise, moral and tribal Arthur that we can believe existed, 27 Mar 2009
By 
Edward Kyle Jones (Hendersonville, Tennessee United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Arthur Of The Britons - Series 1-2 - Complete [DVD] (DVD)
If there was a real King Arthur, which I hope and believe there was, his wisdom is to be shown in these most wonderful episodes. Since I have purchased the entire series a few months ago, I have not ceased from watching them. When I am not watching them I find myself playing them in the background where I find a great comfort in hearing the dialogues between Arthur, Kai and Lud.
I would also like to say that these episodes portray King Arthur as a tribal leader verses the images of Arthur with his large castles, round tables, shining armor, etc...
The only problem I had with these D.V.D.s were the occasional drops of audio. There were never absolute drops and you can adjust your volume to hear all that they said. This should not spoil your joy in owning these!
I give this a 5 star rating for a feel of realness and the inspiration to continue my studies in Arthurian legend, lore, history, etc.
Lastly, I would like to say that there are good moral lessons within these episodes that our children can learn and we as adults relearn!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting revisionist spin on the King Arthur myth, 18 Dec 2010
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Arthur Of The Britons - Series 1-2 - Complete [DVD] (DVD)
Part of that curious British tradition of half-hour adventure series made largely for children's television, 1972's Arthur of the Britons offers an interesting revisionist spin on the King Arthur myth, with its young Celtic warlord trying to unite the divided tribes against the Saxon invaders, and is better funded than you might expect (it even boasts an Elmer Bernstein theme tune) but stumbles with some dodgy casting. Oliver Tobias' Arthur doesn't project much presence beyond sulking and tends to stumble over the better lines in the script, while the various tribal leaders are an odd bunch - Norman Bird's nostalgic wannabe Roman and Shouty Shouty Brian Blessed's loud and untrustworthy bullheaded rival - leaving much of the heavy lifting to Michael Gothard's moody and competitive Saxon sidekick, Kai. Indeed, so much so that they might have been better off calling the series Kai of the Saxons. Gothard had a limited range that generally typed him into intense and threatening roles, but he's perfectly cast here and for the most part a lot more interesting than the nominal hero in the first series. By comparison, Jack Watson's father-figure and mentor to both tends to get the short straw at times as the writers take several episodes to work out quite what to do with him.

The first six episodes of series one are generally pretty poor, self-contained simple morality tales that are more a throwback to 50s adventure shows like The Buccaneers or Robin Hood than the kind of adventure series Richard Carpenter would revitalise in the 70s and 80s. The initial uninspired choice and use of visually boring locations doesn't help, nor do the seriously underpopulated battles, but the show does improve as it reaches the halfway point thanks to better stories and more complex characterisation and storytelling as not every situation can be easily solved in time for a warm wrapup, and the film-making and use of locations improves dramatically too as the show finds its feet. Decent guest stars like Clive Revill, Esmond Knight, Peter Firth, Bernard Bresslaw and Mike Pratt help, though others, like Rupert Davies as a bloodthirsty Saxon warlord, aren't exactly well cast.

But it's in the second series that the show really finds its tone. It's not so much that more money has been spent, more that more thought has been put into the stories, while the easy moralising of the first half of the first run gives way to lessons that are left unlearnt and chances that are missed. Arthur takes centre stage and Tobias' performance improves with it as, along with the practicalities of holding together and widening a fragile alliance, cultural differences between the Celts and the Saxon invaders are more pronounced, turning them from stereotypical villains into a people who may be making more of the land than the people they are usurping. Rupert Davies comes into his own too, no longer an unlikely warlord and now a more rounded figure capable of being cunning and deceitful but also of being more pragmatic and even forgiving when circumstances allow, while the female roles generally improve with the introduction of Louis Malle's muse Gila von Weitershausen as a far from submissive romantic interest. While the first season started out as something of a chore, by the time the penultimate episode, The Treaty (the best directed of the series and the only one where no director is credited), comes along, the quality of both the writing and the execution had improved so much that it's a pity there never was a third season. It's by no means a great show (and the image quality of the various episodes on the Network UK DVD set varies wildly), but it does end up a pretty good one.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A much missed and much welcomed release, 2 Jan 2008
By 
Mr. C. J. Iredale "juxtapose" (London Town) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Arthur Of The Britons - Series 1-2 - Complete [DVD] (DVD)
This was initially shown back in the early 70s and has a faint whiff of Robin of Sherwood, not only for the feel and look, but the southern region in which it was filmed. Spot a pre- Doctor Who Tom Baker and a pre-Tiswas Sally James, a beefed up Brian Blessed in the wonderful Mark of Cornwall role and of course, Oliver Tobias in the lead role. Forget any references to round tables or grails (holy or otherwise), this is a muddy aggressive version of the tale of Arthur as a 'War Lord', and has no real references to magic or chivalry. That said, it is hugely enjoyable and a very unexpected release, due to the fact this has not seen the light of day in it's full since late 1973. A real treat for anyone who hankers after cult tv. Thanks Network.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic, 26 Dec 2011
By 
Wolfgang Grothe (Bad Oeynhausen, NRW Germany) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Arthur Of The Britons - Series 1-2 - Complete [DVD] (DVD)
It is the best series, I`ve ever seen! It is so real, not the usual Arthur and the knights of the round table stuff! I loved every second of it!
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