Richard the Lionheart (TV series)

Richard the Lionheart was a British ITV television series which ran during 1962 and 1963, and was aimed at a younger audience.[1]

Richard the Lionheart
Also known asRiccardo Cuor di Leone (Italy)
Richard Löwenherz (West Germany)
GenreAdventure
Family
History
Written byStanley Miller
Paul Tabori
David Nicholl
Mark Grantham
Directed byErnest Morris
StarringDermot Walsh
Robin Hunter
Alan Haywood
Iain Gregory
Sheila Whittingham
Trader Faulkner
Opening theme"Richard the Lionheart"
Ending theme"Richard the Lionheart"
Composer(s)Bill Le Sage
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series1
No. of episodes39 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Edward J. Danziger
Harry Lee Danziger
Producer(s)Brian Taylor (associate producer)
CinematographyWalter J. Harvey
Editor(s)Peter Pitt
John S. Smith
Running time30 minutes
Production company(s)Danziger Productions Ltd.
DistributorIndependent Television (ITV) (1962-1963) (UK) (TV)
Release
Original networkIndependent Television (ITV) (UK)
Picture format16 mm film 1.33 : 1 Black-and-white
Audio formatMono
Original release20 November 1961 (UK) 
14 October 1965 (UK)

It began with the death of King Henry II, and put forward the traditional view of King Richard the Lionheart as a hero, and his brother Prince John (played by Trader Faulkner) as the villain.

Richard was played by Irish actor Dermot Walsh who said, "he was not always all one would like to see as a man. We have concentrated on his good side." Richard was perhaps a product of his time. A man brimful of contradictions. A brilliant general, but a poor ruler. A sensitive poet and singer.[2]

The producers claimed that the series was based on fact as far as possible; though as little was known of Richard's personal life, "we have taken some liberties here and there," so said associate producer Brian Taylor in a TV Times article indicating the start of the series.[3]

Other regular characters in the series included Sir Gilbert (Robin Hunter), Sir Geoffrey (Alan Haywood), Blondel (Iain Gregory), Leopold of Austria (Francis de Wolff) and Queen Berengaria (Sheila Whittingham).

According to BFI Screenonline "despite the treadmill efforts of the production... this routine swashbuckler, presenting an atmosphere of knightly conduct versus villainous skulduggery, was saved from total tedium by the presence of recurring players Trader Faulkner, a sneering Prince John, and Francis de Wolfe as the delightfully monstrous Leopold of Austria."[4]

As of November 2014, the series has not been officially released onto DVD, though it's likely that the company Network DVD would distribute this show, as they have done so with many shows from ITV from this era.

A single disc volume disc was released by Stratx Digital Media on 6 June 2016. The DVD contains five episodes; Long Live The King, School For a King, Crown In Danger, The Pirate King and The Challenge. The episodes however are not remastered, the picture quality for the most part is watchable, however the sound at times is warped and has a slight echo during parts with spoken dialogue.

Cast

References

  1. BFI Screenonline: Richard the Lionheart. Accessed 9 March 2014
  2. Terrace, Vincent (2009). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2007 (Volume 3). Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-3305-6.
  3. Thomas Film Classics. "Richard The Lion Heart - Action Adventure". Shop.thomasfilmclassics.com. Retrieved 2014-04-20.
  4. The Danzigers at BFI Screenonline
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