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The Legend of King Arthur

The Legend of King Arthur is a British television fantasy serial, produced by the BBC in association with Time-Life Television and the Australian Broadcasting Commission, and broadcast on BBC 1 in 1979.[1]

The Legend of King Arthur
Written byAndrew Davies
Directed byRodney Bennett
StarringAndrew Burt
Felicity Dean
Maureen O'Brien
David Robb
Theme music composerDudley Simpson
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of series1
No. of episodes8
Producer(s)Ken Riddington
Running time30 minutes
Original networkBBC1
Original release7 October – 25 November 1979



Earnestly historicist, the production design of the show was of the heroic age, ca. A.D. 500,[2] like the HTV production Arthur of the Britons (1972–3). However, the tragic storyline of this BBC version kept closer faith with the chivalric romance of Le Morte d'Arthur.


The Arthurian scholar Norris J. Lacy opines: "The Legend of King Arthur has the leisure to depict the legend in detail, but the resulting periodic presentation, if not the medium itself, dilutes the force and drama of the Arthurian story in a way that rarely happens in literature, and certainly not either in the French Vulgate or in Malory."[3]


A tie-in novel, The Legend of King Arthur, authored by the screenwriter Andrew Davies, was published in London by Fontana/Armada in 1979.[1]

Home video and DVD releasesEdit

The serial was released on VHS by BBC Video in 1985, and on DVD by Simply Media in 2016.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Kevin J. Harty, "Cinema Arthuriana: A Bibliography of Selected Secondary Materials", Arthurian Interpretations, Vol. 3, No. 2 (Spring 1989), p. 133.
  2. ^ Helmut Nickel, "Arms and Armor in Arthurian Films", in Kevin J. Harty (ed.), Cinema Arthuriana: Twenty Essays (Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co., 2002), pp. 240–41.
  3. ^ Norris J. Lacy, "Arthurian Film and the Tyranny of Tradition", Arthurian Interpretations, Vol. 4, No. 1 (Fall 1989), pp. 78–79.

External linksEdit