Sir Gadabout: The Worst Knight In The Land
UK, ITV (*Alibi Productions/Windmill TV Productions, **Alibi Productions), Children's sitcom, colour, 2002
Starring: Jason Thorpe, Tamsin Egerton, Will Theakston
Sir Gadabout is a nightmare of the round table, his devotion to the task of protecting King Arthur undermined by constant blundering. The Teddy-hugging Arthur is under attack from the imbecilic Sir Rancid and his wickedly scheming accomplice Nanny, whose mutual intention is to smash Camelot 'to smithereens'. Princess Elenora, teenage daughter of King Arthur, is far smarter than her father and smitten with (in the first series) young lad Will, who becomes squire to Gadabout and then (in the second) Gadabout's new and rather mysterious Spanish squire Juan Carlos Felipe.
Imagine a childish (and less humorous) version of Monty Python And The Holy Grail and you have Sir Gadabout: The Worst Knight In The Land in a chainmail nutshell: a knockabout Arthurian wheeze with joust awful jokes and fake horses. The show was based on the series of Sir Gadabout books by Martyn Beardsley.
Developed with EU funding and shot at the revived Ealing Studios, this was an ambitious, British-made children's comedy with quality production values. All very pleasing . . . except that it wasn't particularly funny. King Arthur was like a Brummie Benny Hill and Sir Rancid a cross between Rowan Atkinson's Blackadder and Adrian Edmondson. Though it may just have been alright for juniors - its intended audience, of course - those of more senior years are likely to have heard the ghostly voice of Graham Chapman declaring it 'a silly show'.
Researched and written by Mark Lewisohn.
Number of episodes: 20
Length: 30 mins