Knightfall (5 out of 10) Directed by Douglas Mackinnon, David Petrarca, Metin Hüseyin; Written by Don Handfield, Richard Rayner; Starring Tom Cullen, Olivia Ross, Jim Carter, Ed Stoppard, Simon Merrels; rated TV-14; Running time 473 minutes; Released on Blu-ray and DVD March 13, 2018.
Knightfall aired on the History channel in December and is now available to own on DVD and Blu-ray. The Knights Templar, the warriors of the Crusades, are on a mission to recover the Cup of Christ. But if you’re looking for a captivating story revolving around the Holy Grail, you may be better off watching Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade or Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
The History Channel no doubt wanted to follow up the success with its Vikings with another historically inspired original series, and I laud them for adding more history, albeit fictionalized, to their channel.
But where Vikings presented us with interesting and charismatic characters, Knightfall, well, falls short. A couple of episodes in, the only character I cared about was Jim Carter as Pope Boniface. Perhaps better known as Mr. Carson from Downton Abbey, he is the kindly-faced religious leader trying to steer his flock in the right direction.
The fight scenes were intricate but I had difficulty following the action, and the first episode begins with an epic battle but I had no investment in the characters. I thought that would change, but unfortunately it did not.
There are enough dramatic elements at play to interest many, however. A sad queen with a secret. A young man whose life has been turned upside down. A knight who breaks his vows.
Unfortunately the series couldn’t draw me in, with clichéd characters and overused plot lines.
I’d perhaps recommend if one is just genuinely interested in this time period and would like to see it adapted for the small screen. If not, just watch Vikings.