There’s no evidence for an actual, historical King Arthur, but I tend to think the principle of ‘no smoke without fire’ suggests that at some point in the 4th or 5th or 6th Century AD there may have been a Romano-British general or Celtic warlord called Artos or Artorius or something, around whose name all sorts of stories gathered - some new, some simply re-branded - during the centuries that followed. I wonder what he would have thought, if he knew that he would become the principal character in so many Arthurian Films? Fame and renown tended to be quite a big deal with chaps like that, so I hope he’d have been pretty chuffed. I’ve enjoyed writing about the films this autumn. A lot were quite bad, but most of them had something going for them, and some of the TV versions were a lot better than I’d expected. Nothing will ever dislodge Excalibur as my favourite, it may look camp and dated to you but I don’t care, I love every frame. But Perceval le Gallois comes a close second - a
Reviews and ruminations by Philip Reeve, author of the Mortal Engines series, the Railhead trilogy, Here Lies Arthur, Goblins, and The Legend of Kevin, Pugs of the Frozen North, etc, with Sarah McIntyre.