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Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Tonight: Knights Templar + France + Holy Grail = Knightfall


History (the channel) premieres its new miniseries, Knightfall, tonight (December 6th) at 10PM. To coincide with this major production (from the same team who created The Vikings), History has also helpfully put together an extensive companion website, complete with historical background, maps of critical areas in both Europe and Outrémer, descriptions of the major players, and much more.

There are initiations (that will sound remarkably familiar to us), intrigue, battles, an impressive recreation of the Paris Temple compound, and even some real historical facts that get wedged into proceedings. The opening episode starts with the fall of Acre, and because of the age in which we live, it's filled with the requisite gore-filled slaughters these things revel in. And the real downside to this whole series is that we all know how it ultimately ends on the Île aux Juifs.

Yeah, yeah, it's got trumped up jazz about the Holy Grail, "basic cable" sex, duplicitous religious characters, and the rest of the standard panoply of modern, "sophisticated," big-budget cable entertainment. And from some of the dialogue in the trailer, the authors have been carefully mining the whole library of serious and imaginary speculative history (along with a couple of tag lines I seem to have written myself a few years back). They even seem to be treating Philip "the Fair" and Guillaume de Nogaret with just the proper amount of Snidely Whiplash panache they deserve. One wistfully wishes Claude Rains and Basil Rathbone were still alive to play them. *sigh*

But still, you know. 

It's the Knights Templar for a whole new audience. So, set your DVR and enjoy. Early reviewers are saying get past Episode 1's slow spots, because by #2 you'll be hooked.

(Not intending to be deliberately provocative, I'm just observing an unintended coincidence this afternoon. President Donald Trump just issued a declaration today announcing that the United States is officially recognizing Jerusalem as the capitol of the State of Israel. World leaders have been predicting major violence in the Muslim world as a result, and the leader of the terror group of Hamas that controls the Palestinian territories has proclaimed that the U.S. President has "opened the Gates of Hell."

What has changed in 900 years concerning the land once called Outrémer, besides the names?)


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