Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Before there was BBC Robin Hood, there was BBC Ivanhoe. And it rocked.
Or rather, rocks, because it's still awesome even if the production values are not exactly hollywoodstyle.
I've been a fan of the book since I was a preteen. Great characters, cool plot, and, of course, cameo by Robin Hood. What could be better?
Well, maybe the BBC adaptation, because it is really quite good. They flesh out a lot of the characters nicely and the five hour mini-series format is excellent for giving the rich depth of the story (it would take at least 3 hours of film to do it justice).
Why am I raving about it now? Well because I found the VHS version for $3 at Half Price Books today! I had tried buying the DVD awhile back, but the DVD version strangely enough isnt' close-captioned. However I knew the VHS version was because that was how I had first seen the series, and thought $3 was more than a bargain. So long as we own a VHS player, I'll be able to enjoy this. Which might not be forever, but they've got to close caption that DVD version eventually, right?
Anyhow, Ivanhoe is the story of a disinheirited knight who returns from the crusades to find his true love betrothed to another and his father as adamently ignoring his existance as ever. So with the help of a friendly Jew and his daughter, Ivanhoe heads off to a tournament, determined to win honor and respect and his lady's hand once again. However along the way they run afoul of the Knights Templer, a band of real outlaws, Robin Hood, a myserious knight, Prince John of England, and a band of... fake outlaws? It's a recipe of perfect adventure, including its fair share of mystery, romance and battles.