Knightfall premieres December 6th, 10pm on the History Channel.
While the History Channel shies away from scripted fare, they achieved success with Vikings, currently in its fifth season. The network’s latest foray into ancient times – Knightfall – attempts to replicate the formula that made Vikings a hit. It works to varying degrees of success.
The ten episode season takes viewers inside the medieval politics and warfare of the Knights Templar, the most powerful, wealthy, and mysterious military order of the Middle Ages who were entrusted with protecting Christianity’s most precious relics. The premiere begins after the fall of the city of Acre, the Templar’s last stronghold in the Holy Land, where the Holy Grail is lost. Years later, a clue emerges suggesting the whereabouts of the Grail and sends the Templars, led by the courageous and headstrong Landry (Tom Cullen), on a life or death mission to find the lost Cup of Christ.
If the above synopsis sounds unappealing to you, I would not recommend the show. While the action is epic, only history buffs will enjoy the majority of scenes. But the battles are depicted in an engaging way. It looks like Game of Thrones with a much smaller budget.
From a studious perspective Knightfall is an important program. The story of the Knights Templar has never been fully told until now. Were you aware the reason Friday the 13th is synonymous with bad luck is because that’s when the Templar Order’s demise occurred in 1307? Viewers theoretically know the fate that awaits these characters, but they’ll be hooked in, wondering what twist is around the corner.
Another interesting aspect of Knightfall is the amount of historical figures represented. The most powerful forces in Medieval Europe like Pope Boniface VIII, Queen Joan of Navarre, William De Nogaret, Princess Isabella, and King Philip IV of France. Of course there are plenty of fictional characters as well, like Adelina, a Jewish refugee from Jerusalem who faces persecution in Paris.