South Riding: So Sorry

Previously on South Riding: Sarah Burton showed up and got the job of new headmistress at the school. She wasn’t in town five minutes before butting heads with Robert, a local landowner with plenty of problems. Also, the town’s trying to clean up their slums, and some hellfire and brimstone-preaching type is being blackmailed by the local prostitute.

Sarah wanders the school and finds Lydia in one of the classrooms, bent over a book. She asks Lydia what she’s doing there and Lydia explains she’s doing her homework, because it’s too loud and crowded at home. Sarah invites her to her office and hands her a new coat to replace the one she’s wearing, which is too small. She also offers to let Lydia study in her office and suggests the girl could try for Oxford someday. The teacher who was being pushed around by her class last week shows up and asks for a word, so Sarah sends Lydia away. The teacher closes the door after her and says there’s a problem with Midge.

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Camelot: Road Trip

Previously on Camelot: Arthur started spreading his influence and established a court of justice at Camelot. Morgan did pretty much the same thing at Magical Manse.

Guen dreams of her father telling her a story about Artemis asking her own father, Zeus, to allow her to remain single her whole life. She wakes with a smile as someone arrives with a message for her.

Meanwhile, the Camelot Crew is out planting flags everywhere. That’s how you know Arthur owns the place. It’s all about the clever use of flags. Merlin swings by and tells the boys to mount up, because they’re going on a road trip to Kay’s and Arthur’s childhood home, to fetch Sir Hector’s famous library. Apparently Camelot needs a library. You guys might want to look into a roof first. Kay’s not too excited to be going home, but he and Gawain and Leo join Merlin on his quest. Safety in numbers—maybe this time Merlin will manage not to kill anyone.

Back at Camelot, Arthur strides around giving orders to strip out the plants and repair the rooms and replace the roof (ah ha!) Guen’s cousin catches up with him and tells him that Guen’s taken off. Arthur finds the messenger who visited Guen that morning and learns that her father’s on his deathbed. Arthur grabs his horse and goes after her.

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Royal Honour

On April 23, 1348 (or 1344, depending on whom you ask), King Edward III founded the Order of the Garter, the oldest and most prestigious order of chivalry in the United Kingdom. According to legend, the king conceived of the idea of the Order during a tournament held at Windsor in 1344. The tournament was a particularly grand one, with knights from all over Europe … Continue reading Royal Honour

Upstairs Downstairs: The Ladybird

Image: BBC

Previously on Upstairs Downstairs: The Hollands moved into 165 Eaton Place, hired a staff that included former housemaid Rose, and were joined by eccentric and annoying relatives.

Rose comes rushing down the stairs to the kitchen, bitching about the paper being late, which means there’ll be no time to iron it. She snippily asks why breakfast hasn’t gone up yet and hears it’s because Agnes’s maraschino cherry-topped graperfruit is holding up the show. Really? Come on, folks.

Upstairs, the grapefruit has been deposited in front of Agnes, and Maude offers up this gem of a line, regarding the monkey: “he’s doing it again. He’s caressing that cherry with his eyes.” I honestly don’t know whether to be grossed out by that, or to crack up entirely. Agnes is not amused, but she hands the cherry over to the monkey.

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Camelot: Sex on the Beach

Previously on Camelot: King Uther died, and his only legitimate child, Morgan, claimed the throne. Merlin, the sorcerer who doesn’t do magic, didn’t like that one bit, so he pulled Uther’s previously unknown illegitimate son, Arthur, out of obscurity and installed him in an artistic ruin known as Camelot. Although he’s fairly useless, Arthur did manage to pull a rigged sword out of the top of a waterfall, so he’s a legend now. Morgan, meanwhile, attempted an alliance with King Lot, who ended up getting himself killed, so she’s looking for a new angle now. Oh, and Arthur had a sex dream about Guinevere.

A group of horsemen sit on a bluff and discuss how few guards there are at the place they’re about to attack. The leader declares the place easy pickings and they gallop towards it.

Guinevere and her cousin, Bridget, kick around their bedroom and talk about Guen’s upcoming marriage to Leontes. Guen stresses about him not being “the one.” Ergh. Even by this show’s standards, that dialogue stuck out like a sore thumb. Did people really think about such things back then? I highly doubt it. Bridget tells Guen she’s just nervous and reminds her that young, good-looking, kickass guys are pretty thin on the ground these days. Plus, Guen’s mom always wanted her to marry the guy, so there’s that.

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Death of a King

On April 6, 1199, King Richard I of England, best known as “Richard the Lionhearted,” died of an arrow wound in France, leaving his brother, John, King of England. Richard received his fatal blow on March 25, when he was out checking the work of sappers undermining a castle he was besieging. He foolishly wasn’t wearing any chainmail, despite the fact that missiles were being … Continue reading Death of a King

A Killer Day

On April 3, 1888, the first of the Whitechapel Murders, a series of killings in the East End of London, was committed. By the time the spree was over, eleven women, all of them prostitutes, were dead. Several of the killings have been attributed to one of the most famous serial killers of all time, Jack the Ripper. None of the crimes were ever solved. … Continue reading A Killer Day

Camelot: The Original He-Man Woman Hater’s Club

It’s April, which means my stretch of recapping insanity has begun. Over the next several weeks I’ll be attempting to cover Camelot, The Borgias, Mildred Pierce, Upstairs Downstairs, and Game of Thrones. If we’re lucky, I won’t go completely insane. We’re kicking off with Camelot, another project brought to us by Michael Hirst, which makes me wary, because he was also behind the Tudors, and we all know how well that turned out. But as with everything, I’m willing to give it a try, so here we go.

We open with an exterior shot of a fortified town, followed by an interior shot of a great hall being prepared for a feast. A young woman is announced to King Uther, no name given. Uther emerges from the inner sanctum and the young woman lowers the hood of her cloak, revealing Eva Green, here playing Morgan, Uther’s daughter. Uther’s followed by his wife, Igraine, and Morgan observed that his “whore still lives,” which earns her a nasty backslap from her father that lays her flat on the floor. He tells her she’s to respect her stepmother. Morgan gets to her feet and tells her father she’s there to forgive him for the death of her mother, which was done so he could install Igraine. He tries to hit her again, but she’s ready for him and stays his hand. She goes on to say that he then banished her for years to a nunnery, allegedly for her education. He turns his back on her and tells her she’s not welcome there. Igraine, a little regretfully, follows him, and Morgan glares after them.

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The Tudors: The Horse is Symbolic! Get it?

Previously on The Tudors: Henry married and got rid of a lot of women, had three kids, changed England’s religion (kind of), and got old. Bishop Gardiner tried to nail Queen Katherine for heresy, and Henry had Surrey tried and found guilty of treason.

Hey, Natalie Dormer, Maria Doyle Kennedy, and Annabelle Wallis are back in the opening credits! Welcome back, dead wives! I guess we’re pretending Katherine Howard didn’t exist.

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Charles I

On March 27, 1625, the ill-fated Charles I became King of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Sadly, as with his grandmother, it was not a job to which he was well suited. Charles, the grandson of Mary, Queen of Scots, was born during Elizabeth’s reign and came to the throne at the young age of 24. He believed firmly in the divine right of kings and … Continue reading Charles I