Saturday, November 17, 2012

Adventures of Sir Galahad – Chapter 12: Castle Perilous


OUR STORY SO FAR: During his all-too-important initiation into the ritual of ka-niggithood, young Galahad (George Reeves) takes a disco nap while guarding Excalibur—the invincible sword of Arthur, King of the Britons (Nelson Leigh).  Actually, the nap was induced by the lacing of Galahad’s wine with a strong narcotic, allowing a mysterious personage known as The Black Knight to make off with the sword.  The Knight has entered into an alliance with a band of outlaws seeking to overthrow Arthur and “take back their country,” and are headed up by the diabolical Cawker (Pierce Lyden) and Bartog (Don C. Harvey), former chamberlain to Saxon king Ulric (John Merton).

Last week, after being rescued from an oatmeal bog by his comic relief sidekick Sir Bors (Charles King), Galahad tried to track down The Black Knight by entering a temporary alliance with Sir Modred (Leonard Penn), one of Arthur’s ka-niggits.  The trail of The Knight led them to a mysterious cave, whereupon Galahad, Bors and Modred found themselves face to face with Arthur’s back-stabbing magician, the mighty Merlin (William Fawcett).  Merlin is in possession of Excalibur, and the only way to wrest it from him is to challenge him in his domain, The Enchanted Forest.  With an assist from The Lady of the Lake (Lois Hall), Galahad has finally recaptured Excalibur…but Merlin still has a trick up his sleeve, and summons a mini-army of ka-niggits to do battle with our hero…

So last week, just before Knox Manning told us what to expect in the next chapter, we found Galahad once again on his ass like this:


And yet this week, as the three ka-niggits prepare to charge at Galahad…all four of them vanish right before our very eyes…


A very confused Sir Bors rushes over to the spot where Galahad was standing…and then in the distance, he hears that same dirty laugh coming from Merlin, standing on a nearby rock.


Viola!  Galahad appears!

BORS: Galahad!  (He extends his hand to Galahad, and helps him to his feet) I thought surely you were killed!
GALAHAD: I thought so myself…must be one of Merlin’s tricks…

And in the distance you can hear Merlin cackle, saying “I got a million of ‘em!  A million of ‘em!”  (Okay, I kind of made that up.)

BORS: Say…the sword Excalibur has vanished also!
GALAHAD: Well…that puts us right back where we started…

Lovely.  So Chapter 11 really wasn’t necessary.

GALAHAD: …now there’s nothing to stop The Black Knight from rallying the outlaws, joining with Ulric and storming Camelot!
BORS: Except us…
GALAHAD (muttering): That’s right…
BORS: But where to begin…?
GALAHAD: Put yourself in The Black Knight’s place…where would you go?

When my baby
When my baby smiles at me
I go to Rio
De Janeiro
My-o me-o
I go wild and then
I have to do the samba
And la bamba

BORS: Home and lie down…I’m tired
GALAHAD: Serves me right for asking you…no, The Black Knight must go either to the…outlaws’ camp or the inn…
BORS: At the inn we can secure food and drink!  So, therefore we’ll go…
GALAHAD: …to the outlaws’ camp!

Wah wah wah wah… Bors then says, “Well—there we can at least find horses.”  (He’s really hungry.)  And I don’t know where Galahad and Bors are in relation to the outlaws’ camp, but seeing as that they have no steeds they should be near exhaustion as the scene shifts to an area just outside the headquarters.  (As you’ve probably guessed…they are not.)


From their post, Galahad and Bors spot outlaw leader Cawker shooting at a burlap bag target with a bow and arrow.  A confederate of his asks for the weapon, meekly saying “Let me try.”   The response from Cawker and the others is laughter, which would seem to indicate that the person who asked for the bow and arrow is not particularly adept at archery…


…nyaaaah!!!  “That’s too close,” observes Bors, prompting Galahad to put his hand over his friend’s big mouth.  But he’s too late…three other outlaws have spotted them, and quickly capture our heroes.  (The three men mysteriously turn into five, by the way.)  Dragged into camp, The Black Knight (voiced by Paul Frees) and Bartog emerge from a tent to see what the hubbub is about.


GALAHAD: I was right about one thing, Sir Bors…The Black Knight is here…
BORS: I would rather you were wrong about it…
BLACK KNIGHT (as he approaches the prisoners): I could have sworn I ended Galahad’s adventures for all time…

Well…we’re just not that lucky.

BARTOG: Others have thought that… (Turning to Bors) Place your neck in the noose often enough, it’s bound to be drawn tight
BORS: Precisely the point I was trying to make…
BARTOG: Cawker…tie them up until we find out what The Black Knight wants to do with them…

Dude…he’s standing right behind you—why not just ask him?

CAWKER: If it were me, I’d finish them right now!

Listen to the man!

BARTOG: Do what you’re told!
CAWKER (to the others): Tie them up!


You’re probably thinking the same thing I am—what purpose will it serve your cause to keep Galahad and Bors alive?  Well, if they were dead…they wouldn’t be to participate in this next scene.  Galahad has Bors untie his feet with his tied hands, allowing him to get to his feet and run over to the tent where The Knight and Bartog are making evil plans.  (Writers be lazy!)

BARTOG: Are you certain of that?
BLACK KNIGHT; My source of information is entirely dependable…Queen Guinevere goes tomorrow to visit her sister…she’ll have only a small escort…
BARTOG: But I fail to see her value to us!  You have only to ask…and both Ulric and the outlaws will help you storm Camelot!

“And then what do we do for the next three chapters, dumbass?”

BLACK KNIGHT: The Queen is Arthur’s dearest possession…he’ll strip the castle of guards to rescue her…when that happens…I’ll be within the walls…

As Galahad is getting a good listen, Cawker awakens and spots our hero eavesdropping at the tent.  He silently awakens another outlaw, who removes the string from a bow and sneaks up on Bors…like so…


Meanwhile, Cawker surprises Galahad at the tent and knocks him out with a quick knee to the face.  Bartog and The Black Knight emerge from the tent.


BLACK KNIGHT: What goes on here?
CAWKER: He was listening to your conference, Sir Knight…
BARTOG: I wonder how much he heard…
BLACK KNIGHT: The knowledge matters little if he’s kept from using it…
BARTOG: Execute him, Cawker…as soon as there’s light enough to shoot by…

Yeah, like that’s going to help, considering the prowess of your bowmen.

BLACK KNIGHT (raising his hand): Not so hasty, my friend…we may yet have use for him…but Cawker shall make the guarding of him his personal responsibility


You hear that, Cawk?  It’s your ass if Galahad gets away.  Well, come daybreak in the next scene, Galahad and Bors are tied to some…stick-thingy suspended from a tree as Cawker looks on from the camp.  Both The Black Knight and Bartog exit from that same tent (do I really want to know what they’re doing in there?  I probably don’t) and mount two horses as Galahad continues to yank at his bonds.  As Bartog, B.K. and a few of the other outlaws ride off…

BORS: There goes disaster for the entire court of King Arthur…
GALAHAD: Perhaps…


What ho!  Galahad has managed to free one of his arms!  What a convenient plot contrivance lucky break!   Unfortunately, Cawker witnesses Galahad’s resourcefulness and comes rushing over to right things…and winds up on the receiving end of one of the ropes used to secure Galahad.  Cawker falls from the blow as Galahad snarls “That’s for last night!”  (Well, it’s nice to know he bears no grudges.)

Galahad produces a dagger from…well, I’m not exactly certain where he got it—protocol would dictate that those guys would have frisked them for any weapons…but considering the ease with which Galahad was able to free one arm I’m guessing the protocol seminar was postponed in the camp that week.  Galahad then frees Bors and the two of them overpower a pair of grooms in order to steal some horses.


Bors sticks a dagger in the back of one groom’s “hoodie” so that he’s unable to get up off the ground.  I kind of chuckled at that.  Our heroes then ride swiftly off, dispersing the surprised outlaws like the cockroaches they are.


Up ahead, The Black Knight and his crew spot a small riding party consisting of Sir Lancelot (Hugh Prosser), Queen Guinevere (Marjorie Stapp), Morgan le Fay (Pat Barton) and two other ka-niggits whose agents failed to get them mentioned in the credits.  Lancelot and the knights immediately start in with the swordlery with the outlaws until The Black Knight invokes his Excalibur-given right of knock-that-sh*t-off.

BLACK KNIGHT: Unless you want great harm to come to your queen, you’ll obey my orders without question!
(In the distance, Galahad and Bors have spotted the Knight and his men, and start to ride to the rescue)
BLACK KNIGHT: Don’t count on help from yonder fare!  I hold Excalibur…it will fall on Her Majesty’s pretty neck unless you yield!
LANCELOT: You leave us small choice!
BLACK KNIGHT: Follow Bartog without protest!

Lancelot and the other knights reluctantly fall into line, and they obediently follow Bartog.  As Galahad and Bors gallop nearer and nearer, The Black Knight (and this line is not voiced by Frees) says to Morgan: “A good time to test your magic!”

Morgan removes a charm from a chain around her neck and drops it to the ground.  Just as Galahad and Bors arrive, there is a cloud of smoke…


…and then the raiding party slowly vanishes as they continue up the road.

BORS: This is more of Morgan le Fay’s trickery!

Thank you, Sir Obvious.

BORS: Where’d they go?
GALAHAD: Wherever the Black Knight chose to hide them…

Two Sir Obviouses.  (Or is that Obviousi?)

BORS: You mean the outlaw camp?
(Bors is interrupted by several men who come riding up.  One of them is Sir Modred.)
MODRED: Back to Camelot!  I arrest you both in the name of the King!
BORS: Arrest us?  A fine thing!  Where were you when the Queen was taken away?
MODRED: I cannot counter both Excalibur and black magic!  Besides—you two are both prize enough!
BORS (reaching for his sword): You talk better than you fight, Modred!

Day-amm, Bors!  Gettin’ all up in his Kool-Aid and all!  But Galahad restrains his impulsive friend.

GALAHAD: Wait, Bors…we’ll go back to Camelot with him if that’s what he wants!  There’s some things King Arthur should learn

I like the way Reeves holds his mouth as he says that last line.  Made me laugh for some reason.  “Don’t gamble that he’ll believe you,” warns Modred, as he urges the others to follow him.  We then wind up in Camelot which, by this point in the serial…


…is still only a model.  There is an assembly in Arthur’s court.


ARTHUR: No news could be more grave than this about our queen…that our sister, Morgan le Fay, should have had a hand in it only makes it worse
MODRED: She is not the only one involved, Sire…these two are implicated, I feel sure…
BORS (again placing his hand on his sword): He lies!
ARTHUR: Restrain yourself, Sir Bors…

Cooleth thy jets.


BORS: Your Majesty…we were only trying to rescue the Queen…Galahad had learned of the plot at the outlaw camp!
MODRED: What were you doing at the outlaw camp?!!  If you’re not in league with them…?
GALAHAD: Just what where you doing at the scene of this crime against the Queen?  You followed The Black Knight so quickly, yet you were not there to help…I wonder why?
ARTHUR: Are you charging that Sir Modred is The Black Knight?!!

Well, it certainly sounds like he is.

GALAHAD: Sire, I beseech you…let Sir Modred answer
MODRED: Sire…need I answer such an outrageous charge?
ARTHUR: No Knight of the Round Table has ever broken his word…be sure you are not the first… (Modred continues to maintain silence) We will begin our search for the Queen immediately…Sir Kay, you and the other knights will ride with me…Sir Modred—you will hold the castle with a skeleton force…

Oooh…I hope it’s the same one from Jason and the Argonauts (1963).  Arthur gets up from his throne, and is followed by Sir Kay (Jim Diehl) and several other ka-niggits…thus giving Modred the opportunity to gloat.

MODRED: You should have believed me, Galahad…I said the King would have no part of your wild story
GALAHAD: It only takes a little proving
MODRED: That you won’t be able to do…Captain of the Guard!

In summoning the Captain of the Guard (Al Ferguson), Modred demonstrates why this chapter is called “Castle Perilous” (though it would be a bit more accurate if it had been called “Galahad is Doomed to Be Crushed By a Honkin’ Big Spiked Iron Ball”).  Modred orders the Captain to escort Galahad to the dungeon.


BORS: Wait!  What new crime is this?  King Arthur did not order it…
MODRED: I had thought to spare you, Sir Bors…we might have come to some agreement…but since you seem so eager to share
BORS: I did not say that!
MODRED: Very well…wait here…

“I don’t even know this guy!  And besides…he keeps making fun of my weight…”  So Galahad is taken to the dungeon, where he’s about to meet his fate in the manner of…well, in the manner that I told you about two paragraphs up.


GALAHAD: Why do you do this, Modred?
MODRED: It is a just punishment…you’ve lied about me…and lies can be most damaging
GALAHAD: I did not lie
MODRED: All the more reason, then…tie him down!

“Release the spiked iron ball!” commands Modred, and…oh, it doesn’t look good for Galahad…


Take it away, Knox Manning!

MANNING: Has The Black Knight succeeded in taking over Camelot?

It’s still just a model.

MANNING: Is Bartog leading King Arthur into a deadly trap?


Um…it looks to me like they’re knockin’ back a few at Buffalo Wild Wings…

8 comments:

Chris Vosburg said...

BORS: Galahad! (He extends his hand to Galahad, and helps him to his feet) I thought surely you were killed!
GALAHAD: I thought so myself…must be one of Merlin’s tricks…


Had to look this one up again, but ya see? Like I told you last week, according to my Official Rules of Major League Swordplay, when a wizard calls "time," all swordplay death is halted and no sword is in play, and may not be used to skewer any ka-nigget. Should have made it more clear that it applies to all swords in play, not just Excalibur.

While we're at it, check out the Official Rules of Major League Baseball and tell me whether or not a baseball which hits a foul line is fair or foul. There seems to be some contention.

Chris Vosburg said...

GALAHAD: Put yourself in The Black Knight’s place…where would you go?

IVAN: When my baby/
When my baby smiles at me/
I go to Rio/

Big laugh. Nice one, Ivan, and now it's stuck in my head, thanks.

Chris Vosburg said...

You’re probably thinking the same thing I am—what purpose will it serve your cause to keep Galahad and Bors alive?

Usually the villain will shout "take them away!" at attending guards, which for me always raises the question of where exactly they are taken, and I imagine a scene where the villain says "bring in the prisoners!" only to be reminded by the guards that they were instructed to "take them away" and lacking further direction, showed the door.

I seem to be live blogging the blog.

Chris Vosburg said...

BLACK KNIGHT; My source of information is entirely dependable…Queen Guinevere goes tomorrow to visit her sister…she’ll have only a small escort…

Hey, buddy, let's not be mean. There's no reason to denigrate the height challenged populace, who despite having small man's disease, are likely to live full and productive lives.

Chris Vosburg said...

BARTOG: Execute him, Cawker…as soon as there’s light enough to shoot by…

Bond Villain logic. In the immortal words of Daffy Duck,

SHOOT HIM! SHOOT HIM NOW HAWKEYE!

Scott said...

[Camelot] is still only a model. There is an assembly in Arthur’s court.

Because, as with all models, some assembly is required.

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

Me: BLACK KNIGHT; My source of information is entirely dependable…Queen Guinevere goes tomorrow to visit her sister…she’ll have only a small escort…

Chris: Hey, buddy, let's not be mean. There's no reason to denigrate the height challenged populace, who despite having small man's disease, are likely to live full and productive lives.

Me: [Camelot] is still only a model. There is an assembly in Arthur’s court.

Scott: Because, as with all models, some assembly is required.


You guys are never in the writers' room when I need ya. :-)

Stacia said...

I just want to go on record here and say the screencaps ALONE are hilarious.

By the way, I suspect Cawker really IS trying to impersonate Clark Gable. Just look at 'im!