We originally developed New Knights of Camelot as a TV show. In fact it got as far as a complete series bible, 13-episode season treatment and the first couple of scripts. (You can do an awful lot of work in television that goes nowhere, even if you do get paid for it.)
The idea originally came from Ian Marsh, one-time editor of White Dwarf, in the form of a role-playing game he ran. After the final battle, King Arthur and most of the Round Table are dead. Right… so get over it. What happens next?
In our story, a group of kids try to keep Arthur’s ideals alive even as Saxon war-bands are sweeping across Britain and Morgan le Fay is planning some occult nastiness that will pervert the power of the Holy Grail and make her queen of a poisoned land. Oh, and Merlin is in there of course: the New Knights’ extremely unreliable mentor.
Our Scoobyish little band are recruited more eclectically than the chivalric classes Malory and Tennyson wrote about. We’ve got a poacher, a blacksmith’s apprentice, a youth from Judea, a squire from north Africa called Hannibal. (That wasn’t just some odious BBC-style box-ticking approach to diversity, incidentally; it was the whole theme of the story.) Admittedly two of the main characters are Gawain’s offspring, but they’re not exactly your snooty public school types, this being the grubby post-Roman end of the 5th century. Only Lancelot’s niece is really what you’d call posh, and even she’s going to have to learn to get down and dirty before the story’s done.
This lad here is Ozzy, the self-taught alchemist – who looks spookily like me when I was a teenager, come to think of it.