×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Covington Cross

Medieval action-adventure series focuses on families of good guy Sir Thomas Gray (not the 18th-century poet) and baddie John Mullens. With lots of color, production values and a script that doesn't take itself too seriously, "Covington Cross" mines a genre that television has ignored for several years. Once in its regular 8 p.m. Saturday timeslot, series could be a hit with the kids and an enjoyable pastime for adults, as well.

With:
Cast: Nigel Terry, Cherie Lunghi, James Faulkner, Jonathan Firth, Ben Porter, Glenn Quinn, Ione Skye, Jad Mager, Paul Brooke, Rosalind Bennett, Greg Wise, Miles Anderson, Richard Cordery, Terence Beesley, Oliver Haden, Daniel Craig, Shay Gorman, Devon Dear.

Medieval action-adventure series focuses on families of good guy Sir Thomas Gray (not the 18th-century poet) and baddie John Mullens. With lots of color, production values and a script that doesn’t take itself too seriously, “Covington Cross” mines a genre that television has ignored for several years. Once in its regular 8 p.m. Saturday timeslot, series could be a hit with the kids and an enjoyable pastime for adults, as well.

Pilot’s opening scene is a sword fight right out of Errol Flynn’s “Robin Hood ,” with a surprise payoff that, it’s hoped, sets the exciting, humorous tone for the remaining chapters in ABC’s 13-episode initial order.

Production notes set the story in the mid-1350s, showing that creator Gil Grant isn’t writing history: one of the characters is supposedly off on the Crusades, the last one of which ended in 1204.

Sir Thomas is a widower, his wife having died some years earlier in the Black Plague. His family consists of rambunctious sons Knight Richard (Jonathan Firth) , Knight William (Ben Porter) and Cedric (Glenn Quinn), and spunky daughter Eleanor (Ione Skye)–very much a 1990s woman, as it turns out.

Fourth son, Armus (Tim Killick), is scheduled to return from the Crusades in time for show’s second episode. Any resemblance to “Bonanza” is probably more than coincidental. Regulars dwelling chez Gray also include a rotund friar (Paul Brooke) and various servants. Sir Thomas’s love interest, Lady Elizabeth (Cherie Lunghi) lives in a castle just down the block.

Bad guy Mullens’ household consists for the moment only of John (James Faulkner) and his son, Henry ofGault (Greg Wise).

Pilot finds Henry and Eleanor set up for marriage at the insistence of King Edward, who’s trying to effect a truce between the warring families.

Though the Grays’ marriages have been arranged for several generations, Eleanor seems surprised at the idea and bolts for the countryside. (Jad Mager is seen as Eleanor’s romantic interest in pilot, then disappears.)

In the meantime, a group of mysteriously hooded raiders have been terrorizing the peasants, stealing their money and burning down their villages. Perhaps the youngest members of the audience will be surprised when head raider’s hood is raised, revealing his identity.

Gray doesn’t figure it out, though, so when he calls off the impending marriage, it’s out of respect for his daughter’s independence. Mullens, irked at the loss of an important dowry, demands satisfaction.

Terry makes an impressive patriarch; though as much of a goody-goody as Bobby Ewing of “Dallas,” he’d be easy to take over the long haul. Firth’s and Porter’s characters are somewhat vague in the pilot, with youngsters Quinn and Skye obviously aimed at the teen crowd.

Faulkner’s John Mullens is a real moustache-twirler, in the mold of Basil Rathbone, and sure to become an audience favorite. Henry of Gault won’t be returning to the series, which leaves plenty of room for John to recruit interesting allies from outside the family.

Director William Dear supplies plenty of action and (largely implied) violence, aided by stunt arranger Roy Alon and special effects unit headed by John Evans. All tech credits are first rate, with a special nod to costume designer Barbara Lane.

Covington Cross

(Tues. (25), 10-11 p.m., ABC-TV)

Production: Filmed in England by Reeves Entertainment/Thames Television Intl. Exec producer/writer/creator, Gil Grant; producer, Aida Young; director, William Dear.

Crew: Camera, Alan Hume; editor, Tariq Anwar; sound, David Hilyard; music, Carl Davis; production designer, Peter Mullins.

Cast: Cast: Nigel Terry, Cherie Lunghi, James Faulkner, Jonathan Firth, Ben Porter, Glenn Quinn, Ione Skye, Jad Mager, Paul Brooke, Rosalind Bennett, Greg Wise, Miles Anderson, Richard Cordery, Terence Beesley, Oliver Haden, Daniel Craig, Shay Gorman, Devon Dear.

More TV

  • "Raven's Home" Executive Producer, Eunetta Boone.

    Eunetta Boone, Showrunner and Creator of 'One on One,' Dies at 63

    Writer-producer Eunetta Boone, creator of the UPN comedy “One on One” and showrunner of Disney Channel’s “Raven’s Home,” died Wednesday at her home in Los Angeles. She was 63. Boone was found dead at her home of an apparent heart attack. Boone had most recently worked as showrunner on the third season of the Disney [...]

  • Global Sales for ‘Les Miserables’ Series

    Global Sales for ‘Les Miserables’ Starring Dominic West Ahead of Series Mania

    The BBC and Masterpiece adaptation of “Les Miserables” will play on a numerous international channels after a raft of deals were sealed for the series, which features Dominic West, David Oyelowo, and Lily Collins. Andrew Davies’ adaptation of Victor Hugo’s classic has been acquired by broadcasters in Scandinavia and southern Europe, and by several buyers [...]

  • Kevin Hart

    TV News Roundup: Kevin Hart Netflix Comedy Special Drops First Trailer

    In today’s roundup, Netflix releases the official trailer for the comedy special “Kevin Hart: Irresponsible” and Josh Charles joins Showtime’s Roger Ailes series “The Loudest Voice.” DATES Season two of “Yellowstone,” starring Kevin Costner, will premiere on Paramount Network on June 19 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The sophomore season will continue the story of rancher John Dutton [...]

  • adidas game of thrones

    5 New 'Game of Thrones' Collaborations Coming in Time for the Final Season

    Some of the biggest lifestyle brands in the world are jumping on the “Game of Thrones” bandwagon this spring, hoping to capitalize on the fandom and popularity of the HBO hit, as it enters its eighth and final season. From sneakers to spirits, these officially-licensed collaborations extend the characters and colors of the show beyond [...]

  • Nicole Richie

    Nicole Richie Joins Fox Comedy Pilot 'Richard Lovely'

    Nicole Richie has been cast in a series regular role in the Fox single-cam comedy pilot “Richard Lovely.” The project follows Richard Lovely (Thomas Lennon), the disgruntled author of the best-selling children’s book series, “Mr. Mouse.” He doesn’t hate children, but rather just everything about them. After a publicity fiasco involving an unexpectedly savvy 9-year-old [...]

  • Gabrielle Union Marketing Summit

    Gabrielle Union on Building a Brand as a ‘40-Year-Old Black Woman From Nebraska’

    When New York & Company approached Gabrielle Union to be their new brand ambassador and the face of her own clothing line, the actress reacted with “disbelief.” “We are not supposed to be getting those offers, I’m not supposed to be having a career resurgence, my value isn’t supposed to be this high,” Union explained [...]

  • Lachlan Murdoch

    New Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch Announces All Employees to Receive Stock in Company

    The new standalone entity Fox Corp. held a town hall on Thursday, just over a day after the official closing of the 21st Century Fox-Disney merger. Fox Corp. chairman and CEO Lachlan Murdoch led the meeting, at which sources say he announced that all employees would receive stock in the new company. The amount of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content