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Letter from Michael Gothard: "Scruffy Camelot"

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Jun. 11th, 1972 | 09:22 pm

A.S., the daughter of one of Michael Gothard’s close friends, visited the set of "Arthur of the Britons" around the beginning of November 1972.1 Soon after this first visit, she received a letter from Michael, which included the following:

“I am so pleased you enjoyed your visit to Scruffy Camelot! … I write this at the end of another very long day. I am somewhat saddle sore and bruised, but this is great fun to work on and restores my faith somewhat in this very shallow business I find myself in. I do enjoy working with “The Boys”! It is all very hectic and we are losing track of what we are doing and where we are, what with swapping between episodes.

This week I have been involved in several fights, which of course I won, I have been tied to a tree...and very cold it was too, then we went back and did some knife throwing that if I remember rightly we did right at the beginning ... .which seems a LONG time ago. Oh, I have also thrown a glass of fake wine over Oliver (again) which I enjoyed. We have also done a lot of riding, hence me needing a squashy cushion whenever I sit down. … It will be an early start on Friday morning, and you will get to spend a little time with the horses, as we are scheduled to be involved in plenty of riding during that day.”

The fights he mentions being involved in may have been the ones in the woods at the end of “The Prize”, which was the episode in which he was tied to a tree. They may also have included some of the sparring from “The Pupil”, and the final fight with Corin.

The Prize 65 The Prize 134

The knife-throwing and wine throwing scenes which had to be re-shot were from the beginning and end of “Daughter of the King.”

Longhouse scene (58) Friends (24)

There were not many whole episodes left to be filmed by this time: “The Prize”, “The Games”, “The Girl from Rome”, “The Swordsman”, and “The Treaty.” None of these involved substantial amounts of riding for Kai. However, the racing scenes in “Arthur is Dead”, which were also used in the credits, were definitely filmed in autumn – there are autumnal trees, hips on the bushes, dead thistles, and lots of fallen leaves on the ground – so these must be the scenes to which he was referring, when he says they are scheduled to be doing a lot of riding when A.S. visits next time.

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It is good to see that Michael found filming “Arthur of the Britons” such a positive experience.

1 More recollections from A.S. can be found here

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