Here at SEENIT we love a good on-screen sword fight – the clash of metal on metal as two duelling heroes battle it out for the ultimate victory has long been a favourite element of TV shows and big screen films.
From the adventures of Errol Flynn in films such as The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Sea Hawk and Captain Blood through to Rob Reiner’s The Princess Bride, itself a delightful homage to classic action flicks, and the Pirates of the Caribbean, cinema audiences have been treated to some impressively choreographed swordplay.
But while Hollywood can claim credit for some of the big screen’s most memorable fight sequences, modern British TV has a lot to be proud of too.
In the 1980s, ITV treated Saturday evening family audiences to two of the best action/adventure series ever seen on either side of the Atlantic.
Richard Carpenter’s Robin of Sherwood remains one of the best ever retellings of the Robin Hood legend, blending politics, sorcery and swordplay to tell a series of multi-layered stories that still hold up today.
The network also brought viewers Return to Treasure Island, a ten-part sequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s pirate classic which reunited an older Long John Silver and Jim Hawkins as they hunted Flint’s secret cache of treasure.
Both series were filmed extensively on location, with Return especially benefiting from its overseas locales, and served up (mostly bloodless) large-scale bouts each week to keep audiences thrilled and dazzled.
Viewers looking for a little more realism would find it a few years later when the broadcaster adapted Bernard Cornwell’s widely acclaimed Sharpe novels into an international hit series in which Sean Bean played the musket and sword-wielding hero.
The swords used by Sharpe and the real-life fighters of the Napoleonic Wars would have been made by firms such as Wilkinson Sword, a major sword manufacturer for the British Army for more than a century.
Today better known as one of the UK’s biggest razor brands, the firm recently released a new action-packed film short which celebrates its rich heritage with a rather racy take on the classic duel.
Sponsored by Wilkinson Sword