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The Big Knights was an animated television programme on BBC1. It consisted of 13 ten-minute episodes, and first appeared over the Christmas Season of 1999-2000.

The stories tell the adventures of the two Big Knights, Sir Boris and Sir Morris, who are incredibly strong and brave, but are also incredibly stupid. They solve crises, usually of their own creation, but cause great destruction and mayhem in the process.

Setting

The eponymous Big Knights live in Castle Big, on the edge of Forest Big, in the land of Borovia. Borovia seems to be situated in either Central or Eastern Europe. The knights themselves are indeed big; to be precise, the height of two men, the weight of four and the strength of sixteen.

Borovia is rife with dragons, witches, trolls and a race of tiny people. The capital is presumably Borodzo, a tiny country town in the middle of nowhere. In the town square is a large gold clock which the incompetent King Otto blew all the country's cash on. The King resides in a rundown but expansive castle.

The population is negligible, the economy is suffering and the army consists mainly of Sir Boris and Sir Morris, as well as a host of lesser knights who, not being big, tend to take a back seat. This is mainly due to their snobbish elitism and general martial incompetence; they are much happier practicing genuflection and brushing up their courtly manners. There doesn't seem to be much going for Borovia. The land has a fledgling television system (in black and white, consisting mainly of weather reports), at least one car (owned by the King) and an ill-fated hydroelectric dam.

From this it becomes apparent that Borovia, rather than being merely medieval, is in fact in the modern age, and whether through geographical isolation or sheer indolence, very backward.

The country borders on the land of Moridia, a sickeningly rich and prosperous nation. The people there are more intelligent, and are always one step ahead of their envious neighbours. Borovia also borders a land of vampires, which the Big Knights helped get rid of ... in the process stripping away the remnants of the tourism industry from Borovia. As lovable as they are, the Big Knights always seem to make life for all Borovians that little bit harder.

Characters

Sir Boris - The finest swordsman in the world. Noble, brave, honorable and chivalrous, and while not nearly as stupid as his brother Sir Morris, not terribly bright either. He is clad in silver armour. He is voiced by David Rintoul.

Sir Morris - Not the finest swordsman in the world, but the most enthusiastic. Also incredibly stupid. He wears glasses, and bronze armour. Voiced by Brian Blessed.

Sir Horace - Sir Boris' loyal hound, clad in armour. He is a fine tracker dog.

Sir Doris - Sir Morris' pet hamster, likewise clad in plate armour. She has an insatiable appetite and will eat just about anything and everything.

Mrs. Ethel Minion - The knights houskeeper and de facto Nanny, without whom they find survival rather difficult. She takes a matronly view toward her outsize charges. She seems to enjoy the housework.

King Otto - King of Borovia, and a single parent. His attempts to modernise his country often fail at the well-meaning hands of the Big Knights. He is insipid and dull-headed. He has two daughters, Princess Lucy and Princess Loretta, who manipulate him mercilessly. King Otto does occasionally make a stab at modernising Borovia, but since he is always thwarted by the Big Knights well-intentioned antics very little progress is made.

Princesses Lucy and Loretta - Enthusiastic, naive and oblivious to danger and trouble. They absolutely love adventure and are keen admirers of the Big Knights.

Wizard Zabobon - Is thousands of years old, and it appears that in that time he has never thought of personal hygiene. He seems an incompetent wizard too.

Professor von Proton - The brain behind Borovia's drive to modernisation, he is also totally insane. He has covered the country in pig manure as a result of a quest for renewable power.

Queen Melissa - Queen of Moridia and incredibly wealthy. According to the programme website, she is rumoured to have been married to King Otto at some stage[139595], but this is not mentioned in the show itself. Her fabulous wealth is a constant source of envy to King Otto.

Sorceress Abigail - Cleaner, brighter, female version of Zabobon employed by Queen Melissa.

Sir Kiftsgate - One of a new breed of knights who know the difference between bowing to a Duke and an Earl but are totally useless at traditional knightly pastimes such as slaying dragons and giants.

Style of humor

The Big Knights appeared over the Christmas of 1999/2000, and was lauded for its wry humour and cleverness. The programme contains, as well as a series of witty and irreverent jokes that will appeal to adults and the brighter kind of child, a simple storytelling style that will appeal to children and adults who don't want to tax themselves too much. Jack and the Beanstalk, for example, is retold from the point of view of a tiny race of people who inhabit Sir Morris' garden. In another episode, an asteroid narrowly misses a new hydroelectric dam, only for the knights' efforts to rescue the princesses result in the destruction of the dam by Sir Morris hurtling into it from a great height. Also in, the The Village Games, the Knights discover a witch with a cat called Merkin. The rousing theme tune was provided by the Rostovmarker Balalaika orchestra.

The cast



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