History Renews ‘Knightfall’ with a New Showrunner; Mark Hamill Joins the Cast

     August 13, 2018

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Things have been quiet on the Knightfall front, a History series which debuted last December. I gave the show a tepid review at the time — it wasn’t terrible, but it also didn’t feel essential, and when it comes to Peak TV you have to grab viewers and make them care. The Templar-focused series, starring Tom Cullen, takes place at an interesting time in history (not that the series was particularly faithful to the era), on steeped in medieval politics and the secrets of this ancient religious military order, which was tasked with protecting the Catholic church’s most precious relics.

But the show spent too much time on plotting and not enough on character development, at least initially. Though History has seen a lot of success with its series Vikings, one of TV’s top-rated dramas, it seemed like Knightfall was not exactly poised to follow suit.

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Image via Lucasfilm

And yet, what ho! News today from the cable channel is that surprise, Knightfall will be back, and revamped! The Flash‘s Aaron Helbing has been brought in to showrun the series for its second season, and joining him are a handful of new cast members, including Mark Hamill. Hamill will portray Talus, a battle-hardened Knight Templar who is a veteran of the Crusades who was held in captivity in the Holy Land, but who will now be training new padawan recruits. Tom Forbes will also join the cast as Prince Louis, the volatile son of King Philip and heir to the throne. Genevieve Gaunt will round out the new cast members as Isabella, King Philip’s daughter and future “she-wolf of France.”

Eli Lehrer, executive vice president of programming for History, said of the renewal,

“In the face of ever-increasing competition, we’re proud of History’s track record of producing signature drama series that are epic in scope with complex characters. Whether it’s the legendary Knights Templar, the extraordinary tale of medieval Norsemen, or the story of a formerly classified United States Air Force program investigating UFOs during the Cold War, these series reflect our commitment to bringing the defining, big canvas stories of history to life. We look forward to offering our viewers a grittier, darker ‘Knightfall’ in season two and welcoming Mark to the cast.”

Hamill certainly makes for a fun addition, regardless, and a new showrunner could help revitalize the series. But I don’t know that Knightfall could get much grittier or darker than its first season, so that doesn’t seem quite like the right direction but … we shall see!

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