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#V1001 - Episode 01
EXT. HILLSIDE BATTLEFIELD - DAY
It is cloudy and misting. The hillside is very green, with a few small trees and boulders, but mostly it is open. Sitting atop the hill is a large castle built of damp plain gray stone, with archers stationed all along the ramparts.
All across the battlefield, two armies are engaged in a bitter and bloody conflict. Many soldiers have fallen, their dead and dying bodies scattered across the hillside.
EXT. FOOT OF CASTLE - DAY
Two men are struggling fiercely at the foot of the castle, their swords connecting again and again while sparks fly from their blades. Both are breathing heavily, and covered liberally in muck and blood. The mist drips down their faces, and coats heavy, well-made armor.
Suddenly, one of them steps back, losing his footing on the slippery ground. As he flounders, the other soldier sees his opening and swings his blade with all his might, slicing across the first man's mid-section and connecting with flesh.
Blood splatters everywhere, as the stricken man falls to the ground. The soldier still standing raises his sword high in the air.
I've killed Uther Pendragon!
Long live Saxony!
Pendragon rises up on one elbow, grasping his sword and plunging it into the man's stomach before he falls back to the ground.
And I've killed you, you bastard.
The other soldier's eyes grow wide as he drops his sword and clutches his midsection with both hands, then falls down next to Pendragon. Their blood pools together as it starts to rain.
(cont’d, eyes closed)
Long live Camelot.
EXT. ACROSS THE HILLSIDE - DAY
A young soldier comes running across the battlefield, leaping over boulders and dead bodies. He fights every enemy that confronts him, leaving more dead soldiers in his wake.
He arrives at Pendragon's side and drops to his knees, cradling Pendragon's head in his lap. He glances at the dead man next to him and grunts in satisfaction.
A king for a king. Good.
Even as he speaks, the Saxon army is retreating, realizing their leader has fallen as well. The soldier watches the retreat with tears tracking down his face.
Gone. For now. But they'll
come back… they always do.
He looks up and behind him.
Open the gates!
The gates open and he drags Pendragon inside, before the gates slam closed again, shutting out the noise of the dwindling battle.
INT. CASTLE - DAY
It is quiet inside and sparsely decorated, with only a few torches burning from sconces along the walls of a large open entry chamber. At one end, a fire blazes in a great fireplace. The soldier lays Pendragon down on a thick soft rug beside the fire, still holding his head in his lap and stroking his rain-soaked hair.
Pendragon's eyes flutter open and he smiles weakly, lifting a trembling hand up and cupping the soldier's cheek. On his forearm is a tattoo of a dragon.
Arthur. There's no face I'd
rather see before I cross over.
You mustn't talk like that.
He covers Pendragon's wound with one hand, and blood oozes between his fingers.
You'll live to fight another day.
We will defeat the Saxons.
Aye, that we will. But it won't
be me who defeats them.
He covers Arthur's hand with his own. As they are speaking, a small crowd of soldiers and other castle servants gathers around the fireplace, standing at a respectful distance to allow father and son their final moment together. We hear handmaidens weeping.
I charge you with Camelot, Arthur. Go
now, and take Excalibur. The time has
come, and it is yours. You will lead my
army to victory and drive back the Saxons.
Arthur glances over to an alcove, where twin torches illuminate a large square-cut gray stone. Their light glints off the hilt of an ornate sword driven deep into its center.
Excalibur? But the Lady....
Pendragon grunts in pain.
The Lady foretold it. The one who wields
Excalibur will lead my people when I am
gone. You are that one. Go now and
make me proud. I love you, son.
Pendragon's eyes close and his head lolls to one side, as he breathes his final breath. A shocked gasp arises from the crowd of onlookers. Arthur weeps and bends over, kissing his father's forehead.
I love you too, father.
Arthur gently lays his father's head down on the carpet and stands, walking resolutely toward Excalibur. He circles the stone and finally grasps its hilt, looking up at the crowd.
He tugs at the sword, but it won't budge. He grasps it more firmly and tugs at it again, with the same result. He moves back a step, spits into his palms and rubs them together. Then he steps back to Excalibur, ready to try a third time.
What is this?
Arthur peers at the exposed portion of the blade. On its gleaming silvery surface, he sees a pair of striking blue eyes, framed by dark hair and bangs.
Arthur’s eyes widen in disbelief.
Who is this woman?
He moves away from the sword and walks to the corner of the alcove, where we see a stand bearing a scrying bowl. He looks at the surface of the water, drawing a deep breath.
I call upon you Viviane, Lady of the
Lake, mistress of Excalibur. I beseech
you, Lady. Grant me now this, my
birthright, to bear Excalibur and drive
the Saxons back from our land.
Slowly, the face of a beautiful woman appears on the surface of the water.
THE LADY VIVIANE
I'm sorry, Arthur. Another has claimed
Excalibur. Another who yet lives. It is
she, and only she, who can wield
Excalibur. You must find her. She alone
holds the fate of Camelot in her hands.
But… but Excalibur.
Arthur steps back, gathering his wits, then bends over the bowl again.
My Lady, for the love of Camelot, how
shall I find this woman? Where is she?
What is her name and when did she
claim Excalibur without us knowing
of it? I… I don't understand.
THE LADY VIVIANE
She was here some thirty-three
winters ago. As for finding her, that
is up to you, Arthur Pendragon.
Viviane's features begin to grow murky, rippling on the surface of the water.
My Lady, no. Please. I need
more information. I beg of you....
It is too late, and Viviane disappears. Arthur stands and steps into the center of the chamber. He looks up, his fists clenched at his sides.
His voice echoes off the chamber walls.
END OF TEASER