Okay, people: the question that will tell me once and for all what kind of folks you really are. Which is the definitive version of the Arthurian legend: Boorman or Python?
(Tough question, I know. I’m asking you to weigh the Knights Who Say Ni against Helen Mirren as Morgana and Nicol Williamson as Merlin. Essay answers are encouraged.)
Here’s the movie that played out in my mind as I was drawing, by the way:
EXT. FOREST GLADE
A group of KNIGHTS, including BORS, ECTOR and URYENS, are gathered around a large STONE from which protrudes a wooden sign, facing away from us (and toward them). They study it intently.
BORS E... nine... R... G... 7... 3... 8?
A bolt of LIGHTNING vaporizes him. The other KNIGHTS step back, shaken.
ECTOR No, no, I... I'll defer to you, noble sir.
URYENS But you have sons, a lineage. They'd be awesome heirs to the throne. You go.
ECTOR (glancing at his bare wrist) You know, thanks for reminding me. It's time for Arthur's Ritalin.
He hurries off. URYENS, stricken, looks at the other knights. No takers. He takes a deep breath and steps forward.
He gets no further. There's a flash, and he's reduced to cinders and a wisp of smoke.
KNIGHTS (muttering) We could try this tomorrow. It's getting late. We're starting to lose light.
ARTHUR (OS) Oh, for God's sake.
A lanky boy, ARTHUR, pushes through them and peers briefly at the sign.
ARTHUR (impatient) It says "ermine 927." Okay?
He walks away, just before a beam of heavenly light illuminates the glade. A crown descends from above, resting gently on a bed of moss atop the stone.
One of the KNIGHTS sidles over to the crown and picks it up nonchalantly. They all innocently shuffle away.