This was the fourth episode of this popular show and it introduced one of the favourite characters of the series: Brian. Brian was brought in as an Everyman. Sir Lancelot was plucking him from the obscurity of being a 'scullery boy' and enrolling him in the echelons of the Knighthood, where normally good breeding was assumed: Any knight must be 'Of Pure Blood'. Brian's main advantage seemed to be that of being blond and about twenty years younger than the rest of the cast. However, he had gained the support of Sir Lancelot. The title character in fact put in barely a minute or two's presence, at the start and end of this episode. He did however gain the conspiratorial support of Merlin, who falsified Brian's possible heritage by the simple expedient of writing his family history in Invisible Ink.
A leader of the knights, who seemed reminiscent of an RAF officer from 'The Dambusters', quivered his moustaches in worry about this unorthodox student but was placated by the awareness that the King supported Lancelot and whatever Number One wants, Number One gets.
Lancelot has evidently just had a ruckus with an errant knight, Sir Glavin (pronounced Glay-vin) over using his horse. Lancelot appears to be in the wrong over this, as it was Glavins' horse so far as I could discern, but Lancelot has the ear of the King and dumps the poor old surly knight in the do-do. Sir Glavin, oddly, appears to be the perfect example of the success of the proletariat, breaking into Knighthood. He is a so-called 'Penniless Knight'. Shockingly we discover he has no 'Estates'. Glavin's working-class origins have made him gruff and ambitious but he has failed to cultivate the fawning attitude to authority and 'honour' so exemplified by the blond Brian. Glavin is also not blond and has a very ugly beard and threatening Mexican-looking moustache, which are both as black as his heart.
Brian is set up by his fellow-student who has been bribed by Glavin, to make Brian look incapable. Glavin, it seems, does not want another working-class hero, like himself, to undermine his position. Things get more personal when Glavin's romantic approaches to Mary (a Castle groupie) fail. Mary has no time for Glavin because he is penniless and has no Estate and doesn't believe him when he says he now has an Estate. Glavin's disappointment in love is compounded by Mary's evident desire for the blond one. Although Brian has no money either, one can only assume Mary has noticed he has friends in high places and so it is only a matter of time.
Betrayed in love as well as by the aristocratic Lancelot, Glavin determines revenge on them all. Glavin has stolen the Queen's ring (that's how he could promise Mary a good life) but not content with this, now sets things up to make it look like Brian did it. Guinevere however knows that blond boys are never wicked and has Brian, The Prisoner, released. Glavin, realising the game is likely to be up, determines to run away..... with the jewel. He doesn't get out the stable. Set upon by his betrayed confederate he is then bashed with a broom by Brian until hauled off by the castle security. Lancelot and the RAF bloke saunter off, mumbling about 'Breeding'. Nothing's changed.
Patrick McGoohan plays Glavin. He's dark and surly beneath his chain mail hood and behind his glued-on mexicali whiskers. You can tell it's his voice though. It might be speculated that he got this part after donning hose and chain mail in an Errol Flyn epic 'The Dark Avenger'. More than that I cannot say.
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