S02 E06: Arise, Sir Robby! We talk Excalibur with author Joe Abercrombie
Play • 1 hr 18 min

Is that the rousing sound of Carl Orff’s O Fortuna assaulting our ears? Yes, it’s time for a genuine “round table” discussion: this episode we look back at Excalibur, John Boorman’s 1981 whirlwind tour of Arthurian legend.

Based on the 15th-century prose work Le Morte d'Arthur by Thomas Malory, which collected together many popular legends about King Arthur and his knights, Boorman’s film takes us from Arthur’s conception through to his death, taking in the rise and fall of Camelot and the quest for the Holy Grail. It stars Nicol Williamson, Helen Mirren, Liam Neeson, Gabriel Byrne, Patrick Stewart and other top Thespians.

We’re joined for this magical mosey into the misty middle ages by Joe Abercrombie, bestselling fantasy author of the First Law series, The Shattered Sea books, the Age Of Madness trilogy and more. His latest novel, The Wisdom Of Crowds, drops on 14 September 2021 from Gollancz (Orbit in the US). Joe is a Locus Award winner, an avid gamer, and a social media master with the moniker Lord Grimdark. You can find out more about him at his official site https://joeabercrombie.com/.

Looking for more recent TV and film recommendations? We’re happy to help there too. First up: The Suicide Squad, and a moment so funny that our Dave laughs the cat off his desk. True story. Yes, we hitch a ride with DC’s worst of the worst – and silliest of the silliest – to see if it trumps 2016’s definite-article-free Suicide Squad. Then it’s a show so good that NBC pulled the plug – only for it to become a big hit on Netflix. We get Lost with mystery drama Manifest. 

There’s all this plus Marvel’s What If…?, BBC’s Ghosts and more “requels”, in Robby The Robot’s Waiting, the podcast that is a dream to some – a nightmare to others!

NB There’s no news section this time – we’ve stopped doing that, but we’ll be introducing a monthly news round-up podcast you can hear separately! See our new website www.robbyscifi.com for details. 

Episode highlights:

0:01:00 – WHAT WE’VE BEEN WATCHING: The Suicide Squad, Manifest, Ghosts, and Marvel’s What If…?

0:31:19 – Meet guest Joe Abercrombie! What has he been enjoying on his 72 streaming services? Includes Marvel on Disney Plus and Dark on Netflix.

0:38:01 – Joe Abercrombie introduces his new book The Wisdom Of Crowds, the third novel in his Age Of Madness trilogy.

0:47:07 – REWIND! We rewatch John Boorman 1981 swords-and-sorcery epic Excalibur.

Who do we think we are?

Richard Edwards: film and TV journalist and a former editor of SFX https://twitter.com/RichDEdwards

Tanavi Patel: entertainment reporter for SFX magazine and Digital Spy, panel moderator for MCM, FanExpo and more https://twitter.com/tanavip

Dave Bradley: writer, gamer, book reviewer and another former editor of SFX, who reveals here that he studied medieval literature back in the day https://twitter.com/BoxDaveB

SPECIAL GUEST! Joe Abercrombie is an acclaimed fantasy author. His first book, The Blade Itself, was published in 2006 and began the celebrated First Law series. His latest novel, The Wisdom Of Crowds, is published on 14 September 2021 https://twitter.com/LordGrimdark

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