TV

The Best King Arthur Films and TV Shows (for Every Type of Arthur Fan)


Which is the best King Arthur movie or TV show? There really is something for everybody.

Iain de Caestecker in MGM's The Winter King
Photo: MGM/Bad Wolf

There are literally hundreds of films and TV shows about or featuring King Arthur going back well over a century – there are silent films, musicals, animated films, comedies, dramas. You name it, there is a King-Arthur-themed version of it. There are not a small number of “Best of…” lists floating around the internet as well. But how do you know which of the recommendations is really going to scratch your King Arthur-shaped itch?

MGM+’s new series about King Arthur, The Winter King, is a combination of gritty historical fiction and “low” fantasy (that is, a mostly realistic setting with some fantasy elements). It is also fairly grim and violent. But there are lots of different ways to tell a story about King Arthur and his knights, with or without round table, Merlin, the Lady of the Lake and so on. Here, we’ve rounded up a few of our favourite films and TV shows about or featuring King Arthur, sorted depending on what sort of mood you’re in. Do you fancy a comedy? A musical? Adventure? Romance? Whatever particular type of Arthurian legend you enjoy the most, we’ve got you covered!

If You’re Looking for… Adventure

Merlin (BBC, 2008-2012)

Following the success of Russell T Davies’ relaunched Doctor Who, Merlin was developed to fill a similar space in the BBC schedules, intended to be “three generation TV”, which could be watched by children, parents and grandparents all together. It follows Arthur (Bradley James) and Merlin (Colin Morgan) as young men during the reign of Arthur’s father Uther (Anthony Head), with one unique twist. In this series, magic exists, but it has been outlawed. Merlin saves Arthur’s life and becomes his manservant, and spends the next five seasons repeatedly saving Arthur’s life and trying to pretend he did it without using magic.

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