Leopold Stotch (professor_chaos) wrote in ohnotheydidnt,
Leopold Stotch

The 25 Best Medieval & Fantasy TV Shows

Don your shield, and wield your remote control!  It's time to embark on the quest for The Best Medieval & Fantasy TV Shows!

25 Beastmaster
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Plenty of philosophy and action-packed fantasy accompanied the Canadian adaptation loosely based on the original Beastmaster movie, which was itself very loosely based on the original novel.

The three seasons of Beastmaster heralded one of the original Sci-Fi channel fantasy series that put the network on the map as the pinnacle of of TV fantasy.

24 ThunderCats
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Whether you love or hate the footage from the upcoming reboot, ThunderCats is a staple of the pop culture zeitgeist that incredibly mixed fantasy with science fiction, impressive animation and...you know, cats. Meow.

23 Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
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Easily one of the most prolific live-action fantasy series to ever hit the screen, Kevin Sorbo's Sam Raimi-produced Herculean adventures grew out of several TV movies and ran the gamut from light-hearted to dark fantasy.

Not to mention, where would we have gotten Xena if not for Hercules?

22 Conan the Adventurer
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Forget about the live-action TV series, or even Conan the Barbarian. The real epic was in the more youth-friendly Conan the Adventurer, which gave the muscled hero awesome weapons made of star metal (whatever that means) to battle against the wicked Snake Cult.

And who didn't want their own phoenix companion, or a crack at Jezmine?

21 The Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog
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An imagining along the lines of the Power Rangers series, Saban took off the masks for a fantasy action/adventure romp set in a fictionalized Ireland with The Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog.

Sure it was trash mythology for kids to absorb, but come on a Celtic Power Rangers? Fifty episodes will never be enough for this property in dire need of re-boot.

20 Roar
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Blink and you may have missed it, but Heath Ledger began his career in the short-lived Xena inspired Roar, telling the story of an orphaned Irish prince trying to unite his people in ridding themselves of Roman rule.

Heath Ledger may have moved on to bigger and better things, but we'll always lament the loss of the series that infused Celtic culture with just the right amount of supernatural wizardry.

19 Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire

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As Your Highness proves, one can't always incorporate the brooding, dismal drama of a series like Game of Thrones tgo make a fantasy romp worthwhile.

Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire, though lasting only six episodes was refreshingly original for Comedy Central, and even endured popularity on the BBC voiced by Sir Michael Gambon before tragically succumbing to the plague of cancellation.

18 Wizards and Warriors

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Directed by The Incredible Hulk's Bill Bixby, lasting a mere eight episodes and embarassingly utilizing footage from Excalibur for battle sequences, a few speedbumps couldn't slow down that comic-fantasy predecessor to Hercules and Xena, there was plenty of light-hearted action to be found in the adventures of Erik Greystone and Marko foiling the evil Prince Dirk Blackwood.

17 Dungeons and Dragons

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Because why spend Friday nights indoors playing Dungeons and Dragons with your friends, when you could catch the animated series of young Rangers and Cavaliers trying to find their way home?

Oh, who are you kidding? You probably did both.

16 Kaamelott
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So what if you've never heard of of the French Arthurian re-telling of Kaamelott, or don't actually speak French? And so what if we were drunk at 3am on a Tuesday night when we saw the first episode? It was hilarious!

The brief, 3-7 minute episodes the comprise the six season of Kaamelott would put even Adult Swim to shame, their brevity exploring the comical oddity of medieval life. In French, though.

15 Korgoth of Barbaria

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Despite its head-banging heavy-metal soundtrack and the gruff voice of Diedrich Bader, Korgoth the Barbarian lasted for only a single episode.

It was f$%king awesome.

14 The Adventures of Sinbad
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Set in a similar vein to Hercules and Xena: Warrior Princess, The Adventures of Sinbad took a somewhat white-washed approach to the legendary scoundrel of Arabian Nights, but offered up plenty of swordplay, sorcery, and sorceress cleavage to keep fans coming back for more.

Sidenote: Does Sinbad's brother Doubar's voice sound familiar? A little Beastly, even?

13 Arabian Nights
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How could you not enjoy this witty, two-part fantasy mini-series adapting fairly faithfully the Oriental stories of One Thousand and One Nights, featuring such then-unknown geek stars as Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings, King Kong) and James Callis (Battlestar Galactica), along with John Leguizamo and Dougray Scott?

12 He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

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You have just as much power as Prince Adam himself to bring back He-Man and the Masters of the Universe for an inevitable future-reboot, which hopefully will match the quality of the original, which itself spun into both She-Ra and a brief 2002 remake.

And by the power of Grayskull, you know you loved the adventures of Eternia no matter what age you were.

11 The 10th Kingdom

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Bringing the fairytale genre into the modern-day "Tenth Kingdom" of Manhattan, Kingdom as a TV miniseries boasted an impressive cast from John Larroquette as Virginia's janitor father, to Ed O'Neill as a Troll King and Cameron Manheim as Snow White!

As far as a quick pop into the nine kingdoms of fantasy, Kingdom proved a comically light-hearted and otherwise epic tale.

10 The Storyteller
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Jim Henson created, with John Hurt narrating puppet-filled re-tellings of famous fairy tales and folklores across multiple cultures? How could this have only lasted thirteen episodes?

9 Legend of the Seeker
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Something of a spiritual sequel to his work on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Sam Raimi sought to return to syndicated TV by adapting the Terry Goodkind Sword of Truth novels.

The series lasted 44 episodes, but lasted on the strength of its writing and prolifict guest stars, from Star Trek Enterprise's Jolene Blalock, Buffy's Charisma Carpenter, and series regular character actor Bruce Spence.

8 Merlin
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Shoving Arthur to the side to tell the legend of the wizard's early days, Merlin proved a smart, original, and even sexy reboot of the Arthurian legend that initially sprang from Smallville concept of exploring Superman's early days, despite braving a few accusations of flat dialogue.

The series has already endured three seasons, and ports to the SyFy channel, and will resume its fresh exploration of mythology in 2012.

7 Gargoyles
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As Jonathan Frakes himself would put it, the animated Gargoyles series was rich with Scottish mythology, as well as references to Shakespeare and proved even somewhat educational amidst the brawling demons and villains of the Manhattan skyline.

6 The Guild
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Who says you have to actually be set in medieval times, the fantasy to be outside a computer screen, or the series to even be on TV? Hardcore nerds of all ages love and identify with Felicia Day's Streamy-winning epic of nerds glued to their fantasy MMORPGs.

The series boasts serious geek cred, and the smart writing that places it well past how criminally little we see of Felicia in her fantasy outfits.

5 Robin of Sherwood
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One of many Robin Hood adaptations to grace the small screen, the critically acclaimed 1984 British adaptation Robin of Sherwood grew in such popularity that it eventually found life on Showtime as Robin Hood, and boasted impressive production design that blended historical fact with Pagan pyth.

The show lost its lead after its second season, but nevertheless proved highly influential for other fantasy TV that would follow.

4 The Tudors

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They don't ALL have to be full of magic. The historical attention to detail, multiple beheadings and performance of Jonathan Rhys-Meyers were magical enough in their own right to make The Tudors a historical epic worthy of chronicle in the great halls of UGO.

3 The Chronicles of Narnia

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Long before Liam Neeson took to voicing the golden lion, the BBC covered four books of The Chronicles of Narnia in three seasons of children's TV, accruing fourteen Emmys in the process.

Wonderful fantasy entertainment that paved the way for Disney movies that limp on and have executives questioning just how much longer to keep bothering.

2 Highlander: The Series

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Despite its sixth season running on a bit too long for even its creator, this successful spin-off from the Christopher Lambert films gave us a weekly does of Games and Quickenings for Duncan MacLeod, althewhile expanding on the mythology in new ways.

Highlander: The Raven on the other hand...

1 Xena: Warrior Princess
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Hercules may have started the trend, but it was Xena that transformed the genre of swordplay and fantasy into the malleable and often action-packed drama that never took itself too seriously.

Xena and Gabrielle traversed the lands (with just a pinch of lesbian subtext) fighting warlords, gods and demons, allthewhile forever endearing us to the geek beauty of Lucy Lawless.


Sorry if this went through twice. The fist time I pressed post LJ borked on me and I got an error page.
Tags: cartoon / children's show, list, nerd alert, television
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