Mark Hamill, who will debut March 25 in Season 2 of History’s medieval drama Knightfall, came to TCA to explain he had no intention of making the commitment until watching episodes and getting hooked.
Hamill plays Talus, the battle-hardened Knight Templar veteran of the Crusades who survived a decade of captivity in the Holy Land and is tasked with training new initiates to the Order.
“I’ve never done a character quite like this before – a religious zealot and man of conviction” who teaches initiates they are “god’s executioners,” which Hamill said brought to mind the 5th Commandment “though shalt not kill.”
Aaron Helbing, who has taken over the reins of Knightfall as Season 2 showrunner and EP, told TV critics that Season 1 was the peaceful season; Season 2 will be about “brotherhood, redemption…and revenge.”
Embracing “grittiness and medieval brutality” lends itself to “great cinematic scope,” he explained.
Series creative team did a “tremendous amount of research” and these are “real historical figures who we become inspired by,” Helbing said. But the series is “not beholden” to history and will take dramatic license.
He described Knights Templar as a cross of Navy Seals meets JP Morgan. An incredible fighting force, “These guys invented banking,” he said.
But, when one TV critic asked if there is a through-line to President Donald Trump and his passion for oligarchs, Helbing drew the line. The Knights Templar, he said, “did not abuse their wealth but they became targets because of their wealth.”
Even so, one critic wondered if the knights represent a “horrible cult” or something “noble.”
Tom Cullen, who stars as redemption-seeking Sir Landry in the series, took that one, saying they are both, describing the knights as a “very clandestine order” that is “doing the right thing,” “living under a strict code based on faith” and “absolutely the heroes.”
Produced by A+E Studios in association with the Combine and Midnight Radio, Knightfall explores the politics and warfare of the warrior monks known as Knights Templar, the most powerful, wealthy and mysterious military order of the Middle Ages.