"Why does everyone think being a knight is so damn splendid? Most die in their first battle!" - Sir Thomas Grey
Covington Cross was set in the middle ages and revolved around the lives of an English lord and his five children. It ran in the US for one incomplete season in the early 90's and for being such a short lived series, it really made a lasting impression on us. This show was compelling right from the opening scene where two knights in full armour were sword fighting in a castle, complete with swinging on a chandelier and destroying the room. The fight is brought to an abrupt end when Sir Thomas storms into the room and yells at the knights, who we come to find out are his sons Richard and William who had just gotten carried away while sparring. The show had a sort of modern twist on the historical setting with the dialog and the comedy which made this show really fun and interesting.
The show followed Sir Thomas Grey and his trials with keeping his lands and family safe and prosperous. After his wife's untimely death, he always tried to raise his children to do what was expected of them, which wasn't always easy or what they wanted. Armus followed his duty as the eldest son and fought in the Crusades, but when he returned he confessed that he had become a cook after his devastating first battle. Richard longed to have what was Armus' right as first born, and always struggled with his temper and hiding his emotions from not only others but from himself. William, who we only got to meet in the pilot, had to lose the security of his home and family when he went to fight in the Crusades. Eleanor found herself at odds with her true passions of the crossbow and horses while society frowned on her choices in favor of being a lady. And charismatic ladies man Cedric wanted his family's support and respect by becoming a knight while his father had his future laid out in the clergy to protect him from the horrors of battle.
I loved all the characters and their interactions with one another. Despite taking place in historical times, they fought and loved each other like any modern family, the only difference being they sometimes would throw axes at each another for fun! They all had great chemistry and I really enjoyed watching their strong bonds get them through all of their conflicts and struggles. The family's main source of conflict was the antagonistic Baron Mullens who was always looking for a way to gain the Grey's land and see Sir Thomas fall. I really enjoyed the storyline where Cedric was covertly romancing Mullens' daughter Alexandra, although it was a secret to no one except their fathers. And aside from all the interactions between all of the Grey siblings, I also enjoyed Sir Thomas and Lady Elizabeth's relationship and especially seeing the difference between her proper children and the wild Grey children.
For only being 13 episodes long, I really felt like I got to know the characters and enjoyed seeing the different sides of them. Richard, for all his arrogance and the strong persona he tried to portray, had a soft, fragile side hidden deep inside, which we got to see when he was missing his mother and worrying about Cedric being exposed to the plague. Cedric was the youngest son and it was interesting to compare his self-assured confidence when he was seducing nuns (or his aunt by accident) against his uncertainty when trying to prove his worth to his brothers as a swordsman. In the final episode of the show, Eleanor reluctantly gave up her weapons and armor for make-up and music lessons to try and become a lady to fit in with her peers. It would have been interesting to see if she continued down that path or stayed true to herself if the show had not ended. And I always loved Sir Thomas' character and watching him try to do what was best for his children while still staying true to what society's expectations were, and how when it came down to it, he would always choose his family.
Aside from a few misses with some episodes, the show as a whole was excellent. The only real problem that I have with it was that it was too short! The storylines were very strong and the characters were all interesting and I felt it could have easily gone on for several seasons. I'm not sure if people just didn't get what the show as about or if there were other issues at the time, but I love this show a lot and it's still one of my favorites to this day.
||Richard, Sir Thomas, Cedric
||Armus Returns, The Hero
||The Persecution, Cedric Hits the Road, The Plague
||Sir Thomas/Lady Elizabeth, Sir Thomas and Richard, all the siblings
||The Grey Family, Sir Thomas/Lady Elizabeth