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"The height of two men, the weight of four, the strength of sixteen! Sir Boris, finest swordsman in the World! And his brother, Sir Morris...not the finest swordsman in the world! But the most enthusiastic! And their noble pets, Sir Horace the dog, and Sir Doris the Hamster. The Big Knights!""FOR BORODZO, AND BOROVIAAA"!!
—The Big Knights
The Big Knights was a 2000/2001 children's BBC series about the exploits of two knights doing heroic deeds in a fantasy Kingdom of Borovia. The show ran for thirteen ten-minute episodes before being cancelled.
The distant lands of Borovia are threatened by dragons, witches and ogres. It is up to two mighty heroes, Sir Boris and Sir Morris, to ride in and defeat these evil monsters, rescue the Princesses, and restore order to the Kingdom. Unfortunately, these two chivalric brothers happen to be as stupid as they are strong, resulting in numerous mishaps and extraordinary amounts of collateral damage as they attempt to perform good deeds.
Humour is derived from the setting (Borovia is not actually in The Middle Ages but in the The Twentieth Century and extremely backwards) and from the various disasters caused by the Big Knights. Oh, and it has Brian Blessed providing the voice of Sir Morris.
The Series provides examples of:
- Adult Child: Sir Morris is extremely naïve, believing fairy tales to be real, or that food simply appears on the plate by magic (instead of being prepared by their housekeeper). He also likes Sir Boris to read him bedtime stories.
- Bedsheet Ladder: Used to escape from the castle of the princesses' aunties. Sir Morris neglects to tie his on to anything.
- Big Eater: Sir Doris
- Boisterous Bruiser
- Book Dumb: Sir Morris can't even read.
- Brick Joke: King Otto continuously jokes about the unlikelyhood of a meteorite destroying his brand new hydro-electric dam. The camera keeps cutting away to a meteorite approaching planet earth, with ominous music playing. The meteorite completely misses the dam, but then Sir Morris accidently launches himself into orbit and falls back down into the side of the dam, destroying it.
- Broken Treasure: A precious town clock.
- Curb Stomp Battle: The Big Knights versus the troll at the toll bridge. Though they are very good natured about losing.
- Distaff Counterpart: Aunts Lily and Iris.
- Distressed Damsel: Princessess Lucy and Louretta. Happens fairly often, apparently.
- Empathic Environment: Often. It is perpetually stormy in the Land of the Vampires, right up until the Vampires are all destroyed. Then the country becomes a sunny, tourist location.
- Enhanced on DVD: The studio went above-and-beyond to put out the DVD/Blu Ray, digging the source computer files out of their archives and re-rendering the whole show in high definition, restoring the intended widescreen framing and fixing some animation glitches.
- Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Dragons, Witches, (and Ogres).
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: The witch owns a pussy cat called "Merkin".
- In one episode, when the Big Knights remove their hats of invisibility in court, the viewer gets to see two frames of Sir Boris naked as they hurriedly cover up.
- Hyperspace Arsenal: if you look closely in the intros of the shows you'll see that both of them get their swords from out of thin air.
- Practically lampshaded in one episode where the Knights are wearing nothing but invisibility hats, having taken off their otherwise visible armour and underwear, yet they still manage to draw their swords out of nowhere.
- Honour Before Reason: And common sense.
- Idiot Hero: Very much so.
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Target practise with catapults.
- Impoverished Patrician: King Otto
- Invisible Streaker: The Knights when they don the hat of invisibility.
- Invisibility Cloak: The hat of invisibility.
- Just a Stupid Accent: The Borovian populace speak with something that sounds vaguely central European or Mediterranean.
- Knight in Shining Armor
- Knight Templar
- Lampshade Hanging: It's one of "those very strong doors."
- Large Ham: It has Brian Blessed in it. The narrator chews plenty of scenery too.
- Mad Scientist: Professor Von Proton.
- Magic Hat: traffic cones that grant invisibility.
- Man-Eating Plant
- Meaningful Name: The Big Knights, who live in Castle Big, on the edge of Forest Big.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Occurs every episode.
- Percussive Maintenance: Sir Morris and his philosophy regarding Professor Von Proton's time machine.
- Perpetual Poverty: The larder is often bare. And what wealth the Big Knights had accumulated, Sir Morris gave away in exchange for a magic bean.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: King Otto begrudgingly attempts to visit his people, open a hydro-electric dam, orders construction of a power plant, and orders acts of espionage to be carried out against the neighbouring country.
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: The Big Knights travel to the past to warn themselves not to visit Professor Von Proton's loboratory. On being told, their past selves immediately go and do just that.
- Schizo-Tech: Borovia has 20th century amenities like telephones and television, but the state is still fuedal and the army rely on medieval weapons and castles.
- Stout Strength
- The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: All the other knights in King Otto's court are reluctant to anything other than practise genuflection, leaving all the fighting to the Big Knights.
- Theme Music Power-Up: Whenever the Big Knights are about to throw themselves into combat.
- Ultimate Job Security: The Big Knights may cause severe problems (sometimes on a national scale), however they almost always get away with it. This is purely because they happen to be the only people able to rectify the problems they have caused (though not without causing even more damage on the side).
- Underdogs Never Lose: Averted. The Big Knights always win at sports, much to the irritation of the normal people of Borodzo.
- Vampire Vords: Although everyone else has similarly vague, central European accents.
- Watch the Paint Job: Possibly the only car in the entire land of Borovia, King Otto's limousine. It is utterly destroyed every time it makes an appearance on the show.
- Wicked Witch
- With Catlike Tread: The Big Knights are not exactly stealthy. This becomes especially apparant when they don the hat of invisibility.
- Wizard Beard: Zabobon