Wench Trouble

Last updated
"Wench Trouble"
Kröd Mändoon episode
Krod mandoon arrow hand.jpg
Kröd tries to explain an arrow stuck in his hand.
Episode no.Season 1
Episode 1
Directed by Alex Hardcastle
Written by Peter Knight
Original air dateApril 9, 2009
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"Golden Powers"
List of Kröd Mändoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire episodes

"Wench Trouble" is the first episode of the first season of the comedic sword and sorcery series Kröd Mändoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire . It originally aired on Comedy Central in the United States on April 9, 2009, then on BBC2 in the United Kingdom on June 11, 2009. The episode was written by series creator Peter Knight and directed by Alex Hardcastle. "Wench Trouble" introduced the protagonist Kröd Mändoon, played by Sean Maguire, as well as the other regular characters played by cast members Matt Lucas, India de Beaufort, Steve Speirs, Kevin Hart and Marques Ray.

Sword and sorcery genre of fantasy fiction

Sword and sorcery (S&S) is a subgenre of fantasy characterized by sword-wielding heroes engaged in exciting and violent adventures. An element of romance is often present, as is an element of magic and the supernatural. Unlike works of high fantasy, the tales, though dramatic, focus mainly on personal battles rather than world-endangering matters. Sword and sorcery commonly overlaps with heroic fantasy.

<i>Kröd Mändoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire</i> television series

Kröd Mändoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire is a British-American comedic sword and sorcery series created by Peter A. Knight, co-produced by Hat Trick Productions and Media Rights Capital for Comedy Central and BBC Two, which premiered on April 9, 2009 in the USA and on June 11 in the UK.

Comedy Central American cable and satellite television channel

Comedy Central is an American pay television channel owned by Viacom Global Entertainment Group, a unit of the Viacom Media Networks division of Viacom. The channel is geared for mature audiences and carries comedy programming in the form of both original, licensed, and syndicated series and stand-up comedy specials, as well as feature films.

Contents

Kröd is a freedom fighter resisting the evil Makonian Empire. In the episode, Kröd and his friends try to free Kröd's imprisoned mentor General Arcadius, who believes Kröd is the part of a prophecy that will overthrow the empire. Meanwhile, the evil Chancellor Dongalor unveils the Eye of Gulga Grymna, the deadliest weapon of the ancient world, which he has recently unearthed. "Wench Trouble", like all future episodes, was filmed in Budapest, Hungary, and the producers had authentic medieval-style costumes and weapons build to maintain a realistic fantasy setting.

Budapest Capital city in Hungary

Budapest is the capital and the most populous city of Hungary, and the tenth-largest city in the European Union by population within city limits. The city had an estimated population of 1,752,704 in 2016 distributed over a land area of about 525 square kilometres. Budapest is both a city and county, and forms the centre of the Budapest metropolitan area, which has an area of 7,626 square kilometres and a population of 3,303,786, comprising 33 percent of the population of Hungary.

Hungary Country in Central Europe

Hungary is a country in Central Europe. Spanning 93,030 square kilometres (35,920 sq mi) in the Carpathian Basin, it borders Slovakia to the north, Ukraine to the northeast, Austria to the northwest, Romania to the east, Serbia to the south, Croatia to the southwest, and Slovenia to the west. With about 10 million inhabitants, Hungary is a medium-sized member state of the European Union. The official language is Hungarian, which is the most widely spoken Uralic language in the world, and among the few non-Indo-European languages to be widely spoken in Europe. Hungary's capital and largest city is Budapest; other major urban areas include Debrecen, Szeged, Miskolc, Pécs and Győr.

Middle Ages Period of European history from the 5th to the 15th century

In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. The Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, and the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early, High, and Late Middle Ages.

"Wench Trouble", which premiered back-to-back along with the episode "Golden Powers", received generally mixed reviews. According to Nielsen ratings, it was viewed by 1.6 million households in its original American broadcast, about average for that time period; it had slightly less viewers than the episode of The Daily Show that aired later that evening.

Nielsen ratings are the audience measurement systems operated by Nielsen Media Research that seek to determine the audience size and composition of television programming in the United States using a rating system.

The Daily Show is an American late-night talk and news satire television program. It airs each Monday through Thursday on Comedy Central. Describing itself as a fake news program, The Daily Show draws its comedy and satire from recent news stories, political figures, media organizations, and often uses self-referential humor as well.

Plot

The episode opens with a voice-over narration explaining that the Makonian Empire, commanded by Emperor Xanus rules the land with an iron fist and has crushed the leadership of an upstart rebellion, but that freedom fighter, Kröd Mändoon (Sean Maguire) has continued to resist, striking out at the enemy and releasing slaves and political prisoners.

Sean Maguire English actor and singer

Sean Maguire is an English actor and singer, who rose to fame in 1988 when at the age of eleven he took on the role of "Tegs" Ratcliffe on the BBC children's drama Grange Hill, in which he remained until 1992. For a short time after leaving Grange Hill, he played Aidan Brosnan in EastEnders.

Kröd enters a tavern and threatens a soldier to get the keys to a dungeon where Kröd’s mentor, the rebel leader General Arcadius (Roger Allam), is locked up. The soldier hands over the keys when he sees he is surrounded by Kröd's allies; his girlfriend Aneka (India de Beaufort), his pig-like 'Grobble' servant Loquasto (Steve Speirs) and his sorcerer friend Zezelryck (Kevin Hart). But when the guard tries to stab Kröd, Loquasto uses a crossbow to fire an arrow into his back, accidentally catching Kröd's hand as well. A fight breaks out with other soldiers in the tavern. Meanwhile, Aneka pulls aside a soldier to have sex with him to get the dungeon keys. The fight ends and the four escape the burning building with the keys.

Roger Allam British actor

Roger William Allam is a British actor, known primarily for his stage career, although he has performed in film, television and radio.

India de Beaufort English television actress

India de Beaufort is a British actress and singer-songwriter.

Steve Speirs is a Welsh actor and occasional writer, who has appeared in films such as Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.

Meanwhile, the evil Chancellor Dongalor (Matt Lucas) is told by his advisor Barnabus (Alex MacQueen) that the emperor demands to know how he will deal with the rebellion, particularly with Kröd. Dongalor claims they have nothing to fear from Kröd, who used to beat Dongalor up in the military academy with as a youth. Later, Dongalor reveals he has found the Eye of Gulga Grymna, the deadliest weapon of the ancient world, which had been lost for a millennium but was unearthed by "the finest child labor to ever feel the lash": he also ignores the warning the Eye's power once destroyed an entire kingdom, and has the bearer of bad news killed. Meanwhile, Kröd and his friends unlock the dungeon doors and liberate the prisoners. There they find General Arcadius and his new lover, the flamboyant Bruce (Marques Ray). Before the group can leave, Loquasto accidentally locks the door shut behind them, trapping them all in the dungeon.

Dongalor wants to use the Eye of Gulga Grymna to destroy a random village, but Barnabus tells him they have not yet figured out how to unlock the weapon's power, although he says decoders are working to decipher hieroglyphics on the Eye to learn its secrets. They are then informed that the dungeon has been breached and call for the guards. Meanwhile, Kröd angrily threatens a nearby guard, who tells him about a recently patched tunnel in the wall from a previous prisoner escape attempt that was recently thwarted, and then argues with Aneka when he learns how she obtained the dungeon keys. She insists that as a pagan warrioress, "sex is just another weapon in my arsenal”: when Krod reacts badly to this, Aneka storms off (prompting Dongalor to sneer the titular line, "Wench trouble, Mandoon?"). Dongalor and the guards arrive and he fire an arrow at Kröd, but Arcadius dives in front of it and is shot instead. (Humorously, Arcadius survives the arrow and just as Krod yells, "It will take more than one arrow to kill the greatest general [Arcadius] who ever lived!", several more arrows come flying into Arcadius' chest along with a spear, and an axe smashes into his head.) Just before Arcadius dies, he says the word Engamora. Kröd and the others escape through the tunnel. Barnabus tells Dongalor that Engamora refers to a prophecy that chronicles the overthrow of an empire at the hands of a "low-born swordsman", which they believe to be Kröd.

At a nearby lake, the group give Arcadius a Viking funeral, (after two failed attempts with a crossbow by Loquasto to set the boat alight, Aneka makes the shot, using her bow in an extremely provocative way), then prepare to continue their battle.

Production

"Wench Trouble" was written by Peter Knight and directed by Alex Hardcastle. It originally aired April 9, 2009 in the United States on Comedy Central, [1] then on June 11, 2009 in the United Kingdom on BBC2. [2] In both cases as part of the one-hour series premiere along with the episode "Golden Powers". The episode was filmed in Budapest, Hungary. [1] The producers strived to create the fantasy setting with an authentic medieval-style tone. In keeping with the time period, the costumes were created with no zippers or velcro, and the weapons were created by an armorer who specializes in creating ancient weapon replicas. [3] Actress India de Beaufort had read the script to this episode and none of the others when she agreed to take on the role. [4]

Reception

The one-hour premiere of Kröd Mändoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire, which included the back-to-back episode "Wench Trouble" and the episode "Golden Powers", was viewed by 1.6 million households in its original American broadcast. [5] It received a 0.7 Nielsen rating, which is about Comedy Central's average for that time period. It had slightly fewer viewers than the episode of The Daily Show that aired later that evening. [6]

The episode received generally mixed reviews. Reuters writer Daniel Carlson said the show was "exactly as bad as you would fear". Carlson said the jokes were bad and that delivery from the actors is too exaggerated; although he praised Matt Lucas, he said Maguire and Lucas were inappropriately over-the-top. [7] Matthew Gilbert of The Boston Globe called the show a "relentless, mediocre spoofery that so desperately wants to remind us of Monty Python and the Holy Grail ". However, Gilbert said the show might work better in half-hour increments, rather than in the one-hour premiere with "Wench Trouble" and "Golden Powers". [8] Kate Ward of Entertainment Weekly said although the show's premise had promise, she did not particularly like the execution. Ward said Matt Lucas's character "came off as Dr. Evil light", but said Sean Maguire was charming and that she laughed at some of the "juvenile jokes", including Horst Draper, the name of a prisoner accused of raping horses. [9] Boston Herald reviewer Mark A. Perigard complimented the show's high production values, but said, "What was spent on sets didn't go into the script." He also said the concept of a comedy swords-and-fantasy show is redundant because even serious shows, like Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess , are comedies to an extent. [10]

Joe Amarante of the New Haven Register said he "laughed several times during this cable comedy", and described it as "'Monty Python' meets a Mike Myers' movie with a lead who looks like Ben Stiller". [11] Curt Wagner of RedEye said he enjoyed the episode and the jokes that combined old and modern elements, like when Loquasto calls Krod master and he replies, "You're making a PR nightmare for me". Wagner said of the show, "The rest of the time the humor is just juvenile, but it somehow works for this show, and this network, and apparently the mood I was in when I watched it." [12] Scott Thill of Wired magazine called the episode a mix between Rowan Atkinson's Blackadder and Mel Brooks' Robin Hood: Men in Tights , and described it as "a cable comedy perfectly suited for the male demographic". Thill also compared it to Korgoth of Barbaria , the cult hit Adult Swim pilot television episode parodying Conan the Barbarian, [1] Matt Fowler of IGN said the show was "not uproarious, (but) it's not painful to watch either", but said the characters had a "one joke" feel to them and expressed doubt as to whether they could sustain an entire series. Fowler identified Lucas as the stand-out cast member. [13] Verne Gay of Newsday gave the episode a "thumbs sideways", and praised the performances of Hart and especially Lucas. But the review also said the show needed to become funnier to laugh: "there's definitely some funny here, but not nearly enough". [14]

Notes and references

  1. 1 2 3 Thill, Scott (2009-04-09). "Krod Mandoon vs. Korgoth of Barbaria: Which Spoof Winneth?". Wired . Retrieved 2009-04-16.
  2. Jarvis, Alice-Azania (2009-06-12). "Last Night's Television: Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire, BBC2 That Mitchell and Webb Look, BBC2 May Contain Nuts, ITV1". The Independent . Retrieved 2009-06-16.
  3. Fowler, Matt (2009-04-08). "India de Beaufort and the Sensuous Pagan Ritual". IGN . Retrieved 2009-04-16.
  4. Harris, Jeffrey (2009-05-24). "411 Movies Interview:India de Beaufort". 411 Mania. Retrieved 2009-05-11.
  5. Keveney, Bill (2009-04-14). "Nielsens: "Parks and Recreation" gets good play in ratings". USA Today . Retrieved 2009-04-14.
  6. Hibberd, James (2009-04-14). "Ratings: "Rock of Love," "Nora Roberts", "Krod"". The Live Feed. Retrieved 2009-04-14.
  7. Carlson, Daniel (2009-04-08). ""Mandoon" falls flat in quest for lowbrow laughs". Reuters . Retrieved 2009-04-16.
  8. Gilbert, Matthew (2009-04-09). ""Krod Mandoon" flames out fast". The Boston Globe . Retrieved 2009-04-16.
  9. Ward, Kate (2009-04-10). "Krod Mandoon: Not quite on fire". Entertainment Weekly . Retrieved 2009-04-16.
  10. Perigard, Mark A. (2009-04-09). ""Sword" is hard to swallow". The Boston Herald . Retrieved 2009-04-16.
  11. Amarante, Joe (2009-04-09). "Strap in for "Parks and Rec", "Southland", "Haper's Island" and "Krod Mandoon"". New Haven Register . Retrieved 2009-04-16.
  12. Wagner, Curt (2009-04-09). ""Krod Mandoon" delivers swords, sexiness, some fun". RedEye . Retrieved 2009-04-16.
  13. Fowler, Matt (2009-04-07). "Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire: "Wench Trouble/Golden Powers" Review". IGN . Retrieved 2009-04-16.
  14. Gay, Verne (2009-04-09). "Quickie Review: "Krod Mandoon"". Newsday . Retrieved 2009-04-16.

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