The NASA spaceship Stardust lands in Camelot in 508 AD by mistake in this Disney adaptation of Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.
Aboard is young NASA engineer Tom Trimble (Dennis Dugan) and a robot called Hermes, which he built in his own image.
A pretty maid name Alisande (Sheila White) takes Tom to see King Arthur (Kenneth More) while Hermes stays with the ship.
Villainous Sir Mordred (Jim Dale) takes an instant disliking to Tom, believing him to be a monster (because of the spacesuit) and insists that he be burned at the stake. Tom agrees, knowing that the spacesuit he is wearing is fireproof.
Mordred next tries to dispose of Tom in a duel, but Tom thwarts him by using Excalibur and magnetising Mordred’s sword with it. Not giving up, Mordred challenges Tom to a joust to the death, not realising that his opponent is, in fact, not Tom but Hermes the robot – which surprises everyone by continuing to do battle even after losing an arm and its head.
Between battles with Mordred, Tom unearths evidence of his plans to usurp King Arthur with the help of Merlin (Ron Moody), and when Mordred storms Camelot with his army, Tom helps Arthur’s men win the day with some baffling space-age wizardry.
This was Kenneth More’s final film before his death on 12 July 1982 at the age of 67.
Released in some markets as Unidentified Flying Oddball and also A Spaceman in King Arthur’s Court. Location filming took place at Alnwick Castle in Northumberland and at Raby Castle in County Durham.
John Le Mesurier