"Pendragon" is the forty-eighth televised episode of the series Gargoyles, and the thirty-fifth episode of Season 2. It originally aired on February 12, 1996.
- Supervising Producers: Frank Paur, Greg Weisman
- Written by: Lydia Marano
- Story Edited by: Brynne Chandler Reaves
- Produced & Directed by: Dennis Woodyard
- Animation by: Sunwoo Animation Co., Inc.
- Backgrounds by: Sunwoo Animation Co., Inc.
- Additional Production Facilities: N/A
King Arthur and Griff are transported to Manhattan from London via the Stone of Destiny, and meet up with Hudson and the trio of the Manhattan Clan. Arthur and the others search for Excalibur using clues from the Excalibur Poem, while Macbeth spies on them, intent on claiming the sword for himself. At the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, the clan fights Macbeth's flunkies while Arthur and Griff tussle with Macbeth and an animated stone dragon. Arthur claims the sword from within the dragon, and Macbeth admits defeat.
Arthur knights Griff, and the two of them begin a quest for Merlin.
- "No, no she-she means Brooklyn! The hedgemaze in the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens!" - Lexington and Brooklyn
- "Why should it be Arthur again? Perhaps it is my destiny to wield the sword Excalibur." - Macbeth
- "I may be timeless, but I'll be ancient by the time we get through this!" - Arthur
- "Arthur no! Fight for it! You are the once and future king!" - Griff
- "I have been a king too long to serve any man. But if you ever need me to stand by your side, I will come." - Macbeth
The Stone of Destiny was introduced in "City of Stone" Part Three, but plays an active role in this episode, speaking to Arthur (and being revealed as the stone from the Sword in the Stone). The Stone also reappears in "The Rock", "Rock and Roll", and "Rock of Ages". In "Rock and Roll", we learn how the Stone of Destiny came to be the stone that Arthur drew Excalibur out of.
Both the Stone of Destiny and the Lady of the Lake reinforce Arthur's statement in "Avalon" Part Three" that he was awakened ahead of schedule.
Banquo and Fleance appear in Macbeth's service for the last time (they had most recently appeared in "Sanctuary"). In their next appearance, in "Nightwatch", they are working for Castaway - which Macbeth briefly alludes to in "The Rock".
Greg Weisman intended "Pendragon" to be a back-door pilot to a spin-off, also entitled Pendragon, that would have dealt with King Arthur and Griff's adventures as they search for Merlin, adventures that would have taken them, among other places, to Tintagel, Stonehenge, and Antarctica. The Illuminati would have had a major role in this series as a recurring antagonist, particularly its leader, Peredur, a former knight of the Round Table that had survived into modern times through being the guardian of the Holy Grail. Arthur and Griff would also be joined by Peredur's estranged wife, Blanchefleur, who would become a third regular. Unfortunately, the spin-off was never made (it is a sad commentary on television animation that Pendragon was rejected, while the dreadful King Arthur and the Knights of Justice received two full seasons).
Alert viewers will notice that Arthur could not have reached London immediately after leaving Avalon (since the events of "M.I.A.", "Golem" and "Mark of the Panther" have already taken place). According to Greg Weisman, Arthur had an unspecified adventure in the outside world that troubled him enough that he decided to return to Avalon for a time, and he was brought to London after making a second venture into the outside world.
Gargoyles here follows the popular interpretation of Excalibur and the Sword in the Stone being one and the same, which was the case in the earliest Arthurian legends; in Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, they were, in fact, separate swords. After Arthur broke his old sword (Malory does not say whether it was the Sword in the Stone or a lesser weapon) while fighting King Pellinore, Merlin brought him to the Lady of the Lake, who gave him Excalibur via the famous hand rising up from her lake garbed in a sleeve of white samite. "Pendragon" makes use of both concepts, having Excalibur once again embedded in stone (but this time, completely encased, with the sword seemingly thrust in the stone being just a worthless lookalike), but bringing in the Lady of the Lake as instrumental in its recovery.
The Will-O-The-Wisp that Macbeth uses to spy on Arthur, Griff, and the remaining members of the Manhattan Clan, is an interesting take on the common cartoon plot device of "villain with cameras everywhere". This is a common scene in action adventure cartoons where the heroes are discussing something of importance. The view usually goes to a high angle shot and the camera pull back to reveal the villain watching and listening through a monitor or other viewing device. The antagonist is able to view and overhear just what he or she needs to, despite the fact that the heroes are in their base, the sky, some place they've never been before, or another location where their foe would be highly unlikely to place a remote camera. A magical entity, its powers augmented with science, gets around the problem of how Macbeth manages to eavesdrop on our heroes from a distance.
|<< Previous Episode: "Mark of the Panther"||Next Episode: "Eye of the Storm" >>|