Rupert appeared as the defendant, James Byron, in this first episode (shown in two parts) of Judge Rinder’s Crown Court. This is the ‘pilot’ for a return of the long-running drama Crown Court, which aired on ITV from 1972 to 1984. The idea is that a ‘real life’ court case is explored through the show, and we can then form our own opinions on the guilt or innocence of the accused, and on whether the verdict and sentence were appropriate.
In this case, James Byron was accused of murdering his wife, Anna Byron, with poison. More than that, I will not say! And I haven’t looked up the original case. I’m just enjoying the sheer drama of it all at the moment.
There are a number of ‘flashback’ scenes in the first episode, which are lovely, of course – though I always find them a bit problematic. Are we meant to take them as the truth, or are they dramatised versions of the current testimony?
Anyway, Rupert does a lovely job, and also looks superbly handsome in the court room. But, you know, this impression may well change once we learn more in the second part of the ep!
I’ve taken the liberty of capturing some screenshots below (with great respect, but without permission). The episode is available to play on the ITV Hub for the next thirty days.
Rupert appeared as Sunshine ‘Sunny’ Macintosh in an episode of The Good Karma Hospital, a six-episode tv series created by Dan Sefton. The character’s unusual first name can be explained by the fact that his father is an artist – and of course Sunny was a lovely baby!
The series is set in a coastal town in South India, but I understand that filming took place in Sri Lanka. Wherever it is, that’s one beautiful beach!
Sunny has come to India to find his estranged father Desmond (an excellent turn from Clive Russell), who wrote to Sunny, apparently unwell and asking to see him. Dr Fonseca (Amanda Redman) drives Sunny through the town’s Holi celebrations (hence the random scatterings of colour!) to track down Desmond in his artist’s lair.
Here’s some screen captures from the episode, which I copy here with the greatest respect but without permission. (All rights remain with Tiger Aspect Productions and ITV.)
Rupert appeared as Sir William Herbert in this adaptation of The White Queen, a novel by Philippa Gregory. The tv series runs for ten episodes, but alas Rupert was only in one of them. Filming took place in Bruges and Ghent, Belgium.
Rupert played the character Marc Arlington in the following episode of Shameless:
Episode #7.15 (4 May 2010)
Directed by Metin Huseyin
This episode is currently available to watch online courtesy of 4oD (Channel 4 on Demand). It’s well worth it for Rupert’s story, and the gay soccer tournament story, but I have to say the main story left me rather cold.
This screenshot was nicely captured by a friend (thank you!) and is shared here with respect but without permission. All rights remain with Channel 4 for Shameless.
Rupert plays the perfect chivalrous knight Sir Leon in Merlin.
We first see Leon during a jousting tournament, in which he is too noble to take advantage of Arthur’s sudden vulnerability, and too careful of Arthur’s wellbeing. Arthur wasn’t impressed, but we were. And all that glorious hair made an immediate impact, too!
We slowly start to see more and more of Leon, though much of the time he’s simply running errands and passing messages. Rupert is such a great guy to have around that the main cast were campaigning for Leon to become a recurring character long before the fans got on board! It must have become obvious that he was being underutilised, too, and was certainly capable of carrying a more involved role.
As the story winds on through the seasons and Arthur transforms from prat prince to wise king, Leon becomes an essential part of Arthur’s inner circle, and a ‘founding member’ of the Round Table. Leon is the quintessential knight, and as Rupert says, he would have been really annoyed if he didn’t win ‘Knight of the Year’ each and every year.
Leon is serious, practical, articulate and dependable – which contrasts nicely with Lancelot’s slightly otherworldly nobility, Gwaine’s mischief and iconoclasm, Percival’s pure simplicity, and Elyan’s bad-boy edginess. The young king Arthur relies on Leon for advice, along with Gaius and Guinevere.
We never find out much about Leon’s background. It’s clear from the start that he’s well-born, otherwise he’d never have become a knight during Uther’s reign. We later learn that Gwen’s mother worked as a servant for Leon’s family, and that Leon and Gwen were childhood friends who grew up together. But the rest is left to our imagination.
Eventually, he is one of only two ‘inner circle’ knights who survive to the last scenes of the fifth season, and so his future is left to our imagination as well. But if there’s one thing that’s certain, Camelot was, is and always will be a better place for having Sir Leon in it. ♥
In summary, he appeared as follows:
Seven episodes of season two (2009), starting with The Once and Future Queen (26 September 2009)
Six episodes of season three (2010)
All thirteen episodes of season four (2011)
All thirteen episodes of season five (2012)
The lovely photo is an official publicity shot, used with great respect but without permission. I assume it was taken by Nick Briggs. All rights remain with the photographer, BBC One and Shine.