Arthur, King of Time and Space

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Arthur, King of Time and Space is a humour Web Comic by Paul Gadzikowski. It retells the story of King Arthur, in real time (scheduled to take 25 years) in several time periods.

When Arthur took the sword from the stone, history itself was altered. Now Arthur exists in several realities simultaneously. The main arcs are the "baseline" or "fairytale" arc (Anachronism Stew 5th century, based closely on Malory and T.H. White); the "space" arc (A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far Far Away, with Arthur as king of British Space, and Excalibur as his Cool Ship); and the "modern" arc (in which Arthur started as an Ordinary High School Student, before learning he had inherited a controlling share in Excalicorp).

The main storyline in all three main settings is the Love Triangle between Arthur, Guenevere and Lancelot. Secondary arcs include the "Western" arc (Arthur as sheriff), the "Mash" arc (Arthur as Hawkeye Pierce), the movie parody arc (Arthur as various film characters) and others.

Was on sabbatical for six months in 2009, and replaced with Arthur King of Time and Space 2.0. This returns to Gadzikowski's earlier King Arthur In Time And Space concept, in which the comic is crossover fanfiction between two fictional TV series, one about the space-faring Arthur (and very similar to Star Trek) and one about the time-travelling Merlin (and very similar to Doctor Who). A second sabbatical began in June 2011, with the strip being replaced by sketches and concluded in December, the strip resuming after a Time Skip to Arthur being 35.

Became the Trope Namer for Panicky Expectant Father after the News Post pointed out we didn't have it.

It can be found here.


Tropes used in Arthur, King of Time and Space include:
  • Action Girl: Guenevere and Tristram in the space arc
  • Actually, That's My Assistant: In the space arc, the first time Guinevere meets Arthur and Lancelot, she assumes Lancelot is the king.
  • Author Catchphrase: "Can't beat the classics."
  • Bait and Switch: Here.
  • Betty and Veronica: Guenevere and Morgan early in the space arc
  • Born Lucky: Lancelot has God's favour, and as a consequence will inevitably win any contest he enters. This extends not only to contests of skill, but to games of chance -- Western arc Lancelot does very well at cards -- and even bets on events that no human being could influence: Arthur once cured his sea-sickness by betting him he'd be stuck with it for the rest of the voyage.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Many, many examples, indicated by characters being against the blank website background; literally "outside" the regular strip.
  • Cattle Punk: The Western arc
  • Cloning Blues: The False Guenevere in the space arc.
  • Comic Book Time: Sort of inverted; the characters have aged during the Time Skips, but the contemporary arc is still contemporary, meaning, for example, that Merlin's meetings with Barack Obama were first shifted to Arthur, and now presumably didn't happen at all, since the President is the right-wing Lucius Roman.
  • Cool Ship: The Excalibur in the space arc
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Morguase in the modern arc has elements of this trope. Arthur himself is an inversion (somewhat anviliciously so).
  • Evil Twin: The False Guenevere/Fasha.
  • The Fair Folk: Morgan's faerie allies in the baseline and space arcs.
  • Gender Flip: Various knights become Dames in the space arc, most notably Tristram, whose also Gender Flipped in the modern arc.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: Arthur and Lancelot. Lancelot thought he and Galehaut were this.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Guenevere!
  • Ignoring by Singing: A running gag in early strips was Arthur doing this every time Merlin started predicting things he didn't want to hear.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: The False Guenevere's sickness in the space and baseline arcs. In the space arc it's clone deterioration, in the baseline it's punishment from God, and in both it's exacerbated by her use of magic to keep Arthur on her side.
  • It Was His Sled: In-Universe example. Nimue spoils Citizen Kane for Guenevere in Arthur's webcomic by invoking this trope. Almost by name, even!
  • Laser Blade: In the space arc
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Lampshaded here
  • Lost in Transmission: In the very first strip, when Merlin is explaining the premise.
  • Love Dodecahedron
  • Mad Scientist: Morgan in the Western and Space arcs and Elaine of Carbonek in the Western arc. (In the Space and Baseline arcs Elaine is a "Mad Theologian".)
  • Mega Corp: Excalicorp in the contemporary arc. The strip doesn't directly state how big it is, but if you pay attention you'll notice that everything from computers to cars has a sword-in-the-stone logo.
  • Missed Him by That Much: At one point, Lancelot and Galehaut do this for several strips.
  • No-Paper Future: The space arc
  • Not a Morning Person: Arthur, who couldn't stay awake for his son's birth in the contemporary arc, and once spent a battle with Space Pirates in the space arc muttering "I don't want to get up." Also Morguase, by contrast with her son Gawaine.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted with the Elaines; Isolde and Isuelt are given different spellings
  • Only the Chosen May Wield: the Sword in the Stone
  • OT3: Arthur/Guenevere/Lancelot, in Flash Forward strips in the Space Arc. Mentioned and ship teased several times in various other contexts as well.
  • Our Fairies Are Different: The fey Morgan works with are Effex, a ball of fur with legs, and Aihok, a small, white, blobby humanoid. In the contemporary arc they're fictional aliens: the main characters in Merlin's (now Nimue's) webcomic (and have crossed over to Arthur's).
  • Our Presidents Are Different: In the current contemporary arc storyline, Lucius Roman is President Scheming. Arthur looks set to be President Personable.
  • Parody Magic Spell: The Language of Magic is English written with Greek letters. If you go to the trouble of translating them, the spells are famous quotes, often from children's literature (the chant to get more power for the Excalibur's engines is "I know I can, I know I can...")
  • Perspective Reversal: There's a space-arc strip that starts with Lancelot claiming that God made the universe to be perfect as it is, and Guenevere countering that change is good, because it's how things progress. Arthur tells Merlin he wishes they could see things from each others' perspective. The next panel has Lancelot saying that if a certain species is dying it's God's will, and Guenevere responding that on the contrary, things have to be preserved.
  • Power Trio: Arthur, Guenevere and Lancelot
  • Rebellious Princess: Guenevere
  • Retcon: In the modern arc, Lancelot used to be Lancelot Benwick, following the pattern that knights who were "of" somewhere in the baseline arc had that as a surname in the modern setting. More recently his surname is Du Lac (because, c'mon, he's Lancelot Du Lac) and Benwick is his home town. More obviously, Bedivere suddenly stopped being female in the space and modern arcs, in order to have a male gay couple.
    • Paul Gadzikowski's attitude to continuity is probably summed up here.
  • Reused Character Design: Several character designs are recycled from Gadzikowski's earlier fanfiction comics. Arthur is Kirk with a beard and without a toupee, Lancelot is Spock as a human, and Guinevere's father is McCoy. Merlin is the First Doctor with a Wizard Beard. Galahad is Superman.
  • Role Called
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something
  • Shameless Fanservice Girl: Modern!Guenevere, in a rare "realistic display of nudism" and not "heh, nekkid girl" example. She knows about the nudity taboo but genuinely doesn't share it. In an early strip she tries to explain this to modern!Arthur in matter of fact terms, but he doesn't believe her -- leading the "camera" to pan over to her computer to show that yes, she was actually using the computer in the nude.
  • Shout-Out: Many of the secondary characters are based on other comic characters, most notable Elaine of Carbonek, who is Helen Narbon. (Also, a group of Roman diplomats were based on the actors who've portrayed the Doctor).
  • Show Within a Show: Both Arthur and Merlin create their own webcomics in the modern arc.
  • Signature Line: "The problems in this world are not caused by those who love. They're caused by those who hate." Not used often enough to be a Catch Phrase, but the line that sums up Arthur's philosophy.
  • Stalker with a Test Tube: Elaine
  • Take Off Your Clothes: This strip.
    • Also a brief arc in the modern timeline, where Guenevere and her family are nudists. Arthur, Lancelot, and Tristram visit Guenevere while on vacation, and Gwen invites them to nude it up. Guenevere snaps at Lancelot for trying to apologize when he doesn't feel comfortable taking off his trunks-she's too open-minded to brook any notion of feeling bad about your own comfort level.
  • There Are No Girls on the Internet: Everyone, including the readers, assumed modern!Tristram was male.
    • This had less to do with this trope and more to do with some of the conversations they had about a girl (modern!Isolde); Tristram's chivalrous talk led the others to think "male" instead of "lesbian".
  • Time Skip: Although the sabbatical didn't actually last two and a half years, as intended, it still picks up the story two and a half years later. The second sabbatical lasted till December 2011, picked up the story nine years later, and was preceded by a one year timeskip to wrap up some plot threads.
  • Universal Adaptor Cast
  • The Western: The Western arc
  • Wham! Episode: The last strip before it went on sabbatical. The last week of strips before the second sabbatical. Strip 2904 certainly seemed to be one for Lancelot. (The triangle art may make it a little confusing at first for readers, and reduce the impact.)
  • A Worldwide Punomenon: The strip as a whole, but Arthur in particular. Lampshaded here.