The early 1300s: Robert the Bruce crowns himself king and gathers an army to restore Scotland's throne, usurped years before by England's aging but ruthless and powerful King Edward.
Take the factual history of a people as ancient as the Hebrews and Egyptians and with all the passion of their far-flung descendants, tell their epic story... tragic and triumphant! That is the purpose of Lion of Alba. Never have we seen real history portrayed like this before! A television series offering all of the excitement and drama of wildest fantasy, but its events are all true! It is the story of mankind's millennia-old struggle for freedom in a barbaric era whereof only kings are free and the rest exist at the kings' pleasure. The Lion of Alba is Robert the Bruce, no doubt an imperfect man, but the perfect warrior to free Scotland.
THE CHARACTER OF THE STORY
Lion of Alba is rich in authentic historical characters, unique situations, and actual events, not to mention the breathtaking Scottish countryside. Both kings are considered among the very best warrior kings of medieval times so we can expect plenty of action to speak volumes for the story and the characters.
Due to the nature of serialized television, we offer our viewers a more in-depth look into the lives of the men and women who drove the facts into the history books. One can count on more accurate depictions of the events and places in which the characters lived, fought, loved, laughed, and died, than that to which we are normally accustomed.
This is a story that rings true again and again throughout history and everywhere human beings struggle for their personal and national freedom against tyranny.
Each episode begins with an opening that grabs the viewer and ends with a desire to want more. Each season's opening and ending is intended to do the same.
THE THEME LINE
"A noble heart may have no rest if freedom fails" --John Barbour, author of the epic poem The Brus commissioned circa 1375 by Robert's grandson, Robert II.
WHY THE SERIES CAN GO FOR 100 EPISODES
Lion of Alba is based entirely on the reign of Robert the Bruce and the activities of friends and foes around him. The three Rebel King novels have begun the story, alone supplying at least three years of in-depth episodes, and period history books will furnish us with additional events for sub-plots and additional characters. Rebel King's initial trilogy covers the period from slightly before Bruce's assuming the throne of Scotland in 1306 to the mayhem on the battlefield at Bannockburn in June 1314. Book Four is almost complete telling the story of Robert's brother, Edward, claiming the kingdom of Ireland for his own. This tragic story could easily cover two seasons. King Robert reigned until his death in 1329, and there were many exciting, subsequent events to show that the story easily could be carried through a ten-season timespan and even beyond by simply following the history of the next generation who suffered the same because England's new king continued to push to usurp their beloved homeland that the Scots were so willing to fight and die for. The events are written according to the historical records with a sense of overwhelming reality.
CLANRANALD, A FORCE TO BE "RECKONED WITH"
Athair Entertainment is fortunate to have Charlie Allan, CEO of both Clanranald Trust for Scotland, (including the medieval fort/village at Duncarron and the Scottish "medieval rock" band Saor Patrol) and Combat International, agree to be part of our multi-episode, multi-season television project, having already provided their combat teams for such feature films as Gladiator, King Arthur, Robin Hood, Snow White and the Huntsman, Thor II, The Eagle, and others including many short and documentary projects. Within the film and TV industry these men are recognized professional combat teams. See some of their action in this video:
Hear what Russell Crow (Gladiator, Robin Hood) has to say about working with Charlie Allan and Combat International when he visited Clanranald's Duncarron Medieval Village...
Below is an introduction to Saor Patrolvia Scottish TV
SYNOPSIS OF THE FIRST EPISODE
The pilot will tell the story of Robert Bruce, Earl of Carrick and Lord of Annandale, and Lord John Comyn, head of the most powerful family in Scotland, and King Edward I, who, in 1304 deposed the last Scots king and usurped the Scots throne. As the pilot opens, King Edward is in the process of devastating Castle Stirling with his huge siege engine called the War Wolf to observe the power of explosives on the manned fortress, refusing to allow its surrender. Bruce and Comyn watch, and though not on the best of terms, they make a secret pact that, upon Edward's death, one of the two of them will assume the throne of Scotland and cede his considerable lands to the other. The pact is signed and sealed.
Within months, Robert and his kinsmen attend a winter gathering at King Edward's invitation. Late that night the groggy Bruce is awakened and warned of his imminent arrest. Suddenly he and his kinsmen are set upon by the king's men. Barely, they escape, and Bruce soon discovers that the pact has been betrayed.
Arranging a meeting with Comyn in Greyfrier's Kirk, Bruce confronts Comyn with his evidence. Blades are drawn, Comyn is wounded, his uncle, killed. Bruce leaves the kirk, but Roger Kirkpatrick returns to "make sure", putting an end to Comyn. Robert then knows he must move for the throne immediately, or he will be killed or forced into exile.
The "rebellion" begins!
ABOUT THE BOOKS
The Rebel King series is, at this point, a self-published trilogy, and the fourth book will be added soon with the plan to continue the novels to the end of Robert's life. The novels cover both sides of the main conflict and the sub conflicts within each of their own sides. It gets dramatically messy and provides for near constant intrigue and sharp story line turns.
We have sold tens of thousands of these books in paperback and hardback volumes, mostly across the United States and Canada.
Some of our readers have told us they have read our novels through as many as five times, because we bring the historical characters so strongly to life. We consider this an important compliment as we feel we have, through family, been given a glimpse into the culture and temperament of the medieval mind.
What can be described in novelized words can only be many times enhanced on film.
Talking to the Duke and Duchess of Hamilton 2008 with friends Oliver Hamilton, President of Clan Hamilton, and Rita Hamilton looking on.
Carolyn and Charles presenting our Rebel King books to US Senator, Jim Webb from Virginia
Carolyn and Dianna Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series of books, at Grandfather Mountain Highland Games in North Carolina.
Her books are currently on television under the Outlander title.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Southern West Virginia native Charles Randolph Bruce was born and raised in the highlands in which his Scottish ancestors settled in the late 1700s. His interest in telling the heroic story of Robert the Bruce, King of Scots (1306 -1329), was sparked by his family’s tradition that they descended from the great medieval warrior-king.
Carolyn Hale Bruce was born in the Roanoke Valley, Virginia, where her 18th-century ancestors include those with the Scottish surnames Agnew, Cannaday (Kennedy), Cash, Chancellor, Davidson, Fraser, Hunter, Ingram, Smith, Thomas, and Thompson, among others.
The writers were panelists on the nationally distributed Book TV (C-span 2) in an hour-and-a-half segment entitled Successful Self-Publishing at the Virginia Festival of the Book on March 29, 2008.
Now, having spent the last fourteen years researching, writing, illustrating, and promoting the Rebel King novels, Charles and Carolyn have traveled well over 100 thousand miles to attend scores of Scottish events in dozens of states from Florida to Colorado, and Maine to Texas in promoting their works and talking with other Scots about their hard-fought history. They have appeared on local television and radio shows in diverse markets, and have been written up in many newspapers and magazines.
Ian Alexander Bruce, son of the Rebel King authors and inspired by their story of King Robert, is the primary script writer on the Lion of Alba project. He has studied writing and attended film school. He has been an invaluable asset in getting the film side of Lion of Alba created.