King Arthur in Hollywood

A Knight in Camelot (1998) VHS

This made-for-TV Disney movie follows in the steps of several others that update Mark Twain's fable A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Whoopi Goldberg plays Dr. Vivien Morgan, a computer research scientist, studying graviton particles. Through a programming error, she gets transported into the past to Camelot, 589CE, while still toting her laptop and boom-box. Accused of being a troll, (who in the 6th century wouldn't consider a small black woman in dreadlocks and tennis shoes to be evil), she is sentenced to burn at the stake. Just like Twain's hero, she uses her knowledge of modern science and astronomy to escape her fate. Through this feigned magic, King Arthur (Michael York) knights her as "Sir Boss," allowing her to try to change the past. She attempts to  make changes in the kingdom, introducing hygiene and plumbing in the castle and insisting on fair labor practices for the peasants. She battles against Merlin and gets involved in the standard Camelot court love triangle with a few funny twists. For those familiar with the political intrigues and plot of Connecticut Yankee, these modern comedy versions seem to lack depth, ending up merely cute and predictable.