The villainous King John

In an extensive article for BBC News Magazine, Tom Geoghegan looks at what makes King John of England the classic "pantomime villain."

In such diverse films as Disney's animated Robin Hood to the newest film about the monarch, Ironclad, King John of England comes off looking like a failure, an ursurper, and a possible murderer. "People wanted someone to be heroic and not to interfere with their lives. But John was a king who did interfere and wasn't heroic," said John Hudson, of the Institute of Medieval Studies at the University of St Andrews.