The Bad Guys



Jeremy Clyde as Governor Hermann Ricardo Neuhausen Gessler, a real villain's villain. The kind of man who never shrinks from the slaughter of innocent women and children (even nuns), so long as it serves his cause. '-'The cause being, in this case, ME." - He ruled with an iron fist crushing anyone who dared oppose him, a system that proved very effective and satisfactory for him. ''Little children used to run and hide at the very mention of my name.''


Then along came William Tell and everything got spoilt. It was bad enough that Tell humiliated Gessler by beating him at his own sick game. Tell then insisted on becoming a thorn in his side by spreading hope and a spirit of rebellion among the previously docile peasantry. A state of affairs far too extreme for a governor to bear. -"What starts as charity, can only end in democracy and if that's not madness I don't know what is.''

Never one to forget any sort of humiliation, Gessler carries a grudge against Tell so strong, that he would drag his entire country into debt and sacrifice anyone, even those most close to him, just to catch the man who humiliated him.....well...quite a few times. Despite all his big talk, there is one person whom Gessler will stop at nothing to protect. Even if it means letting Tell go. Who is this revered being, this epitome of all of Gessler's hopes and dreams? Why, Hermann Gessler of course. For you see, the man is, at heart, a terrible coward. Dignity has no meaning for him where his life or position is at stake. On several occasions he has been known to snivel and cower like a child and have his face shoved in the mud without any resistance, humbled by the threat of William Tell's Crossbow. He is just one big jumble of loneliness and insecurity. The poor man has no one to comfort him in these trying times. When Gessler wakes up screaming from a terrible nightmare who is there to comfort him?....Horst

Socially Gessler is quite charming. Always surrounded by beautiful women in a crowd, you would think the governor would never be really lonely. With his dashing good looks, his winning smile, a ready wit, and those snazzy black leather duds he'd make any woman with a pulse swoon. Especially if he didn't kill any of her relatives. Combine that with access to loads of cash and land, whether he is the rightful owner or not, and you'd think he would be an excellent catch. The only problem is the truely virtuous women usually see right through Gessler. Those women who hang around seem to be just as shallow as him. -'"Ach, I prefer horses to women!"'- Where is the challenge in lieing to someone who isn't interested in integrity?

You see, dissemblance is one of Gessler's favorite past times. He prides himself on his ability to convince those around him that he is an honest, kind, godfearing man. Although his words will promote the most benevolent of intentions, his actions always belie them. His mind is constantly scheming how best to gain the upper hand and crush all that stand in his way. How else would such a worm manage to creep his way into the position of Lord Protector of the Empire? Where is the man's conscience? -"Conscience! What are you talking about?! I don't have a conscience! I doubt if I know how to spell it."

Where does Gessler get his deep malicious streak ? His total disregard for anyone's life but his own? When we meet his brother, he seems to share Gessler's tendency towards lieing, scheming, and total self absorbtion. -"Oh stop the flattery. If you're anything like me you don't believe a word of it."- The similarity in their personalities does not, unfortunately, lend itself towards filial affections. They're both out to get each other just as much as they are out to get everyone else, perhaps more. Well we do get an opportunity to meet Gessler's mother, a woman who seems to be just as malicious and uncaring. In addition to being very critical of her son. Oedipal complex anyone? -"'I would never have done any of those terrible things if only somebody had loved me!"- Too late, he sacrifices the only woman who ever truly loved him in his pursuit of Tell. So apparently the damage is done and no one can save Gessler from himself. Whether or not his villainous behaviour is due to a neglected childhood or to an inborn tendency towards evil, Gessler's tyranny can have no excuse, but that it is immensely entertaining. Charming in his wickedness, we love Gessler because of his ingenuous scheming, not in spite of it. We wait with baited breath to see what deliciously maniacal plan lurks within those flashing blue eyes. Gems of iniquitous wisdom flow from his mouth with an ease that is delightful to observe. We can be sure of never a dull moment so long as this paragon of treachery remains.


Would we find Gessler so very entertaining were it not for the skillful performance of Jeremy Clyde? He slithers his way through Gessler's venomous speeches with perfect precision. In his eyes we see all of Gessler's inadequacies and fears along with the deep seeded cruelty that shades them. Clyde wears Gessler like a glove. Charming his way across the screen with unsurpassable ease. It is this charm that brings a real and unexpected depth to the villain. Clyde's first rise to fame was, however, not as an actor. Although he trained for the theatre, his career began as half of the 60s pop duo Chad and Jeremy. Chad Stuart being the other half of the singing, guitar playing, song writers. They became caught up in the British Invasion.

Rising to fame in the States with hits songs like 'A Summer Song' and 'Yesterday's Gone'. The 60s came to a close and Chad and Jeremy began to pursue separate careers. Clyde began a prominent career on the London stage with acclaimed performances inPassion Flower Hotel, Black Comedy and Conduct Unbecoming . He continues to enjoy a successful stage career. His career on screen has also continued to grow, appearing in the films Silver Bears, ffolkes (North Sea Hi-Jack), Wilt, and Kasper Hauser. He has become a very familiar face on British television with numerous guest appearances and major roles in the series The Mixer and the hit BBC comedy Is It Legal?

14 years after he appeared in Crossbow, I was fortunate enough to interview this special man. I'm very  glad he was kind enough to take the time to meet with me. He is very polite and has a sharp sense of humor. 

Recent television includes A Rather English Marriage, The Young Person's Guide to Becoming a Rock Star, The Moth, Inspector Morse, The Colour of Justice, Chambers, and D'Artagnan. 


  Eline met him and he's really nice hee! 


Click here for more pictures of Jeremy Clyde



 Nick Brimble as Horst, Gessler's Captain of the Guard. His scheming, double-dealing, self serving antics rival Gessler's in their wickedness. His unlimited capacity for cruelty and cunning allow him to rise through the ranks to become Gessler's top man.

His physique is more suited to doing Gessler's dirty work as is his physiognomy. Unlike his Governor though, his face is not one to easily assume the semblance of trustworthiness.

It is one to be feared. When looking into Horst's deep blue eyes, one can see the evil lurking within. When he is in a particularly violent rage, his face strongly resembles that of the Incredible Hulk. His capacity for deceit, though not approaching the great skill of Gessler , proves very affective when combined with a very keen and calculating mind. His charm, though of a cruder variety, also serves him quite well. He manages to charm his way into Gessler's trust, quite a feat in itself. There is something inviting in such an apparently evil countenance. Perhaps it is Horst's strength of purpose, which inspires this trust and reliance. There is always certain to be something cunning and devious lurking beneath those heavy brows and when Horst smiles you know to be afraid. Why does such a clever and domineering man waste his time toadying for Gessler? Funny that same question occured to Horst.

Unbridled ambition is the one driving force behind Horst. Horst's goal, during his years of faithful service to Gessler, was to reap the subsequent rewards that usually accompany service above and beyound the call of iniquity. His fortitude under such abusive circumstances is really something to be admired. No one could ever accuse Horst of being lazy.

Gessler's personal vendetta for Tell becomes just as close to Horst's own heart. Who could blame him for coming to hate the man who stands between him and the reward he so richly deserves. The hardships and humiliations Horst endures at the hands of Tell are quite remarkable, coupled with the continuous stream of abuse he receives from his master. Despite all of this Horst always shakes it off and keeps on trying with unyielding perseverance. Everyman howaever has his breaking point.

Unfortunately, for Horst, there is not enough room in the empire for two lieing, cheating, sneaking, dirty, double crossers of such extreme magnitude. Horst's ambition proves to be his downfall. Unsatisfied with Gessler's constant abuse and lack of recognition, Horst seizes an opportunity to betray Gessler. An opprtunity, which backfires on him, and he is banished to the wasteland. You cannot keep a bad man down and so in his usual style Horst manages to backstab his way across the criminal infested wasteland and some how winds up being its prince. Free of Gessler's hold he is now free to practice his own brand of tyranny.

Nick Brimble's career as an actor encompasses an enormous body of work , both in Britain and the US. On television, among his more prominent appearances are Ivanhoe, Lock Stock...., The Final Cut, and Dempsey and Makepeace.

Films include Sheena, Little John in Robin Hood: Prince of Theives, Year of the Comet, Loch Ness, Gone Fishing, The Calling and most recently A Knight's Tale.



Hans Meyer as Tyrroll, Horst's predecessor. Gessler's first Captain of the Guard and Horst's superior is a no nonsense soldier. Unlike Horst or Gessler he does have some pangs of conscience, slight though they may be.

Inspite of his disgust with Gessler's over zealous pursuit of Tell, Tyrroll obeys his orders to the letter. Burning and pillaging the province into bankruptcy on his masters orders.

Only leaving the occasional upstart alive, much to Gessler's disgust, he performs his duties well. He has however one fatal flaw for a man who works for gessler. He is a man of honour and keeps his word regardless of orders a flaw that will ultimately leave his post open for the ever ready Horst. Hans Meyer's multilingual career includes the films Barry Lyndon, Inside the Third Reich, Red Sonja, The French Revolution, Double Team and K.



Robert Addie as Aris, the last of Gessler's Captain's. Horst's replacement, popped up in the final series of episodes. He made few, but memorable appearances as Gessler's sleazy, cunning, and effective sidekick.

He shares the Governor's taste for corrupt and wanton behaviour and is much more chummy than his predecessor. His trademark is a helmet mounted with the figure of a silver wolf, which makes him appear rather mysterious. His corruption is not inpenetrable, however. When Gessler's power begins to wane, Aris sees the error of his ways and enters a life of prayer and repentance. In the final episodes we are introduced to Brother Aris!

Robert Addie is, of course, best known for playing another Medieval second in command. He enjoyed many years of success in the role of Guy of Gisbourne on the hit series, Robin of Sherwood (Laurel had the biggest crush on him when she was 7), a character slightly less suave and intelligent than Aris. Other credits include Excalibur, Merlin, A Knight in Camelot (I see a trend), Another Country, Captain Jack, and Mary, Mother of Jesus.


Good Guys

Guest Stars

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