A knight in shining armor may sound like a character out of a storybook, but once upon a time, knighthood was serious business, and for countless medieval fighters, their armor was what stood between life and death. But what was it really like to live beneath the metal? How was that shining armor crafted and how strong was it? Could it withstand impacts from the most lethal weapons of the day, including crossbows, muskets, and primitive hand guns? NOVA challenged blacksmith Ric Furrer and master armorer Jeff Wasson to recreate parts of an elite armor originally manufactured in the Royal Workshop founded by King Henry VIII. We trace their successes and setbacks from start to finish as they rediscover centuries-old metalworking secrets, then put their new armor to the ultimate test against a period musket!
NOVA: Secrets of the Shining Knight, Wednesday at 9 pm. on PBS 6.