Medieval Times knights ride onto small screen

LAWRENCEVILLE - Medieval Times' knights will have a spotlighted segment at 8 p.m. tonight on the television show, "Modern Marvels," airing on the History Channel.

Tonight's segment outlines the history of axes, implements used as weapons in medieval combat and one of mankind's oldest tools. The show's producers turned to Medieval Times in Duluth to find experts on medieval axe weaponry.

"Where else can you go to find people who know how to use the axe as a weapon?" asked Steve Durgin, writer/director. "When they talked about the history of the axe, my first reaction was, 'Oh, axes, no moving parts.' It's hard to initially get excited about it. But we delved into its history and how they evolved and how they were used. Then, the Medieval Times people brought it to life for us."

To demonstrate the effectiveness of the axe, knights J.B. Kennedy of Lawrenceville and Tim Baker sliced watermelons in half with one stroke.

"It was pretty fun hitting the watermelons with axes," Kennedy said.

Filming took place on Medieval Times' ranch in Dacula in February. The segment was shot in one morning.

"Their axes are made of titanium for safety, something not available in the medieval era," Durgin said. "Axes back then were made of iron and steel."

Kennedy won't be watching his performance on TV tonight.

"I have to work," he said. "I already have it set on my DVR."