“Princess Bride” star joins cast of BYUtv series “Granite Flats”

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GFLTS_LargeFor many viewers, it will be a case of twooo wuv.

Cary Elwes, who played Westley in the 1980s cult classic The Princess Bride, has signed on to a four-episode story arc on the Mormon-run series Granite Flatswhich debuted last April as the first-ever original series on BYUtv.

Christopher Lloyd, who played Doc in Back to the Future, is also going to be a regular on the family-friendly sci-fi drama, playing a local schoolteacher.

The addition of those two actors to the show’s second outing should help raise the drama’s profile after a commercially successful, eight-episode opening season. Veteran critic Rick Ellis of TV Examiner said he was pleasantly surprised last year by the quality of the series:

[It] has a surprising amount of depth for viewers accustomed to the cookie-cutter feel-good stories seen on former broadcast shows such as “Touched By An Angel.” As the backstories of the characters are revealed, their underlying motives offer up some meaty subtext.

There are a lot of unexpected moments in the first two episodes and while the show isn’t perfect, it may be the best family-oriented drama on TV right now. The acting is uneven at times and there is a tendency to have the characters explain out loud what their motivation is or what they’re thinking.

But there are so many great things about “Granite Flats” that it’s easy to overlook the problems. The show has emotional depth and it does a solid job of capturing the life of a small military town in the days of the Cold War. BYUtv ordered eight episodes of the series, but with any luck it will be successful enough to inspire not only more episodes, but other scripted shows at the network.

If nothing else, “Granite Flats” will remind viewers that “family-friendly” programming doesn’t have to be painfully earnest and terribly boring.

I missed the first season of Granite Flats, but this time I will definitely give it a try.

As . . . you . . . wish.


  • HS

    Interesting. I haven’t seen it. Of course now all the rumors will start that the actors are converting to Mormonims.

  • Larry

    Cary Elwes and Christopher Lloyd have earned their lifetime passes with a body of enjoyable work.

    Anyone willing to give those guys checks for steady work is fine by me.

  • Jeff Parkes

    Our family is looking forward to season two also. The first season was pretty good.

    I got turned-on to BYU’s broadcasting networks, both TV and Radio programming, about a year ago. In my opinion, they are about the best-kept secrets on TV or radio, and I think it’s a shame non-Mormon Christians don’t seem to know about them, because I think we would love them. I am a Protestant, and in my opinion, for high-quality, intelligent, widely accessibly, gently faith-respectful and life-affirming programming, BYUTV is the best I have seen.

    Our family enjoys a lot of excellent prime-time programming on BYUTV. After PBS, its probably my most-watched network. As Protestants, sometimes people are surprised we watch it, I guess thinking the programming would be sectarian. Some is very sectarian, but much of it would be enjoyed by people of any Christian denomination, faith, or no faith. I tell people that BYUTV’s better prime-time programs are non-sectarian, and most are not even explicitly religious. And, its easy to watch due to their slick Roku and Apple Airplay apps.

    My kids and I never miss the hilarious ‘Studio C’ comedy program. ‘Story Trek’ is a rarity, a reality show. that is actually positive and worthwhile. ‘Turning Point’ is also excellent. Being affiliated with a university, the arts programming is fabulous. You really won’t find anything like it on commercial TV. Of course, there is a lot of doctrinal programming too, but it seems to be clearly identified. You guys really are providing a gem there.

  • Rod

    I will see it if I get a chance. However, my initial reaction is that most Mormons place the Book of Mormon at a higher level than the Bible. At the end of Revelations it says in Rev. 22:18 -19:”I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book:if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which is described in this book.” So, according to the Bible, isn’t the Book of Mormon doing this?

  • David

    Interesting conversation, Rod. It strikes me that there are probably hundreds of sacred religious texts throughout the world ranging from the Bible to the Quran. I’m not discounting your comment, just interesting that there appears to be a bias in your comment that if the tv program comes from a channel owned by the Mormons and if they have other books of scripture in addition to the bible, that perhaps the show shouldn’t be on our viewing list. I do see that you said you would see if it you get the chance. But your post still struck a note of curiosity with me so after reading your comment I did a quick google search of religious sacred texts and indeed, there are hundreds and many within Christianity, including the Roman Catholic Church (I was raised by a Roman Catholic and remember this well) and several evangelical groups. The Christian texts don’t seem to replace the bible, but rather compliment it. Billions in the world only believe in the Quran. I had a neighbor years ago who was Mormon and at least his family believed in the Bible. Really good people. Wish all my neighbors were like them! Worked with a guy who was Muslim. Also a really good man and I admired his devotion to his family and his faith. Anyway, I do wonder if this show on the BYU TV channel is about the Mormons. That doesn’t appear to be the case. It’ll be interesting to see, though. I’m going to check it out and appreciate the previous comment from Jeff Parkes who has apparently found uplifting programs that his Protestant family really enjoys on the BYU channel. I’ll welcome some wholesome family programming from any denomination in this cruel world. There is little out there my family can watch. Looking forward to this new show. Our family loves Christopher Lloyd and Cary Elwes (Princes Bride is the best!).

  • Robert MaCE

    An interesting comment by Rod; however, even though the Book of Revelations sits last in the New Testament, it was not written last. The books of the New Testament are not organized in chronological order. I believe that John’s comments in Revelations refer to adding or taking away from his writings, and do not refer to other inspired writings, either before or after his revelations. The compilation and organization of what constitutes the New Testament (done by committee) did not occur until many years later. If nothing written after Revelations can be accepted as scripture, then there are a couple of New Testament books that must be discounted.

  • Ann Miller

    I have been watching on Netflix. It’s an interesting show, but I do find the dialogue to be stilted and affected. The acting also is a bit stiff. Otherwise, I do find it an enjoyable diversion. I am sorry to hear it will not have another season.