LONG JOHN SILVER SCARLET PIMPERNEL THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO ROBIN HOOD SIR LANCELOT
THE BUCCANEERS SWORD of FREEDOM IVANHOE WILLIAM TELL RICHARD THE LIONHEART SIR FRANCIS DRAKE ROBINSON CRUSOE
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . See also the missing series: Gay Cavalier (1957), The Highwayman (1958), Dick Turpin (1959).

. . . . . DINOSAUR TV FILMED HISTORICAL SERIES
My favourite of these series must be The Adventures of Robin Hood. This series from Sapphire Films, and eventually distributed by ITC set the standard which other imitations vainly tried to emulate. Next best ITC series was surely The Adventures of Sir Lancelot, with William Russell bidding fair to outshine even the one and only Richard Greene. William Tell was a later addition to the genre, and I'd rate this nearly a success. The Buccaneers, changing horses in mid stream, never quite grabbed me, even though Robert Shaw made a swashbuckling hero. Sword of Freedom and the Count of Monte Cristo were, for me, the weakest, of these ITC series. The last of the line, as it were, Sir Francis Drake, had spirit, as well as a better budget, but exuded little charisma from its star who was always a trifle wooden.
Of the others, Roger Moore made a fine contribution with his Ivanhoe, and Richard the Lionheart was enjoyable, and perhaps the most historically interesting, if that matters.
Though not made in Britain, I have included Long John Silver in this section, because, well, because how can Robert Newton be forgotten?
So why did the genre die, in effect, after Sir Francis Drake? No filmed historical drama series were made after this one for a while, perhaps it was because the settings required bigger budgets than producers could afford. Or perhaps this was combined with the fact that the accent was now on hour long filmed series, and it was felt that the target audience of mainly children wouldn't concentrate for so long. Or was it simply because the formula was past its sell-by date? Surely not. Couldn't we have enjoyed The Vikings, or William The Conqueror, or The Canterbury Tales, or Bonnie Prince Charlie?

Question- identify this series, one of those reviewed on this page. Click for the Answer

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THE ADVENTURES of ROBIN HOOD starring Richard Greene
On December 10th 1958 at the High Pine Club, Mr and Mrs Fisher of Sapphire Films and Richard Greene threw a farewell buffet plus an orchestra "for dancing." Among those attending were Sidney Cole, producer, his assistant producers Thelma Connell, Basil Appleby and Jud Kinberg; technicians Ken Hodges (lighting), Noel Rowlands (camera), Pip Pearson (sound); directors included Compton Bennett, Gordon Parry, Terry Bishop, Robert Day, Peter Seabourne and Anthony Squire, along with Frank Holland who was assistant director throughout. Lots of the actors attended including both Sheriffs, Alan Wheatley and John Arnatt, plus Marian, alias Patricia Driscoll with husband Duncan Lamont. Also there was Paul Eddington ("given a big chance in the last serial"), Alexander Gauge, Archie Duncan and stunt man Rupert Evans. The report adds it was "a happy occasion." The picture shows Archie Duncan chatting with Hannah Fisher.
The excellent supporting cast contributed to the series' success. Most memorably Alan Wheatley, who said he received hate mail on account of his on screen villainy. Archie Duncan was Little John- however he was replaced in thirteen early stories, because he broke a leg when mastering a bolting horse on location shooting. He received the Queen's Commendation for bravery, since some children had been in the direct path of this horse.
The series provided a rare phenomenon, success for a British TV series in America, the Eldorado of all British production companies. In early April 1957, the series came a respectable 17th in the US National TV Nielsen Ratings with a score of 34.9, indicating over 11 million homes watched the programme (by comparison Sir Lancelot came only 86th).
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Historical menu

My mini reviews of stories:
1 The Coming of Robin Hood - a brilliant opening story that sets the tone for the series. The return of Robin, hero of the Crusades,"away too long," who finds a Norman, the foppish Sir Roger inhabiting his castle. King John's representative, a certain Sheriff, declares Robin an outlaw after Robin saves a forester (Alfie Bass) from brutal punishment, and falsely accuses Robin of killing Sir Roger also. "A grave injustice," but Robin seeks out these "Englishmen forced to live like animals," and joins them
2 The Moneylender - Robin teaches outlaw Will (Bruce Seton) to only rob the wicked, like debt collector Sir Herbert (Leo McKern) whose excessive interest charged to his payees is returned to the debtors, much to their surprise. As Herbert is in the pay of the Sheriff, he angrily tries to round up the outlaws, wounding Will and killing, he thinks, Robin, by burning him alive in a hut. But though Will dies, he passes his mantle on, "follow Robin"
3 Dead or Alive - Introducing a "seven foot oaf... they don't make men like this." Having offended the Earl of Bedford, John is offered his freedom if he can catch an outlaw. He rounds up Robin himself, but when the treachery of the Sheriff's men becomes transparent, John helps Robin escape
4 Friar Tuck - "a stalwart fellow with a sword" needs Robin's aid to prevent an evil lord's arranged marriage between Mildred and Sir William (Leslie Phillips). Some verbal trickery by the friar dissuades the vacillating Sir William from the union. As a result Mildred is promptly married to her true love, thwarting the Sheriff and putting Friar Tuck in his bad books
5 Maid Marian - Robin "meets his match" as Marian joins the outlaws in an attempt to hand Robin over to the sheriff- after all she knows he has robbed her jewels. As Peter, she infiltrates the outlaw band, none seem to penetrate her disguise! Robin is lured into a trap and his public hanging is joyfully declared by the sheriff. When she learns her jewels have been returned, she pays a last visit to Robin in the dungeon, and secretly lets him escape
6 The Inquisitor - "The fat brown friar" is kept out of the way in the priory dungeon since the archbishop is coming to Nottingham. Tuck mustn't be allowed to tell of Robin, who however, rescues the Friar from torture by the Inquisitor. Robin poses as said torturer and takes Tuck into the presence of the archbishop to give his "confession"
7 The Knight Who Came to Dinner
8 The Challenge - Giles Black is a champion, and "as one gentleman to another," the Sheriff arranges with Sir Richard an archery contest with the outlaws. Of course Robin is victorious and you can bet the Sheriff's really no gent, and shows his hand when Robin and Little John are attacked as they leave Sir Richard's castle, "you blundering idiots." Robin escapes back into the castle, which the Sheriff besieges, to the despair of Sir Richard, a nice comedy role for Ian Hunter. Friar Tuck doesn't mind the long siege, since he's guzzling Sir Richard's provender, and Robin isn't dissatisfied since Marian is with them. A desperate Sir Richard finds a way for their escape, to the Sheriff's dismay, "that fiend Robin Hood, shall I ever get my hands on him?"
9 Queen Eleanor - The redoubtable Queen Mother is collecting funds for the Crusade, even receiving a "handsome" contribution from the Sheriff himself. Of course, he plans to snatch it back with interest and even blame Robin's men to boot. But wily Robin gets those fake outlaws arrested and the money is safely transported away
10 Checkmate - Naughty Count de Waldern (Leslie Phillips) thinks he's teaching Lady Marian how to play chess, but what he really wants is to play Love. On the other hand, she's really there to string him along whilst Robin rescues the Count's prisoners from his "impregnable" castle
11 A Guest for the Gallows - Will cannot pay the Sheriff's exorbitant taxes. "I'd like to strangle him," growls Little John- of the sheriff. Robin lures the sheriff into a Sherwood trap, "you're Robin Hood!" A simple exchange is agreed, in this story with some style, the Sheriff of course never keeping his word, "shoot your blockheads!" One nice touch is the document the Sheriff is forced to sign by Robin, at the bottom look for the name, "A Wheatley Sheriff"
12 The Ordeal
13 A Husband for Marian
14 The Highlander
15 The Youngest Outlaw - Arthur, King Richard's heir, has escaped from Walden Castle to join the outlaws. Robin has to return him to his mother, only Robin seems a bit thick and hands the lad over to an imposter, who is bent on the lad's demise
16 The Betrothal - Old Sir Richard has lost, inevitably, in a tourney, but can't raise the cash payment to Sir Miles. To impress Gladys (Jennifer Jayne) and her dad Sir Hugh, to persuade him to marry Richard's effeminate son Claude, Robin & Co pass themselves as nobles, but the scheme backfires when Sir Hugh selects Robin as his future son-in-law. A swordfight sorts out the honours
17 The Alchemist - Outlaw Rolf's "old crone" of a mother is to be burnt as a witch. Robin is "so sentimental" that the sheriff is certain he will try to rescue her. He does, but not as the sheriff expects, but with a cat, some toads and "all the furies of hell"
18 The Jongleur - John orders an extra tax, eagerly gathered by the sheriff. For singing his protest, Master Bartholomew (Peter Hammond) is arrested, but he gets away and hides with Robin. After learning to be a jongleur, they enter the earl's castle where the tax money is stored. However Bartholomew is a spy and Robin is arrested and all but killed. A contrite jongleur rescues him from a dungeon, and they even have time to rob the tax collection before sneaking off, "don't let them get away!"
19 The Brothers - the old identical brothers motif. The serf Guy is in hiding from you know who, Tuck and Robin find a safe place for him at Whitby Abbey. So the nasty sheriff arrests his brother David. But a simple switch of the two in the dungeon, gives the bemused sheriff a wonderful line. His new prisoner, Guy, claims exemption under church law as he's become a monk, and so the poor sheriff is thwarted once more
20 The Intruders
21 The Sheriff's Boots
22 Errand of Mercy - Many of the poor people are down with St Anthony's Fire, so Robin creeps into Nottingham with some herbs for Anselm the Apothecary (Hal Osmond). The sherrif gets wind of Robin's mission and surrounds the area- "what a pleasure it'll be to hang him!" However Robin eludes capture when the sherrif's soldiers, "cowardly dogs," refuse to go near the plague victims. But with Robin injured, it looks like curtains. Indeed, out of the gates he is carried, in the Death Cart.... but then a miraculous recovery!
23 The Vandals
24 Richard the Lionheart
25 Ladies of Sherwood
26 Will Scarlet - The "louts" of Sherwood clash with Will of Winchester (Ronald Howard), whom the Sheriff is after, once he has been discovered under the bed of Olivia, the Sheriff's niece. After the usual treachery from you know who, Will decides to join the band
27 The Deserted Castle - "This is serious, Robin"- is John planning an alliance twixt himself and France? The Queen Mother orders Robin to scupper it. French emissaries are rerouted to an empty castle where Robin poses as the sheriff, insulting his foreign guests who nevertheless agree to his outrageous terms. The real sheriff besieges the castle, but the queen saves the day
28 The Miser- a pleasant fairy tale of Sir William who, facing extra taxes from the Sherrif, demands his peasants pay up. The money is delivered to Nottingham- "I am not amused," declares the sheriff, when he finds only buttons. For Robin has intercepted the payment and redistributed it to the poor peasants. Sir William is persuaded that buttons can be magicked into silver and collects every button he can find in his castle, a nice ruse by Robin to relieve Sir William of his ill gotten fortune
29 Trial by Battle- Sir Gyles has posed as Robin to try and rob the King's Commissioner. Robin saves the day and Marian shadows the loyal servant of King Richard to Nottingham Castle, where he is murdered. Marian has been framed by Sir Gyles and even the bad Sheriff can't really believe her guilty- but the evidence is against her. She elects trial by battle, and her champion is... you can guess!
30 Children of the Greenwood- Young Oswald and Alice are taken in hand by nasty Sir Giles, when Arthur their dad, falsely accused of murder, has to become an outlaw. But they escape and are reunited with dad. However they can't stay with the outlaws. Oswald performs "an exploit" to impress Robin, this is to capture Sir Giles himself. Luckily Arthur is found to be innocent so they can return home. Not that much to do with Robin Hood in all this
31 The May Queen- With Sir Richard Donnington killed in the Crusades, his son Gilbert inherits his castle. It all looks rosy, for he is to marry Genevieve. However her ambitious father (John Longden) is eager for power and tries to break Walter with the aid of the Count de Clifford, and of course the Sheriff. On May Day, on the Field of Honour the Count's Champion will do battle with Walter, it will be a very one sided contest, but wait a minute...
32 The Wanderer - local physicians disagree with Joseph the healer over their diagnosis of Sir Walter's ailment, and persuade the sheriff to ban treatment of any families of the outlaws. When Derwent's son is injured, Robin gets Joseph to help the lad, and Robin is nearly caught (again!) by the sheriff. The pair have a sword fight
33 The Byzantine Treasure - Gold and jewels are the latest rich capture for The Outlaws. But they are in for disappointment, for they belong to Queen Eleanor, so Robin takes the booty to the impoverished castle of Sir Richard of the Lea, where the Archbishop will later collect it. Unwisely Sir Richard shows off his temporary riches, and "Norman vultures," in the shape of the sheriff's deputy are hovering
34 Secret Mission - From France, the irascible Peregrinus (Patrick Barr) has come, and seeks out Robin Hood. So does the sheriff who amazingly offers a free pardon if the outlaws will fight Prince John's cause. No way! Peregrinus comes in useful, intercepting a list of supporters of the prince, being sent to him. Then the stranger reveals his identity...
35 Tables Turned - Suzette and Francois are captured in error by Derwent- they are only children, and they enjoy a whale of a time with the outlaws. When Robin returns them, it is he who is captured. Marian informs the outlaws who ride to the rescue, only to discover the children have already got him free
36 The Traitor- The ransom for imprisoned King Richard has been collected and of course stolen. Robin follows the thief who cunningly arrests Robin for stealing it, and Robin is sentenced to the gallows. Though it's a trick to get the outlaws to rescue him, and be captured themselves, a maid saves Robin who is able to take the treasure to its rightful place
37 The Thorkil Ghost- On Hallowe'en, it's up to Robin to lay the ghost that's frightening Harold, and with a friendly hunchback, bloodcurdling screams and a torture chamber this is not your usual Robin Hood jollity. Why even nice Barbara Mullen is playing a villainess!
38 The Wager - Robin bets Friar Tuck that he can get more gold by begging than the friar can by praying. After gambling his Sherwood Green for a beggar's clothing, Robin robs some dishonest beggars. Tuck bamboozles two rogue Norman monks at a shrine. Of course, Robin repays the beggars' loot to a poor widow and narrowly avoids capture. But Tuck is "not ashamed of his efforts"
39 The Prisoner- Prince John is to be crowned king on the morrow, so Robin and Marian gallop to London to rescue Blondel, King Richard's envoy whom John has imprisoned. He has the proof that Richard yet lives. Donald Pleasence steals the show with his portrayal of John, a demented fop
Series 2
40 A Village Wooing- Outlaw Wat Longfellow (Leslie Phillips, not at his best) is mooning over Widow Winifred, but has a rival in a swindling bailiff named Baldwin (acually DP who was King John in the last tale!). With Robin & co's help Wat triumphs, though this story promises more than it gives
41 The Scientist- Albertus (Miles Malleson) is a scientist needed by Prnce John to construct the deadly weapon he has invented, to finish off King Richard's ship. Friar Tuck takes the old man to Robin, who in turn escorts him to his friend Roger. The latter however is in league with The Sheriff! So, disguised as John's soldiers, Robin and his men rescue the scientist, who is wounded escaping, and sadly dies, his secret invention dying with him
42 Blackmail- Robin intercepts wine bound for the sheriff, but a blackguard named Lucus discovers Lady Marian and Sir Richard are in league with Robin. The only way is to discredit Lucus, which Robin does so by posing as the sheriff and convincing Lucus that the sheriff is in league with Robin!
43 A Year and a Day - Barber Tom (Shaun O'Riordan) is operating on Little John. He tells Robin he could get his freedom from serfdom on the morrow, though the sheriff is trying to prevent this. Robin poses as Tom, comically leading the exhausted sheriff a merry dance. Since Tom is hidden in the sheriff's own chambers, it has to be a case of Let Justice Be Done
44 The Goldmaker - That "complete and hopeless idiot" Sir Richard is living vastly beyond his means, and all because he thinks this Lepidus (Alfie Bass) can turn pewter into gold. Of course this man's a charlatan, but the greedy sheriff is persuaded to have the secret, in exchange for outlaw Will
45 The Imposters- nicely barbed banter between Robin and Marian, who is a mite jealous of Lady Pomfret, who has employed a man to impersonate her husband in order to prevent her lands being seized. Robin offers to act as her temporary husband since the first imposter has run off scared. The sheriff goes to Pomfret Castle to expose the two imposters, but luckily the real Baron Pomfret has now returned from the Crusade
46 Ransom
47 Isabella - Princess Avice (Helen Cherry). wife of Prince John, requests Robin come to the Tower of London. For John has "a special arrangement with heaven" to allow him to marry a French princess (Zena Walker). Robin is asked to warn off this "unsuspecting child," though what he actually finds is a "she-wolf" who brings John a fine wedding gift, Robin himself "to be burned at the stake." Avice gets him out of jail and the wedding is stopped single handedly by our hero
48 The Hero
49 The Haunted Mill
50 Outlaw Money
51 The Black Patch
52 The Friar's Pilgrimage
53 The Trap
54 Hubert
55 The Dream
56 The Blackbird
57 The Shell Game
58 The Final Tax
59 Ambush
60 The Secret Pool
61 The Bandit of Brittany
62 The Goldmaker's Return
63 Flight from France
64 The Path of True Love - Lionel Jeffries playing a baddie! It seems improbable, but he's Sir Charles, usurper of Robin's family home Locksley. He plays it as a dithering incompetent. But underneath he's sly, turfing the tenants off 'his' land. Yet, if they could clean Locksley by Lady Day, in law they'll be entitled to keep their tenancies in perpetuity. Robin helps them get into his old castle to give it a spring clean whilst Lady Marian distracts Sir Charles. No Merry Men in this tale.. had the Sherriff finally captured them?
65 Fair Play
66 The Dowry
67 The York Treasure
68 The Borrowed Baby
69 Food for Thought
70 Too Many Earls
71 Highland Fling
72 The Mystery of Ireland's Eye - Robin and Tuck have a week off from Sherwood as they help Marian find her uncle who's gone missing on an Irish isle terrorised by Rolf (as this is Ireland. this must be Eddie Byrne)
73 The Little People
74 The Infidel
75 The Frightened Tailor
76 The Black
77 The Road in the Air
78 Carlotta
Series 3
79 The Salt King - Bad Lord Guthrie is upping the price of salt with connivance from the sheriff. Robin buys fresh supplies from the seaside which Tuck then gives away in Nottingham. However the sheriff impounds Tuck's supply which Robin has to nick back. Dressed as a Salt Diviner, he incredibly finds salt on Lady Marian's land- actually not so surprising as he'd put there in the first place
80 A Tuck in Time
81 Pepper - Rescuing an impressionable princess blinded by love for King John, Robin comes face to face with John inside The Tower of London
82 The Charter - "Incredible," but King Henry I's lost charter curbing the power of tyrant kings is wanted by the Sheriff - to destroy, of course! Robin plucks it from right under the Sheriff's nose
83 A Change of Heart
84 Brother Battle
85 My Brother's Keeper
86 An Apple for the Archer
87 The Angry Village
88 The Mark
89 The Bride of Robin Hood
90 To Be a Student
91 The Christmas Goose - Sir Leon (Jack Watling) presides at the trial of a boy's goose. Improbable, but a nice story with the prosecuting baliff (Paul Eddington) pitted against Friar Tuck. When the goose is sentenced to execution, it's up to Robin to rescue it. In a neat plan, he gets at Sir Leon's Achilles heel, his only daughter (Jane Asher), and it's a happy Christmas Day ending, exit laughing....
92 The Challenge of the Black Knight
93 The Rivals
94 The Profiteer
95 Knight Errant
96 The Healing Hand
97 One Man's Meat
98 Too Many Robins
99 The Crusaders
100 Castle in the Air
101 The Double
102 Roman Gold
103 The Ghost That Failed - A ghost with "moaning and the sound of iron chains" is frightening peasants, But Little J and F Tuck "keep a calm mind" and prove it's only Rupert Davies. Little J dresses as a ghost to teach him a lesson but rain rather spoils the illusion
104 At The Sign Of The Blue Boar
105 Quickness of the Hand
106 Elixir of Youth
107 The Genius
108 The Youthful Menace
109 The Minstrel
110 The Doctor
111 The Lottery
112 The Fire
113 Lincoln Green
114 Women's War
115 Little Mother
116 Marian's Prize
117 Farewell to Tuck
Final Series:
118 Goodbye Little John
119 The Oath
120 A Race Against Time
121 The Edge and the Point
122 The Champion
123 The Debt
124 The Parting Guest
125 The Bagpiper
126 The Pharoah Stones
127 A Touch of Fever
128 Six Strings to his Bow
129 The Devil You Don't Know - A poignant moment as the Sheriff bows out, giving his new deputy Ralph a last lesson in how not to catch Robin Hood. Alan-a-Dale has been taken prisoner, and Ralph plans to use him as bait to trap Robin. Indeed Robin is lured into the inner sanctum of the castle but Ralph's unscrupulous treatment of Lady Marian brings out the gentleman in the retiring Sheriff, even at the cost of losing his prized outlaw
130 The Lady-Killer
131 A Bushel of Apples
132 Tuck's Love Day
133 The Loaf
134 Sybella
135 The Flying Sorcerer
136 Bride for an Outlaw
137 Double Trouble
138 The Truce
139 The Charm Pedlar
140 The Reluctant Rebel
141 Hostage for a Hangman
142 Hue and Cry
143 Trapped
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THE BUCCANEERS starring Robert Shaw

1 Blackbeard
2 The Raider
3 Captain Dan Tempest
4 Dan Tempest's War with Spain
5 The Wasp
6 Whale Gold
7 The Slave Ship
8 Gunpowder Plot
9 The Ladies
10 The Surgeon Of Sangre Rojo
11 Before The Mast
12 Dan Tempest and the Amazons
13 Articles Of War
14 The Hand of the Hawk
15 Marooned
16 Gentleman Jack and the Lady
17 Mr. Beamish And The Hangman's Noose
18 Dead Man's Rock
19 Blood Will Tell
20 Dangerous Cargo
21 The Return Of Calico Jack
22 Ghost Ship
23 Conquistador
24 Mother Doughty's Crew
25 Conquest Of New Providence
26 Hurricane
27 Cutlass Wedding
28 Aztec Treasure
29 Prize Of Andalusia
30 Dan Tempest Holds An Auction
31 The Spy Aboard
32 Flip And Jenny
33 Indian Fighters
34 Mistress Higgins' Treasure
35 To The Rescue
36 The Decoy
37 Instrument Of War
38 Pirate Honour
39 Printer's Devil
A series of 39 stories made at Walton and Twickenham Studios cashing in on the success of the Robin Hood series.
No one has adequately explained why Alec Clunes disappears after the first stories. Clunes certainly seems to have been the intended star, for prints exist of the opening titles which announce him as the star. Publicity in Spring 1956 stated he was the "main character," a reformed pirate now a governor, and that "every episode will show one more pirate being 'put down.'"
But, having said that, it's fair to say Robert Shaw makes a fine swashbuckler, everyone's idea of a jolly pirate. For the outdoor scenes, directed by Robert Day, the ship from the film Moby Dick was used, moored at Falmouth, and several scenes were shot on the river there. But although the indoor sets were well constructed, they look terribly stagey, providing awkward transitions from the filmed material to 'live' shots, and somehow the wide open spaces are never quite conveyed in the claustrophobic studios.
In fact Robert Shaw admitted, "I have never been outside the studio," as his double shot all the exterior scenes in Cornwall. He was paid £10,000 for the series, under a seven year contract, pay rising annually. Shaw explained, "I started on what is regarded as a comparatively low rate, because I was absolutely no-one."

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IVANHOE (1957)
Thankfully most of the 39 stories have survived. These are:

1 Freeing The Serfs
2 The Gentle Giant
3 Slave Traders
4 The German Knight
5 Rinaldo
6 The Whipping Boy
7 The Witness
9 Wedding Cake
10 Lyman The Pieman
11 Face To Face
12 Black Boar
13 Freelance
14 The Masked Bandits
15 The Weavers
16 The Masons
17 Arms And The Woman
18 The Circus
19 The Escape
20 Murder At The Inn
21 Prisoner in the Tower
22 The Cattle Killers
23 By Hook Or By Crook
24 Treasure From Cathay
25 Brothers In Arms
26 The Double-Edged Sword
27 The Kidnapping
28 Widow Of Woodcote
29 The Princess
30 The Gentle Jester
31 Counterfeit
32 Search For Gold
33 The Devil's Dungeon
34 Three Days to Worcester
35 The Night Raiders
36 The Raven
38 The Swindler

You can see why Hollywood wanted Roger Moore. Spot embryonic elements of his most famous creation, The Saint, in Ivanhoe! "We've tried to make it authentic throughout," said Roger Moore in an interview. "Our master-at-arms and swordsman, Peter Diamond, has some 40-50 swords, 12 crossbows, and 50-60 lances. We have bought five horses and have had the use of 30 more." In one fight Moore was knocked unconscious with the head with a battleaxe, and at first his realistic acting was highly praised, until the truth dawned! "I wish he'd have a double for dangerous scenes," argued producer Bernard Coote, "but he refuses and does everything himself."

The executive producer was Peter Rogers. The series made by Sydney Box Productions at Beaconsfield Studios and at AB Studios Elstree. Screen Gems announced in May 1957 that the series of 26 would be made in colour, and the pilot was indeed in colour, confirmed in Roger Moore's autobiography, but although the title sequences look as though they were once in colour, the main series finished in standard b/w.

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Freeing the Serfs
"Brave warrior" returning from Holy Land ambushed by three soldiers of Sir Maurice (Anthony Dawson). They “invite” Sir Ivanhoe to meet Sir Maurice, who is one backing Prince John for the throne. Ivanhoe however is resolute in his support for King Richard: “he will return,” promises Ivanhoe.
He departs on the worst of terms. For Ivanhoe takes exception to the treatment of one serf and his son, Gurth and Bart, and challenges Maurice to combat. Even though there’s dirty work from Maurice in nobbling Ivanhoe’s white steed, the victor is never in doubt. Ivanhoe rides off with the grateful pair, chased, just as in a Western movie, by the evil Sir Maurice’s men.
But Ivanhoe and his new friends reach home, Rotherwood, safely. There’s disappointment, for Ivanhoe’s father Sir Cedric has just left, with the fair Rowena, to attend a meeting of nobles, assmebled to determine whether John should be proclaimed king.
”Many of us fear Richard may be lost for ever,” Prince John (Andrew Keir) is declaring. But Sir Cedric is expressing his faith that Richard will indeed return. To silence him, John plots with Sir Maurice to capture Cedric and Rowena, and hold them prisoner in his castle.
Ivanhoe gets wind of their scheme and against the odds, but with superior strategy, intercepts Sir Maurice and his train. In the general melee, the climax is Ivanhoe’s swordfight with Maurice. The latter’s men are forced to flee, the laughing of Ivanhoe’s men ringing in their ears.
At last Ivanhoe can receive a proper welcome home from the crusade by his father. But the noble Ivanhoe has realised that he cannot sit at home, as in solemn tones, he pledges himself to fight King Richard’s corner, until he return
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The Gentle Giant
(aka Ragan's Forge)

"Finest blacksmith in the country," Ragan is thrilled to be engaged to Danella (Ann Sears), who has "spirit and looks." He's a contrast, "a great ox of a man," but they are in love.
But there's a fly in the ointment, in the shape of Bruno, son of Sir William of Belford. He has eyes on Danella for himself.
Sir William has ways of making Ragan see sense- first Athel, Danella's father is thrown into a dungeon, followed by a protesting Ragan: "The moment I am free I shall tear you into little bits!"
Ivanhoe's rescue mission is slightly foiled when Bruno pentrates Ivanhoe's disguise as a minstrel, and "hopelessly outnumbered" Gurth and Bart are added to the contents of the dungeon. Ivanhoe is brought before Sir William but evades his captors and rescues all the prisoners.
Friar Henry has arrived to perform the marriage ceremony for Danella and Bruno. But, at sword point, Ivanhoe forces the scurrilous William to bless the union of Ragan and Danella, and even throw in a manor house for them, which he'd purloined illegally.
Ivanhoe kisses the bride amid jolly laughter

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Slave Traders
The drawbridge is lowered for Sir Ivanhoe of Rotherwood, who is flanked by Gurth and Bart. Sir Thomas (John Stuart) needs Ivanhoe's aid. For nine young men have disappeared recently, locals believe it's the work of witches. Kidnapped, suspects Ivanhoe.
Bravely, Bart volunteers to act as a decoy. And that night, in the dark woods he is snatched. Ivanhoe and Gurth pounce, but too late, the lad has gone. But one thing is certain, the kidnappers are human, for part of a gauntlet is torn, and it comes from a sailor's uniform. The nearest sea is only three miles away at Port Tregall. There is a sailor, and he wears the crest of Sir William of Belford (Martin Wyldeck). Now he is no friend of Sir Thomas, who brands him a "brutal selfish" fellow. For he keeps his ward, Lady Agnes, as a prisoner. And Prince John is due to be entertained at his castle shortly.
Ivanhoe borrows a lute in order to get into Belford. Gurth and Sir Thomas' men lie in waiting nearby.
At the feast celebrating William's engagement to the relucatant Agnes, Ivanhoe sings (not Roger Moore himself) The Swine and the Sheep. William perceives it is sung against himself and orders the minstrel to the dungeon. But Agnes is inspired to come in secret and release him. She says William is only marrying her for her land and her money.
Deep in the underground caverns, Ivanhoe searches for Bart. He finds him about to be sold with others to merchants who are to transport them to Cordoba, there to be sold as slaves. A swordfight puts the merchants to rout, the potential slaves chipping in as they are able.
Now it's upstairs to Sir William, just as Prince John is arriving. Another single handed battle, Ivanhoe versus William plus his henchmen. The rotund William is no match and yields. Prince John is not amused. He promises that Sir William will be tried at Westminster for slave trading. Privately to William he shouts, "you bungling fool!"

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The German Knight
Christopher Lee is the imposing Otto of the Rhine, a champion knight, unbeaten, surely a match for Sir Ivanhoe?

A serf called Ralph (Richard Martin) had escaped nearly a year ago from Sir Waldemar and had improved himself by being apprenticed to a London physician. However he has had to return home to tend his dying mother.
Sir Waldemar's men try to recapture him but first Gurth and Barth delay them in their pursuit, then Ivanhoe swaps places with Ralph, embarrassing the soldiers when they finally catch up with him. Ivanhoe teaches them a history lesson: "this is still King Richard's realm."
This arouses Waldemar's wrath. But Otto his guest is the ideal man to punish Ivanhoe, and force Ralph to return to serfdom. However a girl in Waldemar's castle (Jennifer Jayne) overhears the plot and runs to warn Ralph. On the way she is attacked by a boar, and Ralph has to put into practice his new found medical knowledge. She cannot be moved, leaving Ralph a sitting duck for Waldemar's retribution.
Thus the scene is set. Otto challenges Sir Ivanhoe. On horseback they charge and charge again. As Waldemar watches in anticipation, and Gurth with a slight concern, down falls Otto off his steed. "I want no unfair advantage," says noble Ivanhoe, and the fight is now with swords. It looks all over when Ivanhoe's sword snaps, yet still the slogging match continues until it's Otto who has to yield. The noble Otto congratulates the victor. "I don't surrender," shouts the infuriated Waldemar, in the true style of the rotter.
A year has now passed since Ralph's escape, and by law he is now a free man. So it's all good news. "Your freedom was hard won," Ivanhoe tells him, "use it well."
Otto and Ivanhoe shake hands in farewell
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Rinaldo

Royal bailiff Dunstan is collecting taxes for Prince John with the help of Sir Alistair's cronies. Sir Alistair would like to get hold of his rival's lands, the lands belonging to Sir Robert of Thornton, and Alistair seizes his chance by putting a dagger into Dunstan's back, and then accusing his rival.
Ivanhoe knows a stich-up when he sees it, and vows to prove Sir Robert's innocence. But with Prince John judging the case, it's a hard task. "Sir Robert is outlawed," declares the Prince, "it must have been Sir Robert," agrees the rascally Alistair.
The trial is set for noon the next day.
What evidence can be found to prove Sir Robert's innocence? Alistair and John are confident there is none. The murder weapon, however, is a clue for Ivanhoe, for it is uncommonly powerful, of a type manufactured by the Moors. The monogram R is the name of the smith, and Gurth is sent to track down this craftsman.
But the wily John has a trick up his sleeve, for Alistair is going to prevent Ivanhoe from testifying at the trial. A group of soldiers pursue Ivanhoe, and after a chase he is chained in the dungeon. Luckily, Gurth has traced the smith, one Rinaldo, who actually works in Alisatir's castle. Gurth spies Ivanhoe being incarcerated, and is easily able to release him. The pair dash to the trial, taking their trump card Rinaldo.
When Alistair sees Ivanhoe, rather against the spirit of the law courts, he starts a swordfight after Ivanhoe taunts him with the charge, "Murderer!" At swordpoint, Ivanhoe shows that Alistair's sword is the matching pair of the dagger that killed Dunstan. So what can Prince John do, but justice, for once? Sir Richard is a free man

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The Whipping Boy
Is this the chance for Gurth's son Bart to prove himself to Sir Ivanhoe?
A young lad is being pursued by the soldiers of Sir Waldemar (Terence Longdon). The poor boy is trapped afore Ivanhoe intervenes, and with Gurth's help the swordsmen are scattered, though it is Bart who rescues the lad by polevaulting on top of one of the nasties.
Barbaric are the beatings this boy has suffered, as a 'whipping boy' at the hands of two young nobles, so Ivanhoe rides to Wecksford Castle to find out what is going on. Wecksford is home of Sir Baldwin, a loyal supporter of King Richard, and Ivanhoe is puzzled why he has allowed his grandson Philip to be placed in the custody of Waldemar, an ally of Prince John. It seems the aged and feeble Baldwin wants peace in our time, at almost any price. To stave off Waldemar grabbing his lands, Baldwin has agreed to allow Philip to be a companion to Waldemar's son Harold.
Bart offers to replace the whipping boy at Waldemar's castle: "it is the only way," admits Ivanhoe. Thus Bart becomes the new "companion and playmate" for two boys older than himself, Harold and Philip. Harold is unpleasantly "mischievous," taking pleasure in misbehaving and then seeing his whipping boy take the punishment for him. "You're low and vile," Philip tells him- the pair clearly despise each other, and have a fight behind the bike sheds, sorry the smithy. Ivanhoe and Gurth enter the castle to rescue Philip, but are trapped inside when the drawbridge is raised. "Forward men, seize them!"
By leaping from the battlements into the moat, the boys escape, whilst Ivanhoe and Gurth fend off their attackers. Rather soaked, they are all rescued by Sir Baldwin and his merry men, who have united to stand up from now on against the evil Waldemar. Ivanhoe gives him a stern lecture, as Philip is restored to his grandfather

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The Witness
Sir Rufus of Salisbury has returned from the Crusade with news that King Richard is alive, even though he is in enemy hands.
That's a blow to Prince John, as his coronation is to be announced at a banquet in the home of Sir Gilbert (Patrick Holt). So Gilbert promises to silence Rufus, but the brave Rufus overcomes his attackers and exhausted, reaches his goal, Calderwood. However Ivanhoe is not at home, he has gone to Sir Gilbert's. There a sailor is telling his eyewitness account of Richard going to "a watery grave."
A weary Rufus reaches the meeting and quietly tells Ivanhoe the truth, handing him a clasp belonging to their king. But he is too tired to talk to the meeting which is held over until the morrow. Sir Gilbert kindly offers a room. "I fear his bedchamber may turn out to be a dungeon," Ivanhoe tells Gurth, and of course he is spot on. There Gilbert prepares to torture him, but Ivanhoe and Gurth turn the tables, and dump Gilbert in the dungeon, and feigning drunkenness, escort Rufus from the castle.
The guards notice "something funny going on," but they are not laughing when Gilbert is found gagged in the dungeon. "You blundering fools!" is the familiar line uttered by the prisoner.
Sir Rufus is given sanctuary in a church, and according to law is permitted then to make directly for the nearest port, in this case Hull, still under the rules of sanctuary. As soon as he leaves the church, arrows fly at him, and it is left to Prior Fulmer to explain the rules to Gilbert's cronies. But they still ambush Rufus on his journey, and it is a good job Ivanhoe and Gurth were watching him just in case! They save Rufus. "Find Richard," is Ivanhoe's farewell to him, as Ivanhoe returns to tell the meeting at Gilbert's the good news that Richard is still living. "Weren't your plans to crown King John a little premature?"

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Wedding Cake

Bad Sir Waldemar has imprisoned Sir Patrick. His daughter Elaine's hand in marriage for gluttonous Oliver, is the price of his release!
Ivanhoe and Gurth see her being attacked by robbers, as she is riding to Waldemar's castle with Oliver (Peter Reynolds). Oliver hides as the thieves are driven off by Ivanhoe. "Oliver drove off the highwaymen," Elaine explains to Sir Waldemar. He shall be proclaimed a knight, announces Oliver's uncle.
Ivanhoe hides in a gigantic wedding cake whch Gurth delivers to Waldemar's castle, thus easily bypassing the guards who have orders not to allow Ivanhoe in.
"Delicious," pronounces Oliver, as he tastes this cake. But a more alert soldier spots the cake is hollow and Gurth is arrested. "Where's your master?" With the help of Wiggle Ears, the scullery boy, Ivanhoe has been given the castle layout, and is thus able to leap over a balcony into Lady's Elaine's quarters. She explains her predicament.
The unworthy Oliver is being prepared in the chapel to take the vows of knighthood. His holy fast is broken as he betrays his gluttony, and Ivanhoe seizes him and takes the unworthy prospective knight's place.
At the ceremony, the hooded Oliver alias Ivanhoe is ready to take his vows. Certainly in character, he leaves the chapel, making for the pantry, and a snack. "I'm surrounded by fools and idiots," cries the exasperated Waldemar.
There in the kitchen, Oliver is being held at knifepoint by Ivanhoe. He confesses to his cowardice and Gurth and Sir Patrick have to be set free. "How can I ever thank you?" asks the latter.
But Waldemar swears revenge

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Lyman the Pieman
Mathilda is the donkey which pulls the cart of Lyman, played by Michael Ripper who really hams it up. He's just off to a hanging, he happily tells Ivanhoe, at Belford Castle, where he hopes to flog off many of his pies. Robert (James Henney) is the one to be hanged because he stole Lyman's donkey and cart. Prince John's good friend Sir William is in charge.
In tears, Robert's wife Enid (June Rodney) pleads for Ivanhoe to intervene. How could he refuse? She claims her husband had only rented the donkey and cart, and Lyman is lying when he stated it had been stolen.
The hanging imminent, Ivanhoe snatches the prisoner and galops away. Reunited with Edith, he tells Ivanhoe why he is being framed- his land is rich in coal, which Sir WIlliam wants for himself. So whilst Robert hides in a mill, Gurth is sent to Prince John with a cunning plan telling him of William's designs on the mine. "Things must be done legally," declares the Prince, who straightway rides to Belford.
Ivanhoe confronts Lyman. "I do talk too much," he honestly admits. "The truth is your shield," promises the "interfering meddling" Ivanhoe, at least that's how Sir William describes him. He is planning the trial with Prince John. An "accident" to Lyman will mean that his original testimony will have to stand. "There will be no further mistake," promises Sir William in one of the favourite lines in criminal history.
Thus Lyman and his cart are taken away into hiding, though Lyman manages to leave a trail of his rather crusty pies, which Ivanhoe can follow.
The trial is over. No Lyman or Ivanhoe. Prince John is ready to pronounce sentence- he finds Robert...... but just then, in dashes Ivanhoe with Lyman, and dashed is the bad Prince's plan to bag the mine.
Later we meet the Pieman again, but he has changed his name to Holman Ye Coalman, and he's now employed by Robert and Enid
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Face to Face
A justified tax revolt against King John is being used by Sir Humphrey (Derek Aylward) to try and get Ivanhoe into hot water.
His scheme is this: Trumper the minstrel, "impersonator extraordinary," is the split image of Ivanhoe, hardly surprising as he is played by Roger Moore, albeit with a Welsh accent. This Ivanhoe lookalike is going to be caught robbing a church.
The plan works a treat, for villagers and their priest catch him red handed: "sacrilege." Luckily Gurth also happens to be on hand, and he denounces Trumper as an imposter. But with Trumper well briefed, Ivanhoe's guilt is established.
Later Trumper wants his reward, but he finds Sir Humphrey is a double dealer for he has Trumper locked in a prison, guarded by Red Gordon (Danny Green).
Now word gets around that he has escaped. 50 silver pieces, alive or dead, for Sir Ivanhoe! The peasants are eager to claim the reward.
Fortunately, Trumper tricks Gordon, and by impersonating Sir Humphrey, escapes just in time. For Sir Humphrey has intercepted Ivanhoe, demanding he gives himself up. Of course this ends in a fight, Ivanhoe the victor. Trumper gallops up and admits to all and sundry his deception, thus clearing "the brave and merciful" Ivanhoe.
Sir Humphrey is left with the unenvious choice of repealing these unjust taxes, or face a peasants' revolt.

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Black Boar

"A prize fit for a king" is this wild boar, and Prince John's hounds give it chase.
Ned the ploughman (Edwin Richfield) is nearly run over by it afore an arrow from Sir Ivanhoe kills the beast. "Sir William" will have your hide," Ned warns Ivanhoe, for the boar was his. Ivanhoe knows the law, and his action in protecting Ned was quite legal, and now they've clipped off the boar's ears, there's no sign that the brute ever belonged to William. There's a glorious feast at Ned's before Ivanhoe returns home to Calderwood.
But two eyewitnesses report to Sir William that Ivanhoe is but "a common poacher." The story is conveniently emended to "Sir Ivanhoe killed my animal on my domain."
So Ivanhoe is arrested on his journey home. But he breaks free, hiding up a tree. As compensation, William's soldiers grab Ned and his wife Martha with the remainder of the cooked boar. "Where are the boar's ears?" demands Sir William. He needs proof!
They refuse to talk, but eventually Martha is made to go to summon Ivanhoe to "a dark spot in the forest" for reasons we can readily surmise. Martha has to obey, otherwise she knows her husband will be killed.
The trap is set, but Ivanhoe is ready for it. Slowly he walks towards the ambush. But he has sent Gurth to create a diversion, and it's some diversion, for he is poking burning straw down the chimney of the hut where William and his men are hiding. The soldiers, suffocating, emerge in surrender. Sir William however at least has the guts to engage in a sword fight with Ivanhoe, but of course he's hardly a match for Ivanhoe.
Thus slinks away Sir William a beaten man

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Freelance
Four soldiers of Sir Oliver attack a lone horseman, Simon, a veteran of the crusades. He refuses to fight them in combat and gallops away. They give chase.
As so often, Ivanhoe and Gurth are in the vicinity when they help even up the odds.
Sir Oliver's men are driven off, but Simon's arm is wounded. Whilst he is treated in a nearby glade, he tells how he had left Sir Oliver's service, sickened by the prevalent attitude there that war was mere sport. Sir Oliver's men are scouring the woods for SImon, so Ivanhoe volunteers to escort him to their destination, Sir Aubrey's castle. The only route to avoid Sir Oliver's land is over a lake, according to a poacher, so that's what Ivanhoe does. However the poacher is captured and forced to reveal the way Ivanhoe is travelling.
In disguise, Gurth has gone on ahead, to fetch help from Sir Aubrey.
Ivanhoe and Simon manage to swim across the lake, but there on the far side, is waiting the crippled Sir Oliver, with his bodyguard. Ivanhoe is outnumbered.
Simon must be returned, demands Sir Oliver. A duel will decide the issue. Ivanhoe against Oliver's champion, Edgar. It's an easy victory for Ivanhoe, so Oliver attempts one last piece of treachery, an arrow in Ivanhoe's back. But even this is thwarted as Gurth returns with reinforcements lead by Sir Aubrey

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Masked Bandits
Lady Jane (Susan Beaumont) is to marry Sir Roger of Wickenham (Derek Waring).
Ivanhoe, accompanied by Gurth, is on his way to the wedding when he hears a cry for help. Three masked bandits are robbing a serf. They are chased off, but Ivanhoe notices a puzzling fact that one has written on his arm Death to Prince John.
Tom Hedges is the poor man who was attacked, he'd been travelling to Sir Roger to buy his freedom. He's not the first serf who has been robbed in this manner.
Ivanhoe suspects the bandit chief must be obtaining advance information about the serfs at Sir Roger's castle, and when he arrives there he keeps a close lookout. According to Lady Jane, everyone here is loyal to King Richard, but Ivanhoe sets his trap, announcing that Tom will be riding tonight with the gold to buy his freedom. But as the bandit isn't caught, Ivanhoe goes to the office of the Public Roll to obtain a copy of Sir Roger's signature. The signature on the wedding contract is not the same!
He drags a serf, Jack Ludlow (John Schlesinger) to the ceremony and rather rudely interrupts the service. "In the name of King Richard, I demand a halt to this ceremony."
He denounces Sir Roger as leader of the masked horsemen! Then, that this Sir Roger is an imposter. Ivanhoe proves that he's Sir Guy, who has usurped Sir Roger's place.
In return, 'Roger' calls Ivanhoe a liar, so to decide the case, Oil and Fire, that ancient test is selected by Ivanhoe to prove the truth.
The horrid liar is forced to yield. "Poor Lady Jane," sighs Gurth

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The Weavers
Ivanhoe and Gurth ride to the aid of the villagers of Quincey, who are being terrorised by brigands. One is captured, Maltravers, but before he can be questioned, one of his fellow robbers shoots him dead with an arrow.
At the mercy of these "black brigands" are Will (Leslie Dwyer) and his family, and Abel (Reginald Beckwith), and Ivanhoe resolves to find out the identity of the leader of the thieves.
The trail of the brigands' horses leads to Gilbert Castle, home of Sir William. Talking to this lord, it dawns on Ivanhoe that he really is behind the raids on Quincey. After a fierce swordfight, Ivanhoe is locked in the dungeon, prior to being hanged for the alleged murder of Maltravers.
Sir William now offers the villagers of Quincey protection if they accept serfdom in his service. There seems little choice, and only Will refuses to "grovel."
Gurth has 'borrowed' the cart of Hugo the woodcutter as a way of entering Gilbert Castle. "Where've you been?" quips Ivanhoe as Gurth overpowers a guard and releases him. But they are just too late to stop the ceremony where the villagers pledge themselves to Sir William, in return for his protection.
Ivanhoe tells them that it's Sir William who is organising the brigands, and encourages them to revolt.
Posing as Lord Quincey, leader of their rebellion is Ivanhoe. Sir William vows to teach them "a lesson they'll never forget," as he and his men don their brigand uniforms once again. But Ivanhoe and his men ambush Sir William's men and there's a fight, with Ivanhoe matched against William: "you have betrayed your knighthood." Sir William is beaten, forced to agree to leave the villagers in peace.
A speech on freedom is delivered by our hero, and Will thanks Ivanhoe for all his help. Concludes Sir Ivanhoe importantly: "maybe one day such partnerships will build a nation"
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The Masons
William of Albion, master mason, sends for help urgently to Ivanhoe. Lord Blackheath is demanding William's presence in the name of the King, John that is. Such an order William is refusing to acknowledge. Just before William's home is torched, Ivanhoe rides up to intervene.
William is required to build a castle on Eaglestone Cliffs, which will provide a veritable stronghold for Prince John in a key location. Ivanhoe counters the plan by proposing that the bishop builds an extension to his cathedral in the same place, a college and a library instead of Blackheath's fortification. Thus when the tyrannical Blackheath asks the other local masons to build the castle, they are all "too busy." This is "most remarkable," notes Blackheath.
It's high time Ivanhoe informs the bishop of his plan! The trouble is, the church is broke (unusual for those days!) and Ivanhoe launches an appeal for gold and silver.
One mason named Cronyn (Michael Ripper) sees he can make a fortune building the castle and so is employed by Blackheath as a spy. When the shipment of gold is brought into town, his men will hijack it. So confident of success is Blackheath, that he boasts he'll parade through the streets in a fool's cap, if the cash for the cathedral extension is actually raised.
Ivanhoe is to hide the gold in a shipment of stone, but Cronyn reveals the plan to Blackheath, who now rather rashly discards his spy: "in chess as in war, it is sometimes necessary to sacrifice a pawn." But though this pawn is shot in the back by an arrow, it is still able to warn Ivanhoe of an ambush.
So while Ivanhoe brings in the cart with stone, Gurth takes the gold in another cart. A triumphant Blackheath surrounds Ivanhoe, but his smile evaporates as the stone is smashed revealing nothing but a fool's cap. Frustrated he fights Ivanhoe who naturally wins, leaving the enjoyable spectacle of Blackheath having to don that cap

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Arms and the Woman
Sir Geoffrey of Bilton (Alex Scott) arrests Nigel of Rainham (Robert Raikes) for trying to murder Prince John. On the testimony of Hob (Hal Osmond), Nigel is taken away for trial.
Nigel's father, Sir Robert of Rainham, is a staunch supporter of King Richard, and this move is part of a scheme to force Rainham to change allegiance. "Rainham Castle is the key to the North," and if Rainham changes sides, others will follow. At an important conference Ivanhoe is with Sir Robert to rally waverers to the King's cause. On hearing the bad news, Sir Robert has to gallop off to his son's aid, leaving Ivanhoe to argue for the king. It's a tough job with a traitor Sir Ranulf (John Gatrell) in their midst: "for the good of the realm," he argues, "it will shortly be delivered into my hands." It being Rainham Castle.
The mood turns against Ivanhoe and he's forced to remain a "guest" of Ranulf in a dungeon.
But one of the knights, Sir Jocelyn, sets Ivanhoe free and he rushes with Gurth to Rainham Castle, which Ranulf is about to attack. There are no soldiers left to guard the place, so Ivanhoe dresses up the kitchen staff in armour to defend the castle as best they can. "Your women make a brave show."
Outside the castle, shouts Sir Ranulf, "yield Rainham to me." Lady Ursula, Sir Robert's wife, defies him, but when it is realised the defenders are only women, Ranulf's men have a good laugh. Lady Ursula agrees to "come to terms," and a meeting is held in the great hall. But by terms she means a duel! By the laws of chivalry, she's permitted to nominate a champion to fight Ranulf. "What shall we use?" jokes a grinning Ranulf, "cooking pots or needle and threads!" But his smile is less sure when Ivanhoe announces himself. He summons his men to attack whilst he fights Ivanhoe.
Then Sir Robert returns in triumph having freed his son, and Ranulf is defeated. Rainham is secure for the King!

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The Circus
"Truth shall not be our slave, For Richard is our King," sings a minstrel at a market.
Prince John's men are soon out to silence him! But Ivanhoe and Gurth rally to his defence and John's lackeys are soundly beaten, after some damage to the market stalls and their wares.
Dick o' Devon (John Warner) and his donkey Princess, are the remnants of a circus, and Ivanhoe and Gurth promise to join Dick in a new crusade, that of singing against Prince John! Naturally the prince is rather displeased when Sir Mark of Roscommon (Robert Cawdron) reports of Ivanhoe's "meeting of devils." Orders Prince John "it must be stopped."
For everyone is enjoying the entertainment, puppets parodying "Prince Fox". "Treason!" cry Sir Mark's men, rudely interrupting the show. There's a right punch-up, but weight of numbers cause Ivanhoe and Dick to yield.
They are charged with high treason, and are to be tried by John himself, just before his imminent coronation.
In front of this judge, Ivanhoe repeats the songs they have sung, and the issue develops as to whether King Richard is dead or not. To prove his cause, Ivanhoe challenges John to mortal combat.
A date is set, a fortnight hence, but in The Black Hole, a dark and "cosy" cell, Ivanhoe is starved, and with little sleep, this is hardly the preparation for a deadly fight.
"The truth shall prevail," declares Prince John as Ivanhoe totters into the arena, without even a breastplate. Sir Mark, representing the prince, strutting like Goliath, looks so confident, for Ivanhoe seems so weak. "If he dies," sighs Dick, " the truth dies with him." That can never be, and Dick's minstrelsy inspires the onlookers and the befeebled Ivanhoe. To cheers and rousing music, Ivanhoe is the victor. "Your life or the truth," cries Ivanhoe to the cowering Mark. King Richard lives, concedes Sir Mark.
More cheers and singing to end an inspiring story
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The Escape
Sir Rufus of Salisbury has returned from the crusade with news of King Richard, that will foil Prince John's plot to accede the throne. So John orders Rufus to be found: "if you bring me news of this man's death, you may name your own reward."
One ambush Rufus succeeds in overcoming, and he rushes to Ivanhoe's castle. But Ivanhoe is away at Sir Guilbert's banquet. "I dare not waste another moment," cries the exhausted Rufus, as he dashes off.
Sir Guilbert is announcing King Richard's death, with a sailor as eyewitness to the fact that the king had been washed overboard in a storm. Then Rufus produces his counter claim, backed up by proof of Richard's talisman. The king is held prisoner, "somewhere in Europe." His message to all is: "I shall return."
He's rambling, declares Sir Guilbert, for he's exhausted after his long journey. Kindly Guilbert puts him up for the night, though as Ivanhoe comments to Gurth: "I fear his bedchamber may turn out to be a dungeon." Of course his fears are well founded, for even now instruments of torture are being prepared, so it's Ivanhoe to the rescue!
Cloaks are swapped, Sir Guilbert's for Rufus' as Ivanhoe and Gurth accompany the weary disguised Rufus away, pretending they are all drunk. "There's something funny going on."
"You blundering fool," shouts Sir Guilbert when the guard is found locked in the dungeon. "Stop them."
Rufus is taken to the sanctuary of a church where Prior Fulmer acts the Good Samaritan. Rufus is granted the sanctuary of the church if he travels direct to Hull and takes a boat overseas.
Rather foolishly, he accepts a lift in a cart, which is part of Sir Guilbert's wily scheme to ambush him. Yet Ivanhoe and Gurth are wisely tailing Rufus and foil the plan. Sir Guilbert, at knifepoint, is forced to admit the King Lives.
Rufus will go to find him
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20 Murder at the Inn
Young Edmund of Torrbridge (Maurice Kaufmann) is a bit of a hot head, and when King John's Commissioner of Taxes, Lord Jermaine, arrives at the local hostelry, he hasn't even time to give his girl Bess a kiss. He's so eager to chant this ditty at this unwelcome visitor:
"Shall I tell you the shame of Lord Judas Jermaine?
Who betrayed the King for the sake of gain."
You really can't blame Jermaine for being angry, and the pair fight, Jermaine getting killed. Quick thinking Ivanhoe ties the body to his horse and shoos it off, but when King John learns of the deed, he sends evil Lord Blackheath (Ivan Craig) to organise an inquest.
His verdict: "In the name of our sovereign... I ordain the people of Torrbridge will pay a fine of 100 bars of gold." This impossible demand forces Edmund to confess and he is sentenced to death. But on the way to the Tower of London, Ivanhoe ambushes Blackheath's men, and Edmund is on the run.
King John is even more furious, and Blackheath is pretty desperate, because John has threatened to hang him if he doesn't recapture his late prisoner. Freeman are coerced into joining the extensive hunt for the wanted man.
In a rather confusing story, mainly because this action is all confined to the studio, Ivanhoe and Gurth organise their own posse, to search for Edmund in hiding. Blackheath's soldiers are surrounded and picked off one by one before the final punch up. Ivanhoe fights with Edmund, technically so he can 'arrest' him and escort him quite legally out of the country. A sort of illegal legal immigration in reverse. But Edmund has just time to, at last, give a farewell kiss to Beth

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21 Prisoner in the Tower

"Turn back, you're not welcome," shouts Edmund (Maurice Kaufmann) at Ivanhoe, taking him for a robber. He's a very jaundiced young man, having returned from the crusades to find his home has been destroyed, and his father Sir Gerald Thane of Torrbridge being kept a prisoner by Sir Guilbert.
So worked up is Edmund, that "he's as good as dead," for he's going to rescue his father (Colin Tapley) from the clutches of this Sir Guilbert (Patrick Holt), who is an utter rotter, taunting Gerald because he bravely refuses to swear allegiance to Prince John. Innocent Edmund offers Guilbert 20 oz of gold as a ransom. Guilbert pockets it, and refuses to release Gerald!
Next Guilbert's men trick Edmund into shooting a hare, which brings about his arrest for poaching. However Ivanhoe rides up and gets Edmund free. But Sir Guilbert has read the script, for he tells Sir Gerald: "I know Ivanhoe, he won't rest until he's rescued you too!"
And sure enough Ivanhoe is dreaming up a scheme for rescue, though Edmund is very sceptical about Ivanhoe's ability to help. The scheme is this: Ivanhoe dresses up as Sir Guilbert's own rotund helper, Walter and brings in Gurth and 'Ivanhoe' whom he has captured. However the prisoner called Ivanhoe is really Walter, vizors down helping to protect recognition. This gets Ivanhoe into the castle and there's a fierce fight when Sir Guilbert realises the ruse. Ivanhoe is all but killed, but in the end it's Sir Guilbert who is forced at knife point to return the ransom and release Sir Gerald - hurrah!

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Cattle Killers
Is it grass fever that is affecting cattle? Or an excuse for the beasts of Sir Erwyn (Andrew Faulds) to be stolen by men sent by Sir Rafe (Alex Scott), who has recently inherited Bartwield Castle? When Ivanhoe hears of the thefts he offers to help and accompanies Rafe's Wife Lady Violette (Marla Landi) and her father Marthon to make peace with Erwyn.
Lady Violette claims her husband can justify his actions, but Sir Erwyn refuses to listen, and having called his foes 'nincompoops,' an inevitable fight ensues. Result- Ivanhoe and Gurth are outnumbered, but an angry Ivanhoe is still defiant: "I've known hogs with better manners!"
Camped outside Sir Rafe's castle, ready to attack next morning, Marthon explains that Rafe is an expert in cattle, breeding only the finest beasts. Any animals that have the plague must be slaughtered.
Ivanhoe escapes his captors and makes his may to Bartwield. Sir Erwyn advances with Lady Violette and her father as hostages on Rafe who shows them a calf with sores on its mouth and hooves. His eloquence, and Ivanhoe's, should bring reconciliation, but Sir Erwyn is too impatient and there's another fight. This time it is Erwyn who has to yield. An unusually angry Ivanhoe berates Erwyn's stupidity and vanity

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By Hook or By Crook

Bad Baron Courcey is enforcing the local 'crook' laws- no one is allowed to step off the road on to His Land, even to gather firewood- the rotter!
He's going one step worse as well, for he's clearing the peasants out of the local village of Maydale to "make way for his Chase." "They can't do that," protests Gurth for the village had been granted a royal charter, but the late Will the Miller had hidden it before he died, and noone can find it. But it would prove Courcey's actions are illegal.
Whilst Ivanhoe rests at that same old inn Ye Candlewyke, Gurth and a peasant are attacked by Courcey's men. However the tables are turned when Ivanhoe intervenes, and the soldiers run off: "Courcey'll kill you for this!"
But Ivanhoe is more concerned about finding the missing charter. It's not at the monastery though the dying Will had managed to mutter cryptically that he'd "entrusted the charter to another shepherd, the most wise shepherd of them all." It seems Ivanhoe isn't that religious or he might have guessed! Instead, he and Gurth inquire of all the shepherds they can find, but Gurth is captured and thrown in Courcey's dungeon, "waiting for the hide to be taken off him."
This brings Ivanhoe to Courcey's castle and he issues a challenge. "I make my own rules," boasts the wicked Courcey, as they engage in a swordfight, the villain becoming ever more frenzied. But at least he's no coward, as he admits defeat: "I ask no mercy," he tells Ivanhoe. Squire Gurth must be released. "I shall find your charter," Ivanhoe promises the peasants, and suddenly spots a statue of The Good Shepherd. But it's just off the road, on Courcey's land. In a tense ending, he leans over Courcey's territory to grab the shepherd's crook, wherein is hidden the lost charter

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24 Treasure from Cathay
All the dwellings around Wentworth Castle are empty. Cedric the Simple (Bill Shine) tells Ivanhoe about a star in the sky that had terrified the villagers, causing them to flee, for fear of "the end of the world."
Ivanhoe promises to get to the bottom of this! The castle he finds near deserted, only her ladyship Lady Maude (Naomi Chance) left, who repeats the sorry tale. All her serfs have fled, noone is left to take care of her lands. The only people left in her castle are some oriental entertainers, whose leader The Great Castro has also disappeared, together with his box of secret tricks.
Nearby, Baron Treville is admiring the chest of Castro's tricks. He attempts to torture Castro to learn the secret of these fireworks, which he plans to use to bring down Richard's kingdom. And for his own benefit, he will soon be in possession of Wentworth Castle and all its lands.
The rest of Castro's troupe, plus Ivanhoe as the Great Hassan dance and perform magic in front of the baron, whilst Gurth tries to release Castro. The Great Hassan, alias Ivanhoe, promises the Baron "a great surprise," but the Baron provides a bigger one by imprisoning Ivanhoe and Gurth, where they are locked up along with Castro. Yet Castro's magic powder is powerful enough to blow off the prison door.
"Man the guards at the gate... to arms!" shouts Baron Treville. There's a swordfight and after Ivanhoe and his men rout the Baron's soldiers, Treville is forced to admit his trickery in trying to get hold of all the local land: "I swear I will return the lands."
There's a final display of the last of Castro's gunpowder

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Brothers in Arms
On the way to a monastery, Ivanhoe Gurth and Bart are held up by "robber, cattle thief, rebel and poet" Llewellyn, but as he "attacks only tyranny and injustice," Ivanhoe is allowed to pass in peace.
The monastery is the one where Ivanhoe learnt to read and write, and he's come to give old friend the abbot (Oliver Johnston) help. Though the monks are prospering there's a snag. "The Lord giveth, but the rule of Prince John taketh away." It's that age old problem of taxes, which the monks pay monthly to John's agent Sir Rupert, nicknamed Rupert the Ragged, on account of his miserliness. Some months, the payment the monks have been taking to him has not been received, and the monks have never returned.
'Tis a task for Sir Ivanhoe indeed! He enlists the help of Brother Gareth (Rupert Davies), who was once a fine swordsman, and some monks are trained to wield a sword in self defence.
Now they are drilled, Ivanhoe sets off in monk's disguise, accompanied by Gurth, with the next payment of taxes. The monks follow at a distance, with Barth a go-between, keeping in touch with the two groups.
At Ye Cromerfield Arms, Ivanhoe takes supper and the kindly landlord insists they have a free bed for the night. Of course it's a trap. The roof of the bed descends like some medieval torture to crush Ivanhoe, but thankfully Bart has come to warn of the approach of Sir Rupert's men, and all is well. Well, apart from a fierce swordfight, monks to the rescue. But as they are only trained to defend, it looks as though things will go badly for Ivanhoe's men until Llewellyn tilts the odds.
There's jubilation at the monastery when Sir Rupert agrees to waive those lost tax payments.
This is the last story to include Bart, for he remains at the abbey so he can be taught to read. I had wondered where he disappeared to, in so many of the tales!

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The Double Edged Sword
An unconvincing trumpeter fanfares Excalibur, Arthur's legendary sword into the court of Lord Mauray (Peter Dyneley). The Abbot of Ashford testifies that this relic, discovered floating on a lake is the 500 year old sword of the great king. Sir Morten (John Carson) challenges the claim, but when his sword is split in two by Excalibur the genuineness seems proved. Mauray plans to donate Excalibur to Prince John when he visits on All Saints Day.
"The magic sword is nonsense," states Ivanhoe, but unless the people can be disabused, John's claim to the throne is going to be strengthened by the aura of Excalibur.
Bertram of Leeds is a maker of the finest swords- has he crafted this counterfeit? Ivanhoe will never know, as he has been poisoned! Herbert the Goldsmith has an arrow in his back, so the two who could prove Mauray's swindle have been eliminated.
At Mauray's games tournament, a champion Greek wrestler is announced. Ivanhoe is taunted into taking him on, Mauray's plan to finish Ivanhoe off being transparent. But after the usual grunts and groans seen on any Saturday afternoon Wrestling programme, the champion remains undefeated no longer. But having yielded, the coward attacks the victorious Ivanhoe, breaking his arm. Loud booing.
Now Ivanhoe is unable to wield a sword and the scheme to disprove Excalibur's power is in tatters. Ever resourceful, Ivanhoe trains to fight left handed, Gurth and Bertram's son fashioning him a sword light enough to fight with.
Another doubtful fanfare proclaims the arrival of Prince John. Ivanhoe v Mauray, a swordfight in traditional Errol Flynn style, with, naturally, good triumphant.
"The real Excalibur has no magic," pronounces the victor solemnly, "only a wise king." Thus Prince John's claims to the throne are silenced and the evil prince is forced to back down over his iniquitous taxation plans. If only modern day Chancellors of the Exchequer could be made to do the same!
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The Kidnapping
Ivanhoe puts the whole rationale of the series succinctly:
Prince Arthur: "I don't understand why Uncle John is surrounded by so many guards."
Ivanhoe: "Your Uncle Richard was protected by the love of the people. John must guard against their hate."

Right under Prince John's nose, Ivanhoe gains surreptitious entry into Sir Henry's castle, partly thanks to the Queen Mother who is staying there. Ivanhoe's mission: to escort Prince Arthur, heir apparent, to safety. This is an easy job, but there is a hitch when John's men spot Gurth waiting at a nearby hut with Arthur's mother, Princess Constance.
But back at the castle, Prince John is fuming, especially when his mother reveals she was behind the escape. Indeed she gives her wayward son a right royal ticking off.
At the hut, Ivanhoe approaches cautiously. He overpowers Sir Henry's soldiers but while he is rescuing Gurth, Arthur is taken away.Luckily Arthur's captor is gullible, and asks the lad to demonstrate his sling. Arthur is happy to oblige, seizing his chance to grab a horse and gallop off to his destination alone, a ship anchored at Dover.
It's only a pity that Cpt Weed's ship has been taken over by the scarfaced Vignole (Patrick Troughton). But this bold pirate is about to meet "a swordsman who will slit you into tuppenny portions," yes Ivanhoe. Calling Vignole "ugly face," is enough to raise his wrath and he engages Ivanhoe in a swordfight while Arthur with his sling rescues Captain Weed and his crew. "Isn't he marvellous?"
The frenetic Vignole is beaten when the Queen Mother arrives, to order him to be placed under arrest, and declare Sir Henry stripped of his honours.

Note- portraying Prince Arthur is Michael Anderson, an uncommonly good actor for his age. He made many subsequent tv appearances

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The Widow of Woodcote
In Cornwall, Ivanhoe is feeling faint after a gruelling tournament, too unwell to resist five thieves with masks which makes them look like magpies. Despite Gurth’s resistance, they “inherit” Ivanhoe’s hard-won trophies.
”We’ll catch up with them,” promises Ivanhoe, “when I’ve shaken off this fever.” They seek refuge in a small cottage of a reluctant widow (Peggy Marshall), who doesn’t welcome them at all. Gurth, however, helps her with some odd jobs, and this helpseke a shine to him. But what is the secret of her “fine” possessions, which seem to belie her outward poverty?
With Ivanhoe recovered, the search for the Magpies begins at the local inn. In cockney accent, Ivanhoe inquires “we’re looking for friends of ours.” When the villagers learn where he and Gurth have been staying, they denounce the widow as “a vile old witch,” and worse, remarks to which Gurth takes exception. A fight, but they are no wiser about the identity of the Magpies, so they return to the so-called widow, even though locals claim it’s her husband who has left her.
“My lord, I think I must take Master Gurth from you,” she informs Ivanhoe. He naturally isn’t too pleased. “I take what I want,” she snarls, and for sure, Gurth looks pleased to have her.
But though rather besotted, Ivanhoe persuades him to follow the widow as she pays a visit on her sons who live by an old tin mine. Gurth soon understands what a narrow escape he has had. For there in the mine are Ivanhoe’s trophies, as well as much other stolen loot: “a goodly profit in this sort of tin.” Lead by Ivanhoe, the villagers raid this “nest,” and the Magpies are routed, Gurth even spanking one of the widow’s “babies,” to her great disapproval. “You great oaf,” she shouts at Gurth, as she’s carried off in a cart to the gaol

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29 The Princess-
Here's a plot that could have been cribbed later for a Saint episode!
A messenger from King Roderick of Connaught asks Ivanhoe to accompany the king's daughter Deirdre (Delphi Lawrence) back to him in Ireland. For the past five years she has been held as an unwilling guest at the home of Lord Blackheath (Ivan Craig), an ally of Prince John. This has been enough to persuade Roderick to tentatively change allegiance from King Richard to John.
Now, Princess Deidre has been rescued from Blackwater's castle, but proves to be a headstrong young lady, insisting her full wardrobe is taken along with her, back to her homeland. No such niceties will Ivanoe permit, in his best Roger Moore-style. Indeed he demands she dons a peasant's garb to deceive Blackheath's pursuing band. "I'd sooner go back to Blackheath," she complains, prompting Ivanhoe to gently bind her up. She doesn't take to peasant food either. Bread and cheese she turns her nose up at.
The hounds of Blackheath are on the trail of Ivanhoe Deirdre and Gurth. They are now on foot, having attempted to lose their pursuers, so Ivanhoe makes for the nearest inn to borrow some more horses, whilst Gurth guards the princess. It's a hard task for this mere man; will he prove susceptible to her feminine charms? That rope that binds her is soon loosed, and with it, she ties him up! She seeks a comfy bed for the night at Ye Candlewyke, the very tavern where Blackheath is putting up. So she is soon on her way back to Blackheath Hall.
Ivanhoe tries reasoning with Lord Blackheath, who is "quite touched" by the vain appeal to bring him back into King Richard's fold. But he is less pleased when Ivanhoe and Gurth lock him in his own dungeon and make off with Princess Deirdre.
Later, at The Albatross, they have a good laugh over their "fair frolic"

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The Gentle Jester
A fine little romantic adventure written by Larry Forrester.
Tomso the great jester is dead. Ivanhoe consoles Sir Maverick, one of King Richard's most loyal supporters, on his sad loss. At a feast in the late jester's honour, Ivanhoe intercepts an arrow aimed at Sir Maverick (Paul Whitsun-Jones). A note is attached, a warning from Sir Morris not to meddle. Now this Sir Morris is attempting, with the aid of spurious legal documents, to persuade the locals that they do not own the land they thought was theirs. His are fake documents, but peasants who cannot read or write cannot discern this. In fact Brother Aubrey has documents proving the title of these lands, and this evidence he is ready to place before the justices in Leicester.
There is evidently a traitor in Sir Maverick's castle, as despite Ivanhoe keeping guard outside his bedroom door, a secret passage enables another note to be delivered, this one with the warning "the blade that shot this robe could as easily have slit your throat." The demand is made to destroy Aubrey's documents.
There's another murderous attack next morning with the final warning "no more chances."
Now Sir Maverick is holding auditions for his new jester. Timso (Patricia Bredin), real name Judith, daughter of the legendary Tomso, wins Maverick over. Maybe she is the first ever female jester. But the final applicant, Liveo (Sam Kydd), comes strongly recommended by Maverick's steward Gresham. But Timso knows he's a fraud. His magic disappearing box entertains Sir Maverick who volunteers for this "novel experience." He disappears in this scheme for "the magic box becomes Sir Maverick's coffin." Ivanhoe puts an end to this nonsense and there follows the usual swordfight, the traitor exposed, and Timso rescuing Maverick.
Sir Ivanhoe is handed the legal papers and escorts his prisoners to the court in Leicester
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Counterfeit

Ivanhoe and Gurth are enjoying a pheasant at an inn when they hear sounds of fighting. To the rescue! A grateful Earl of Ashington (Bruce Seton) is rescued, along with his gold that he is taking to London to aid King Richard's cause. Over the meal he tells Ivanhoe that he is staying tonight with Sir Wendell, but as Ivanhoe has heard rumours of Wendell's defection to John's side, he offers to accompany the earl.
Back at his castle, Sir Wendell of Melchester is in a rage over the aborted attack. The devious Timon (Nigel Green) comforts him with his scheme to steal the gold while Ashington rests at the castle. The clever part of his plan is to introduce Wendell to a one armed man who is skilled in manufacturing counterfeit coins.
That night, while the earl and Ivanhoe have been drugged, the gold is swapped for the counterfeit. But luckily the earl's giant dog Juno has not eaten the drugged meat and has awakened Ivanhoe. This gold, "why is it so bright?"
Juno follows the scent to the room where the minter has been hard at work. But then guards seize Ivanhoe and throw him and Juno into a dungeon. Sir Wendell descends, offering Ivanhoe his freedom for his silence. He's an optimistic man!
Gurth is guided by Juno's barking and overcomes the guard to release his master. Gurth goes off to find a cart, as Ivanhoe scours the castle for the real gold. Sir Wendell and Timon are about to count it when Ivanhoe and Juno strike. Ivanhoe crosses swords with Timon, while Juno grips Wendell's arm as he writhes on the ground. Then the gold is unceremoniously chucked into the cart Gurth has brought, and after more skirmishes, off they go with the gold. "Stop them!" shrieks Sir Wendell, in vain

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Search for Gold

A sailor tries to save an attacked fellow sailor's life and is rewarded with a treasure map. But "is any man a friend, when there is gold to be shared?" This becomes the theme of the story as Ivanhoe and Gurth, with the mysterious Bodo, find this sailor who is himself now at death's door. They take him to his home, where his wife, Mistress Fowler, tells them about the map. She gives Ivanhoe a copy, which does have a few details omitted.
Another copy, again with key information missing, is in the possession of Prince John. Sir Arnold (Derrick de Marney) is given the task of locating the gold. The hunt is on.
Ivanhoe is first to the cave where the gold is hidden. Or is he? Sir Arnold's men ambush him and after a struggle, Ivanhoe as well as Gurth and Bodo are tied up. Now they can resume their search for the gold.
But Ivanhoe knows "lust for gold divides men," and plays Arnold's men off against each other. Though Arnold quashes their rebellion, he has less men now, and still has not got the gold. Finally a group of his men find the chest. There is mutual distrust as it is opened. But it's empty.
Where is it?" cries the frustrated Arnold. But Ivanhoe has guessed to location.
Wriggling free, Ivanhoe fights with Arnold who has had to kill his last surviving soldier.
Now it's Ivanhoe who can unearth the gold, but Bodo becomes greedy for the riches, and in their struggle there's a rock fall and the gold is buried for ever

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Search for Gold

A sailor tries to save an attacked fellow sailor's life and is rewarded with a treasure map. But "is any man a friend, when there is gold to be shared?" This becomes the theme of the story as Ivanhoe and Gurth, with the mysterious Bodo, find this sailor who is himself now at death's door. They take him to his home, where his wife, Mistress Fowler, tells them about the map. She gives Ivanhoe a copy, which does have a few details omitted.
Another copy, again with key information missing, is in the possession of Prince John. Sir Arnold (Derrick de Marney) is given the task of locating the gold. The hunt is on.
Ivanhoe is first to the cave where the gold is hidden. Or is he? Sir Arnold's men ambush him and after a struggle, Ivanhoe as well as Gurth and Bodo are tied up. Now they can resume their search for the gold.
But Ivanhoe knows "lust for gold divides men," and plays Arnold's men off against each other. Though Arnold quashes their rebellion, he has less men now, and still has not got the gold. Finally a group of his men find the chest. There is mutual distrust as it is opened. But it's empty.
Where is it?" cries the frustrated Arnold. But Ivanhoe has guessed to location.
Wriggling free, Ivanhoe fights with Arnold who has had to kill his last surviving soldier.
Now it's Ivanhoe who can unearth the gold, but Bodo becomes greedy for the riches, and in their struggle there's a rock fall and the gold is buried for ever

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The Devil's Dungeon
In a wood, a consignment of gold, bound for King Richard's ransom, is ambushed. The attackers are men of Baron Courcy (John Bailey), and after a fierce struggle, they carry away the loot to Alstyne Castle in the midlands.
Ivanhoe is puzzled when he is told the bad news, for Alstyne is held by a supporter of the King. But the mystery is solved when Ivanhoe meets an exhausted Sir Richard of Alstyne (John Carson), who explains he had been thrown out of his home. Once he has regained his strength, he vows to return with Ivanhoe to recapture the gold, which he's sure must be hidden in the deep vault under the hall, known as The Devil's Dungeon.
Disguised as pilgrims, they walk to the castle, on the way Robert relating the legend of the dungeon.
"I smell trouble," notes Gurth as they enter the castle. He's right!
Baron Courcy greets Robert, who says "I have paid the price you set on my life and have herded the cattle to the slaughter."
There's a prolonged fight before Ivanhoe and Gurth are thrown into the dungeon- "die bravely, Sir Ivanhoe."
The gold is indeed stored there, but obviously the prisoners can't get it out. But as they mull over the legend of the dungeon, they become convinced there must be "another way out." A moving stone is located at last. By a long tunnel they leave for freedom outside the castle wall. Then with the aid of friend Will, all the gold is removed.
Sir Robert's conscience has got the better of him, and he's chucked into the vault too. When he exits via the tunnel Ivanhoe challenges him to a "duel to the death." At one point, Richard could win but he refuses to strike the killer blow. And thus he is pardoned

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Three Days to Worcester

The female of the species proves especially treacherous to Ivanhoe in this story, featuring the "beautiful" Edith (Adrienne Corri).
Ivanhoe finds her hiding in an inn, fearing for her life. Enemies of King Richard are after her, she claims, and after King Richard's jewels that she is taking to him personally, so he can ransom some of his captured soldiers. Soldiers of Sir Maurice have been trying to steal the jewels.
For such a cause, such a woman, Ivanhoe would dare volunteer to be her fine escort, yet he has a pressing engagement of his own, for he must ride urgently to Worcester to save Sir Roland from the gallows. Ivanhoe carries a pardon from the archbishop himself. So a compromise, Ivanhoe will ride part of the way with Edith, to give her protection until they can find a suitable escort in the nearest town. One murderous attack is thwarted, now there's another, and it appears that Edith was expecting a trap and her task is merely to delay Ivanhoe on his urgent mission to Worcester. However, maybe because Ivanhoe and Gurth are getting the upper hand she has second thoughts of such treachery and assists Gurth, enabling our heroes to be victorious in the skirmish. But as she binds Ivanhoe's slight wound, her treachery appears to run deeper. Where lie her loyalties? "You keep changing," notes the observant Ivanhoe.
Here come the latest wave of attackers! Gurth delays four horsemen as Ivanhoe rides with Edith on to Worcester.
There Sir Maurice is announcing the forfeiture by Sir Roland of his lands, as well as his execution. As the noose closes on his neck, Ivanhoe produces the pardon. It seems Mistress Edith really has changed sides and is for King Richard at last. "I beg your pardon," smiles Gurth at her

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Night Raiders
The three Black Riders have an antipathy for anything made of straw, for they set fire to roofs, hayricks etc, to the fear of all the locals.
"A little bird tells us they're riding this way," warn two louts who offer protection to an old Kentish man and his daughter. Marcia (Joan Rice) appeals in vain to Sir Edwin (Anthony Bate), the local squire, but he is powerless to intervene, as he now has little power since rival Sir Robert (Raymond Young) "wrenched" his lands from him. You are less than half a man, she retorts to the befeebled Edwin.
So the hapless pair are helpless when the Black Riders strike. Grandad is struck down, Marcia carried off. Her screams are heard by Ivanhoe and Gurth, who just happen to be riding that way. Ivanhoe gallantly carries her to his horse and Gurth retrieves a horseshoe that has come off one of the raiders' horses.
They take their clue to the blacksmith who recognises it as one he shoed on a horse of Sir Robert.
"Get out of my house," shrieks that nobleman, when Ivanhoe faces him with these facts.
The two blackmailers return to Marcia's dwelling with another request for money for protection. But Ivanhoe and Gurth are filling this role, so Ivanhoe tells them "I don't think we could afford that." That night The Riders strike. But a bear pit has been prepared for them, and one falls in, and on to his own sword. Another is felled but Ivanhoe is hurt by a flying sword from the leader of the gang. Yet he's well enough to summon a meeting of smallholders to organise a posse to follow the remaining Black Rider. He's caught. It's Sir Robert, no prizes for guessing that! But despite all the evidence, he's not the Black Rider, for there is the villain, riding off with Marcia. More screams from her, and the crowd pursue. Luckily she is a good screamer, and Ivanhoe catches and fights with the Black Rider. 'Tis Sir Edwin. End of Edwin.
Enter Sir Robert, not the baddie after all. With his dying words, Edwin apologises for trying to blacken his name
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The Raven
Ivanhoe and Gurth are dining at the Tynford Tavern when a raven lands on their table and nicks Ivanhoe's gold coin. The bird disappears, though a hand mysteriously returns the coin.
The landlord tells them the bird is an omen. The Tynford Raven had disappeared when Sir Murdoch had claimed Tynford Castle, dispossessing the twin sons of the late owner. The elder son was killed, the younger, a weakling named Gerald had fled for his life. The raven's return signifies Sir Murdoch's days are numbered.
A simpleton (Michael Bates) has run away from Murdoch's castle, but is recaptured at the inn. But Ivanhoe can't stand idly by, and resists Murdoch's men, though for once "the meddling strangers" get second best. They are taken to Murdoch and placed in a guest room in the castle- "the dungeons must be full."
Murdoch worries over the return of this raven for somebody is out to frighten him. It will be at midnight, he is warned. A human dressed as a giant raven warns both Ivanhoe and Gurth to beware. The masked figure releases the prisoners having scared off Murdoch's men-at-arms.
"Me and the raven are friends," Simple Will tells Ivanhoe, in case you hadn't worked out the plot as yet.
Midnight nears, Murdoch increasingly nervy. Surely Ivanhoe isn't going to protect him? "They'll never get me," shivers Murdoch. He climbs the gallery as midnight strikes. Candles are extinguished. The raven flies at Murdoch, who topples to his death. The human raven attacks "Sir Busybody" Ivanhoe, and after a rather unnecessary but fun Errol Flynn-style swordfight, the weakling Will is beaten, though of course ends up friends with Ivanhoe- "Tynford is my home again, the tyrant is gone, the raven sleeps no more"

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The Raven

Ivanhoe and Gurth are dining at the Tynford Tavern when a raven lands on their table and nicks Ivanhoe's gold coin. The bird disappears, though a hand mysteriously returns the coin.
The landlord tells them the bird is an omen. The Tynford Raven had disappeared when Sir Murdoch had claimed Tynford Castle, dispossessing the twin sons of the late owner. The elder son was killed, the younger, a weakling named Gerald had fled for his life. The raven's return signifies Sir Murdoch's days are numbered.
A simpleton (Michael Bates) has run away from Murdoch's castle, but is recaptured at the inn. But Ivanhoe can't stand idly by, and resists Murdoch's men, though for once "the meddling strangers" get second best. They are taken to Murdoch and placed in a guest room in the castle- "the dungeons must be full."
Murdoch worries over the return of this raven for somebody is out to frighten him. It will be at midnight, he is warned. A human dressed as a giant raven warns both Ivanhoe and Gurth to beware. The masked figure releases the prisoners having scared off Murdoch's men-at-arms.
"Me and the raven are friends," Simple Will tells Ivanhoe, in case you hadn't worked out the plot as yet.
Midnight nears, Murdoch increasingly nervy. Surely Ivanhoe isn't going to protect him? "They'll never get me," shivers Murdoch. He climbs the gallery as midnight strikes. Candles are extinguished. The raven flies at Murdoch, who topples to his death. The human raven attacks "Sir Busybody" Ivanhoe, and after a rather unnecessary but fun Errol Flynn-style swordfight, the weakling Will is beaten, though of course ends up friends with Ivanhoe- "Tynford is my home again, the tyrant is gone, the raven sleeps no more."

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The Swindler

Into Ye Candelwyke Inn Gurth rides in rich garb. It seems he has come into money, and he buys everyone a drink to celebrate. Peter the Pedlar (Jon Pertwee) and his servant Eric join him in a toast to freedom. But the drink is expensive, because Prince John has been debasing the value of coins by having so many made. Peter shows the gold he has bought to Gurth. It seems a more secure way of keeping his riches than mere coins, for "it never loses value." Gurth buys a bar but in a fight with local soldiers Peter disappears. When Ivanhoe sees Gurth's gold he proves that it is only lead covered with gold leaf. "I've been robbed!" For Gurth has fallen for Peter's "bait for boobies."
A goldsmith (Ballard Berkeley) confirms the worst, "shouldn't have fooled a baby." Though it seems Peter has done him too!
Peter is now at the Starbridge Tavern, convincing a local that he can turn copper into gold. Local squire Sir Humphrey catches him there. It seems he has been the victim of some Sunken Treasure tale. Peter wriggles free but his servant Eric is caught. However he returns in the guise of Count Giogio to buy this servant, paying with a valuable ring. But wait, it is only glass, and the 'Count' is captured also. But Ivanhoe and Gurth, looking for the return of Gurth's inheritance, rescue Peter and Eric, driving off Sir Humphrey and his men.
Safely away, Gurth gives Peter back his bar of gold leaf, demanding the return of his money. But Peter has other men in hiding. They call him their King, King of the Serfs. For Peter isn't as bad as he has seemed, for all the money he takes has been used to buy the freedom for serfs.
"Would ye begrudge freedom to others?" concludes Peter rather philosophically, though he does give Gurth "a little refund"

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WILLIAM TELL

1 THE EMPEROR'S HAT
2 THE ASSASSINS
3 THE HOSTAGES
4 LANDSLIDE
5 THE BOY SLAVES
6 THE BARONESS
7 THE SECRET DEATH
8 VOICE IN THE NIGHT
9 THE GAUNTLET OF ST. GERHARDT
10 THE CUCKOO
11 THE ELIXIR
12 THE MAGIC POWDER
13 THE PRISONER
14 THE RAID
15 THE LOST LETTER
16 GESSLER'S DAUGHTER
17 MANHUNT
18 THE BANDIT
19 UNDERCOVER
20 THE BEAR
21 THE SUSPECT
22 THE GOLDEN WHEEL
23 THE BRIDE
24 THE AVENGER
25 THE YOUNG WIDOW
26 THE SHREW
27 THE TRAP
28 THE KILLER
29 THE MOUNTAIN PEOPLE
30 THE SURGEON
31 THE ENSIGN
32 THE UNWELCOME STRANGER
33 THE BLACK BROTHERS
34 THE GENERAL'S DAUGHTER
35 SECRET WEAPON
36 THE TRAITOR
37 CASTLE OF FEAR
38 THE SPIDER
39 THE MASTER SPY
The series started on British tv around August 1958 though production of the stories only finally finished in late January 1959, the final episode made being The Master Spy. The mountain scenes were filmed in Snowdonia. The programme did exceptionally well in America and after three weeks in New York was top of the children's tv ratings, so naturally a second series was planned though sadly it was never made. Wrote Margaret Cowan in March 1959- "it will be a safe bet to say that they will now do a second series." In fact, all that happened was the props got used in a feature length film.
Sir Robert Fraser, ITA Chairman, sent the executive producer Ralph Smart a "congratulatory letter." Pity the Americans didn't do likewise. Smart stated in a Jan 1959 interview: "when we used to offer parts to the bigger names, we always got refusals. Now that they see the successes of these scripts, and if the parts are good, they accept."
In an early episode Conrad Phillips crocked his leg on location. Another accident occured when his right shoulder was injured in a swordfight. And in one scene "he almost got hanged" and received a "slight scar" round his neck to prove it. All genuine, as he had medical certificates to prove. Jennifer Jayne described her role as William Tell's wife as "the most action packed of her career." More worryingly, Ralph Smart told TV Times (17 Aug 58 edition) that she had nearly broken her neck "a few times." Apparently in the first few episodes she wore a long peasant costume which caused her to trip up. The problem was solved when she was given "more boyish costumes."
Walter Tell faded as the series progressed: he is only in eleven stories, the last being The Raid. Hedda is in half the stories, while Gessler bursts into all but nine!
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THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO starring George Dolenz

These first in the series
were all made in HOLLYWOOD:

1 THE THREE NAPOLEONS
THE PEN AND THE SWORD
3 THE DE BERRY AFFAIR
4 THE SARDINIA AFFAIR
5 THE BLACK DEATH
6 FIRST TRAIN TO PARIS
7 VICTOR HUGO
8 RETURN TO CHATEAU D'IF
9 HE GOLDEN BLADE
10 THE DUEL
11 ANDORRA
12 AFFAIR OF HONOR

. . BRITISH MADE:

13 THE MAZZINI AFFAIR
14 A TOY FOR THE INFANTA
15 MARSEILLES
16 THE LUXEMBOURG AFFAIR
17 THE TEXAS AFFAIR
18 THE CARBONARI
19 THE DEVIL'S EMISSARY
20 BORDEAUX
21 FLIGHT TO CALAIS
22 NAPLES
23 ALBANIA
24 ACT OF TERROR
25 THE EXPERIMENT

26 MECKLENBURG
27 THE PORTUGUESE AFFAIR
28 LICHTENBURG
29 BURGUNDY
30 MAJORCA
31 SICILY
32 A MATTER OF JUSTICE
33 POINT COUNTER POINT
34 THE TALLEYRAND AFFAIR
35 THE ISLAND
36 ATHENS
37 THE BAREFOOT EMPRESS
38 MONACO
39 THE GRECIAN GIFT

This was the first of several series to have episodes made in both America and England.
Nick Cravat played the mute Jacopo. Other semi-regulars included Henry Cordon as Carlo (US stories 5 to 12) and Robert Cawdron as Rico (UK stories).

I have placed the American made stories in the most likely sequence. No.1 was a pilot, this and stories 2 and 3 included the Count's servant Mario who disappears after this. Stories 4 and 6 to 12 all have Carlo, who is introduced in the first of these, and is clearly shown to leave the series in story 12.

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LONG JOHN SILVER with Robert Newton
This 1955 Australian made series, in colour, gave Robert Newton the opportunity to continue his celebrated role as RL Stevenson's hero. Whilst many of the stories are predictably mundane, a few have genuine quality.
I specially like #3 The Orphan's Christmas which is a good old fashioned seasonal tale.
#4 Execution Dock is a semi-masterpiece all on its own.
#7 The Tale of a Tooth has Newton at his comic best suffering toothache.
Some of the series was shown at the start of this century numerous times on the satellite channel 'Life'.

1 The Necklace
2 Pieces Of Eight
3 The Orphan's Christmas
4 Execution Dock
5 The Eviction
6 The Pink Pearl
7 The Tale of a Tooth
8 Ship O’ The Dead
9 Sword of Vengeance
10 Turnabout
11 Miss Purity's Birthday
12 Dead Reckoning
13 Devil's Stew
19 Dragon Slayer
20 Temple of Evil

Historical Menu

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The Necklace
Script: Martin Rackin.

The Wainwright jewels are the target of thieves. As all the servants are away on holiday, this is an easy job. But Dorothy Wainwright is murdered, her husband Joseph badly injured.
Sir Henry Strong, the Governor, questions him, his dying words are, "he was a - man - with- only - one- l-l-l..."
So why is LJ at Michael O'Shea's shop? He's a buyer of jewellery. "How did you come by them?" Miss Purity asks LJ suspiciously. Of course LJ is soon hauled before the Governor. His explanation is that he had been given the jewels in lieu of a debt owed by a man called Slygo. But the jewels come from the Wainwright collection, and LJ is locked up, "I'll soon be mountin' the steps to the gibbet."
In her inn, Miss Purity chats up the man known as Slygo. With Jim's assistance, Slygo is tied up. Then she calls on the imprisoned LJ, "we ain't been enough," she informs him- unless he names the day, she won't produce Slygo.
But LJ's crew have been busy also, knocking out the guards at the jail, and releasing their boss, "you took your time comin'- you're savin' me from a fate worse than death."
Slygo is handed over to Sir Henry, "John Silver, I owe you an apology." But, once again, Miss Purity is disappointed

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2 Pieces of Eight
Script: Martin Rackin. Director: Lee Sholem.

Government taxes are levied on every ship in harbour, but how can Long John pay? His only resource, Purity, turns him down, unless that is, he consents to marriage. No, he cries.
A solution comes with Salamander the Greek, a slimy traitor in league with the Spaniards. He has been captured by LJ's men, and in return for his life, offers to take LJ to where the Spanish fleet is lying, off the east coast of Panama. They are loading their ships with gold.
His plan appeals to the greedy side of LJ, though some think it's a trap. So with Jim and his crew, LJ hides their longboat for a quick getaway, "we'll need all our strength to strike."
"But it seems "a sight too easy" to relieve the train bearing the gold down to the Spanish ships. "Keep your eyes peeled," warns wily old LJ. His men carry the stolen gold back to the longboat but find it has been vandalised. How to get back now to their ship? There is only one way, a long trek across land under the burning sun. However Salamander claims to know a short cut.
The arduous trip soon proves dispiriting, one man is bitten by a snake, "he's dead." Thirst threatens, "but not that water," warns LJ, "he be drinkin' his own death, lad." Hunger too afflicts those remaining, though LJ believes "they've blubber enough from years of soft livin."
Another crew member dies. Dinner that night be leather, chewy if nothing else. Apparently there is no natural food growing in the area. As they all sleep a weary sleep that night, Salamander sneaks away to mark the route they are taking. But LJ has rumbled him.
Now poor Jim has a fever and can barely drag one foot forward. "I'm afeared he be finished," LJ is told, but some jibes from the old pirate restore Jim to his tottering feet. They all fall into the trap prepared by Salamander, but cunning old LJ disguises the villain as himself, complete with one leg and forces him into the trap first. That be the end of Salamander. "Back the other way," is the cry now. They are free for the moment, though Jim really does need to be carried. The wearied crew stagger on under blazing sun, but finally reach their ship, thankfully bound for Portobello.
On board, Jim is nursed back to health, "he'll be shipshape Long John."

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3 The Orphans' Christmas
Script: Martin Rackin and Kay Keavney.
A parade of orphans through the street, "there will be no talking," orders stern Miss Willoughby (Neva Carr-Glynn), but they do greet Jim Hawkins, who feels sorry for them.
"Christmas be for the little children!" cries Miss Purity, and when Jim recounts to her and LJ the tale of those wretched orphans, they are appalled, for "the old bag" Willoughby doesn't even permit her wards to celebrate the season. But in the spirit of the season, Miss Purity and the reverend take presents to Miss Willoughby for the orphans, but to their chagrin, she turns them away. With a barbed retort, Miss Purity shakes the dust off her feet at the hard woman. However LJ and Jim be a-watchin at her window and see another side to her, as she opens a box of mementoes.
The children are not asleep that Christmas Eve, when Jim peers in their window, inviting them to a party that "they'll remember as long as they live." When Miss Willoughby spots her children are not in bed, Father Christmas, aka LJ, interrupts her further proceedings, "you an me be in for a long wait."
"It's like fairyland," at Miss Purity's party, and soon the nervous orphans are all smiles. Not so their guardian, she is actually in tears. LJ asks her "why do e 'ate Christmas so?" He hears how years ago at this time of the year, she had been jilted by a sailor. They were to elope at Christmas time. Why LJ knows the man, Richard Carstairs. Or knew him, rather, he loved you LJ tells her for the dying words on his lips had whispered Honoria Willoughby. 'Tis a grand story. Sure, as the orphans gather round the Christmas tree and Miss Purity welcomes Father Christmas with "toys for all," Miss Willoughby promises to be kind from now onwards. "So romantic," sighs Miss Purity, though LJ enlightens her to the more down to earth truth. A heart warming seasonal story
Long John Silver Menu

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Execution Dock

Script: Martin Rackin and Kay Keavney.

Surreal, hardly children's fare, but curiously abstract. Were the writers under the influence of Samuel Beckett? Or anyway, under the influence....

At the Cask and Anchor, something's wrong, for LJ is paying "cash on the nail" for food yet not eatin' and buyin drink and not swiggin it down. "He must be sick," declares Miss Purity, it's "landbound fever" according to LJ himself and it must be serious if he ain't drinkin his grog. His crew kindly help him upstairs to bed where the doc (Alex Archdale) diagnoses he "might drop dead". Bad news, the patient must have peace and quiet, and worse, no grog.
"They might as well show me to the sharks," the despairing LJ confides in Jim. He composes his will, ship to Patch, gold sovs to Miss Purity and to Jim, "who's been like a son to me," an equal share in his crew's future booty.
In his fever, he sees soldiers enter his bedroom and arrest him for privacy. Through an echoing bare place, he is locked in a stone cell, where Captain Flint ("but you be dead") greets LJ warning he will have to account for his evil ways.
The worst follows as he is taken from here to the court presided over by Sir Henry, surely good news for LJ "what saved your daughter Elizabeth's life."
But worse still, his crew are siding against him. Patch is the Prosecutor, "but you and me were together."
Even worse, he's found guilty, so LJ makes a passionate plea for clemency, calling his first character witness Miss Purity. But, dressed in black, she speaks not up for "the good man," rather brands him a liar, "he's wasted the best years of my life." So to Jim lad, who declares LJ must be "the worst pirate."
The sentence be inevitable, LJ must be hanged by the neck. Poor LJ is taken away for execution, the echoing sounds of his footsteps mingling with the clanging bells of doom.
The executioner, 'tis Eric, "I left you my pistols and my sea chest." As the chopper falls, he cries in sorrow, "they've all turned agin me," and the worst rub of all, "and Little Jimmy, he ain't even cryin."
Tumbling out of bed, he awakes. His former friends gather round the sickbed and the doctor examines him, pronouncing a 100% improvement. Smiles all round, except LJ who has for the nonce to drink milk.

Arrh Jim lad, off to the Long John Silver Menu

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5 The Eviction
Good tale of a fop, Lord Ellington, who gets Miss Purity's tavern closed down (not pure enough!). Naturally she's upset, until LJ opens his big mouth and invites her aboard The Faithful, "only temporary like."
To the ship she adds her "touch of home", and soon, says LJ, the crew will be knitting doileys. But he redeems the situation by exposing a Spanish plot led by the foppish Lord. The gov offers him a reward. Money? "There be more important things to a man, " replies LJ, "than the jingle of gold."
All ends happily for him, as the tavern is reopened. It's not recorded if Miss P is quite so pleased.

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The Pink Pearl

Script: Martin Rackin

At the Cask and Anchor, LJ is guzzling as Jim reads Shakespeare, "the finest writer of them all." Rather jealous, LJ suggests "'e be a poor man to keep a log."
Enter a rich gent, Richard Thorpe by name (John Bonney), searching for his long lost brother, Geoffrey, a poet who had left London for an island paradise in the Caribbean and here he had found that there's a fortune to be made in pearls, "pink as a maiden's cheek."
Romantic minded Miss Purity stumps up the cash for LJ to transport Thorpe there, Jim is allowed to sail along as Richard offers to tutor him.
They reach the isle but no white man lives there, at least according to the natives. "Something rotten here," mutters LJ. Taker me to your chief, he orders. But the chief states "no white man ever here," adding they have no pearls, "we poor." Yet the chief's daughter Pelu (Jeannette Craig) seems to fix her eyes of Richard.
Secretly she approaches Jim. "Me friend," she offers, handing the lad a ring. When Jim shows it, Richard recognises it as his brother's. Pelu comes to LJ on the Faithful and tells them how Geoffrey had died, Spaniards rule the roost on the island, forcing the natives to dive for pearls.
LJ resorts to subterfuge, sailing away from the isle. Immediately the Spaniards emerge from hiding to continue their harvesting of the pearls. But while they gloat over their prize of pearls, "the English pigs" blow up the Spanish galleon and sharks finish off the job. "Amen."
LJ claims the island for Britain, three cheers, and Richard finds his happiness with Pelu. LJ returns to Portobello with pearls as a reward, he returns one to Miss Purity for financing the voyage but ever kind she is satisfied with LJ's "pearls of wisdom"

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The Tale of a Tooth
Script: Martin Rackin and Kay Keavney.

Old Angus MacAllister (Lou Vernon) is a miserly dentist, to whom LJ brings Jim lad who is "in sore pain." However Angus is bound hame for Scotland and Jim runs off scared. "I'm not a coward," he insists, and to prove it, following the dentist's advice, Jim allows LJ to attach string to a door which he slams shut, thus removing the offending tooth.
As a reward, Jim be allowed to sail with Long John and far out to sea the inevitable happens as LJ starts a groanin' and with his temper deteriorating shouts at his crew, it's the toothache.
A diversion is a shipwrecked sailor, from off the Bonnie Mary, which had been sunk by Spaniards. Angus the dentist and one Mr Ross had been taken prisoner by the Spanish.
That night LJ just cannot sleep and Jim lad kindly asks what is wrong. "The hammerin's beatin' so hard," cries LJ, "I can feel the pain in the toes in the leg I ain't got!"
"That's all that's wrong with you?" says Jim, "it's just a toothache." Clearly LJ is more of a coward than Jim! There's but one thing to do, and the crew do it, issue an ultimatum. "We be goin' to draw that tooth."
That gives LJ a bright idea. He'll rescue Angus. So that dark night LJ and his men creep up to the Spanish fort, overcome the guards and force their way into Angus' cell. The old man's rather stubborn, at first refusing to be rescued by such a villain, but Ross persuades him and the escape is on.
Now for Angus to give his reward. But it's a matter of professional pride. "Ma fee is half a crown." As LJ refuses to stump up, Angus paints LJ a nasty picture of what will happen as "rot sets in." Angus is to walk the plank for his refusal, but Jim convinces LJ to relent and, for half a crown, bravely LJ's tooth is extracted.
Two miles from shore, LJ threatens to tip Angus off his ship. He demands half a crown to dissuade him. Honours are even.
A nice piece of fun

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Ship O' The Dead
Script: Martin Rackin and Kay Keavney. Director: Lee Scholem.

"Like a dream come true," Jim has now been given his first boat. However Miss Purity has quite another type of dream, marriage. "I think I'd better be gone," mutters LJ hastily.
Jim is sailing on the open sea when he espies a drifting vessel. It is eerily silent. When he peers closer, he sees all the sailors are dead. The ship is The Rachel from Liverpool, bound for Portobello. But the harbourmaster refuses to give credence to Jim's tale, though LJ sails to the spot where Jim had seen The Rachel. Not there. LJ still believes Jim's story, just, but the governor has no such doubts, "either the boy has outclassed you in the gentle art of lying or your tales of adventure have turned his brain."
The mystery deepens when the ship does dock in Portobello where it picks up a cargo of bullion. Though LJ and Jim watch proceedings, nothing suspicious, and LJ is forced to concede Jim be only making up a yarn.
Yet Jim ponders what he had seen. How could dead men be alive? At night, alone, he pretends he's the cabin boy and snoops round the ship. But he is spotted, and brought before the captain (Kenneth J Warren, here as Ken Warren). Now a prisoner, Jim is to be dumped into the open sea.
His danger is now evident to those back on dry land. A survivor of the massacre on board The Rachel has related the sorry story, and Jim is suddenly believed, a little too late to help. Nonetheless, LJ gathers a crew to chase after these pirates.
But with the aid of his pocket knife, Jim has escaped his cabin and with the crew all drunk in celebration, Jim, with the aid of a pirate's gun, forces the helmsman to steer back to port.
The governor thanks Jim and Miss Purity is overjoyed to see Jim lad back home a hero. LJ is not too unhappy either, for he had helped himself to a little of the gold!

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To Long John Menu

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Sword of Vengeance
Script: Martin Rackin- rather more narration than usual or necessary in this story, and no sign of Jim or Miss Purity.

The Faithful has set sail for Portobello but "the holds be empty." Then hope rises as a Spanish ship hoves into sight. "Prime for battle," orders LJ.
But when they board, they find no Spanish, the ship is sinking, and down below English prisoners are lying dead, murdered. All except one, barely breathing, but "like a brother," the sick man is taken to The Faithful and nursed back to health. Still delirious, he mutters the dread name Fernando de Vegas, deadly Spanish swordsman. Later the man reveals his name is Shaun and that the Spaniards had tortured and killed his father vainly trying to discover the hiding place of the family gold. At that special word, LJ's ears prick up.
Once fully recovered, Shaun vows to avenge his family by killing de Vegas who has taken over his family island home, and, worse, Shaun's betrothed, Abbie, is being forced to marry de Vegas.
She is preparing to poison herself, rather than face such a fate. Besides she has been told Shaun is no more. About to take her first sip, fortune smiles as Shaun appeareth at her window. He gives her the nice line, "I'd have come back from the grave to you," he also kisses her. Some unusually romantic music for this series, before Shaun takes his sword, and admits LJ and his men, who trick de Vegas' men into getting locked out of the castle. Shaun takes on de Vegas in a lengthy and ferocious duel in the traditional manner up and down a fairly grand staircase. Though wounded, finally Shaun strikes the fatal blow, "my father has been avenged."
Thus Shaun is happily reunited with his true love, though all LJ wants to know is, where's the gold? Yes, perhaps the script writer had been watching too many Errol Flynn movies

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10 Turnabout
Script: Martin Rackin. Director: Lee Scholem.

Jim lad be a-writin' the ship's log, as dictated by LJ. They're near the end of a successful and "honest" voyage when a French ship The Richelieu runs them down and "One big pain in ze neck" Captain Francois de Villion takes over The Faithful. He's not in the best of tempers since he slips on a banana skin on boarding LJ's vessel.
But LJ seems to take it all remarkably philosophically, "c'est la guerre." Lt Leon (David Nettheim) is appointed new captain, LJ reduced to cook with Jim lad as galley boy. The rest of LJ's crew are in irons.
Leon is something of a gourmet and appreciates the fare LJ serves him, "you indeed are a master chef." So pleased is he, that he even invites LJ to dine alongside him.
Of course it's the lull before the storm. Indeed a storm is brewin' as LJ takes a knife to Leon's throat. Jim lad ties him up to the mast, a large helping of plum duff in his face to keep him quiet. Then Jim frees the crew who in turn surprise their French counterparts. Roles reversed, the French are clapped in irons.
Now it is LJ dining on Leon's French cuisine, crepe suzette etc etc, Leon's culinary expertise so exceptional he is honoured with an invitation to dine with LJ.
They have reached port and governor Sir Henry Strong sentences the enemy to be hanged. But LJ cannot see this happen and he offers to take Leon on The Faithful to safe haven in Martinique.
The surprised Frenchman naturally agrees and at The Cask and Anchor he dons the disguise of a maid.
Governor Strong is not amused to find his prisoner has escaped. He searches LJ's inn, only finding a certain Miss Leone, allegedly LJ's niece. One soldier even offers to date her, so attractive does she seem.
So all is well, and the two cooks prepare a slap up meal, there is however a certain lack of trust twixt the pair of them. LJ is cooked a flambe which mysteriously explodes. However he isn't that bothered, for he had doctored Leon's plum duff

Long John Menu

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Miss Purity's Birthday
Script: Martin Rackin and Kay Keavney. Director: Lee Scholem.

This starts with the standard introduction, Jim relating how Governor Strong in Portobello had placed him in the care of "good" pirate LJ, though, he informs us, Miss Purity Pinker of the Cask and Anchor is his real guardian.

However she is not a society lady, and at the governor's residence celebrating the birthday of Miss Elizabeth (Jeanne Whittey), the gossip is about Jim's unfortunate background. Miss Purity is distinctly out of place.
"Wasn't it a lovely party?" sighs Jim after. But sad Miss Purity is reminiscing of her old lost youth, "as the years roll on." She does confide to the busy reverend that tomorrow, March 16th, is her own birthday, but LJ "is no good for birthdays," for he is too busy preparing to set sail on the Faithful.
"Go and don't come back," cries Miss Purity bitterly, as she sees that her special day has been forgotten. She comforts herself with her childhood doll, and wallows in nostalgic memories.
Next day, she's the only one to wish herself a Happy Birthday, LJ has already set sail. "I be finished with Long John for ever." Everyone gets the sharp edge of her tongue, Jim not comprehending why she is so worked up. But at least she gets one present from his reverence, a bunch of red roses. He persuades her to join him in his "service for others" as he visits the sick and needy.
While Jim attends a boating party organised by Governor Strong, she finds satisfaction in nursing Widow Flynn, bathing a young child and even delivering a baby for Mrs Watt. "You've been like an angel from heaven," the mother thanks her.
Returning to the tavern, awaiting is a lovely birthday surprise, LJ has returned with a giant cake and Miss Purity relapses in tears. "You darlin' man, I never doubted!" A "beautiful" new hat is her present as endeth this rather wistful story, with LJ taking a back seat

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12 Dead Reckoning

To avoid being forcibly returned to England, Jim lad has to be sent abroad to boarding school but he's caned so often for the misdemeanours of a posh twerp he runs away.
Will he be able to set a course for home by dead reckoning that Long John has taught him?

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13 Devil's Stew -

LJ's gambling debts force him to follow the example of reformed pirate Dixon into "honest tradin'."
His cargo - pigs and goats! Fortunately he's ready in case Dixon betrays any dishonest treachery

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19 Dragon Slayer
Script: Martin Rackin and Kay Keavney.

"Miss Purity salts the food with her tears," at least according to Ironhand she does, now that LJ has departed after a quarrel. "The loud mouthed ruffian" has got to apologise, but will he? The Bull and Blunderbuss is doing well out of it all, for LJ and his crew are now frequenting that tavern, though in no happy frame of mind, while at The Cask and Anchor Miss Purity is building up a more respectable clientele, even though, let's be honest, it's "uncommonly empty." Welcome is Captain Redbeard, especially as he flatters "the sweet woman."
'Tis enough to make LJ jealous, his old enemy carryin' on like this, and LJ returns to The Cask and Anchor for a bit of a fracas, "fight you swab." With some of the enemy still breathin' LJ unwisely takes Redbeard's advice and retreats, following Redbeard's advice to be "masterful" with Miss Purity. Anything to win her back.
"If he really loved me, we'd have been wed long ago," sighs Miss Purity, who's also being strung along by Redbeard.
The mischievous pirate suggests to LJ that he can win her back by staging a fake rescue, after Redbeard has abducted her. The rendezvous is Dead Man's Bay, but wily Redbeard has carried off Miss Purity, and her jewels, and gone in the opposite direction to Broken Finger Point.
Jim has followed Redbeard as he goes to LJ's ship and removed his strong box containing gold, and he wises LJ, who like a Knight in Shinin' Armour rescues Miss Purity, as well as his gold box. Thus the "old dragon slayer" be forgiven
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Temple of Evil
On 16mm film. Script: Martin Rackin. Director: Lee Sholem.
Surely LJ isn't broody, thinking of settling down? Miss Purity is almost convinced. "How much for the Cask and Anchor?" queries LJ. He's going to turn his back on the sea. Marriage, sighs Miss Purity.
But not yet. LJ shows her a first token of a treasure located on an island. He's met this Roger Constable who can show him where it is, and all Roger wants is to be taken there so he can be reunited for ever with his beloved. "It reeks of treachery," comments Miss Purity wisely.
There is supposed to be only one difficulty, the natives have sworn to capture on sight any white man setting foot on their isle. They roast captives on a spit!
Native drums beat too incessantly as LJ lands on Amoyan and the crew enter the temple that contains the gold. It's a surrealistic set, impressive, littered with the skeletons of those who had come, and failed, to carry off the fortune.
But LJ isn't afraid, not until the opening closes tight, "'tis the hand of death." Smoke commences a-pourin' into the temple, the ground shakes, statues topple. Somehow Roger's beloved has time to relate the legend of the temple. The only good news be, there be a secret passage out. But where?
Fear drives poor Patch potty, and he wrestles with a giant statue, that movement causes a wall to collapse and LJ and his men are shown their way to freedom.
The treasure be left ahind, but LJ is able to tell Miss Purity later that he married Roger and his beloved in his capacity as ship's captain. But oh dear, no wedding for Miss Purity, since LJ never brought back that fortune
Long John Silver Menu
Historical Menu

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SIR LANCELOT with William Russell as Sir Lancelot

1 KNIGHT WITH THE RED PLUME
2 THE FEROCIOUS FATHERS
3 THE QUEEN'S KNIGHT
4 THE OUTCAST
5 WINGED VICTORY
6 SIR BLIANT
7 THE MAGIC SWORD
8 THE ROMAN WALL
9 SIR LANCELOT'S BANISHMENT
10 CALEDON
11 THE SHEPHERD’S WAR
12 THE PIRATES
13 THE BLACK CASTLE
14 THEFT OF EXCALIBUR
15 THE MAGIC BOOK
16 KNIGHT ERRANT

Stories in colour: 17 THE LESSER BREED
18 THE RUBY OF RADNOR
19 SIR CRUSTABREAD
20 WITCHES BREW
21 MAID OF SOMERSET
22 DOUBLE IDENTITY
23 THE BRIDGE
24 LADY LILITH
25 THE UGLY DUCKLING (only survives in b/w)
26 KNIGHT'S CHOICE
27 MORTAISE FAIR
28 THE PRINCE OF LIMERICK
29 THE MISSING PRINCESS (only b/w)
30 THE THIEVES

The production company Sapphire stated at the start of 1957 that although the cost was a third more, the series was now being filmed in colour. The reasoning was- "the product will not be outmoded when colour TV finally gets here." Most of these coloured films have been preserved on the Network dvd, making this series almost unique amongst 1950's British television.
A problem during the filming of the series was King Arthur's Round Table. Art director Peter Proud had to design a special one made of Swedish wood. It was 14ft in diameter and had seven removable 'slices' each weighing 56lb, so cameras could move in for close ups. Edmund Hockridge made a test recording of the theme song, but the producers were never able to repeat the success of the Robin Hood theme.
My favourite episode: 4 The Outcast. With McGoohan prowling round, dare I suggest any other?
Best moment: In 19 Sir Crustabread, Virginia Vernon treats it all with the dignity it deserves
Dud episode: 24 Lady Lilith, though this story at least tries hard.
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SIR FRANCIS DRAKE

My reviews:
1 The Garrison
2 The Prisoner
3 Mary Queen of Scots
4 Governor's Revenge
5 The Lost Colony of Virginia
6 English Dragon
7 Bold Enterprise
8 Doctor Dee
9 Escape
10 Boy Jack
11 The Flame Thrower
12 King of America
13 The Irish Pirate
14 Drake on Trial
15 Beggars of the Sea
16 The Bridge
17 Johnnie Factotum
18 Mission to Paris
19 Gentleman of Spain
20 The Reluctant Duchess
21 The Gypsies
22 The Doughty Plot
23 Fountain of Youth
24 Court Intrigue
25 Visit to Spain
26 Slaves of Spain
with Terence Morgan in the title role, and Jean Kent as Queen Elizabeth.
ATV being short of studio space, this series was made at AB Elstree Studios. An attempt to make a series "as well as, if not better" than the money-spinning Robin Hood. "No effort will be spared," declared an ATV spokesman, "to make this a first class series, with top production values. We think it will be better than Robin Hood." A bold promise, that really fell flat because finding a star proved a difficult task. Ten names were considered, then three were tested on tape on July 28th 1960. Terence Morgan was solidly reliable, but hardly in the charismatic Richard Greene mould.
Having said that, a few of the stories do rise above the usual rather mundane children's swashbuckling adventures, some for example, #3, #5, and #12 are firmly rooted in history, while others are nicely entertaining, like #11, and the final few stories seem mostly concerned to introduce a young female attraction, like #23 and #26. I do like the stirring theme music by the underrated Ivor Slaney- perhaps if it had had a vocal, it would have been a hit.
To Historical Menu . . . For the site with Sir Francis Drake cast lists

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1 The Garrison

The Dutch fort at Blankenburg is under siege by the Spanish. Drake sails to their rescue under heavy Spanish fire, but with no covering fire from his allies, he is forced to retreat.
Back in London, Sir Miles, who had despatched five hundred men there only recently, accuses Drake of cowardice. Drake is puzzled at their lack of fighting spirit and suggests they could have defected. This however does not make the queen amused, "we are displeased Captain Drake."
A second expedition, and Drake, having anhcored offshore, lands by the fort on a longboat. The castle walls seem all but unmanned. But he is welcomed by Captain Williams (Patrick Wymark), an inspection of his forces show he has but thirteen men, a sorry sight with some wounded. As for that reinforcement of five hundred, none are here, it's "a list of dead men." Soon they will be too, the Spaniards are waiting patiently for the inevitable.
Drake must raise the siege, and of course he does so, destroying with cannon the bridge from where the enemy lie in wait.
"Good news," exclaims the queen, "tell Drake, I love him again." Against his wishes, Sir Miles is required to accompany Drake back to the fort, where he receives a sarcastic greeting. To his dismay, he learns that he is to remain here, protected by those invisible five hundred soldiers.
The queen thanks Captain Williams for his bravery, and the story ends in familiar style, with some traditional laughing between her and Drake over Sir Miles' fate

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2 The Prisoner
The ship of Antonio, a Spanish captain, is sunk- well a model of his vessel actually. He is taken prisoner on board Drake's ship, with his little brother Pedro and sister Consuelo, as well as his fiery cousin Countess Inez (Natasha Parry). Though they are, of course, treated with courtesy by Drake, she breathes revenge for she hates the English. Roberto, a goldsmith Warren Mitchell) is another survivor and she persuades him to make a fuse to blow up Drake's gunpowder store. He saws a hole in the floor of the cabin above, a fuse is laid into a barrel, and with the children safely transferred to Drake's second ship The Swan, a candle lit, and the Spaniards beat a quick retreat.
John spots them leaving and Drake gives chase by boat, then on foot. They are soon recaptured.
"That's a wild trick," Drake castigates the countess, and suspicious of her boast to blow them all up, searches his ship. Apparently nothing is discovered. So he orders his crew to abandon ship, he remains in the best captain's tradition, but keeps Inez with him. They wait, a hint of romance, but she will not reveal how she intends to destroy the ship.
But when she sees the two children have secretly sneaked back on board she relents. With the traditional second to spare, the fuse is withdrawn. For some reason even though it's chucked into the sea, there's an almighty explosion

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3 Queen of Scots
"Enemy of the state," Mary, must be executed, advises Walsingham, and "without trial." Why? For England's safety. But Queen Elizabeth is against it unless she has positive proof that Mary is a traitor. So Walsingham plans to frame her.
Sir Amyas (Alfred Burke) is Mary's hard new guardian. His henchman Thomas Philip brings her news of the Spanish plans for invasion in a letter from Mendoza. Her reply is needed. But it's part of the trap. "At this very moment, she is probably writing her own execution." Walsingham intercepts her reply.
The letter convinces the queen of Mary's guilt. Francis Drake however seems wiser. Incognito, on the queen's instructions, he secretly climbs the walls of the castle where Mary is comfortably imprisoned, but caught by Sir Amyas, who says he will execute Drake.
Of course, Drake escapes from his cell, and eluding numerous dozy soldiers, reaches Mary. "Do you worst!" she cries.
"I'm here to help you," is his answer. Mary admits writing the letter, but not to consenting to Elizabeth's murder. The letter the queen saw was a forgery.
"I want the original," demands Drake of Thomas Philip, who promptly chucks that in the fire. Mary helps Drake exit the castle, Sir Amyas is not amused at being found out. Drake reports to the queen, and Walsingham is exposed.
"Poor Mary," concludes Elizabeth. Whether Drake would have performed such a deed as this, I don't know, it seemed more like a John 'Danger Man' Drake assignment to me

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4 The Governor's Revenge
"You must not trade with that pirate," insists an elderly Spanish lady to her son Martinez, local governor of the colony of Santa Marta.
John Hawkins begs provisions for the Golden Hind from him, and the governor invites Drake to come ashore as his guest- as long as he is not armed. "It's a trap." So it is Hawkins who returns as FD's representative, and is shown a "magnificent" trinket, that Martinez is to present to his intended, Isabel, who is coming from afar to marry him. However Hawkins is drugged, then accused of stealing the jewel.
FD is informed of the "villainy," and confronts Martinez, offering a ransom instead of Hawkins being executed. The Golden Hind is demanded, but FD cannot conceive of that.
So he comes up with an alternative plan, he takes Isabel captive. She's not unwilling, since she's not keen on her arranged marriage.
Poor Hawkins is led to the chopping block. The axe is raised. He says his final prayer. The Golden Hind sails in, with a cry from FD. An exchange- Hawkins for Isabel. "Do your duty," the son is ordered. So the two prisoners are swapped, but FD is a tiny bit naughty, as he is so sorry for the girl

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5 The Lost Colony of Virginia

"They'll come again."
Natives have been attacking a small fort of pioneer settlers. There had been a dispute over defective arms traded with them. These were supplied by Daniel Peters' company in London, and this gentleman is complaining to the queen about the lack of return on his money invested in the new world- no gold has been discovered as yet.
Her majesty's harsh decree is that the colony must pay its way, but privately she hands Drake her own purse so he can set out at once with supplies from Tilbury. The Golden Hind accompanies the slow supply ship The Daisy, on board a stowaway, "wildcat" Jenny. This young woman is know to Drake, "you've grown up somewhat!" She wants to go to Virginia to marry her boyfriend Tom (Barry Foster). Her knowledge of cannons proves an asset when Spanish ships try to hijack their cargo. However storms cause The Daisy to crash on the rocky shore and the cargo is lost.
It's terrible news. The only happy moment is the two lovers are married. Drake promses to take everyone back to England, some of his men will remain behind to guard the fort. But Jenny persuades the settlers to rescue what they can from the sunken ship, so Drake returns to England with a stirring tale of their bravery

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7 Bold Enterprise

"A thousand miles from home" is San Domingo. It's ripe for an attack, says FD, but the queen will not countenance breaking the fragile peace with Spain. In fact, she is concerned for her kinsman Lord Westbrook (Patrick Holt) who has betrayed his partners of the Merchant Bankers, and gone to this Spanish colony to seek a trade deal. However there is no news of him, in fact he has been locked in The Gold Tower.
Sir Richard Bosanquet secretly inquires of Drake if he will sail to San Domingo so his Merchant Bankers can trade there. As this is directly in disregard of Elizabeth's command, preparations have to be made very quietly. However Mendoza gets to hear and informs the queen. Drake's arrest is ordered.
Getting wind of this, FD sets sail on the tide, along with the officious Sir Richard.
In San Domingo, it's as easy as FD epected. He kidnaps the Spanish governor and forces him to show them where their stores of gold are hidden. To Sir Richard's joy, they greedily help themselves to the gold bars, in much the same way, perhaps, as bankers' bonuses are distributed today.
Sir Richard stumbles on the imprisoned Westbrook, who is released. The queen is naturally very grateful, but has to tick off FD too of course

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8 Doctor Dee

Outside an inn, FD is attacked by two Spaniards- no contest of course.
The Spanish ambassador Mendoza is watching magician Doctor Dee (Raymond Huntley) perform before Her Majesty. A lady-in-waiting is made to disappear, temporarily "begone." Dee is a scientist, wanted by Elizabeth to advise on the advisability of Drake sailing to Ostend to attack some of the Spanish fleet, lying "like battered wrecks, sitting pigeons." Is it a trap or not?
It is not, and Mendoza, to protect his country's vessels, persuades Dee to make an unfavourable report to the queen, by the expedient of having Dee's valuable research documents stolen. They will be returned if the queen persuades Drake not to sail to Ostend.
Drake is not convinced by the command and questions Dee's astrological calculations. Elizabeth forbids him to set sail, but Drake discovers that English prisoners are being held on these ships. He appeals to Dee as a patriot and retrieves the papers from Mendoza.
Thus Dee can submit a revised calculation, and Drake is dispatched forthwith to Ostend

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9 Escape
Unusual storyline, might have been borrowed from a WW2 movie.

It is 1586. FD finds himself washed up on a sandy beach. Fortunately his identity is unknown. But the isle is held by Spaniards, and he is chucked into a dungeon also occupied by an old Englishman.
Then he is subjected to questioning by the governor (Barry Morse), who is anxious that the English do not discover the whereabouts of this uncharted isle, with its rich gold mine.
The governor's son seems to despise his father's harsh nature, his scientific methods of torture that can reduce any prisoner, like the old man, to an utter wreck. The young man even offers to show FD how to escape, and FD takes his chance.
"It's a trap," the old prisoner warns, indeed he is correct. It is part of the governor's "cat and mouse" game. Though FD scales a wall, he is ordered to come down or be shot. He climbs down.
Horror! FD and the old man are facing execution at dawn- the firing squad. Soldiers are ready with their muskets. Take aim! Fire! But the bullets are blank. Part of the governor's scheme to loose FD's tongue.
Then there is rescue, the crew of The Golden Hind swarm in to rescue their captain. The governor's son is left gloating over his dad's failure

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10 Boy Jack

Whatever else he be, Jack is not much of a singer, his ditty to three admiring young ladies is awful. As he sings, Drake plays a game of chess with the queen, evidently bowls was his game. He is arguing about the poor conditions his sailors have to endure, but Queen Elizabeth is unconvinced.
She orders Drake to take Jack with him on his next voyage, he is on a special mission to Portugal. "He'll make a man of you." She comes on board at Tilbury for a farewell meal, and insists on eating the same provisions as the crew, "plain food." She eats it, though Jack seems to have lost his appetite.
With the ship having set sail, too late the queen learns that Spain has invaded Portugal. Thus when Drake runs Jack ashore in that country, they reach an inn swarming with Spanish soldiers.
Jack's mission is to contact the English ambassador (Clive Morton), but he is in enemy hands. It's up to Drake to save him. While Jack sings, if that's the word, a diversionary song, Drake overcomes the enemy and escorts the ambassador to his ship. When he returns to the inn for Jack, he finds him rumbled, and there's an almighty swordfight, Drake of course victorious. With a parting kiss to a local wench, Jack quits the inn.
Drake reports back to Elizabeth how very useful Jack had been

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11 The Flame Thrower

"Infinite possibilities" has Sir Martin's invention- he sees it as an agricultural implement to benefit mankind, but its application in warfare is apparent to the queen, and FD, "what a welcome we can give the Spanish Armada now!" Indeed the Spaniards are ready to invade, and news of this weapon forces them to delay their attack.
While Martin's tiresome chatterbox of a mother dreams of her son's imminent immortal fame, Martin is entertaining a monk (William Lucas), in reality a Spanish spy who persuades him "to destroy your secret." He also offers Martin passage on a boat to the Holy Land, though in fact the Fortuna is bound for Bilbao.
FD sails in pursuit. By now Martin knows he has been tricked by the monk, who is an emissary of King Philip of Spain, Count Julio. Furthermore, the only flame thrower Martin has made is on the ship- show me how to fire it demands the count. The indignant Martin refuses, and two Spanish gunmen are killed attempting to fire the thing.
In Bilbao, Martin is still refusing to reveal his secret and faces the rack. But FD materialises in time to save him. In the rescue, Martin is shot, and Drake carries him back to his ship. Here he dies, "his secret with him," just as well perhaps.

(A similar nautical invention in Robin Hood #41. The ending with the death of the inventor is common to both stories)

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12 King of America

FD is on the periphery of this true story of the remarkable Sir Thomas Stukely (Kieron Moore), a legendary pirate, who was given permission, by Queen Elizabeth no less, to set up a colony by the Potomac River. As his expedition sets sail from Tilbury for the New World, FD wishes him Bon Voyage, and John joins Thomas' crew. "It will be hard, hard work, and dangerous."
Once there, the colonists build a stockade, and Thomas faces an early rebellion from Favel- a punchup determines who is the boss. A worse danger comes from the natives, Flavel gets what he deserves, an arrow in his chest, though it's not a fatal injury.
Under a truce, Thomas receives a tomahawk and exchanges a mirror with a native chief, who also crowns Thomas with a feathered headdress.
FD has been chasing a Spanish ship which runs aground. John, while kissing Celia Favel (Susan Hampshire), finds enough time to spot the stricken vessel. Thomas, as King of the land, "commandeers" the ship and its treasure of gold. Such riches persuade the unrepentant Flavel to want to return to England to spend it, and he persuades the settlers to join him, minus Stukely. But FD is on watch for the ship and stops them departing. They return to the stockade where Stukely is defending his kingdom alone against the Spaniards. FD rescues him, and they all return to England

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13 The Irish Pirate

Lord O'Neil declares himself king, "we will drive the English from this land."
Naturally Queen Elizabeth is slightly annoyed (thankfully however she doesn't say, "we are not amused"), and FD patiently listens to her ranting before obeying her command. His task- Bring the King of Tyrone in chains to me.
Foul mouthed Grace O'Malley is his first prisoner, she spits revenge, promising her fearsome sons will rescue her. They are Theobald and his half brother Richard, deadly enemies, but now in an uneasy alliance in support of O'Neil.
FD tries an approach to the former, offering to return Grace in exchange for O'Neil.
However, Grace has persuaded the kindly Grenville to remove her chains, and by way of thanks, she escapes. Thus she returns to foil FD's exchange, and it is he who is now incarcerated.
During a disastrous demonstration of a captured Spanish cannon, Diego gets away to tell the crew of the Golden Hind what has happened. FD is now trying a new tack, proposing to Grace that she marry O'Neil so that she herself can become Queen of Ireland. Such unlikely talk is interrupted by FD's men, who start an almighty punch up. Calm is only restored by the saintly arrival of the Lord Abbot. FD takes his chance to snatch O'Neil, who is only too grateful to be rescued from matrimony!

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Drake on Trial

Did FD really kill all the crew on a Spanish ship after they had surrendered?
No, of course not.
It proves to be that old chesnut, his double, who is then persuaded by the Spanish to attack a Dutch ship.
Queen Liz is not amused until FD tracks down the imposter

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15 Beggars of the Sea

The Duke of Alba's Spanish soldiers are becoming restless as they haven't been paid- Dutch pirates, led by Jan, "the beggars of the sea," have intercepted ships carrying their remuneration.
But now the dread Count Julio (William Lucas) has arranged for the cash to be shipped, having somehow obtained Queen Elizabeth's written assurance that "there will be no attack" by any English ship.
"But Your Majesty..." splutters the disappointed FD. But what she has said she has said. Cheekily, FD invites Julio to join him on The Golden Hind when it escorts the Spanish ship through the Channel. Of course, cunning FD has informed Jan.
Allegedly FD has a "fever" and has to leave Grenville in charge of his ship. Thus, in disguise as a Captain Hans Freedman, he is able to join Jan's men in their attack on the Spanish vessel.
The big ship fires at the swarm of approaching rowing boats, as Julio watches on dismayed. Grenville, in charge of The Golden Hind, however is unperturbed, claiming the attackers are "a ragged leaderless crew," confidently telling Julio he has nothing to worry about. In any event, he cannot intervene, on orders of The Queen!
Needless to say, it ends with FD enjoying a good laugh with Her Majesty as they pore over the gold- but their behaviour has definitely been of the devious variety!

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16 The Bridge
It's May 1580. After Spain has invaded Portugal, Pedro an artist and his sister Maria (Zena Marshall) try to escape to England. But "a Spanish beast" captures her, though Pedro makes it to the court of Queen Elizabeth, where FD promises to rescue the Portuguese leader Gazio who is imprisoned in Ortega Castle. How will I recognise him, queries FD. Pedro paints a good likeness of the man, who looks suspiciously like Patrick Troughton.
"To go to Castle Ortega, is to go to the grave." But our hero does, posing as a drunk, it is easy to get into the fortress prison. But it is also very easy to get out!
FD picks the lock and is thus free to explore the deepest dungeons, somewhere here Gazio is held prisoner. With the aid of some gunpowder that incredibly FD has smuggled into the fortress, he is able to free not only Gazio but also Maria. But Gazio is reluctant to escape, admitting he is unworthy, even though he has not succumbed to torture. But while the Golden Hind distracts the enemy, they do escape to the room where all the firearms are stored. A well directed shot from the Hind, and it is blown to smithereens. Thus Gazio and Maria sail away, living to fight another day.

This script by Brian Clemens perhaps smacks more of his more accustomed crime thriller, it has little other merit

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17 Johnnie Factotum

This looks awfully like a modern crime drama translated to a period setting.

After a prolonged sea battle, FD walks off with the spoils, priceless Spanish treasure.
John introduces him to his relation, Bartholomew, one of the players right royally entertaining Queen Elizabeth. Bartholomew has got wind of a plot to steal this treasure when it is transported from Tilbury Docks to London.
To learn more, Diego and a disguised FD go to a riotous inn, Harry's Place. Here, after a brawl, they negotiate with 'The Queen of the Alsatians' (Katharine Blake) over stopping the treasure convoy in an agreed location. The trap is set and the gang rounded up, including Lord Marmont who had been leaking information to the gang.
Though their leader gets away, her identity is revealed. As is that of Bartholomew who is no less than a certain chap named Shakespeare, allegedly

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18 Mission to Paris

The queen seems to be "plunging" into a possible marriage with French prince Alencon, son of the dubious Catherine de Medici. But on most counts he is "repulsive," so what on earth does Queen Elizabeth see in him? Her advisers can only look on and worry.
Even Alencon's mother is mystified. She'll never allow him to rule France, let alone England. She locks him in a dungeon, best place for this annoying character.
FD is despatched to Paris to find out why Alencon is no longer communicating with Elizabeth. Catherine plots an "accident" for FD, "an appointment with the River Seine." He is chased all round the palace, beating off all comers in the best style, and finds an unlikely ally in Navarre (Patrick Allen), Alencon's brother. He helps FD snatch Alencon out of the Bastille.
The two escapees put up at a French inn, where FD perceives that Alencon is only toying with her majesty. Quietly FD leaves him to walk back to Paris and returns himself to England to tell the queen a few diplomatic porkies. But she knows the truth

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Gentleman of Spain

1565. The Barbary Pirates have the nerve to raid British villages and take away captives to their base in Tripoli.
One who is facing being sold into slavery, is Sir Owen Tudor with his family, who is a kinsman of the queen herself. Despite the lure of an alliance against Spain with Tripoli, Queen Elizabeth spurns that in favour of FD rescuing Sir Owen.
The Golden Hind lands in a quiet creek, that is known to Martin, who had once been one of the slaves before escaping. But then FD's men are attacked, but after a struggle the fight ceases. Their attackers are led by Don Miguel Cervantes (Nigel Davenport), who had once been a fellow slave with Martin.
Thus we get the unlikely alliance of England and Spain against this common enemy. The pirate leader, Hassan, has had Sir Owen and his family imprisoned in one of his better dungeons. In disguise, FD breaks into there and rescues them.
Hassan gives chase, bent on revenge. Not finding the escaped prisoners, who have been ushered to a safe hideout at Don Miguel's insistance, he arrests the Spaniard, and relishes having him executed. FD, however, cannot permit that, and returns to Don Miguel's aid, and after the usual punch up, Hassan is silenced for ever.
Sir Owen is brought safely to the royal presence. Don Miguel is duly credited by FD. As the Queen comments, he was "a truly remarkable man"

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20 The Reluctant Duchess
This story never really takes off. It's a chance for Mary Merrall to do her stuff as the "crochety old lady" the Duchess of Ravenstein.
The Spaniards want to make her their "puppet" so they can have safe passage through her territory in their invasion towards England. FD is sent to persuade her otherwise.
With the help of travelling actors, led by Joos (Ferdy Mayne), he reaches her presence. With the Spanish occupying her territory without her authority, FD plays a little trick and persuades the lady to be escorted away from enemy clutches.
There is a drawn out chase before the Duke of Alva catches up with them in a pub. To persuade him they are really a company of actors, they are asked to perform the ancient play Hecuba. This gives the duchess her chance to shine in the title role. Thankfully our boredom is relieved when Joos sets off confusions and explosions, culminating in a punch up and escape from Spanish clutches.
The Duchess is brought safe to England to be united with her newborn grandson

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21 The Gypsies

"Boat ahoy!" FD rescues survivors on a small rowing boat. But there is "a presentiment of evil."
The four are gypsies, one a deaf and dumb mute called Sara whom John falls for. The "old lag" is caught stealing eggs so her whole family are locked up.
Sara is able to get free and creates havoc on board, she causes poor Obadiah to fall off his rope ladder. He dies.
John becomes disillusioned when he catches Sara snogging with her 'brother.'
FD picks up another shipwrecked mariner, one Don Pedro. He says he had given shelter to these same gypsies and they had robbed him of all his jewels. A search of the gypsies' bags is ordered, and the jewels found. They are arrested, to be handed over to the authorities at the next port.
But that night, they escape and attempt to sink the ship before escaping in a longboat. However their boat sinks and they are swiftly disposed of by sharks. "The Almighty moves in mysterious ways"

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22 The Doughty Plot

"They'll be so surprised to see us in the Pacific!" Thus FD to Queen Elizabeth, in his scheme to relieve Spanish ships of their gold cargo. Officially of course, her majesty knows nothing.
Thus FD sets sail from Falmouth for "the end of the world," with his gentlemen investors, led by Tom Doughty (Anthony Bushell), ready to share the profits. Ostensibly they are bound for Egypt, but when FD tells his men their true destination, there are cheers, "a fair share of the booty for every man on board."
However Doughty and his men are not enthusiastic, and scurvy on board their supply ship The Swan offers Tom his chance. He offers every man £100 each to turn back. It's a powerful bribe and thus begins the insurrection. FD is tied up.
However, well chosen words from FD, and Tom's lot are the ones in irons. They are the ones charged with mutiny. Sentence- death.
On that downbeat note, the voyage can continue

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23 The Fountain of Youth
From an "old Indian well," FD's loot from a Spanish ship turns out to be nothing but fresh water. However it is bound for the King of Spain, and "magical properties" are claimed for it. From the ship's log book, FD deduces the source must be Saint Augustine in Florida.
Sir Henry Rainsford (Reginald Beckwith) partners FD to the "heavily fortified" fortress there, and provides some momentary entertainment on the long voyage. Landing a few miles from their target, they encounter the usual restless natives. Little Dove (Catherine Woodville) warns them away, but is naturally softened by FD's charms. Black Eagle, her father, she tells the English, has been taken prisoner by the Spanish, to keep them all in check.
Needless to add, FD offers to rescue him from the Spanish fort, which doesn't turn out to be anything as dangerous as Sir Henry has suggested. Having been shown the famous well, the Spanish guards there are overpowered, and their uniforms borrowed so that FD can get into the fort. With Little Dove as a pretend hostage, they get in easily, and they have soon found and rescued her dear old dad. A feeble Spanish attack is rebuffed, though FD would have been badly injured except Little Dove intervenes. She tenderly nurses him back to health, he tantalises her with statements that he is loyal to his "queen."
Queen Elizabeth is naturally pleased with the treasure that Sir Henry had looted from Spain, all without any assistance from FD, who gives him full credit, only able to offer her majesty some barrels of water, which to Sir Henry's amazement, she finds more precious

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24 Court Intrigue
Nearly a serious account of preparations to repulse the Armada.
A goldsmith named Adam Forrester has returned from Madrid, and feels it his duty to inform Queen Elizabeth about the fleet of 55 ships and 1700 men preparing to set sail.He's worried that FD might be lured by the rumour there's a solitary Spanish treasure ship limping home.
After exchanging insults with the Spanish ambassador, the queen puts up with FD's "boldness," but refuses him permission to pursue this ship. FD's job is the defence of English waters. "It's a decoy," she warns him of this ship, "obey my orders."
But it is a double bluff. Forrester is in league with the enemy who need to get their ship safely to port. Another Spanish rumour is started, that the invasion has begun. In fact only a small group have landed in Cornwall, their task to spread as much fear and panic as they can. "The Spaniards are here!"
FD quells such feeble nonsense then swans off after the treasure, while Grenville escorts the captured Spanish invader to parade before the queen. "The invasion has been repulsed."
Queen Elizabeth has to yield, while FD of course takes easy possession of the Spanish treasure

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26 Slaves of Spain

Searching for fresh supplies for his ship in Tobago, FD stumbles on a beautiful native,Yana (Nanette Newman), whose tribe hate the Spanish. A group of them had escaped from slavery in a Spanish gold mine. FD is shown for himself the harsh conditions under which they lived, and promises to rescue the remaining battered slaves from the "inhuman monsters." Perhaps he has half an eye on the gold also.
At night, FD creeps into the slaves' camp and tells one ex-sailor his plan. But one native, named Agila, worried FD might annexe the gold and maybe also Yana, informs the Spanish governor what is afoot. They strike a deal, the slaves will be released if FD is handed over to the governor.
Yana watches helplessly as Agila betrays FD, who is tied up in the governor's mansion, "you have done well." Agila's reward, as he walks away with Yana, is a bullet in his back.
The gunshot is the trigger for the rescue attempt. A siege, before the governor is forced to release FD and surrender, carted off to The Golden Hind. FD bids a sad farewell to Yana with a kiss

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The Adventures of the Scarlet Pimpernel (1955)
Only 18 stories were made.

1 The Hostage
2 Sir Percy's Wager
3 The Lady in Distress
4 The Elusive Chauvelin
5 Something Remembered
6 The Sword of Justice
7 Thanksgiving Day
8 Sir Andrew's Fate
9 The Ambassador's Lady
10 The Christmas Present
11 The Flower Woman
12 The Imaginary Invalids
13 The Princess
14 Antoine and Antoinette
15 The Winged Madonna
16 Gentlemen of the Road
17 The Farmer's Boy
18 A Tale of Two Pigtails

"They Seek Him Here, They Seek Him There, Those Frenchmen Seek Him Everywhere.
Is He In Heaven, Is He in Hell, That Cursed Elusive Pimpernel?"
Marius Goring starred as Sir Percy "in flowed satin," but secretly the famous Scarlet Pimpernel, the curse of France and especially Citizen Chauvelin.
"I enjoyed playing the Pimpernel," Goring stated in an interview, "he embodies everyone's ideal of a hero; a man who, for no personal gain, risked his life for the innocent. It's a strange thought that his antagonists were the people who shouted Liberte Egalite Fraternite!"
This was the first British television attempt at the filmed historical series genre, and Goring comes over as just a bit too clever. He's not really that likeable, not dashing like Robin Hood or Dan Tempest. Despite all his fun in disguise, he's lacking the lightness of touch of the true tv hero. More adept at creating the right atmosphere of tongue in cheek fun is Alexander Gauge, as the foppish Prince of Wales, perhaps here can be seen also his embryonic Friar Tuck.
Historical Menu

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The Hostage
This pilot was made by Rayant Pictures. Producer Antony Gilkison.

It's an inauspicious start with a voice in an American accent (Patrick Allen?) introducing us to the fop Sir Percy. He is revelling in an inconsequential chat on fashion with the Prince of Wales. We also meet Chauvelin, who is obsequiously requesting his highness that he ensure The Scarlet Pimpernel is kept out of the New France. Sir Percy toys with the French upstart.
Baroness Suzanne de Fleury (Yvonne Furneaux), a prisoner in the Rue de L'Egalite, Paris, needs rescuing. SP gets his companion Tony (Robert Shaw) to pose as a coachman, while SP rescues the damsel in distress. Despite huge odds he succeeds, yet she refuses to accompany him to England, on account of her little son Pierre being held hostage. SP promises to reunite her with him, if she go to Calais, and be ready to take the boat to England.
Made up as a coachman, SP tricks Chauvelin into thinking he's going to help prevent little Pierre from being snatched. The situation is complicated by the fact that Chauvelin thinks he is on to SP, as a coachman has seen SP and appears, ready to give SP's description (even though he has only actually seen Tony!). So SP has to make a hasty exit, so as not to bump into his 'double.'
But SP launches one of his surprise attacks and Pierre is reunited with his rather pensive mother.
SP pompously tells her that "the most important thing in life is to fight injustice." With perhaps, as his actions show, a touch of romance!

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Sir Percy's Wager

A relaxing game of cards between the Prince of Wales and Sir Percy's entourage is unpleasantly interrupted by a message from Chauvelin: Lady Caroline is to be executed, unless the Prince shows "a gesture of goodwill," a promise to keep SP out of France. A wager of 100 guineas by Sir Percy with the Countess, says that SP will not be so constrained.
Thus challenged, SP and Lord Hastings travel to France. All Englishmen are being watched by Chauvelin's men, in the vain hope of uncovering the identity of SP. Thus SP's hotel room is searched, "what the deuce is he up to?"
SP proposes a trip to the country, for no reason in particular, but finds all roads are blocked, order of Citizen Chauvelin. SP and Hastings complain about such treatment, taking their case straight to the top, Chauvelin himself. Chauvelin entertainingly explains to SP that he is trying to trap the Pimpernel. Chauvelin knows that such a fop as Sir Percy could never be SP!
Dinner at Francois' tavern. By careful listening SP learns the time set for the execution of Countess Caroline. Feigning drunkenness, he and Hastings elude Chauvelin's watching cronies, and waylay the very coach in which Chauvelin is escorting Lady Caroline. She is smuggled away and hides in a barrel of Amontillado. to escape discovery. The sequence is long and tedious, with the drunks singing London's Burning too often, so "ze countess escapes." SP and Hastings have a perfect alibi, none other than Citizen Chauvelin himself.
Thus Countess Carrie gets safe back to England thanks to SP who wins a wager of 100 guineas.
Despite all the fun at poor Chauvelin's expense this is a muddled and poor story

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The Elusive Chauvelin
Andrew is fencing with SP and surprisingly the former is marginally the better. The subject of marriage is broached, and it is clear SP would like to marry Christine Hobson, only he cannot risk anyone else knowing his secret identity.
A brick through the window stops such frivolous discussion. A demand for £500 or his identity as The Pimpernel will be revealed. Bring it tonight to Rochester. This looks exceedingly worrying, until it is learned many other aristos have received similar blackmail demands.
At a party, SP laughingly informs Chauvelin that he is being accused of being The Pimpernel. Everyone laughs it off as absurd. Then SP dances with Christine, who sees deeper into him than perhaps he likes. She idly says her brother George has gone to Rochester, hoping to meet SP.
Chauvelin is already there and waiting, and removes George off to la belle France for execution as The Pimpernel.
SP & Co dash in pursuit. SP evolves a plan to impersonate the executioner (Christopher Lee), but when they meet him he is impossibly tall. So he adopts the bolder plan of impersonating Chauvelin himself. He visits the prisoner George, persuading him to dress in Chauvelin's costume and thus walk boldly out of the prison. SP is left behind, pretending to be George. When the real Chauvelin comes to his prison cell, he is attacked and tied up. Exit Chauvelin again, this time in the person of SP. You nearly feel sorry for poor Chauvelin, bald, incarcerated, "you blundering fool!"

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Something Remembered
Despite the transmission order, and that on the dvd, this story belongs after the Pigtails episode.
In it, we meet again Mary Comtesse de Fleury (Maureen Connell), now safely rescued and at the court of the Prince. She is seeking SP and when she sees Sir Percy has a wounded arm, she knows that despite appearances, she has found her man. Sir Percy has some ridiculous tale about shooting himself accidentally, which he never tires of boring all and sundry with. But she knows how he really got injured. She appeals to him to rescue her brother Jacques (William Franklyn), who is still in hiding in France. How can SP refuse her?
Over in France, Chauvelin has ordered all able bodied men to serve in the National Guard. All citizens are ordered to hand over their arms in the good cause of arming the Guard. This is partly to ensure any insurgents against the new regime are disarmed, but also a way of luring SP into his hands. "I know exactly the working of the Pimpernel's mind," he boasts. He is certain SP will try and hi-jack his scheme.
SP is in Montamrtre, and with the aid of a blind man, he tracks down Jacques. At Le Chat Noir they meet, but Jacques doesn't want rescuing, determined to stay in France, a member of the underground fighting the new revolutionaries. SP cannot involve hismelf in politics, but he does "beard Chauvelin in his den," by disguising himself and offering to hand over a dozen muskets for the cause. Chauvelin in his greed falls for the bait.
Disguised as soldiers, Sir Andrew and Sir Richard assist SP in collecting the citizen's arms, but then chuck them all away in a moat.
Back in London, SP informs the comtesse that Jacques' only desire is to remain in France to fight the evil regime

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The Sword of Justice
The Prince of Wales has received proof positive of SP's existence. Count Latour has shown him a note he had received from him. SP had ordered him to bring all his jewels and his family would be taken by boat across the Channel. On board they were all cast overboard, "monstrous." He had luckily been saved, but the rest of his family drowned, and his fortune stolen by SP.
The real SP is determined to track down this murderer, who is using his good name. As Lord Percy, he most kindly offers Chauvelin advice on how to capture the elusive Pimpernel. Without ceremony, his ludicrous plan is rejected by Chauvelin. Citizen Dubois offers a more attractive proposition on how to capture SP- though in fact he is yet another persona of SP! He knows the whereabouts of the wanted Duke de Cigala. Since SP is bound to transport him back to England, a trap can be set to catch him as well as SP, the importer masquerading as SP in fact.
But this villain catches SP in a trap of his own, and thus they come face to face with Sir Thomas Anders (Brian Wilde). He will kill Dubois unless he reveals the whereabouts of the duke. With feigned reluctance, Citizen Dubois leads him into the trap. A swordfight to the death, promises the real SP, Sir Thomas shows his real colours, begging for mercy, as SP hands him a dose of rather boring philosophy.

Note: Christopher Steele is billed as playing Count Latour, though in fact this part is played by the actor Ian Fleming

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Thanksgiving Day
I thought this would prove to be a sop to the American market with its focus on a truly American institution, but in fact the Americans in the story are none too capable, utterly reliant on the elusive Pimpernel.

American ambassador John Adams introduces to the Prince of Wales his compatriot Frank Rawlinson (Phil Brown). At this gathering, an escaped marquis reveals that he owes his rescue from France to the Scarlet Pimpernel, but what is more of a surprise, is that he knows that SP is actually a woman, and she speaks with an American accent! Now Frank's sister Myra is currently in Paris, and news comes that she has been arrested.
Such information naturally grabs the attention of that fop Sir Percy Blakeney, who insults these gentleman of the colonies so much that a duel has to be arranged. At early dawn, swords are engaged. America defeated!
SP travels to France, as does Rawlinson, who is unable to meet with his sister. "If only the real Pimpernel were to intervene..."
Dressed as a chimney sweep, SP's rescue operation commences. Myra is being questioned by Chauvelin, who must force her to reveal the name of her collaborators, "Mr Chauvelin, you are a monster!" But the interrogation is interrupted by the pungent smoke issuing from the fireplace. Call a sweep!
SP and Rawlinson present themselves to solve the crisis, and after some horseplay with a distracted Chauvelin, Myra is able to slip away.
Still in his chimney sweep disguise, SP celebrates his first Thanksgiving with the Americans. "I'd dearly love to know your real identity."
The story ends with some serious reflections on democracy, which jar somewhat with the earlier chimney sweep slapstick

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Sir Andrew's Fate
In assisting a French nobleman flee France, Sir Andrew Ffoulkes is shot by pursuing soldiers, and to ensure their mission is not spoiled, Andrew jumps off their stage coach to lie wounded in long grass. "I'm afraid they may have got him," a worried Hastings later informs SP.
If Sir Andrew yet lives, it is likely he might return to his latest girl Colette Duclos (Balbina). She lives with the celebrated Madame Tussaud and has already been questioned by Citizen Chauvelin who is hot on the trail of Sir Andrew.
SP has vowed to find his friend, and boldly, in disguise, presents himself as Citizen Max of the Marseilles Police, sent by Robespierre himself. "Not even you are entirely above suspicion," he tells an outraged Chauvelin. Together they will capture Sir Andrew.
SP next goes to Madame Tussauds where he is knocked unconscious, a suspected enemy. His fate is in ze balance. But Andrew is on hand to identify him and soon SP is receiving profuse apologies. Andrew is here, being nursed back to health by Colette and he persuades her to come back to England with him. But how, with guards on the watch for him? The way is dreamed up by SP.
Poor Chauvelin is handed the dead corpse of Sir Andrew. In fact it is one of Madame Tussaud's wax models. The real Sir Andrew is making his way, with signed documents from Chauvelin himself, to the ship bound for England.
Though Chauvelin does discover he has been duped as the corpse's head drops off, he's too late to prevent the ship sailing

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The Christmas Present

Seasonal cheer, as housekeeper Mrs Burton reminisces on the good old Christmas days with SP and his pals. Though Christmas is coming, SP is urgently required to rescue four French aristos, being kept in a house near Nantes. As he makes for France on his own, SP muses why not prison.
He finds out when he gets into the house, Marquis Jean Paul is only a young lad. He is held prisoner with his sister Baroness Renee, Comte Jacques and Baby Antoinette.
SP invites them to a Christmas party, but Jean Paul reminds him most sadly, "there isn't any Christmas any more in France."
Donning the disguise of a doctor, having painted spots all over the luckless Antoinette, he informs their guards that it is the plague and they must be taken away. Though the scheme is nearly thwarted when a real doctor appears on the scene, they get away. Pursued, they hide in bushes, and after finding a donkey in a stable, are given shelter for the night in a poor home.
After SP delivers a kindly lecture on the meaning of Christmas, the children are hidden in a cellar when soldiers knock at the door, searching for the escaped children. 50,000 francs for their capture. But the householder does not betray them.
Thus they all reach safety in England, though Mrs Burton is not impressed by the donkey she finds in the sitting room.
The jolly Prince of Wales calls, dressed as St Nicholas, for the festivities, and a good time is had by all singing the Twelve Days of Christmas

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The Flower Woman

The Prince of Wales has received a missive from France, and indignantly wants to make strong representations of protest to the Comtesse de la Valliere.
Has she discovered SP's identity? Has she overheard a careless word from Hastings? SP follows her to France, she makes for the evil Chauvelin.
It's not just his own reputation that SP is concerned to preserve. He is here to rescue political prisoners, held in two French jails, escape to England.
In disguise as a blind beggar he enlists the comtesse's aid. She poses as an old flower seller and outside one of the jails, the pair wait. She feeds him a story about being an agent of Chauvelin, I must say I found this too subtle for me.
The two of them enter the prison, I think as visitors. Some simple trickery enables them to lock up the guards and open the doors of the captives, both young and old, "I'm going to rescue you from this prison."
So simple. Nothing like the dangerous mission that SP had envisaged. The able bodied then join forces to help rescue those in the other jail where political prisoners are held. But it is too late. They have all been removed. For execution presumably.
Oh, it turns out all right regarding SP's identity. The Comtesse never listened in to Hastings' words. Well a lady doesn't, does she?

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The Princess

The story starts with SP in disguise as Pierre, delivering a marquise to the safety of a ship. He himself must return- to rescue the lady's maid.
SP easily gets himself arrested for aiding the aristo. In the awesome presence of Chauvelin, along with Ginette the maid, he is charged and sentenced. Execution for them both at dawn tomorrow.
Oddly the pair are shoved in the same cell. She is in despair. She doubts if even the great SP would deign to rescue a humble maid like herself. A stone flies thru the cell window. A note is wrapped round it promising rescue. But Chauvelin orders the cart transporting the pair to their doom take another route.
In a disturbance, Ginette fiddles with the wheel. When it falls off, the pair run away, even though they are chained to each other, in the true Hitchcockian manner. They spend a night of frank and frankly boring exchanges. Then SP breaks the chain that binds them, and they borrow a horse and cart to make good their escape.
Soldiers stop the cart. As they can produce no passports, they look like being recaptured. Improbably they get away for another bout of philosophy, sitting in the wide open spaces. It is exceptionally plodding, all the appearance of a Marius Goring ego trip.
At long last, he sees her safe on to the ship bound for England as she offers an au revoir kiss to the shadow that is Pierre.
Now back in England as Sir Percy, Ginette is welcomed into society by The Prince, recommendation of SP. As Sir Percy dances with her she recognises who he is

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Antoine and Antoinette
This is narrated a la fairy tale, indeed at times is nearly charming, but as so often, it becomes weighed down with Marius Goring's persona, as he takes on one part too many.
Like all good stories, it begins by telling us that Antoinette and Antoine are "so very much in love." Her little sister Elise is also in love, with imaginings of the magic deeds of the Pimpernel. Their happiness is most rudely interrupted by the "unpardonable" Chauvelin, who has the happy couple arrested. Elise escapes, and is found crying in a bush by Lord Percy.
But fop as he is, he derides SP, and she wishes to get away from Percy's company. Yet she is too tired, and falls asleep.
"The cruellest judge" in all France hears the case against Antoine and Antoinette, and their doom is certain, until the judge is called away. When he returns, it is no less than SP in disguise, and though he does sentence them to death, it has to be in Paris, to where they must be transported.
Their escorts are none other than SP's friends of course, and they make for the coast while SP brings Elise separately. In a detour via Valbonne they are all reunited, it's ill luck that Chauvelin goes there too, searching for the escapees.
In another disguise, as the lady innkeeper, SP persuades Chauvelin to partake of the potage. It is a cliched scene, Chauvelin gets drunk, or pretends to, for apparently 'e's not as stupid as 'e looks. He has seen through the disguise, and the pair of them fight, with but one outcome. I found this interlude a mere time filler to the rest of the tale.
However at long last they are all safe in England, where Elise upbraids Sir Percy once more. He tells her a fairy tale which lifts somewhat his cloak, and she is cheered

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The Winged Madonna
This is set entirely in France. In the Rue Perronet, Sir Percy buys a book, then he and Hastings stumble into Madeleine a flower seller, who has a beautiful gold and ivory madonna for sale. It is not hers, but comes from Nanterre Abbey, recently sacked by Chauvelin.
Hastings and Sir Percy find this place deserted except for two children. Then two men tell them the abbey is run by the Father Guardian, now declared an Enemy of the State. The men trick our heroes and hand them over to a French soldier, who happens to be Madeleine's brother.
However twenty monks overpower the French soldiers, led by the redoutable Father Guardian. He shows Sir Percy the madonna that Madeleine has returned to the abbey.
Sir Percy promises to rescue all the monks as well as the two children, Jean and Cecille, but he has not reckoned with the Father's religious scruples, for he has been requested to make an important call on the baker's wife. SP and he exchange angry words about whether he should attend such a minor personage at risk to his own safety, it is all too theatrical. But to make a drama out of it, the Father gets his way and has to be smuggled out by a typical SP ruse.
Pretending to be an undertaker, he tricks the dim Chauvelin, and the Father is spirited away in a funeral procession.
It all seems to end happily when he starts a new monastery, with the Winged Madonna as centrepiece, now decorated, appropriately, with pimpernel flowers

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The Farmer's Boy

A communication from SP to Andre. It's another nasty Chauvelin trick, to get him to lead them to SP. Leaving his daughter Jeanette behind, Andre, having eluded Chauvelin's men, warns SP of the plot.
However more of concern is the fact that Jeanette has been left on her own. It becomes a race to find her first. She has run away to her miserly Uncle Elbeuf in Lisieux. She has disguised herself as a lad, but though SP, that master of disguises, is himself disguised as a peasant, he fails to notice the obvious. He obtains a job on uncle's farm and learns that Jeanette wil inherit this farm when she reaches age 21.
SP has to spank him/her when he/she refuses to co-operate, but finally he sees thru her disguise.
A tax collector is the means by which they both elude Chauvelin's minions, who chase the poor tax man, thinking that at long last SP has been cornered.
Thus Jeanette is safe. "You never told us who you really were," she tells SP. It cannot be the great SP for several very good reasns that SP enumerates. However he does kiss her

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Sword of Freedom (1957)

1 FRANCESCA
2 THE SICILIAN
3 CHOICE OF WEAPONS
4 CATERINA
5 THE HERO
6 PORTRAIT IN EMERALD GREEN
7 THE DUKE
8 THE EYE OF THE ARTIST
9 THE TOWER
10 ALESSANDRO
11 THE SHIP
12 THE BRACELET
13 THE SLAVE
14 THE BELL
15 THE SUSPECTS
16 SERENADE IN RED
17 MARRIAGE OF CONVENIENCE
18 THE VALUE OF PAPER
19 THE PAGAN VENUS
20 FORGERY IN RED CHALK
21 VESPUCCI
22 THE SCHOOL
23 CHART OF GOLD
24 THE AMBASSADOR
25 THE LION AND THE MOUSE
26 ANGELICA'S PAST
27 THE BESIEGED DUCHESS
28 CRISTINA
29 THE STRANGE INTRUDER
30 THE PRIMAVERA
31 A GAME OF CHANCE
32 THE MARIONETTES
33 THE RELUCTANT DUKE
34 VENDETTA
35 WHO IS FELICIA?
36 VIOLETTA
37 ADRIANA
38 THE ASSASSIN
39 THE WOMAN IN THE PICTURE
Starring Edmund Purdom as Marco del Monte, "one of the most famous and talented artists in Florence." Marco has two allies in his model Angelica (Adrienne Corri) and, in the pilots, the burly Sandro (Reginald Beckwith). Sadly he was replaced for the main series.
Pitting his wits against him is de Medici, the Gonfalonier of Florence (Martin Benson), who had perhaps the best part as the splendidly unpleasant rich banker, who acts as in the worst traditions of banking today. Thus the scene is set for the struggle of the people of Florence for liberty against this despotic ruler.
This was no masterpiece of a series, perhaps the worst of those from the Hannah Weinstein stable. Edmund Purdom is no Richard Greene, and I find the scripts lack the freshness of the Robin Hood ones- everything and almost everyone are too plodding and ordinary, so that one couldn't really care less whether de Medici gets away with his bullying or whether Marco thwarts him yet again

Best story: undoubtedly #27 with Martita Hunt. #36 is enjoyable too.
Worst story: out of several, I nominate #37.

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RICHARD THE LIONHEART (1961)

Click for my reviews
of the 38 surviving stories:

1 Long Live the King
2 The Lion and the Eagle
3 The Robbers of Ashdown Forest
4 The Wolf of Banbury
5 School for a King
6 Crown in Danger
7 The Pirate King
8 The Alchemist of Rouen
9 The King's Champion
10 King Arthur's Sword
11 The Challenge
12 The Bride
13 The Great Enterprise
14 The Norman King
15 The Strange Monks of Latroun
16 When Champions Meet
17 The Warrior from Scotland
18 The Conjuror
19 The Lord of Kerak
20 Queen in Danger
21 The Saracen Physician
23 Prince Otto
24 The Vision Fades
25 The Fugitive
26 Knight Errant at Large
27 Guardian of the Temple
28 Capture
29 A King's Ransom
30 The Devil Is Unloosed
31 The Little People of Lyntor
32 The Raiders
33 An Eye for an Eye
34 The Caveman
35 A Year and a Day
36 The Crown Jewels
37 The Man Who Sold Pardons
38 The Heir of England
39 The People's King

With scripts by the accomplished Paul Tabori and Stanley Miller, this was an ambitious last TV series by the Danziger Brothers.
Dermot Walsh starred as Richard The Lionheart
with support in many episodes from Robin Hunter as Sir Gilbert, Iain Gregory as Blondel, and Alan Haywood as Sir Geoffrey. Others who appear in several stories were Trader Faulkner as Prince John (and other roles), Sheila Whittingham as Queen Berengaria, John Longden as Sir Thomas, Marne Maitland as Saladin, Francis de Wolff as King Leopold, Michael Peake as Conrad of Montserrat, Conrad Phillips as Guy of Lusignan, and Anton Rodgers as Sir Kenneth.

Publicity for Richard the Lionheart from Associated Rediffusion, who purchased the series:
The factual accuracy of this 1961 series was vouched for by three historians, "one being a master at a famous public school."
A castle with moat and drawbridge was built in Hertfordshire, designed like a real 12th century castle by Art Director Roy Stannard, who also designed portions of an Austrian castle, parts of contemporary London and Richard's desert camp. Over 3,000 costumes were made. Fights were staged by Paddy Ryan, using Olympic swordsmen in many jousts. "Fights were so realistic that weapons were broken daily." 100+ horses were employed, other animals included camels, goats, a puma, a tiger, and a lion which a Danziger dvd later admitted was pretty docile.
The 39 stories covered the events leading up to Richard's coronation in 1189 (#1-9). "A later story tells of his betrothal and marriage to Princess Berengaria in 1190 (#12). This marriage caused a long and bitter feud between Richard and King Philip of France... The first Crusade in 1191 occupies a number of episodes (#12-24) which cover the capture of Acre (#16), the arrival at the walls of Jerusalem (#24) and the King's capture by the Duke of Austria (#28). Or course Richard's ransom (#29) and return to England is included and introduces his great ally Robin Hood (#30)."

To Main Historical Menu

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1 Long Live the King

An impressive opening story, that introduces well the recurring motif of Bad Prince John, and his hate relationship with his brother Richard, who proves a gentler older wiser head.

You can't blame some knights for proposing John be proclaimed King when Richard fails to turn up at his own father's deathbed. But what kept him?
Bad Sir Philip (Peter Reynolds) has sent him on a false errand to sign a peace treaty with Catherine, a seductive French princess (Lisa Daniely). When King Henry expires, Prince John attempts to get elder son Richard disowned: "I think I would be more worthy of the crown." He even declares that the dying Richard had indeed declared John the new king.
Fortunately Richard eludes the treacherous Philip and brings Catherine to substantiate the reason for his delay.
Unfortunately she lies through their teeth so there's only one way for Richard to prove his honour - go to the Field of Combat with Sir Philip

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2 The Lion and the Eagle

As new King Richard rides into London, it's "like the plague," everyone is scared of him, because Bad John has spread vile rumours about tax increases.
The 'Eagle' is the nickname of a rather feebly acted Queen Eleanor. But Prince John makes up for her deficiencies in the acting stakes, and in nastiness, as he shrewdly guesses Richard won't want to be crowned whilst his kidnapped mum is missing. "You will never spread your wings and fly away from me," he poetically warns her.
But Richard follows her expensive trail of scattered trinkets and finally confronts his errant kinsman in a "forgotten" castle.
John is ordered to get out of all England. As noone accompanies him, there's a fat chance of that happening!

To Richard the Lionheart start

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3 The Robbers of Ashdown Forest
All is jolly at the feast celebrating Richard's 1189 coronation in Westminster Hall, medieval jugglers entertaining while the jolly talk is of peace. The spell is broken when Sir Geoffrey brings news of an uprising in the north, behind it of course is Prince John. At Stoke Castle he is already preparing for his coronation in London, surrounded by de Glenville (John Gabriel) and de Bohun (Raymond Rollett) who, like all good baddies, seem to be planning their own treachery.
En route to quell the rebellion, in Ashdown Forest 50 miles south of York, Richard and his entourage get somehow lost and stumble on an entertaining imitation of Robin Hood, a bandit leader in the forest, Edmund the Saxon (a chirpy Glyn Owen) who cares "nothing for any king." He opens the king's eyes to the greed of the tax collectors. As a Saxon, he supports neither John nor Richard, though he believes it high time the feud twixt Norman and Saxon is ended.
Quarterstaffs- that's the weapon Richard chooses "to fight for breakfast" with Edmund, all good nature, until Richard becomes the new King of the Forest. Edmund recognises he is also King of England, and together they settle down to a feast fit for a king.
Edmund and Richard disguise themselves as pedlars to try to learn when John is to march on London. The rustic yokels scale the castle wall and spot dozens of jars full of oil. Having broken the jars, they fetch some more urgently, learning they are needed for the morrow's march south.
An ambush is set up in the forest, "may God defend the right." A full scale sword fight, with rolling in the mud before John's rather minuscule retinue are put to the sword. John however, rather predictably, has already galloped off.
Thus Edmund and all his followers are given the king's pardon, Edmund kneels, "rise Sir Edmund of the Forest." I liked this part of Glyn Owen's, he could have been used to good effect in this series

To
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4 The Wolf of Banbury

Rich Lady Rosalie, engaged to Sir Geoffrey, is kidnapped by "renegade murderer" 'The Wolf' (Francis de Wolff!). Aided by his henchman (John Bennett) who does a passable imitation of a dieting Charles Laughton in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the nasty Wolf plans to marry the fair maiden.
However King Richard, posing as an outlaw, joins the Wolf's band, and proves his worth by kidnapping the poor Bishop of Oxford. He's to perform the marriage ceremony: "it will be interesting to tame you when we are married," Wolf tells Rosalie.
That of course can never be, and Richard fights the villain on the battlements

To Richard the Lionheart start

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School for a King

At Chinon Abbey in France, Richard is handed a document written by his father King Kenry, full of royal wisdom that will enable him to become a good king. Summary: power corrupts, courage and justice are a king's attributes.
With this vision before him, Richard dons servant's clothes and rides to Falaise, getting his friends to treat him as a serf. While they are in camp, there's the sound of dogs barking, "the quarry is human."
Pierre and his wife Margot are the pursued. They tell of their poverty, they are unable to pay the new tax levied to pay for Richard's coronation. Who has demanded such a tax? The Constable of Falaise, installed by King Henry himself, Stephen of Tours (Peter Illing). It seems that though he had once been loyal to the crown, power and money have made him greedy.
The pursuers are deflected in their hunt for their quarry and the disguised Richard rides to Falaise, where Sir Gilbert is refused an audience with Stephen. From the townsfolk Richard learns a few home truths.
Lady Blanche (Dawn Beret), Stephen's daughter is apparently going to be married to the new king- that's Stephen's plan and he soon gets his opportunity. Pierre and Margot are taken prisoner and summarily sentenced to death, along with Blondel who had helped them. But Richard intervenes to good effect, breaking his cover. Pierre and Margot are forgiven and Stephen forced to apologise. All local taxes are hereby remitted.
To show his penitence, Stephen entertains Richard who isn't fooled and demands, "I want an account of your stewardship." Stephen's response is to lock Richard in a prison, but locals supported by Sir Gilbert and SIr Geoffrey stage a revolt resulting in a huge fight.
But in his fortress Stephen attempts to force Richard into marriage. "Too much power" has indeed corrupted Stephen who demands to be made regent of France and marry Blanche. Instead the once powerful leader has to flee and in a nice twist this fugitive from justice, desperate for food, stumbles on Pierre and Margot and has to beg them for sustenance.
He is taken to into the presence of Richard who is now being acclaimed by his loyal subjects. If anyone will speak up for Stephen, then Richard will show mercy on him. Silence. Then Margot puts in a pitying word.The king shows clemency. A well rounded story with a clear moral lesson

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Crown in Danger

Sir Philip (Peter Reynolds) - see story #1- held prisoner in Rouen Castle, tricks Sir Gilbert and takes him hostage at knifepoint, thus making good his escape with his mates. King Richard gives chase but Sir Philip decides to make for the castle of his cousin Bertrand, "a madman" who keeps lions in side his castle. To them Bertrand throws any unwanted prisoners, earning him the nickname Lord of the Beasts.
The king is delayed by a rather pointless fight with one Sir Percy who asks for royal assistance as his fiancee Katherine has been snatched from him by one Sir Bertrand. But the king says he is too busy rescuing Sir Gilbert, not realising he too is a prisoner of Bertrand. So Percy challenges his king to a duel. No prizes for guessing the winner.
Cousin Bertrand (Kevin Brennan) is indeed ferocious with fierce beasts to boot, well we do see one lion. He has a sort of James Robertson Justice swagger. He devises a plan with Sir Philip. This is surprisingly to allow Gilbert to escape, which he does, with the aim of luring the king inside the castle. This works as Richard braves the lion- well, he is called Lionhearted- to converse with Bertrand who is surprisingly docile, like a doped lion. In fact he is happy to betray his cousin in return for being created local ruler and being giving royal approval for his marriage to Katherine.
Philip gets wind of this treachery and plans some of his own, but his own men have nasty ideas too, and Philip ends up in the claws of the lion.
Now Richard fights, for a change it's with the lion. We never see king and lion in the same shot, except briefly when a stuffed lion's head menaces the king.
The baddies are all taken prisoner, even Sir Philip is not too badly injured to escape his trial. The Lord of the Beasts' lands are by royal decree given to Sir Percy who also is given his fiancee's hand in marriage and so nearly everyone is happy, except naughty Sir Percy and the unfierce Bertrand

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The Pirate King
In Honfleur, Richard is waiting impatiently for his galley to take him back to England. Locals inform him of pirates who terrorise ships in the vicinity. In fact they have attacked Sir Geoffrey who is sitting happily on the beach in the arms of Rosalie his intended. A pirate forces Sir Geoffrey to take him to the king. He's acting as an envoy from the Pirate King, Giles I also known as Forkbeard (Martin Benson). Sir Thomas (John Longden) reads out his message to Richard, a proposal of a treaty as though the two are on equal footing. That Richard cannot accept and sends the envoy packing.
Forkbeard's response is to attack the king's galley, on which sails Sir Gilbert. He brings the bad news to Richard, who poses as a soldier at an inn where Forkbeard often recruits men. He gets his chance to sign on, with a motley gang, and is ushered into King Giles' presence. "Nobody fools me." King Richard is recognised. No treaty he repeats. However as Forkbeard likes a game of chess, Richard offers an odd gamble. If Richard loses, he'll sign the treaty. If he wins, Forkbeard is his prisoner.
"I've never been beaten yet," boasts Forkbeard, and while the battle rages on the board, Richard and Forkbeard's men are manouevring outside the pirate ship. Sir Geoffrey's men are victors in the resulting skirmish and dress as pirates to board Forkbeard's ship.
The chess match is at a critical stage, Forkbeard announcing checkmate. But King Richard disputes it, he's playing to English rules while the pirate is using French rules, whatever that means. So according to Richard, he wins! But in real life, it is Richard who is taken prisoner by the pirates, but not for very long as Sir Geoffrey's men leap to the rescue. Now it's hand to hand fighting, Richard v Forkbeard.
Victory supplies Richard with a suitable vessel in which to make his journey to England. But before he departs, he presides over Forkbeard's trial. Sir Gilbert is granted his vengeance, in retaliation for the attack on the royal galley, and shaves off just half of the pirate's beard. That's sufficient punishment, and magnanimously, Richard entrusts to Forkbeard the command of the ship that is to carry him to England

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The Alchemist of Rouen
Something of the influence of the Hammer horrors can be seen in this story, with Trader Faulkner trading his role of King John into a disguised Villanus, aptly named alchemist.

Sir Gilbert is promised a barony, but only when he brings the king a lock of the devil's hair. Spoken in jest, the story shows how Sir Gilbert achieved his aim.
Lady Rosalie, daughter of Sir Thomas, is engaged to Sir Geoffrey de Lacey, but the worried girl tells the king how he seems to have become bewitched, walking round in a kind of stupor.
King Richard does find Sir Geoffrey as though he is sleepwalking. In a trance he wanders the street, making for the premises of an alchemist. "I don't believe in hocus pocus and superstition," the plain speaking king tells his friends. The king finds Sir Geoffrey in this house surrounded by lots of bubbling potions, presided over by Villanus. Geoffrey himself is in the arms of the beautiful Villa, Villanus' sister, apparently hypnotised. Richard demands Geoffrey be freed, but the alchemist weaves some spell and vanishes by magic. The king and Blondel are trapped in a net.
Villanus offers an "unholy bargain," in return for their release he demands to be given control of the Duchy of Aquitaine. And also permission for Villa to marry Sir Geoffrey, she's besotted with him.
Richard must refuse, so it's a case of the old torture, the closing walls until they grind you to a pulp. That will take less than one hour, unless Richard recants.
It's Sir Gilbert to the rescue! In a swordfight he overcomes Villanus, but then succumbs to his magic wiles. However with no potion administered to him, Sir Geoffrey has come out of his trance to release the prisoners. Villa, angry she has lost her man, stabs her own brother, and a series of explosions end the drama.
Later, a bruised Sir Gilbert is rewarded for his bravery, after he hands a lock of Villanus' hair to the king. And a happy Rosalie and Geoffrey are reunited

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The King's Champion

At last, the King's coronation!
At the coronation feast there are some vacant seats since John has persuaded King William of Scotland that, despite Story 1, King Henry is still alive!
Many are wavering and even those at Richard's court are half convinced: "it might be the old king himself."
Richard is challenged, and aged Sir Thomas (John Longden) as the King's Champion is the one who is to represent him.
It's such an uneven contest that Richard himself, against tradition, challenges the Pretender to fight for The Crown of England

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King Arthur's Sword
Persuasion from his mother, forces King Richard to yield to his better judgement and permit bad Prince John to return from exile. In fact John's already in London and swears loyalty to the king, vainly asking for a province which he can rule.
John admits he had returned from exile a while back and had taken shelter at Glastonbury where he'd been told the legend of King Arthur's sword Excalibur. The popular legend is that he who wields this sword will become King of England. An old monk Merlin (Ferdy Mayne), a descendant of Arthur's Merlin, had told John this sword has been discovered.
Richard rides to Glastonbury to be told by Merlin that it was his father King Henry who had instigated the search for Excalibur. The rumour is that someone named Sir Percival now has the sword and is stirring a popular uprising.
As the king gazes on King Arthur's tomb, an emissary from Sir Percival delivers a challenge- mortal combat. Come to Camelot to meet him.
Though he knows it is a trap, Richard needs to meet the rebel and somehow finds his way to the mythical castle, having a fight en route for good measure.
"The fairest of women" Lady Guinevere (Daphne Anderson) in her enchanted castle greets Richard and offers him food and wine. Surely that drink is drugged, so the wise king offers Guinevere his while sipping hers. Then he feigns sleep, his men following his cue, "they will never leave."
She fetches Merlin and Sir Percival, alias Prince John, who laughs at the way his romantic story has fooled his brother. Guinevere will be made his new queen, Merlin to be Archbishop of Canterbury, once he has killed off Richard. Yet instead of the corpse, John faces a swordfight but he holds Excalibur. Alas for him, it is too heavy, and Richard gallantly hands John a less unwieldy implement while he takes possession of Excalibur. And wins. John flees.
So Richard's mother admits she had been in error, "John must stay in exile," Amen

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The Challenge
A tale of deception enlivened by Zena Marshall as the "beauteous" Princess Zara.

In Oxford, the Master Chancellor is entertaining the king when Princess Zara and her brother Ubaldo (Trader Faulkner) appeal to him to help rid their country of the invading Saracens. Ubaldo challenges any knight to defeat him in combat. If Ubaldo is victorious, the loser must join the army to fight the Saracens. Any knight who wins, will win the hand of Zara.
Lots are taken, Sir Roland is the first name to be drawn. But Sir Michael suspects Zara of trickery, but rather than tell his king, he privately draws a knife on Zara, but is overpowered and taken to a ruined monastery and tied up.
Sir Roland loses his joust. Zara takes a shine to him and claims him for her own. However as Ubaldo loses the second joust against Sir Ferris, there's a bit of confusion, since Zara must be given to him. She offers the winner a drink of sherbert, obviously it is drugged. Thus he fails to turn up at his own wedding, the devious Zara claiming he has gone mad.
Further jousts see King Richard's other knights somehow spirited away, magic seems in the air. Richard himself takes on Ubaldo, and loses all too easily, and apparently unconscious, is carried away to the ruined monastery, there to join his knights, who are all bound in chains. They are to be transported to the galleys to work as slaves. But their chains are not as secure as all that and rebellion begins. Zara's romance with the drugged Roland is rudely interrupted by a swordfight in which Ubaldo is captured.
End of the romance? Not quite, for Roland himself requests that Richard allow him to marry Zara!

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The Bride
A neat story, heralding the commencement of the semi-serial of King Richard's crusade to the Holy Land.

In 1190 London, King Richard is informed by his Chancellor and Sir Thomas that Prince John is seeking a bride. The king is urged to get married himself in order to forestall the day when John might inherit the throne. "England needs a queen," but Richard has rather individual ideas on the matter, knowing he will only marry for love.
Antoine (John Serret), ambassador to King Philip of France, stirs this pot. The two kings are to start soon on a crusade, but there is one possible hindrance to this new alliance, at least according to Antoine. For Henry, Richard's father, had agreed that Geoffrey, Richard's late elder brother, would marry Philip's sister Alice (Susan Shaw) as part of that alliance. With Geoffrey dead, Richard is called to honour is father's pledge. Yet Richard has already made his position plain, refusing to countenance any marriage "for reasons of state." That's even though this Alice is allegedly "as lovely as an angel." Anotoine can only hope, "when your majesty sees her, you will love her."
Even Richard's retinue want this marriage to go ahead, lest the crusade fails before it ever begins. At least look at Alice, that's the compromise agreed.
A disguised Sir Gilbert in the role of Earl of Lincoln, takes his troubadour, Richard incognito, to the French court. Here Alice is flanked by two fawning admirers, a very giggly young lady, certainly self-important, confidently anticipating her new role as Queen of England, without for the nonce acting the part.
From Alice's cousin Berengaria, daughter of the impoverished King of Navarre, Richard learns about his intended's low life, and he is not at all impressed. But Berengaria (Sheila Whittingham) he takes to very much, in fact they even kiss.
Caught in the act, the order is for Richard to be whipped. Instead there's some swordplay, Richard of course the victor.
To Alice, Sir Gilbert reveals his true identity, announcing the king will not marry her. Somehow she believes Gilbert is king.
Marseilles is where the crusade is to be launched. English and French knights gather, Richard now as himself. The two kings meet, Philip joyous his cousin will be married to Richard. However Richard announces that it is Berengaria he will marry. Philip is not amused, nor Alice. But the pledge was to marry the heir of England, and to that Richard is happy to agree, for John is that heir. Unfortunately, the story doesn't show Alice's angry reaction to the possibility of marrying John, who is played by Trader Faulkner, perhaps she knew Trader was also playing her cousin King Philip!

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The Great Enterprise

Perhaps an ironic title, to mark the start of the crusade, but an apt one. This follows on from the previous story in which King Philip of France plotted to get his sister Alice married to King Richard of England, who instead had fallen for her cousin Berengaria.

Back from his honeymoon is Richard, "marriage is a wonderful state." But in his absence, morale is teetering, especially as Philip and Alice have gone AWOL. Richard suspects they might be plotting to seize his French territories. Alice however turns up full of apparent contrition, but is it a ruse?
Captain Abbas has been commissioned by Saladin to blockade Marseilles to prevent the crusade ever getting under way. But Philip has kidnapped him and devised a trick to discredit Richard's new bride. Alice has planted a document to this end in Berengaria's chambers, which is discovered by Richard's loyal Chamberlain, "I can't believe it." Nor can Richard swallow this "infamous" letter and when Berengaria denies all knowledge of it, he is convinced of her innocence," oh my darling forgive me." Alice is under suspicion, though "Philip is behind it."
The Admiral of the Saracen fleet, Sheik Mahmoud, captures Sir Gilbert and Sir Geoffrey, who had been spying for their king. After a somewhat earnest discussion about the code of chivalry, Sir Geoffrey is released on promise of his obtaining the release of Cpt Abbas, who is being tortured to persuade him to confess Berengaria's complicity. As Abbas refuses, he is being tortured in Philip's dungeon.
Blondel is sent to Philip's palace. Outside he sings a Saracen song that spurs the prisoner inside into a frenzy of singing. That confirms Abbas is held there so King Richard proposes a swap of prisoners, Abbas for Sir Gilbert. Faced with the evidence of Alice's abortive plot, Philip has to agree.
A complex story, and slightly improbable that King Richard would now continue his alliance with such a duplicitious partner as King Philip

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The Norman King

The eve of the year 1191 sees King Richard with Queen Berengaria in Sicily, guests of King Tancred (Elwyn Brook-Jones). Though they are attending a New Year's Ball, Richard is impatient for winter to end so he can see some action in Jerusalem.
His cousin King Philip continues his evil scheming. For the masked ball, he dresses as a Saracen. It's part of an elaborate plot hatched by Tancred to enable him to keep the crown he has seized by assisting the Saracen fleet lead by Sheik Mahmoud. Mahmoud's son Laki (Roger Delgado) wears identical dress as Philip. Dancing at the ball, King Richard is told that Philip wants urgent private talks in the West Wing, but it is Laki who awaits him there and Richard is taken prisoner. But not killed, as is Tancred's plan, Laki has other ideas. He hides Richard in a secret passage, hoping to persuade him to call off the crusade.
King Richard is dead, Tancred informs his widow, coupling the bad news with a repulsive offer of marriage. Naturally she declines. It is fortunate that Sir Gilbert stumbles across the secret passage and releases his king. In time, Richard saves his wife from the evil king's clutches, Laki even given some help. Richard has a duel with Tancred, who, despite his trickery, is well beaten. Richard thanks Laki for his assistance, and the two men of honour part on the best of terms, but ready to meet on opposite sides in the Holy Land

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The Strange Monks of Latroun

King Richard is now in the Holy Land, this is but a slight adventure as he stumbles across a dying boy who has been shot by an arrow, he has only one last breath, the single word Latroun.
This is a Palestine monastry, famed for its hospitality. The local word is that these monks have become "uncouth," they fight rather than pray and Richard resolves to find out about them.
Posing as the notorious Odo of Lenz, he first encounters 'Red' Hugh, whom earlier we had seen shoot the lad because he was attempting to leave the monastery. Likewise the dubious monk Hugh bars entry in to the stranger, some story about the plague. A fight and the victorious Richard is welcomed, the abbot clearly impressed with him, indeed offering him the job of disciplining his army of "louts."
There's a distinguished visitor to this unsavoury religious house. The Archbishop of Tyre with the news that the King of England is on his way and wants to stay at Latroun to see the relics of St George, held here. Here's the chance the abbot is waiting for, capture King Richard and hold him to ransom!
But it is the abbot who gets the surprise. When the king, actually Sir Gilbert in disguise, is announced at Latroun, there is a swordfight, Richard v Hugh, Gilbert v the abbot. Both enemies are disposed of and the false monks put under lock and key. The real monks are found locked in the dungeon, and released

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When Champions Meet
Richard has conquered Acre in Palestine, but all is not well. In the marketplace, there's a fight, but not between Christian and Saracen, but between English and French soldiers. The same is true of their leaders. While Richard is in chapel praying for the success of the crusade, King Philip of France is consorting with Leopold, Duke of Austria, with the aim of halting Richard's "triumphal progress." Behind them is Prince John's expressed wish for his brother to get killed and thus give him the English crown. Philip will then be able to reclaim his French lands currently lost to England.
A council of the Christian leaders fails to come to any agreement. Richard is all for pressing on to the holy city, but the others are divided as to what should be done and who should be crowned king there. Not surprisingly, Richard's staunchest ally is Guy de Lusignan (Conrad Philips), the recently deposed king of Jerusalem. But Philip stirs it up deliberately with the same old story of his jilted sister Alice. It's what he has planned and the goaded Richard challenges Philip to a duel. Now each much nominate a Champion, so it will be Guy v Philip's choice the burly Conrad. But Philip's plan is to get Saladin to disguise himself as Conrad and kill his opponent, which he surely anticipates will be Richard. So actually it will be Richard v Saladin, the chance for the Saracen leader to kill his enemy nobly in fair combat.
King Richard's chaplain has been injured and is treated back to health by a local doctor, who happens to be Saladin himself, in disguise. Richard offers his friendship to this kind doctor and they share a meal together. However Queen Berengaria has discerned that this doctor is more than that, and Saladin readily admits his true identity to King Richard. The two part on the best of terms.
Saladin informs a disappoited Philip that he can no longer fight the duel against "the only one I respect." So the duel sees the original participants Guy v Conrad, the former of course triumphs and Philip performs a climb down. In fact he and Leopold desert, so Richard must try to take Jerusalem without them
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The Warrior from Scotland
1191. A council of war, presided over by King Richard. The more laid back King Philip of France opposes Richard's desire to march immediately on Jerusalem. Conrad proposes an alternative, that Richard's forces create a diversion in Jaffa, while he and Leopold march on the Holy City. Conrad will be declared the king there. Even more cheekily, Conrad suggests that Richard's cousin, Queen Berengaria's companion, Edith, become his queen. That makes Richard furious, so alone he prepares his own army.
Enter one Kenneth Stuart (Anton Rodgers) who is soon riling "the scum of Europe," the troops of Conrad and his ally Leopold of Austria. Kenneth soon overcomes one surly soldier named Caspar (Peter Vaughan). He then rescues a helpless Edith who has fallen, literally, into Conrad's clutches. But the English soldiers are equally quarrelsome, and take exception to Kenneth who isn't even a knight. Maybe they are secretly jealous of him.
Conrad's next move is to lower the English standard, raising the Austrian flag in its place. His soldiers are on the point of taking King Richard when Kenneth saves him, and, impressed by his bravery, Richard gets Kenneth to guard the English flag. He does so, until Lady Edith, who has fallen for him, at Berengaria's suggestion, tests whether he loves her by sending him a message saying she is in deep distress. Torn between his duty, and his need to save Edith, Kenneth decides to leave a servant (Roy Kinnear) in charge of the flag. Edith admits she is in no danger, but the flag is, for when Kenneth returns to the flagpole, it is empty, "I am betrayed."
He is charged with treason and pronounced guilty. But King Richard shows clemency and wisdom when his wife confesses to her part in the deception, and the Scot is given until sunset to retrieve the flag, or be executed.
Philip is behind it all, and Caspar is now entrusted with a parchment to deliver to Saladin, a scheme to ditch King Richard. Caspar takes the English flag too, but is intercepted, thus Kenneth is able to return the flag to his king, as well as the treacherous document. Richard demands a personal combat with Conrad, Kenneth will act as his champion. Very soon the feeble Conrad is crying for mercy.
Thus the Scottish warrior is made a knight, "arise Sir Kenneth Stuart." Aye
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The Conjuror

With de Fleury, Richard is doing some quiet thinking in a desert place, when Saracens attack. But the enemy are defeated, they are a splinter group of Arabs lead by Nur, seeking glory by killing the English king.
Their next attempt involves a simple conjuror, Ali Ben Abdullah (Riggs O'Hara). By holding this magician's father and fiancee Lila as hostages, they force Ali to find a way into Richard's hq in Acre, even though Ali is opposed to killing anyone. This he does by performing tricks in Acre market where Richard espies him performing a trick with gold coins, "he is wonderful." Ali is invited to do his magic at the banquet that evening.
"Wonderful," repeats the queen, who thoroughly approves of Ali, though de Fleury is suspicious of the Arab. But he has won the king's approval and Richard's compassion prompts Ali to explain to him his true mission.
Richard promises to try and get Ali's father and Lila free. It goes very well, until Nur gets wind of the attempt, and there's a fierce swordfight in which Ali even has to kill in order to ensure his father and fiancee can escape.
But Nur captures Richard, and he faces certain death. Somehow the king convinces the Arab renegades that if they kill him they will incur the fury of Saladin himself.
So it all ends peaceably
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The Lord of Kerak
Lord Arnold (Willoughby Goddard) holds the impregnable fortess of Kerak, the main obstacle in Richard's route to Jerusalem. Arnold had inherited the castle from his late brother, known as The Scourge of the Desert, killed by Saladin, an ignoble knight who besmirches the Christian cause.
This new lord of Kerak strikes up a bargain with Conrad, for when Richard comes to the castle they plan this Nine Days Wonder will be bumped off, enabling Conrad to declare himself King in Jerusalem and Arnold to continue in peace his pillaging of the area.
But King Richard despises such unworthy knights, the story suggesting it is such as these who are the root cause of enmity twixt Christian and Saracen. And in the fortress of Kerak there is another prime example, Sir Humphrey (Francis Matthews) who is eager to have his way with an Arab prisoner, daughter of Saladin, Shirin (Nadja Regin). He offers marriage even though she's aware he already has a wife. His solution, become a Moslem, but she despises him as a hypocrite. However she might be persuaded to marry him if Sir Humphrey can give her King Richard.
Arnold and Conrad have already drugged their guest, the king. Humphrey hands his prisoner to Shirin, who however proves more noble than they and releases the king, who makes the promise to rase to the ground the evil fortress.
Thus the story terminates abruptly, no swordfights, too many words. A fine theme, but sadly wasted is Willoughby Goddard, reprising his character from William Tell, a missed opportunity

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Queen in Danger
1191, the queen is ordered by her husband to return to England, while Richard prepares his final push to Jerusalem. Reluctantly she does agree, but asks to pray for his success first, at the Sepulchre of Our Lord.
But in reality she is riding to persuade Saladin to make the temporary truce a permanent one. However the evil Conrad has learned of this secret mission, and gets Sheik Abdul to kidnap her, and both the queen and her lady in waiting, Lady Stephanie (Sylvia Francis) are put into Abdul's harem. Thereby Conrad hopes to persuade Richard to proclaim him king in Jerusalem.
Saladin and Richard do hold a meeting to discuss their truce, long words like Historical Evolution, but prospects of peace are diminished when Conrad interrupts accusing Saladin of kidnapping the queen. But despite Conrad spitting on the Saracen, and taunting him, Richard insists Saladin be protected under the laws of truce, though he cannot be certain whether Saladin be guilty of this foul deed or not.
But Abdul's plot is exposed and Richard profusely apologises to the Saracen, and the pair ride together to Abdul's tents in the desert, there to convince Abdul of his folly, that Cornad has double crossed him and his prisoner is not the queen that he believes. Berengaria thanks Saladin for coming to her rescue and both leaders are deeply apologetic about the behaviour of their base followers.
After Saladin takes Queen Berengaria to the sepulchre, he returns her to Richard. She attempts a last peace initiative. But to no avail. The two leaders do share a laugh, but the next stop will be battle

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The Saracen Physician
It's now 1192, and we encounter for a second time the Scottish knight Sir Kenneth. To get him out the way as he's so loyal to King Richard, Conrad has given him an impossible task, finding the mad hermit Theodore. He's reputed to be a good healer, and Richard is in dire need of medical help, sick with a high fever. Needless to say, Conrad, King Philip and the other rogue Christian leaders are keenly anticipating Richard's demise, so they can shake the dust off the wretched Crusade. Meanwhile, they have arranged for their own physician to attend the ailing king, Simeon, whose potion looks rather doubtful.
Sir Kenneth's quest brings him into combat with an Arab, in the desert by the edge of a cliff. The two are well matched, and agree a truce, the Saracen happy to take Kenneth to Theodore.
But the mad Arab's anger is aroused by the infidel Kenneth's friendship with one of his own, and he refuses to help.
Much to Conrad's surprise, Kenneth returns safely to report his news, and to be rewarded by being placed him under arrest. However he is helped by a friar, Sir Geoffrey in disguise, who smuggles a dagger into Kenneth's hands. Sir Geoffrey also appeals to Saladin himself, and he supplies drugs to knock out Kenneth's guards. Thus Sir Kenneth escapes.
El Hakim is a Saracen doctor sent by Saladin to treat King Richard. He proves his bona fides by curing Sir Gilbert of his gout. But the sick king is cautious, and the herbs he is given have to be tried first by the doctor himself. No ill effects, which is more than can be said for Simeon, who is also asked to swallow the potion he is to give the king. He dies immediately he imbibes it.
King Richard is soon restored to health and thanks El Hakim, alias Saladin

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Prince Otto
Prince Otto Montserrat (Walter Gotell) owns thirty miles of land in the environs of Jerusalem. He is refusing to permit either Christian or Saracen to cross his territory and hie runs a small army to reinforce his point. His cousin Conrad is in league with him.
King Richard has been given but one month by his allies to capture the Holy City. The wily Conrad offers to persuade Otto to allow Richard's army safe passage through Otto's territory, as long as Conrad is proclaimed King in Jerusalem. That dispuited point cannot be conceded.
Sir Kenneth Stuart is a bearded knight, looking remarkably like King Richard in disguise, who, along with Gaston, Geoffrey and Sir Miles are declared to be outlaws. Can these four take Prince Otto's castle? Bedraggled they turn up, offering to join Otto's forces, and Otto is sufficiently impressed with Sir Kenneth's duelling skills to take the quartet on. Richard is impressed in his turn by the sixteen foot thick castle walls, while Gaston de Fleury is more thna taken with Otto's daughter Marianne (Jill Ireland), though her father refuses to countenance her marriage to a self confessed outlaw.
By night Gaston escorts Marianne away from the castle while Richard and Co dispose of Otto's trained men one by one, with a final skirmish in which Otto is taken prisoner.
Otto has to apologise to King Richard, Marianne promising to oversee his reform. Gaston kindly promises to vouch for Otto also, so they all live happily...

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24 The Vision Fades

1192, a tense scene outside Bethlehem. This is a bitter sweet account of how, at the very gates of the holy city, King Richard finds his dream of entering Jerusalem evaporating. For why? His doubtful allies are riven with jealousy, Leopold of Austria insisting that his country and France be the ones credited with the glory of entering Jerusalem. However the French army under the weak Philip has defected and returned home, leaving a much depleted force to attack the Holy City. Yet Saladin is also in disarray, and there is, in modern parlance, a small window of opportunity. Delay, and Saladin's forces will be able to regroup.
De Fleury and Sir Geoffrey are sent by Richard to spy out the land. What they find is panic, the locals fleeing in expectation of occupation by Richard's forces. They report the good news to Richard who moves to the Mount of Olives to gaze on the object of his crusade, "the victory is now in our very grasp."
A stratagem attempts to convince the enemy that the French have not deserted and that this army is strong enough to conquer Jerusalem. The reality is that Richard's forces are now made up of cooks, grooms, anyone who can swell the numbers. Surely in his heart Richard has forebodings, "I may look on those towers, but I do not think Jerusalem will ever be mine."
Not that he's afraid of a last battle, but Richard knows "in my heart... I fear we do not deserve it."
In that city, the spies are now captured by Farah (Anna Gerber), though she later helps them escape. By now, Saladin has mustered a powerful army and marches on the city, Richard perceiving that his crusade must end in disappointment.
A fine sorrowful soliloquy to conclude this group of stories, "perhaps I have been judged unworthy"

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The Fugitive

It's 1193, the Crusade over, King Richard is being hunted by his former ally Emperor Leopold of Austria. This ruler is threatening to confiscate the lands of Count Rolf (Elwyn Brook-Jones, previously King Tancred in The Norman King!) as he had not participated in the crusade. However a pardon is offered if he will bring King Richard's head to the emperor.
After a shipwreck, Richard has been nursed back to health by the kindly Hugo (Glyn Owen, previously Edmund in The Robbers of Ashdown Forest) and his wife Martha (Anne Lawson). Rolf's soldiers discover Richard's famous sword hidden in a thicket. Hugo had placed it there for safe keeping but when Martha bravely goes to retrieve it, Rolf's men pounce and take her to their master.
A worried Hugo and Richard go to Rolf's castle, where Richard gives himself up in exchange for Martha. In his turn Hugo asks for a small reward, to watch the English king's execution. Just as the executioner is about to cause his axe to descend, Richard is rescued. Rolf is forced to help them flee on his best horses.
Richard, Hugo and Martha flee the country together. Rolf is left to face his emperor's wrath, "you couldn't inspire loyalty in a worm"

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Knight Errant at Large

A continuation of King Richard's escapades in Austria in 1193. Now it's Lord Rudolf who is out to capture the Lionheart.
Richard, Hugo and Marta are resting at an inn, where Boris the innkeeper spins them a yarn about his sister Stephanie who has been abducted by Lord Rudolf. This is merely a trick to lure the English king to Rudolf's castle, though Stephanie herself (April Olrich enjoys a fine seductive role) is looking forward with relish at being rescued by such a celebrated knight.
As Richard and Hugo ride to her rescue, Marta remains at the inn, and chats with Boris who idly lets slip a few secrets, so she hastens to warn the king.
Richard is already performing his heroic deed, though Stephanie exhibits a fine degree of petulance afore Richard is caught. In his cell, she visits him, attempting some flirting before proposing her own brand of treachery. But to no avail, for Richard is rescued anyway, by two Austrian crusaders, admirers of Richard's chivalry. Thus Richard departs, carrying, literally, Stephanie, protesting. Hugo's rescue attempt is really not necessary, though its effect is to incarcerate Rudolf in his own dungeon! Later, Stephanie is found bound and gagged at the inn

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Guardians of the Temple
Another story of King Richard's adventures in Austria in 1193. Now it's the most valiant nobleman in Austria, Knight Templar Sir Frederick (Ernest Clark) who is out to trap the Lionheart.
Richard adopts an old trick, disguising himself as the squire to his friends Hugo and Marta, who reluctantly revel in their roles as Sir Hugo and Lady Marta.
Frederick's steward Manfred (Richard Shaw) is selling fine Arab horses from Palestine, hoping to lure Richard into purchasing them. He does indeed see them but declares they are not Arabs at all. Indeed they are not, since Manfred has covered ordinary horses with black and he is arrested by Sir Frederick who promises to donate three horses to Sir Hugo by way of apology. Only condition is that Richard must watch Manfred's ordeal on the morrow, which is unusually to be by lion, mascot of the Knight Templars.
Manfred is raging in a dungeon, a priest (Trader Faulkner) listening patiently to his accusation that Sir Frederick put him up to it. A second priest enters the cell also, clearly Richard in disguise, who hands Manfred a special oil that will repel the lion.
The ordeal. Manfred is thrust into the lion's cage. The creature seems very docile. Thus the very relieved Manfred is declared innocent. That means Sir Frederick must be guilty! He has now worked out Hugo and Marta are no nobles and guessed the identity of their squire. Dramatically he accuses this squire of being the Lionheart. Lionheart should face ordeal by lion. Richard counter challenges with the proposal that they both go into the lion's den. Scared, Frederick backs down promptly and Richard, Hugo and Marta are able to depart in peace.
The priest bids Richard safe journey, ironic really since Trader Faulkner had earlier played bad Prince John!

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Capture
Richard is still pottering through Austia, with Hugo and an exhausted Marta. There are only a few miles to the safety of the border, but so tired is she that the trio take shelter and rest at an inn. It's full of soldiers.
One, Sgt Michael (Peter Reynolds), enters Marta's room, and one short conversation tells him all he needs to know. Michael reports back to his master Count Rolf (previously in the story The Fugitive), "it is the Lionheart my lord, I know it."
Marta is feeling much better now, but not for long, for Sgt Michael comes back and carries her off, even the Lionheart, in disguise as servant Dicken, cannot prevent the kidnap. The king follows her to Rolf's castle as dark shadows cast across the screen as Richard is captured, lured into Rolf's trap. Count Rolf happily informs Duke Leopold, who orders Richard's immediate and secret execution.
It happens that Blondel is roving the country in search of Richard, singing his minstrel songs in the hope of being within earshot of the king. At the inn, Hugo informs Blondel of Richard's disappearance. Sgt Michael is there too, spending his reward for capturing Richard, but it is such a pittance that he's disgused with such a small reward and drunkenly informs Blondel where Richard is held, and for a large sum directs Blondel to Rolf's castle.
Singing Greensleeves, Blondel catches the ear of the prisoner, which stirs him and cheers him immensely. Having learned that Richard is indeed held here, he dashes off to inform the world, knowing that now the Austrians dare not kill Richard, on pain of war

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King's Ransom
Following on from the story Capture, this tells of loyal Englishmen rallying round to pay the 150,000 marks demanded by Leopold of Austria for the ransom of their king.
Despite Prince John's protests, the king's mother Queen Eleanor (Joan Haythorne, replacing the earlier actress in story #2) vows to raise the vast sum, and her loyal subjects agree, though quite whether this is a tax or what is not explained.
Over in Austria, King Richard is being held prisoner in Count Rolf's castle. When Lepold informs Richard that England are paying the ransom, the king offers his own life instead. This of course is refused.
Prince John is still pushing his own claims of being king, he begrudges paying such a huge ransom, allegedly fearful of the economic crisis that might ensue. Naturally he plans his own treacherous scheme.
Sir Geoffrey and Sir Richard are roving the country and collect 90,000 marks. We are informed that Queen Berengaria in France contributes a small sum, while the Lord Chancellor organises London's contribution. The Nottingham area is where John holds sway, and he collects more than sufficient to meet the ransom demand, though he confides to the Sheriff of Nottingham that he intends to keep it all for himself! The evil pair even hatch a scheme to get Richard killed off, asking Blondel to do the foul deed. Blondel devises a counter scheme, offering to declare himself a fraud and that the king, he never even saw in Austria at all. John agrees to this.
That old foe of the Nottingham Sheriff, Robin Hood, unseen, kidnaps the willing Blondel. His ransom is sought, 80,000 marks, strangely enough the total amount gathered in by John's cronies. John has to agree, for reasons I'm not clear about, and to John's further anger, the money ends up in Queen Eleanor's hands, "how very wonderful."
In a good twist, we learn that Robin Hood never kidnapped Blondel, 'twere only Geoffrey and Gilbert in disguise

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The Devil is Unloosed
'Tis now 1194, and in Nottingham's Sherwood Forest an informer is about to betray Robin Hood to the Sheriff of Nottingham (Ralph Michael) and Prince John. But that's only the story put out by John, to conceal the fact that he is holding a secret meeting between a messenger from himself, correction from King Philip of France. The Devil is Unloosed is the communication, code for Richard the Lionheart is on his way back to England from Austria. The Frenchman is promptly silenced by the evil John, who has it put about that the outlaws committed this crime, in order to discredit Robin Hood.
In Poitou, Queen Berengaria is being guarded by Richard's loyal friends. When Prince John greets her, she confides her fears that the queen mother, Eleanor, must be going mad, for so worried is she over Richard's safety, that she's consorted to consulting a gypsy soothsayer, Count Laslo. He reads cards and pronounces, "something has happened to Richard," maybe he is dead.
This scene is an elaborate charade to flush out John, the gypsy none other than King Richard in disguise.
The Earl of Huntingdon, Robin Hood himself (Ronald Howard), escorts the king back to England via the River Trent. Two wrongs must be righted, first Robin Hood being an outlaw, second Prince John's planned coronation. After a gaffe by Little John, all the outlaws pledge themselves to King Richard.
Count Laslo makes a return appearance, in the castle at Nottingham. The Sheriff is at first entertained by his fortune telling. A fox is one card that is turned up, that's King Philip, he will declare war, and the reason? The death of his messenger. The Sheriff rightly protests his innocence, but John, falling into the trap, orders The Sheriff's arrest. The Sheriff counters with his own accusation that John was the killer. King Richard reveals himself in the confusion and through a handkerchief the treacherous John is indeed exposed.
The happy conclusion shows Robin Hood pardoned and his confiscated lands restored. Perhaps the producers were trying to cover what the long running tv series never got round to showing

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The Little People of Lyntor
It's now 1194, this is the first of the final group of completely self contained tales.
Farmer Jasper from Cornwall and his daughter Helen barge into the king's serene presence, irate that Jasper's received a fourth tax demand this year. Richard says he should only have received one and makes inquiries of Baron Fitzjames, his local lord, who had appointed Michael Henry (Roy Kinnear) as his tax agent.
Examining the tax demands, King Richard is easily able to prove three, though issued in his name, are forgeries. But Michael's books are in perfect order, so they advise Jasper to pay up. Richard follows the man who collects the payment, he hides the bag of money in a hollow tree trunk. This is promptly collected by Jasper's handyman, which is a little odd, as Richard had seen him in the Baron's dungeon, arrested after having allegedly assaulted Michael Henry. Richard returns to the dungeon, and there's the handyman!
Michael's son Tom (Jack Smethurst) confides in Sir Gilbert that he's in love with Helen, yet he will not be able to marry her since her father is feuding with his father. He relates the background to the breakdown in their previously happy friendship, the baron had bought up Michael's farm and has ever since been putting pressure on Jasper to sell up too.
Behind the Baron's greed is none other than Prince John, and their scheme uncovered, Richard lectures his wicked brother before, as so often, not punishing him. But Jasper's 'tax' payments are refunded to him and as for Tom and Helen, why they are betrothed

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The Raiders

England 1194.
Sir Gilbert shoots a deer, but stumbles on a corpse. It's that of one of the raiders, a notorious gang who have stolen several shipments of gold.
Sir Brian, in charge of the local army, has failed to catch them, though he does suspect the local monastery of all places, might be the centre of their activity. Gilbert and a disguised Richard set out to see if it's true.
Father Benedict is in charge, he appears above reproach. The pair are welcomed, as all visitors are, and are given a cell each in the Annexe, which Brother Lemuel (Neil Hallett) runs. Poor Gilbert is none too happy with the amount of food a monk has to live on, and, hungry, he steals down that night to the kitchens. He finds, instead of peace, a riotous scene. For his disobedience of the rules he has to do a penance, solitary confinement.
Richard finds that funny, though he himself doesn't do any of the monk's tasks either, he lets it be known he is a fugitive from the law. He's invited by Lemuel to join the gang.
Richard soon discovers that the delivery girl to Sir Brian's soldiers is passing on details of the gold shipments to Lemuel. Richard plays along, and is joins the raid. But he releases Gilbert secretly, and charges him with informing Sir Brian.
But Richard is exposed and set upon by the Raiders. In time, Sir Brian's men save the king and the gang have to surrender

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An Eye for an Eye
King Richard, Sir Gilbert and Sir Geoffrey, in playful mood, split up in a race on horseback, but the fun turns to near tragedy when the king is shot as a tresspasser. The marksman is a bitter old man (David Davies) whose mute granddaughter Mary (Jennifer Jayne) nurses Richard's bleeding shoulder.
The tortured old man tells the stranger why he is so scarred, he blames King Henry for his son's death, killed by drunken soldiers who also so terrified Mary that she lost the power of speech. His only comforts are, that he will one day discover his son's hoard of gold buried on their land, and this he will use to gain his revenge on the current king. Fortunate that he doesn't know who his prisoner is!
Of course Richard's two friends are looking for him and inquire at the old man's cottage. They are turned away but find Richard's horse in the vicinity.
Mary's efforts to help Richard get away fail, so she promises to fetch help herself. From her young man James she learns who the prisoner is, so fearful lest her grandfather find out and kill the king, she returns to try to free Richard from the chains which now hold him.
With the buried treasure now fortuitously discovered, you might have expected the old man to be more peaceable, but no, hearing the news about the missing monarch, it's time to wreak his revenge. The horror of the scene causes Mary's speech to return, her scream stills the old man and brings Sir Gilbert and Sir Geoffrey to the rescue.
So there's a happy ending, the story providing an interesting role for Jennifer Jayne

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The Caveman
The king and queen are enjoying a quiet holiday at the castle of Baron Brentlock, whose daughter Lady Diane (June Thorburn) is engaged to Alan.
The village wells have very suddenly run dry. Folks put it down to the hermit (Nigel Green) who lives in a cave. He has recently encountered Diane and taken quite a shine to her ladyship.
Villagers depute Elias (Trader Faulkner) to approach the caveman. Already they have been paying him to keep the well full of water, for it seems that as if by magic, he has this in his power. But now the hermit wants more than cash, voices have told him he must take a wife, and that means Diane. She however would never countenance marrying that "horrible hermit."
King Richard is curious to meet this hermit and after quieting a latent local uprising, he calls at the cave. Richard demands the caveman explain his alleged powers. Richard is certainly sceptical, specially after he learns the neighbouring valley keeps getting an upsurge of water whenever the local valley is turned into a drought area. With Alan, he searches the cave, ere long to reveal its secret, a passage that leads to running water underground. However the hermit has found out they know and seals up the entrance to the passage, trapping the king and Alan. But now they know the secret.
By walking further along, Richard finds a second exit in the village well.
In the marketplace, the hermit is predicting the king's demise. He persuades them to storm the castle and bring Diane to him. However the baron's soldiers repel the attackers.
Diane however accedes to this forced marriage as inevitable. The wedding is hastily organised and proceeds. However the king rolls up at the key moment, the bit when objections can be raised. He objects. His appearance taunts the hermit, particularly when, as if by magic, though really it is the work of Alan, the king makes the well fill with water. The discomfited caveman is beaten

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A Year and a Day
A peasant attacks Blondel and then holds his companion, the king no less, at knifepoint. He wants a horse, and so makes his escape on King Richard's steed. He's a serf who is apparently escaping justice. Captain Martin, in the service of Baron Fitzgeorge is after him. However Blondel is surprised for he had recognised the runaway as none other than Sir Thomas Fitzgeorge, the baron's son and heir!
Richard and Blondel make for the baron's castle where they are to be guests of Fitzgeorge and his wife Lady Melinda. They promise the serf will be caught and punished, though Rose, a housemaid (Eira Heath), pleads for the serf who is called Alan. According to her, Alan had been forced to impersonate Sir Thomas at the Crusade, which is where Blondel had seen him. Sir Thomas himself is a cowardly good for nothing. Alan had been promised his freedom, but Thomas had reneged on the deal which is why Alan had run away.
Captain Martin has rounded Alan up and taken him to Thomas, who determines to silence him for ever. As Rose is in on the secret she is taken prisoner also.
Richard challenges the old baron to trial by combat, when he trumps up a story about a diamond from his crown being stolen. But as the baron is so old, Thomas must fight on his behalf. The real Thomas cannot bear to do that but forces Alan to take his place once more. It's a good and fair combat.
Blondel uses it as an opportunity to free Rose. Alan is acclaimed with glory after the equal fight, "cowardly" Thomas is disowned by the baron who knew nothing of the deception. But there's good news, for Alan and Rose are to be wed
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The Crown Jewels

The queen's cousin (Maurice Kaufman) is a bit too hot headed to ever become a knight. Miguel is his name, and he is from Navarre. Berengaria his cousin the queen is concerned for him with very good reason, for unbeknown to her, he is spending all his gold gambling at an inn. Martha (Lisa Daniely) who works at the inn seems concerned for him too, for he now owes money to Demere (Sean Lynch) and his cronies. Unless he pay the debt, Demere threatens to inform the king, otherwise "a small favour," rather a large one in truth, steal the Crown Jewels. Though he refuses, the love of Martha wins him round to the idea.
Miguel's training to become a knight means he has to take his turn at the castle where are kept the jewels. He allows Demere's gang to slip in, and the remaining guards on duty outside the jewel room are overpowered, and the treasures stolen.
The Gates of London are immediately closed, so the gang cannot escape. Unwisely, Richard orders Miguel to haunt the taverns to pick up any gossip about the robbery. Miguel is made to provide false information about the gang attempting to flee northwards, Richard sending guards in that direction, while the gang escape southwards to France. But Miguel's conscience gets the better of him, just as well, for Richard has suspected a trap, caught up with the gang and recaptured the Crown Jewels.
Miguel must be punished, but he is offered the promise of restoration in the future

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37 The Man Who Sold Pardons
Nigel Green gives an enthusiastic performance as that traditional medieval swindler, selling his pardons to gullible villagers.
But King Richard is on his track, suspecting the money raised is going to help an unworthy cause...

Brother Nicholas is offering locals forgiveness from the pope himself, in the form of a scroll pronouncing absolution from your sins. Or if you're too poor, you can buy a mere bishop's pardon. Richard wants to nail down this hoaxer, so he's in the area posing as Sir Philip, accompanied by Sir Gilbert.
It's the latter who finds Brother Nicholas now selling holy socks in the village square. However before Gilbert can do anything, in rides local squire Sir Roland to arrest Brother Nicholas, "put him in the stocks." Nicholas does not bat an eyelid, and produces a scroll signed by King Richard himself, allegedly, authorising him to sell these pardons. Sir Roland de Vere hurriedly retracts his action, and takes him back to his home to wine and dine this important monk.
This is all part of a blackmail scheme aimed at extorting money from all those who had supported Prince John. In fact the villain receiving all this cash via the pardoner is... John himself! Richard trails Brother Nicholas as he reports back to his superior, "the greatest traitor of them all." To the Bloody Butcher inn, the king follows, then to a cave and a fight with Prince John.
The King triumphs, as he should do, and that money is promised for the good of the people. As for John, he is once again banished from the land

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The Heir of England
Prince Arthur (Christopher Witty) lives in Brittany, loved by his mother (Margaretta Scott) and tutored by Father Gerard. As the potential future King of England, if King Richard die without issue, he is invited to the king's second coronation (this to be the subject of the final episode). Sir Gilbert is despatched to escort the child to London, but is knocked out on the way to France, and a false Sir Gilbert carries off Prince Arthur, to be held for ransom.
Too late the Duchess, Arthur's mother, sees she has been duped, "we must pray." Her prayers are answered, for King Richard and the recovered Sir Gilbert are on the trail of the kidnappers. In St Malo, a ship's captain (Patrick McAlliney) points them in the direction of Pierre and Marcel, good French names all. In their cave, the crooks are rounded up, but not for long. The captain is their leader and has trailed Richard and Gilbert, who are tied up. Now the plan is to sell the prisoners to the highest bidder, Prince John or possibly Philip of France. (No matter Trader Faulkner plays both of 'em!)
A spot of humour is supplied by William Fox as Father Gerard, who bravely offers to the Duchess to rescue the Prince. "What can you do alone?" is all the Duchess can offer.
Fortunately, Arthur has wriggled out of his bonds and finds Father Gerard, and with his noble aid, Richard and Gilbert are rescued. Well sort, of, they'd got free anyway. But Prince Arthur is lost in admiration for his brave tutor, "Father Gerard did it. he's terribly good with the sword"
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The People's King
Trader Faulkner's final role in this final story is as Jacques, a fastidious French tailor, who is making costumes for King Richard's second coronation.
The drama centres on the mysterious disappearance of Sir Gilbert's robe, suspect is Tom the Trimmer.
Tom has indeed stolen it, taking it to the disaffected Lord Roger (Anthony Jacobs) of Lancaster Castle. With his wife Megan (Jane Hylton), he had supported the abortive cause of exiled Prince John, now he seeks a way of killing the king.
With unusual subtlety, Sir Gilbert has been on the trail of his missing costume, and he pretends to be a supporter of the Prince and after a pub brawl is brought before Lord Roger. Sir Gilbert, under an alias of course, is commissioned to kill the Lionheart, using the stolen costume to gain entrance to the coronation banquet. The plan only fails when Tom recognises who Gilbert really is, though somehow Gilbert convinces Lord Roger that he really is against the king, and again somehow, convinces Roger to do the actual murder.
The coronation rehearsal sees Roger in London. In all their finery Blondel, Sir Geoffrey and the King practise the ceremony. Lord Roger is there too in the costume that was Gilbert's, but now altered to Gilbert's instructions, for Jacques has left plenty of needles in it! Poor Roger at the rehearsal is in great discomfort as potential tragedy moves to comedy.
Unmasked, Roger is banished and the Queen in her own finery joins King Richard for his coronation. The bells ring and the king is crowned

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The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe
A 1964 French series, dubbed and first shown on BBC in 1965.
Starring Robert Hoffmann. English Narrator: Lee Payant.

Story 1. September 1697. A mix of model and a studio ship, a shipwreck in a fierce storm at night, all crew surprisingly calm and silent. Despite the buckets of water being sloshed in their faces, the action is quite impressive visually, in primitive tv terms.
This lasts five minutes before the ship has to be abandoned. Crusoe swims and floats on to a wide deserted beach. Exhausted, he clings his fingers into the sandy shore. Having taken in his surroundings, he calls out to his fellow sailors. Alas, he receives no replies, the dreary background music accentuating his isolation.
He is so hungry he even eats grasshopper. Then, better, a papaya, and after a search finds lovely fresh running water. Then it's sleep, up a baobab tree.
In a flashback, he reflects on how he got here. Stumbling upon smugglers, he had once been arrested as one. But his wealthy father had seen him right, and despite his wishes, started him on a career as a lawyer, articled to JB Wooseley, "sollicitor"(!). This retrospect slows the action, and never gets as far as explaining why Crusoe is where he is.
This episode ends with his awakening, wondering where on earth he is. On the wasteland of a beach, he again calls out to his late friends

2 "Am I the sole survivor?" Perhaps not, for he finds a footprint deep in the sand. But his joy is shortlived, "I've found the tracks of my own footprints." What a twit.
"This solitude is maddening," Unsurprisingly, he is depressed on the lonely isle. Can he signal any passing ship with a smoke signal? He attempts to light a fire by friction, but the theory is good, though not his performance.
For food, he covets the seagulls' eggs atop the cliff. He makes the perilous climb up the dangerous cliffs, rather him than me. Not sure how he gets down.
He reminisces on his boring training as a lawyer, it's a very dull interlude, long too.
To the present, and the philosophic reflection, "I know nothing." He isn't even able to mend his broken penknife. But this instrument cheers him, for he can make a spark with it! Now he will enjoy his birds' eggs cooked.
Even more ambitious, he kills a goat to have a meal of meat, and kindly rears the orphaned little goat.
Then he dreams. He recalls that fateful day he boarded the ship

3 "Anguish" in isolation. The small kid is a slight compensation. He catches a female goat for it to suckle.
Next job: house building. Then sleep and dreams of happier times, he loved fencing, but a minor injury made him stop his law studies, and he resolved never to resume, but go to sea and make his fortune. Farewell to Dick his dog, "en route for adventure and glory." Sadly he has to sell his faithful horse, "but the love of adventure was stronger." At the port of a very empty Hull, he seeks a ship, without success.
To reality. Next day a hat floats in on the tide. He calls out in vain.
The wrecked ship will soon sink and he checks it for any life. A dog barks, and is later rescued, to be christened Dick. On board are tools and food, plus a bible, "my companion for life." He constructs a raft to bear away every useful article, "sailing majestically on my own vessel"

4 Day Four. With Dick, Crusoe continues unloading the ship, The Esmeralda. Then it sinks for ever.
He constructs "a good bed," and from the salvage selects a gun. It works. One dead bird. A fire started with gunpowder, then the bird is cooked. In case it is poisonous, he takes an antidote, brandy.
He sleeps and remembers his first voyage. He had met his friend Willy in Hull. He was sailing on his uncle's steamer to London. On this journey, Crusoe had discovered the terrible truth that he was prone to seasickness, "go home to your mother."
In a London tavern had had met Ann a serving maid and Captain Darrick. He offers to pay passage on the captain's ship, but flashing his money about results in his being attacked when he leaves. Thanks to the captain he is saved from robbery. So Crusoe joins him on his voyage to the Ivory Coast.
Back on the island. On the morrow, Dick sniffs out a cave, inside is a goat. Here is a perfect shelter with the added attraction of a superb view. With explosive he blows open a large opening for his cave. He also makes a new friend- a parrot

5 More than a month on the island!
The cave entrance has been barricaded as a precaution. Robinson Crusoe has built a terrace so he can sit in splendour as king of his isle. He has made furniture, with some difficulty. He can even laugh when his attempts at constructing a chair end in collapse.
Flashback- on board Captain Darrick's vessel, Robinson makes an enemy of second mate Bush. He learns the skills of sailing, and how to trade with natives. But on a lonely beach he is attacked and robbed. He is taken prisoner. Darrick, believing Robinson to be dead, sets sail without him.
"A wretched slave tied to a camel" Robinson now is, his fate hangs in the balance, on the whim of the Emir.
Back on his desert island, Robinson attempts to get his parrot to speak, "poor poor Robinson." But the parrot is mostly uncooperative.
Robinson plans to capture a herd of goats, to provide him with milk, so he digs traps. He uses a net to catch fish in the sea, to replenish his larder, but the fish prove too cunning for him

6 Four weeks a prisoner!
"A sail on the horizon"- but 'tis only a mirage.
Robinson constructs a post to use as a calendar, starting 16th September 1697.
Making a shirt proves a more difficult task, but he must be "decently dressed."
Then diasaster. His fire gets out of control, furniture destroyed, at least his companions aren't hurt.
Long flashback. How he almost escaped slavery by the aid of a camel. One camel is his price- the Emir sells him. But he's sold on at increasingly deflated proces, finally to Kazir a fishmonger whose son young Ali teaches Robinson the business, the first friendly face long awhile. The pair become friends and Ali helps Robinson formulate an escape plan, which would have succeeded except it seems Kazir cannot swim, and Robinson has to rescue him from drowning. However when Robinson perceives Kazir had been weighed down by his fortune in gold, Robinson ditches his master and escapes in a boat to the open sea. He does, er, take Kazir's gold.
His meagre supplies run out and he's adrift at sea, soon unconscious. A miracle. A Portuguese vessel rescues him. Of course his gold is stolen, but the kind captain punishes the wicked thief and returns the fortune to Robinson.
They land in Brazil. He buys land to grow crops. He trades and becomes prosperous. He debates the morality of slavery.
Back on his isle, Robinson constructs a canoe

7 "Solitude grows from day to day."
Crusoe is resolved to make for the nearest land. Before he departs, he recalls the good times on his island. Now his canoe is completed, he takes his leave. But his craft is too heavy to drag to the water's edge.
He sinks in despair. He remembers those prosperous times in Brazil. Three gentlemen had approached him to lead a voyage to buy more slaves, "it's our sacred duty to help those poor creatures." Destination Guinea. Crusoe is surprisingly swayed by their specious argument, lured by the thrill of a new adventure.
His ship, The Esmeralda, has a crew of fourteen. A model of their ship is enveloped with splashing. Here's a useful opportunity to shows bits of part one again! But though this may be a money saver, it is too protracted to be worth more than a cursory look.
On his lonely isle, Crusoe writes down his memoirs, for it's the rainy season. He uses his spare time to enlarge his cave, knocking rocks away, a little too enthusiastically, for part of the roof caves in

8 "Months on the island"
The dust settles after the rock fall. Dick the dog scrapes. A hand emerges from the rubble, then zombie-like, a head. Robinson is OK. He sets to work. He makes a parasol. Then he is a potter of sorts. He's also a basket weaver. From goat's milk, he produces cheese, though even Dick doesn't like the taste of this. Even those corn seeds he had planted have sprouted, so soon he can make bread, "looks good, smells wonderful." After practice, his nets catch some fish, which he cleans and salts, a skill he had learned when a slave. All this mostly reprises earlier episodes. We also hear the parrot has got as far as "Poor poor Robin...." Robinson draws on the walls. He observes the Day of the Lord, quietly smoking his pipe.
A ship off the island! Light the fire! "I've been waiting for this moment for a year and a half." He hears a cannon, and a bell ringing. Isn't that the sign of plague? It's a risk Robinson is prepared to take, so he packs his belongings and makes for the ship which has gone to ground. The crew are pirates, but all are dead. Robinson finds their giant treasure chest, crammed with booty. However this ship is far too large for him to sail single handed

9 "More than a year"
Dick is rescued from quicksand.
We move on. Three years Robinson has been king of his island, he is surrounded by all the booty from the pirate ship. He celebrates his anniversary with presents for his friends, a bone, seeds and bananas, while he relaxes enjoying feasting his eyes on his diamonds- it's touchingly done, "and for me, a pipe."
He tells hinself he is sober. He climbs on board the stranded ship in case a cask of rum has been overlooked. Found some!
Next morn he awakes, the ship in motion. His island no longer is in sight. Adrift, with not even a drop of water. Then the ship grounds. He swims to the nearby land, "my whole adventure is starting again."
Not quite. For the first thing he sees is... Dick. "It's my island." But what are those alien footprints in the sand? Robinson fortifies his home and awaits a sighting of the intruder. No sign.
He succumbs to a fever. No medicine. He manufactures an inhalation of tobacco. Success. But recovered, he stumbles on a skull, are there cannibals on his island?

10 "Years now"
"Mysterious visitors," and they are cannibals! Robinson plans to frighten them away with gunpowder when they make their next visit.
Weeks later, they return, in cover Robinson watches. The cannibals bring two prisoners, one escapes, and two savages pursue him while the others prepare their victim for the cooking pot. Robinson saves the fleeing man, killing the two pursuers. though he himself might have been killed had not the fleeing man intervened. Then, the fire being lit, an explosion, the gunpowder works its magic. In their terror the cannibals flee.
By the aid of sign language, Robinson makes it clear that he is the white master, though it's not put like that, and he orders the two savages to be properly buried. As this is Friday, Robinson names the man, "you Friday." Less pc, "me master."
They share food. In wonderment, Friday explores the cave, meeting Dick and the parrot. The mirror is a marvel. However "his manners are revolting," his eating habits that is. Robinson begins to educate the benighted man, a long task. As he's a cannibal, he has to be tied up at night, for Robinson's own safety

11 "My solitude has just ended"
"I was wrong to be distrustful," Robinson admits, for Friday brings him breakfast in bed. However Robinson has to demonstrate his "superiority," by his mastery of the rifle. Then Friday proves his own superiority in other ways, by performing a task Robinson found so difficult, for he easily lights the fire.
Friday learns to speak, English naturally. "Civilisation begins with trousers." Friday is also taught to shoot with the rifle that primitively worships. They enjoy a good laugh, "me civilised."
They can converse now. Friday says he will go with Robinson one day to Engand. "My country has never suffered defeat," Robinson informs Friday.
"You never fight us," retorts Friday. Their discussion turns to the wrongs of cannibalism, then to religion, "who made you?" Explains Robinson, "one God for all men, we are all brothers."
Friday learns all these lessons, and having learned them, takes to loafing about like his master! So the pair fall out, and Friday runs away

12 "Five years"
Robinson is alone again as Friday has gone into hiding on the island. Robinson searches in vain for him.
Dick the poor dog is ailing, and with no possible cure, we have a very sad scene. In the midst of Robinson's sorrow, Friday returns. Dick is buried, then at last the two men commune, "me understand." Robinson has come to appreciate that Friday is not his slave. They begin anew, Friday is better at building goat traps, Robinson teaches Friday about the value of gold. None too well sinces Friday plants it, "me very stupid." But he can appreciate it is valuable, though not on this island.
Years on, Robinson is content, sporting a beard, "we have enough to eat for years." The pair only work to keep themselves occupied. Then a British ship is seen on the ocean. "It looks like a mutiny." Men land on the island, two are killed. Three others scour the island and hear the parrot talking.
"Who taught him how to speak?"
Robinson is seen, and chased. Though Robinson finds a refuge, it will surely be a farewell to his paradise when another boat lands on the shore

13 "Our solitude has drawn to an end"
After six years, the island is overrun with pirates who knock Robinson unconscious and take him captive. Worse, they find his treasure cave, but lured by Robinson's promise that there's even more gold, they are taken on a roundabout tour of the isle. Friday picks off the enemy of ten one by one, and soon only half are left. Into a swamp is pushed one, another has a knife in his back. The others flee with the treasure chest, but Friday sinks their dinghy. The kidnapped captain of the vessel commandeered by the pirates is rescued.
To his thanks, the ship is retaken, all enemy dispelled. The captain is introduced to Friday and the parrot.
"My prayers have been answered." Robinson takes his leave of his island, perceiving it has changed him for the better. The last scene is back in Robinson's father's house, now his, shared with Friday. The surroundings are pleasant but one day, he promises, he will return to the island

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Long John Silver

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