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
Advert right: even Sapphire had to have a holiday, as a break from shooting Robin Hood!

Cashing in on the extraordinary success of Robin Hood, came a host of imitations. The format always seemed to be the same. For the Sheriff of Nottingham, substitute Gessler or The King of Spain. For Little John read Gurth or Gaff, and for Sherwood just make that Tintagel or the High Seas. Rewrite the plots and lo, surely you'll repeat the successful formula. None somehow got beyond a first season, although William Tell was perhaps the nearest to nearly doing so.

My favourite 'Historical' series: it must be The Adventures of Robin Hood, for Richard Greene proved a fine hero, and Alan Wheatley a perfect counterpart as the scheming sheriff. Fine support cast too, including Alexander Gauge's memorable Friar Tuck, and Archie Duncan, playing his familiar bumbling character, here as Little John
Best theme music: Sir Francis Drake's stirring music gets my vote; the composer- the underrated Ivor Slaney
Worst of these series: for me, Sword of Freedom rarely comes alive. The Count of Monte Cristo is a disappointment too

Question: Sapphire made Robin Hood, The Buccanneers, The Sword of Freedom, and which other?
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. Many of these outdoor scenes were filmed at Foxwarren in Surrey.
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).

Series 1, Series 2, Series 3, Series 4

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Robin Hood Series 1
1 The Coming of Robin Hood
2 The Moneylender
3 Dead or Alive
4 Friar Tuck
5 Maid Marian
6 The Inquisitor
7 The Knight Who Came to Dinner
8 The Challenge
9 Queen Eleanor
10 Checkmate
11 A Guest for the Gallows
12 The Ordeal
13 A Husband for Marian
14 The Highlander
15 The Youngest Outlaw
16 The Betrothal
17 The Alchemist
18 The Jongleur
19 The Brothers
20 The Intruders
21 The Sheriff's Boots
22 Errand of Mercy
23 The Vandals
24 Richard the Lionheart
25 Ladies of Sherwood
26 Will Scarlet
27 The Deserted Castle
28 The Miser
29 Trial by Battle
30 Children of the Greenwood
31 The May Queen
32 The Wanderer
33 The Byzantine Treasure
34 Secret Mission
35 Tables Turned
36 The Traitor
37 The Thorkil Ghost
38 The Wager
39 The Prisoner

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Brief reviews
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"
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
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!
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 villainness!
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
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The Coming of Robin Hood

From the Holy Wars, Robin of Locksley returns to his inheritance, via the back way. He greets Martha the cook, and Old Tom, who confirm the rumours Robin had heard, that a certain Sir Roger de Lisle (Leo McKern) has taken possession of his lands, "I stayed away too long."
"You are an imposter," is Sir Roger's retort, and after a fight, Robin has to run from his own home.
After a night in the open, Robin is awoken by a deer poacher (Alfie Bass), who has been caught and about to be cruelly punished- orders of Prince John. Having rescued him, this Edgar has no choice but to join kindred spirits, outlaws in Sherwood Forest.
But Robin appeals to the new sheriff, a Norman lord, who at first is more concerned about the incident of the deer, "a crude attempt" to justify the theft of Robin's property. However, on inspecting Robin's letter from King Richard himself, he agrees that "restitution" be offered to Robin. Sir Roger is privately told to arrange "an unfortunate fatal accident."
Thus when Robin enters his ancestral home, the trap is set. But our hero is alert, spotting the shadow of an archer, and it is Sir Roger who is felled by the arrow intended for Robin. "You'll hang for this," he is told, for the blame for Sir Roger's death is laid at Robin's door.
That night, in the open again, outlaws feebly try to attack Robin. Edgar however recognises him and Robin joins their band. A spirited opening story, darker than many, neatly introducing the legend that was Robin of the Hood. Perhaps what is slightly baffling and not explained, is why Robin does not return to the Holy Land to help King Richard

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The Moneylender
Robin is teaching the Outlaws fighting skills, when Will returns with a small fortune he has stolen. Robin isn't too pleased as the robbed man, Sir Philip, was a friend, "he treats his people well." That arouses Will's ire and the pair fight. Robin realises that he must earn his keep, so sets off with Edgar to rob a passer by.
First to come along is Herbert of Doncaster (Leo McKern), a moneylender, who charges exorbitant interest rates, in collusion with the sheriff- an ideal victim for Robin's "first" robbery. Robin pretends to befriend the man and learns that he hides most of his cash in his boot. Useful information when Edgar holds them up! "Run along," Robin chides him, "and give my compliments to the sheriff."
To prove his inherent goodness, Robin returns the excess interest to the poor swindled peasants, including Hawkins.
Herbert informs the sheriff, who still demands his cut. Lay a trap for Robin is the sheriff's cunning plan.
Old Tom is ferrying a shipment of wine that is held up by Will. Close by are the sheriff's men in ambush, and an arrow fight ensues, in which Will is wounded, "I'm done for."
Hawkins proves a valuable ally to the fleeing Outlaws, and he gives shelter to Robin and Edgar. But the evil sheriff forces Hawkins to burn his house down. Luckily the Outlaws were safe in a cellar- might have been quite hot down there.
As Will expires, he hands over the reins to Robin. Odd that Robin had a conscience about who he robs, but showed no compunction about killing the sheriff's men

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Dead or Alive

John is a seven foot giant who is a serf working for the Earl of Bedford. His Lordship shows his muscles off to a young lady, John obliges by lifting the earl high up onto a window ledge. "I'll have you flayed alive," snarls His Lordship.
But no guard can prevent the burly John running off, and he is now a wanted man. Avoiding the bloodhounds, he is found next day by a lake by a serving maid from The Blue Boar. She takes him there to give him food. But the sheriff's men happen to be dining there and spot the wanted man. Seeing his size, they offer him the chance of freedom if he will but bring them one of the Outlaws.
The giant encounters Robin Hood himself, and they have a fight with poles, all in good spirit, until Robin falls into the lake and is soaked. John askes Robin to direct him to The Blue Boar and Robin obliges by showing him the way. of course it's a trap, Robin is caught, a thousand guineas is the reward for his capture, and Little John is thanked by being trussed up himself. This is a definite error by the sheriff's men, and Little John, realising that The Outlaws are not the villains they are painted, having broken his ropes easily, saves Robin in a fight that makes a mess of the inn.
Thus John has to become one of Robin's men, though I didn't find the story utilised all the inherent possibilities

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Friar Tuck
This introduction to Tuck is done so much better than that of Little John: the script bristles with fun.
A message for Robin is passed to the Outlaws by Joan at the Blue Boar. The sender is Friar Tuck, apparently "a stalwart fellow with a sword," a talent rarely displayed outside this episode. Fearing a trap, Robin calls on the good Friar in disguise, and after some nice badinage, Tuck helps the stranger on his way, across a stream. He dips Robin in the water.
Identities established, Tuck explains why he wants Robin's aid. He is giving sanctuary to young Mildred, daughter of Brian, who desires to marry Harold. However wicked Lord Germain has another suitor in mind, Sir William (Leslie Phillips). Robin promises to help, in return the Friar will say mass for the Outlaws.
Sir Germain shows up with his protege. Mildred refuses to go away with them, so Sir Germnain decides to summon the sheriff ("we're doomed!"), leaving Sir William to make sure his intended doesn't run off. But Tuck and Robin invite him to dine with them, and explain that Mildred really does love another. After a comic swordfight, Sir William is persuaded. Very smartly, Friar Tuck performs the wedding ceremony and Harold and Mildred are declared man and wife.
The sheriff shows up, but what can he do? While, Sir Germain fumes, Robin creat`es a distraction, to draw the sheriff's attention away from Mildred. "After him you men!" cries the sheriff, but of course it's too late. Robin has gone, and so have the newly marrieds

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Maid Marian
Robin "meets his match" after the outlaws snatch jewels bound as tax payments to Prince John. But he recognises that this treasure belongs to Sir William Fitzwalter, "as good a man that lives." He resolves to return the loot.
Lady Marian Fitzwalter has complained to the sheriff about the robbery. She tells him she will catch Robin Hood herself. She dons brother Albert's outfit and heads for Sherwood, "Robin is going to rue this business."
In the woods, she fires an arrow at Robin. She tells him her name is Peter, he says he is called Will Meadows, Though they were childhood friends, apparently neither recognises the other.
She asks him if he knows Robin. "A pleasant fellow," is the response. She wants to meets him. So he takes Peter to the Outlaws, where he reveals his identity. She however remains as Peter. She asks to join the band, and beats Ned at archery, thus winning acceptance as one of them. She cooks them a meal, then does the washing up.
But when all are sleeping, she slips away. Come the morning, her absence is noticed, and Robin goes off in pursuit. It is not clear how he catches up with her so quickly. He should've suspected a trap.
"I returned your money to you yesterday," he informs her. That convinces her, and they are about to kiss when the trap she has pre-arranged kicks in. The sheriff's men surround them, and Robin is bundled away.
A public holiday is declared to mark the hanging of the notorious outlaw. The sheriff looks smug. He thanks Lady Marian for her assistance. But she has realised her error, and begs to question the prisoner about where her jewels have been hidden. Of course this is but a subterfuge to free the prisoner. "They'll never suspect me." She is right there, for Robin kisses her before tying her up and making his getaway

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The Knight Who Came To Dinner

A paying guest is needed for dinner, and a ravenous Tuck and Little John round on Sir Richard of the Lea (Ian Hunter). Frankly however, he doesn't look that presentable, so he is smartened up to suitably impress Robin.
But Sir Richard really is all but broke, and cannot pay, thus Tuck and John are assigned to the stocks. Sir Richard explains to Robin that he had used to fortune to pay for his son's defence after he had been involved in an accident while jousting. Unless he repays the loan to the abbot who has loaned him extra funds, his lands will be forfeit.
Robin lends him the necessary money. Tuck poses as a squire accompanying him. He gives us a few laughs as he is still famished.
Then they meet up with the abbot who is in league with the sheriff. The debt is paid and the abbot left red faced, having excpected to take over the lands. Tuck tricks him further by getting Robin and Little John to rob the abbot, and thus the loan to Sir Richard is recovered

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The Challenge

Here is The Sheriff, "one of the most important men" to visit the castle of Sir Richard, whose estate Robin saved.
Giles Black is the finest archer in England, so says the sheriff, and he issues a challenge to the best man Sir Richard can put up. The sheriff even promises immunity to Sir Richard's champion. The wager is 50 crowns. of course it is all a trap to catch Robin.
"Who the blazes is he?" Robin asks, when told of Giles' reputation. He is persuaded, despite the obvious danger, to take up the challenge.
"I believe you've given your word before," Robin tells the wily sheriff. Nevertheless the contest begins, the sheriff watching hopefully on.
Giles scores three bullseyes, "nobody can beat shooting like that." Then it is Robin's turn. Naturally he matches Giles. Another round with a smaller target. Giles concedes, angering the sheriff. As Robin leaves, outside the castle the sheriff's men lie in waiting. But Robin is ready for it, "you blundering idiots," yells the sheriff, not for the last time. "You treacherous dog," Sir Richard admonishes the sheriff.
The sheriff lays siege to the castle, and Sir Richard finds his guests eating him out of house and home. Sir Richard has one trick up his sleeve to end the crisis.

Note- Ian Hunter enjoys this role, and his sarcastic wife provides excellent support

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Queen Eleanor

The Queen Mother (Jill Esmond) is staying at Fitzwalter Hall, collecting funds for the crusade. The sheriff knows, and plans to relieve her of her offerings.
Obsequiously, he approaches Queen Eleanor, bringing his token of loyalty, "in concrete terms" 500 marks. "My only concern is to get you there safely," he promises.
Friar Tuck brings Robin a message that Marian needs to see Robin "alone after dark." The Outlaws, jealous perhaps, give their leader an impromptu bath, then Robin dons the best clothing he can find, and sets off for his date with the fair Marian. His hopes may be slightly dashed when it becomes clear that he is needed to give the queen his best advice.
Robin suggests sending Sir Giles as a decoy on the Highgate Road, while the queen travels only with her trusted adviser Bruno through Sherwood, where Robin can guarantee safe passage.
However the sheriff gets wind of the plan through Bruno no less. Some of the sheriff's men dressed in Lincoln Green, lie in ambush for the queen. Thankfully Friar Tuck spots them and at Robin's prompting goes to the Blue Boar to report these outlaws to the foresters. Thus the ambushers are ambushed, leaving the way through the forest safe for the queen, after the evil traitor is exposed

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Checkmate
Soldiers of Count de Walden are oddly snatching any peasant they can lay hold of, including fourteen year old Henry. His distraught mum tells Lady Marian, who goes straight to the count to complain. He offers her a bargain- Henry's release in return for a dinner date. Marian asks Robin for help.
Robin discovers that the count has placed a large order for armour. Little John helps deliver same, but the cart is seized by The Outlaws, and they deliver the goods themselves. It seems that the count plans to make his new castle "the safest in England."
Under Friar Tuck's watchful eye, Lady Marian dines with the count. This is an ideal part for Leslie Phillips. Once the Friar takes his leave, the count makes his advances, but she turns it into a lesson on chess. While he teaches her, Robin's man overcome the count's men. "I heard a cry," queries the count. But he is distracted by Lady Marian.
Tuck has located the castle keys, and frees the prisoners in the dungeon. Meanwhile the count has found himself in checkmate- in the game of chess. He reveals to Lady Marian that his prisoners are to be used in a plot to appear to attack the garrison of King Richard. "I have three thousand suits of armour," he boasts to her.
But his dubious plan is cut short, and so are his designs on Lady Marian. Robin saves her from a kiss, or worse. He clashes swords with the count, an easy win, before escorting Marian home

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A Guest for the Gallows
The Sheriff is "a little tired" of the excuses offered to his tax collectors, and decides to make an example of one defaulter, Will Stutely. "He will hang!"
Little John is rightly angry, "I'll strangle every Norman," he declares. But Robin opts for a more subtle approach, purchasing a horse and cart from a bemused butcher (Denis Shaw) amid some jovial banter. Dressed as a butcher, Robin reaches Nottingham, as a fanfare declares Will's hanging will soon be taking place.
In the marketplace, Robin offers cut price beef, but the other traders object to his bargain prices, and Friar Tuck stirs them up into a riot. Robin is taken before the sheriff, who doesn't recognise him thankfully.
Robin admits he is no butcher, but tricks the greedy sheriff into a deal, Robin will 'sell' him a hundred head of catttle for a mere twenty pounds. He takes the sheriff to see these mythical animals. Their route lies through Sherwood.
Though the sheriff boasts he has the outlaws under control, after a one sided swordfight, he is taken prisoner. The penny drops, the sheriff realises too late who is his captor. Blindfold, the sheriff is led to the outlaws hq, and offered the bargain: a hanging for a hanging! Alternatively, freedom for both prisoners. An exchange is arranged, with the sheriff signing a document to effect Will's release: we see this, and it is nicely signed by "A Wheatley." Will's hanging is postposned at the very last minute.
The exchange takes place outside the city gates. Of course, the sheriff's men are made of treachery, "this is the way you keep your word," Robin berates the sheriff. A standoff is avoided by a funeral procession, headed by Friar Tuck

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A Husband for Marian
Passing traveller Sir Hubert is 'invited' to dinner by the outlaws. He confides to them that though he has no money, he soon will be rich, for he is to be married. The lucky bride: Marian!
"Impossible," says a worried Robin. Hubert admits he had fixed it all up with Marian's father, in the Holy Land. Hubert had saved his life, and this is his reward.
Marian has received her father's missive on the matter. Her uncle is to make all necessary arrangements. Ada, her lady in waiting, poses as Marian to meet this Hubert, while Marian swaps roles with Ada. Admittedly, Hubert finds the new lady in waiting more attractive than the new Marian. The latter charmingly purses her lips for a kiss, which is never to be.
Hubert informs Marian's uncle that he "loves her with all his heart." However he takes a more active interest in the lady in waiting. Even a kiss. Uncle is surprisingly broad minded when he sees him at it.
The truth about the swap comes out, but the dim uncle is still prepared to bless Hubert's marriage to Marian, the real one that is. So to the wedding. But who should turn up but a German baron who had vaguely offered to marry Marian four years ago. Of course this is Robin in disguise, mit einem German accent. The issue will be determined by combat, and what has been mild farce turns to mild drama.
"I yield," cries Hubert, who admits that it had been a charade, his saving Marian's dad's life. Yet there will be no wedding today. The outlaws turn up in disguise to arrest the baron.
Cries uncle, "we've already lost one bridegroom..."

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The Highlander
Duncan is a very canny Scot, overconfident. He carries a keg of wine for which Robin had laid ambush. In return for the cask, he asks for dinner.
The outlaws prepare a feast for him, and he is introduced to Lady Marian. She flirts with him, to Robin's irritation. A round of sports livens up their appetites, Robin and Duncan engage in a swordfight. With a spot of trickery, Duncan comes out on top.
After a very pleasant meal, Robin inquiries Duncan's business in England. Duncan is seeking supporters to help him in his political fight. Robin declines naturally.
Early next morn, Duncan rises to go boar hunting with Lady Marian. Robin discovers them enjoying a happy breakfast together. The playful Duncan laads Robin into a trap that he has prepared for him. While the outlaws rush to his rescue, Duncan helps himself from Robin's store of treasure. But Robin returns in time for another swordfight, a different victor emerging on this occasion.
Duncan has been caught thieving, and is sentenced to be hanged. His dying speech reveals the real reason for his visit. So all is forgiven apparently, and Robin sees him safe on the road north, parting the best of friends.
If you liked the character of Duncan, this is a fair enough story, but I found him irritating, and the storyline not up to the usual standard

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The Youngest Outlaw

Marian's dog is rescued from a bog by a young lad (Peter Asher). Then Robin does have to rescue them both. The lad says he wants to be an outlaw! He says he has run away from his cruel guardian.
He stays with the outlaws, Little John teaching him to chop wood. Arthur is also about to be given a much needed wash, until Little John learns who the lad is.
At the Blue Boar, Robin meets Lord Torrance, who claims that the boy is a political prisoner of Count de Walden. But he is actually Arthur, Duke of Brittany and heir apparent to the English throne.
Friar Tuck learns that his mother is Duchess Constance. Robin takes Arthur to the inn, to be taken away by Torrance, and safety abroad. A lady is with him and Robin is tricked into thinking this is the duchess.
Marian has found the real duchess, so Robin has to chase after the imposter, and he comes upon Arthur who is trying to elude Torrance's clutches. In a swordfight, Robin teaches Torrance a lesson, but then Torrance indulges in some trickery. It's a good job Arthur spots this, and he fires an arrow, using the skills he has learned as the youngest outlaw. "You saved my life"

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The Alchemist
Hold up in the forest. A man runs off carrying a bag, and only eludes Rolf by dropping his bag. Rolf takes this to the outlaws, but he retains one gold plate, which he later gives to his poor dear mother Ethel.
She breaks the plate up and has it taken in stages to a goldsmith. But villagers wonder where this gold has come from. Is she a witch? It is reported to the sheriff, who sees in her a way to trap Robin Hood. Playing on the villagers' superstition, Ethel is arrested.
Friar Tuck attempts to calm the villagers, but it is too late. Ethel is on trial before The Earl and the sheriff. She is found guilty and sentenced. The sheriff waits for Robin to come to her rescue.
A nun calls on Ethel, obviously a suspicious person! However when the sheriff's men stop her, she proves to be merely The Earl's wife, desirous of learning the witch's secrets. Ethel is tied to the stake. A black cat starts Robin's scheme. A plague of toads scare off the guards, then the coup, some burning kites in the air complete the illusion of witchcraft. "Run for your life!"
Rolf rescues his mum. Robin explains to the villagers all the tricks he has employed. Ethel is no longer a women they fear

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The Brothers
Soldiers accuse Friar Tuck of hiding a serf named Guy. But actually Tuck has hidden him in Nottingham itself, for Guy is clever enough to work as a scholar, transcribing documents.
His brother David is the one hiding with Tuck. But the Sheriff gets wind of Guy's whereabouts, and Marian is only just in time to warn Guy. She offers a little help in enabling him to get away. Now he must become an outlaw. But Tuck has other plans, and introduced him to the Abbot of Whitby, who, when he perceives that Guy really is a scholar, and not merely a man on the run, welcomes him to the abbey, initiating him as Brother Alphaeus.
David is arrested by the sheriff. As the older brother, he is deemed to be responsible for his brother and will be punished. When Guy hears of this, he desires to rescue David, but is forbidden by the abbot. However he sneaks out at night and gets Tuck to help. The friar visits David in jail, accompanied by another monk, Guy, who swaps places with David. Thus David is freed.
It's a little confusing for the sheriff. He has David on trial, but Guy informs him he is not David. Oh well, decides the sheriff, for eluding justice, Guy is sentenced to death. But he pleads Benefit of Clergy.
The Abbot comes to claim Guy. "My authority is at stake," moans the poor sheriff, who has to have Guy released. But he sends his men after Guy and the abbot to kill them. En route to the abbey, the attack is made. But Robin is waiting.
Thus Guy takes up his holy calling, and his brother David joins him at the abbey

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The Intruders
The village of Steepleford have turned against Robin, and for why? Some locals have been robbed. Not by us, protests Robin. Yet these villains claimed to be Robin's men.
Robin and Little John come upon two pilgrims who have been robbed. By Robin Hood, so they say. Robin follows the tracks of these thieves to the abbey. Robin persuades the abbot (John Longden) to let him stay at the abbey as a "new probationer" so he can discover the identity of the robbers.
Lessons with the young novices are a blueprint on which Chislebury School might have been modelled. Godric is one cheeky rascal, Jules another. Robin joins the class, and outdoes them in his anti-social behaviour. The two lads are impressed and invite him to join them in their next escapade.
Robin however presuades them into committing a much bigger robbery. He is going to rob Lady Marian! Robin holds her at knife point after awakening her from sleep, so that she can tell him where her jewels are located. Once these are in his possession, he orders Jules to silence Marian, kill her even! But the two lads are sick of such brutality, even if it is actually feigned, and scurry away scared, followed by laughs from Robin and Marian.
After a half joking near bedroom scene, Robin returns to the abbey, and is told that the lads have learned their lesson attempts to calm the villagers, but it is too late. Ethel is on trial before The Earl and the sheriff. She is found guilty and sentenced. The sheriff waits for Robin to come to her rescue.
A nun calls on Ethel, obviously a suspicious person! However when the sheriff's men stop her, she proves to be merely The Earl's wife, desirous of learning the witch's secrets.
Ethel is tied to the stake. A black cat starts Robin's scheme. A plague of toads scare off the guards, then the coup, some burning kites in the air complete the illusion of witchcraft. "Run for your life!"
Rolf rescues his mum. Robin explains to the villagers all the tricks he has employed. Ethel is no longer a women they fear
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The Sheriff's Boots
On a wild boar hunt ("pigs chasing pigs") the Sheriff's horse goes lame and he attempts to borrow a horse in the village of Retford. Locals cannot help, and since the poor Sheriff is already irritable because his cobbler Master Higgs is unable to supply any comfortable boots, he will have to walk the ten miles to Nottingham.
However an eager local, Nell (Joan Sims), offers him a very comfortable pair of "clodhoppers." He is impressed with the quality of the leather and orders ten pairs. Later, he reprimands Master Higgs for his incompetence. Higgs tries to buy the leather from these villagers, who use a secret method of tanning. Actually their source is Robin Hood.
Higgs despatches his cronies to ransack Retford. Told of the outrage, Robin shows the villagers how to defend themselves against the "bullies." After painstaking instruction the men and women practce these new skills, Nell enjoying "a little fun" with Robin." Such meets Marian's disapproval. But Little John takes a shine to Nell, only to receive some ribbing from the other Outlaws.
Marian protests to the Sheriff about Higgs' high handed treatment of Retford. But Higgs has discovered the source of the leather, and when he tells the Sheriff, a plan is hatched to trap Robin when he travels to the village at a causeway. However Robin is one step ahead of them, thanks to Marian.
Higgs' henchmen get a shock when they turn up at Retford. They are repulsed by the ferocious villagers, plus Little John, who might have won his almighty tussle, except that Nell accidentally knocks out the wrong man

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Richard the Lion-heart
Lady Marian finds the outlaws are very fed up. They have nothing to do, order of Robin, who is spending too much time with a visitor from the Holy Land, Master Peregrinus.
Indignantly she tackles Robin as to why he is so beholden to this man. The penny drops, as she learns that this visitor is the king himself in disguise. He is needing help to quell the rebellion of Philip in France, but is worried also that in his absence, Prince John and his cronies will seize their chance in England. De Belvoir, Earl of Huntingdon is to lead this revolt, so Lady Marian is commissioned to go to him on behalf of John with a message to come to Nottingham. The plan is that Robin will capture him.
Marian makes the two day ride to the earl, and poses as Lady Charlotte. She delivers the message, and after a moment's hesistation, off he rides. The sheriff of Nottingham comes to de Belvoir's castle, thankfully just too late to meet him. But he spots that the message must be a hoax.
In Sherwood, de Belvoir cruelly kills an old man whose horse is blocking his way- that's to show how nasty he is. Robin and Little John arrest his progress, "you're under arrest for treason." Robin holds a trial, chief witness is Peregrinus, the evidence is overwhelming, and de Belvoir will face the king's wrath in mortal combat. The pair cross swords, and though the sheriff interrupts the duel momentarily, his feeble soldiers soon retreat, and the duel continues to the finish. Only one winner of course. To complete the triumph, Robin saves the king's life. To end the story, Robin pledges his allegiance to King Richard, who as he is incogniteo, is sadly unable to grant the outlaws a pardon

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Will Scarlet
The story introduces Will of Winchester (Ronald Howard) with some style, though he is never a swashbuckler in the Errol Flynn mould.
Robin and Little John call at The Blue Boar, where they find a superior gentleman chatting up Joan the serving wench. Robin jests with this Will over a swordfight. Their friendly duel is interrupted by the sheriff's soldiers seeking to arrest Robin, and Will chanegs sides to help Robin overcome the enemy. However he politely declines Robin's suggestion that he join the outlaws.
Instead he rides to Nottingham, where, as one of Robin's accomplices, he is nearly arrested, only just getting away with the aid of "primrose" Olivia (Jennifer Jayne). But she happens to be the sheriff's niece, and when he comes a-calling, Will has to hide under the bed. He is discovered, and fights off four or five of the sheriff's men before escaping, finding sanctuary in Tuck's church.
"I intend to see that he hangs," snarls the sheriff. But he cannot touch Will, who has agreed to don sackcloth and leave the country. Robin escorts him to the coast, where he is to join the ship of Captain Lash. The captain however has been paid by the sheriff to chuck WIll overboard. Robin gets wind of the evil scheme just in time, and forewarned, Will gives said captain a lesson. Now Will does agree to join Robin's merry men.
What shall he be called? Will Sackcloth, offers Little John. But it is Robin's suggestion that is adopted, Will Scarlet

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Series 2

40 A Village Wooing
41 The Scientist
42 Blackmail
43 A Year and a Day
44 The Goldmaker
45 The Imposters
46 Ransom
47 Isabella
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 Ambush
59 The Bandit of Brittany
60 Flight from France
61 The Final Tax
62 The Secret Pool
63 The Goldmaker's Return
64 The Path of True Love
65 Fair Play
66 The Dowry
67 The York Treasure
68 The Borrowed Baby
69 The Black Five
70 Food for Thought
71 Too Many Earls
72 Highland Fling
73 The Mystery of Ireland's Eye
74 The Little People
75 The Infidel
76 The Frightened Tailor
77 The Road in the Air
78 Carlotta

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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 - 500 crowns demanded from starving vassals to pay for the return of his lordship's son who had kissed a girl betrothed to Sir Guy. When Guy comes to collect his money, a kiss for barmaid Joan enables Robin to demand 500 crowns from Sir Guy. When the sheriff muscles in, as Robin returns the money to the peasants in church, Friar Tuck foils the plot, "we had him at our mercy"
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 - A tax collector is so hated he is killed. Mark a peasant (Bill Owen) witnesses the fell deed and is accused of the crime. He flees to the Outlaws, but becomes so boastful of his deed and such a liability, even robbing Mother Agnes, that Robin has to expose his false heroism, as well as exposing the real murderer
50 Outlaw Money - Master Henry (Sid James) silversmith by royal warrant comes in useful when the outlaws capture a minter's anvil, and lo! Tuck is arrested for distributing such coins. However tables are turned on the outwitted sheriff
51 The Black Patch - this is Prince John's "playmate" whom Marian has to "entertain." She is "the soul of discretion" over all Sir Dunstan's gold, though soon learns that this is mere bait to capture no less than Robin Hood. Marian saves him at cost of suspicion falling on herself. So now "romantic fool" Robin has to rescue her by giving himself up. Marian plays her own trump- she appeals to no less than the Sheriff, whose pride demands that he is the one to capture the outlaw. Thus the Sheriff himself rescues Robin, who conveniently slips away
52 The Friar's Pilgrimage - Robin joins Tuck on his trip to Canterbury. In a Kentish village they witness Edward, consigned to a pillory by the Normans for being engaged to a witch called Alice. Robin saves them, at the cost of being locked up by nasty Count Duprez (Paul Eddington), who is out to discredit Lady Margaret (Greta Gynt), so he can inherit her lands. In turn, Alice rescues Robin, while Tuck offers himself for the pillory. But it is Robin who puts Duprez where he deserves- in the pillory
53 The Trap - "quite simple" is the sheriff's latest scheme to capture Robin Hood, all the idea of Simon (Alfred Burke) who joins The Outlaws and attempts to get Robin discredited. If The Outlaws hand him over, they'll win a free pardon, "I don't believe it!" Little John drags a bound Robin to the sheriff, and someone gets a lesson. To give the sheriff credit, he does generously admit he has some admiration for Robin
54 Hubert - Robin is Sir Hubert's "last hope," if he is to marry Lady Rowena, for her dim dad (William Mervyn) has promised her to de Vere. Robin rescues Hubert from de Vere's dungeon, as well as grabbing the dowry
55 The Dream - Marian's cousin Sir William Fitzwalter (Patrick Troughton) is to take Robin to Queen Eleanor, but Marian's nightmare warns of Robin dying of thirst, thanks to her cousin's treachery. It comes true, "it's London and the gallows" for Robin. But her dream causes Little John and the Outlaws to come to the rescue
56 The Blackbird - After an unlikely argument over a blackbird. Little John storms off, straight into the sheriff's clutches. But where's the hangman prepared to hang him? We can all guess who this masked man is, though neither the sheriff, nor Tuck or Marian can, until Little John steps onto the gallows, the sheriff beaming, though next moment he's snarling, "after them you cowards!"
57 The Shell Game - Robin has to prevent the queen's jewels from falling into bad King John's clutches. So he enlists the help of Pick (Sam Kydd) to break into Hastings House to protect them, but is Pick entirely trustworthy himself?
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?
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The Haunted Mill
After a dull song, Hey Nonny, which Tuck incredibly describes as "cheerful," outlaw conversation turns to food, specifically wild strawberry cake. Friar Tuck finds this so mouthwatering he simply must taste same. So Robin and Tuck set off to see Tom the Miller, but as they approach his mill, they hear weird wailing noises.
Poor Tom the miller (James Hayter) is scared out of his wits. His cats have been poisoned, "rats" are swarming his mill, it's The Little People. Sir William had told him this, and most kindly offered to buy his mill for twenty crowns, but now the river has dried up, the price is down to ten.
Tuck inspects the bill of sale that Sir William has eagerly brought for Tom to sign, and neatly suggests to Sir William that it is he who is being swindled. Replies Sir William, "I want to be swindled!"
"I won't be swindled," Tom moans, and Tuck and the Outlaws set the mill wheel a-turning again by hand.
Tuck enjoys the lovely sight of the strawberry cake, but is unable to taste thereof, as he has to go and see the abbot about the diversion of the stream, and get it put back on its original course. Worse for Sir William, the diverted stream has flooded an angry neighbour's land.
Here's a chance for the sheriff to seize them, "it'll be a pleasure." As it happens, it turns out more like ignominy. For the sheriff is ambushed as he surrounds the mill, and all ends happly, except that poor Tuck learns that Tom had used his strawberry cake to repel the sheriff. However good news, one is left...

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Ambush
Young Prince Arthur, heir to the throne, is being closely guarded in The White Tower. It's "like a prison," not surprising as it's Prince John who is keeping him there. His mother joins him, bringing news that Londoners are protesting against this incarceration. But 'kind' John invites Arthur for "a holiday" in the country, and will not take no for an answer. Their destination is Fitzwalter Hall.
Arthur annoys his uncle with a neat trick en route, before they reach Lady Marian's. At a banquet in their honour, John speaks out against those who proclaim his duplicity. The sheriff greets the young prince and then privately consults John. The two hatch a plot concerning "a regrettable accident" to the prince, Robin Hood will be blamed.
The plan is to lure The Outlaws away on a false trail, robbing a taxman. But Robin knows a thing or two, and spots a spy of Prince John, and they have a fight to the death.
Thus Robin is on the alert for an ambush on Arthur, who is being taken to Nottingham by Lady Marian and one of John's soldiers. They are surrounded by outlaws, posing as Robin's men. Murder is next on the menu, but Robin pounces, his merry men, being warned of the plot by Tuck, close behind. "Thank you Robin Hood."
Back in Nottingham, the sheriff is toasting the new king, a little too soon perhaps. The two evil men soon learn what actually happened. Mummy arrives to collect Arthur and take him back to safety in Brittany, Robin to accompany them. Little John is left in charge of the outlaws.
A story with a lot of padding, script of the back of an envelope type

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The Bandit of Brittany

Following on from the story Ambush, Robin and Friar Tuck have now landed in France, with Prince Arthur and his mum under their protection. On their way to the chateau, Robin spots a military ambush ahead. A local peasant, Jacques, offers to show them a safe way. In fact he is an outlaw, "the Robin Hood of France." In fact he even toasts Robin, without realising it is he whom he has captured. Robin offers to help release Jacques' brother who is detained in prison by King Philip.
But first, he must prove his identity, displaying his expertise with bow and arrow. Then it's off to Paris on a rescue mission, the prince and mum, safe in the outlaws' hands.
Jacques meets Raoul, a recently released prisoner, who is able to reveal that Jacques' brother is kept in the Death Cell. Friar Tuck hatches a plan. They take Raoul to the prison. he has spots all over his face: The Black Death! Robin poses as a doctor with an elixir. Into the prison they go, and persuade the jailers that Jacques' brother is on his last leg, in fact "he's dead." So they remove the corpse, after a swordfight escaping via The Seine after their ruse is discovered.
Thus Prince Arthur and his mother reach safety

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Flight from France

Ne'er sight of Sherwood is seen in this odd story set in France, last of a brief group of such tales. Robin and Tuck are waiting at Le Lapin Noir to return home. But in a cellar, they learn from Michele, owner of the inn, that Sir Roderick is in the district. Now he is a supporter of Prince John, here to raise funds and fighting men in the cause. It is too good an opportunity for Robin not to delay his journey to England.
Sir Roderick is trussed up at the inn, Robin takes his place, and calls on the Duke of Mirancy, there to be handed gold from the duke to take to Prince John. As for the soldiers, Robin blithely informs the duke that John has no need of them.
However the duke is suspicious, especially so when Friar Tuck shows up. He has the pair watched, Robin forms a plan, in which Tuck denounces Robin before the duke. At inordinate length, he outlines his suggested punishment for Robin, the delay enabling Robin to snatch the gold and flee, Tuck follows in his wake.
Robin leaves the gold with Michele, and receives a farewell kiss for his efforts

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Final Tax
The Heriot tax is some obscure tax that is levied by the lord of the manor on dead persons. Thus Sir Charles is able to claim Tom's prize ox for himself.
It starts when Simon, a spoiled brat, son of said Sir Charles, gets upset when dad frightens his cat. This runs up a tree. Tom is sent to rescue it, but falls off tree. Friar Tuck pronoucnes the last rites, as Tom, in a fever, protests that Sir Charles be not allowed to take his ox.
In fact, Tom isn't quite dead, and he staggers off, so that he can die quietly. Derwent and Little John find him in the forest in a delirium, and the outlaws nurse him back to health.
At Tom's hovel, Sir Charles is mighty angry to learn that his corpse has disappeared. He suspects dubious practice, and sets up a coroner's court to have Tom declared legally dead. Verdict is foregone: Tom is dead.
Friar Tuck returns Tom home, in time for his own wake. Sir Charle's noble tribute to the dead man is interrupted, "i want my Heriot back."
Tuck points out that since Tom is technically 'dead' he cannot pay tax, and Sir Charles signs a document to this effect. The documents are taken to Whitby Abbey for safe keeping. The scheme is that the villagers sell their possessions to trustworthy Tom, thus avoiding paying tax themselves.
Sir Charles formulates his own scheme: kill Tom. Since he is already dead, it won't matter. But his ambush is thwarted by Long John and Derwent.
Old Ned has died. Sir Charles goes to collect his tax. But he can't. Sir Charles has to give up all idea of the tax. A complex story, with Robin Hood strangely not present

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The Secret Pool
George Benson plays Sir Cedric with his customary panache and humour.
Robin and Marian are a-fishin' some of Sir Cedric's best fish. On the opposite side of the lake, they watch as Henry is caught poaching. Penalty will be the loss of his right hand.
Marian attempts to persuade Sir Cedric to be merciful, but Henry has already been sent into the custody of The Sheriff.
Robin kindly teaches failed angler Sir Cedric how to fish properly, thus he promptly catches "a big 'un." Robin promises to show him where the fattest carp can be caught, but as it's a secret location, he has to blindfold Sir Cedric to escort him there. A long trek leads him, if he did but know it, to another part of his own pool. Robin wants a tit for tat: Henry's pardon. The capture of a giant fish persuades Sir Cedric. He even pays for the privilege.
He goes to The Sheriff saying he is not going to prosecute Henry. The Sheriff is suspicious, and though a surprised Henry is indeed granted his freedom, The Sheriff follows Sir Cedric, "I have an idea that he'll lead us to Robin Hood." He is correct. After Sir Cedric lands one whopper, Robin is alerted to his danger. He leads Sir Cedric away and it is poor Cedric who is pursued like an outlaw.
Thus The Sheriff catches only Sir Cedric, "you old idiot"

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Fair Play
On their way from Bavaria to Nottingham, The Flying Four pass through Sherwood Forest. Robin is in France, but while he's away, the Outlaws break with his orders, and resolve to go to Nottingham, partly to see their families, and partly to enjoy the old fun of the fair.
The Flying Four teach them the rudiments of their art, acrobats, Tom (Paul Eddington) making an effort, but is hardly a master as yet.
Dressed as acrobats, they enjoy the fair. Fortune teller Madame Zsa Zsa is told of the identity of these new acrobats, and sneaks to the Sheriff. Tom sees his son again, Harry gives Alison a lovely kiss, but happiness is short lived, when the Sheriff pounces, "guards, seize those men."
Thus when Robin returns, he finds a depleted gang. His first task is to plan the rescue of the three imprisoned Outlaws and the leader of The Flying Four. He utilises the skills of the real acrobats to climb over the castle wall. He is soon in the dungeon, and very simply rescues his friends. They are spotted, resulting in a shower of arrows at the Sheriff's men, but escape is almost too easy.
Before they depart, the acrobats entertain Robin's men with a final display

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The Dowry

A fat moneybag and "a beautiful girl," Bess, with her father (William Mervyn) are passing through Sherwood. They are on the way to meet Sir Harold to bring him a handsome dowry... and Bess. But the Outlaws have other ideas and surround the group. Dad gallops off with the dowry, promising to get help, leaving behind his daughter who has sprained her ankle.
"What are we going to do with her?" What she doesn't appreciate is that Sir Harold has already had two wives, and is only marrying her for her money. To teach her this, Robin demands a ransom for Bess.
Robin and Little John smarten up Garth, who has been smitten himself by her. He serenades her, or rather mimes to her. Then he impresses her with his archery, though this time it is Robin's skills that he utilises.
Sir Harold complains to the Sheriff, who devises a cunning plan.
Payment of the ransom. Sir Harold shows up, minus any cash. He arranges to meet Robin that night to hand over the ransom. We all know this is a trick, and she soon perceives Harold's true character, "you gave your oath."
Robin has walked into the trap, the Sheriff watches on in anticipation. The scheme is thwarted when the Outlaws show up.
Bess decides to stay with Garth, and that dowry money comes in mighty useful

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The York Treasure

Joseph and Esther are wandering the studio forest in search of "a friend," Robin that is. They need his assistance in transporting 1,000 crowns, which is payment for a shipment of Jewish refugees to come into the country. One snag is that bankrupt adventurer Malbete wants to appropriate this money, so Robin is wanted as a bodyguard on the journey to Grimsby.
Malbete has enlisted the aid of the Sheriff's men, he sounds like an early edition of Nigel Farage, "England for the English," and is well played by Allan Cuthbertson at his bossy, superior best.
The treasure is transported to Lincoln, where they pause, before proceeding on to Ye Raven, where they are given a message to make for St Catherine's Cove. Malbete is watching for the ship also, and on the beach there is a full scale swordfight before the refugees are welcomed into England

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The Borrowed Baby

The Count of Severne is fed up with the Sheriff's feeble efforts to round up Robin Hood. You can hardly blame him. He even suggests that Lady Marian is in league with The Outlaws. "Ridiculous," scoffs the Sheriff.
The Count proposes this scheme to leave a baby in Sherwood, he wagers 100 crowns with the Sheriff that eventually the child will end up in Marian's hands.
Giles is the Sheriff's man at arms, and is required to lend his newly born daughter Molly in the cause. Despite protests from wife Kate, the baby is taken to Sherwood Forest. Little John is soon cuddling the boy, that's what the Outlaws think she is. They all take to him, feed him, bathe him, why Little John even constructs a cradle! However their regular tasks are rather neglected.
After it is perceived that the child is a girl, Marian is called for. She takes the girl away.
Now Friar Tuck happens to have heard of Kate's loss of her baby, and he warns Robin. Just in time they catch up with Lady Marian, who has been stopped by two of the Sheriff's cronies. She is arrested, since she refuses to show the contents of a basket she is carrying. They pause at the Blue Boar, giving Robin time to surreptitiously remove the baby, so that when Marian is ushered into the Sheriff's presence, there is no sign of a baby, only a kitten! "You stupid idiot!"
Marian receives an apology, and the Sheriff wins his wager. An ecstatic Kate tells the Sheriff that her baby had simply "turned up" on her doorstep. Marian claims part of the Sheriff's winnings, and this she hands to Kate

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The Black Five
A typically fine storyline featuring the evil Duke de Moreville (Patrick Cargill) "The Hangman of Leicester" who has designs on taking over Nottingham too. He has ensconced himself in Rookwood Castle and has sent a coded message to Prince John. Robin has intercepted this, and makes an exact copy of this missive and sends it to the Sheriff. The mysterious note refers to the Black Five, which the duke promises to give John in return for the Sheriff of Nottingham's job.
"This is fantastic," cries the sheriff, and thus we reach the unlikely scene where he meets up with Robin himself. He tells Robin that the Five are "the greatest treasure in Christendom," Saladin's pearls. The two men agree to share the spoils. The Sheriff will guard the roads out of Nottingham, Robin the forest roads. Thus they will intercept the pearls which the duke is sending to John.
Sheriff: "I can rely on you?"
Robin: "As much as I can rely on you!"
Robin gets wind of the duke's real scheme. Some pigeons from Prince John are to fly the pearls! Robin grabs these and substitutes some belonging to Lady Marian. Thus when the duke sends the pigeons off, Fitzwalter Hall is their destination. In they fly, carrying the five pearls.
But the evil duke has seen that they flew in the wrong direction and arrives at Lady Marian's for a swordfight. The duke snatches back his pearls, and almost kills the sheriff to complete his scheme. But Robin finishes the duke off, and the unlikely fact is that Robin has saved the sheriff's life. Of course, Robin gets hold of the pearls, which he dutifully sends off to the coffers of King Richard

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Food For Thought
Sam from Upper Minton comes with his friend Tom to tell Robin about wicked Count Oliver who has got his henchman Weylin to seize the villager's winter food suppy merely so he can host a lavish banquet.
Robin's men intercept the wagon transporting these provisions. The loot is recovered and to prevent a repeat of Oliver's villainy, Robin suggests the food is stored in a cave. However Tom isn't happy.
"I need that food for my banquet!" the count raves at Weylin. The food must be recaptured. But Weylin is unable to find it.
Tom gets the jitters, worried that his food might go missing, so at dead of night sneaks out to collect his portion of the food. But Weylin is on the alert, following Tom to the cave, and though he allows Tom to keep his share, the rest he removes to the count's castle.
Sam finds Tom with the food in his house. Robin is called in again, and he suggests Tom make amends by going to the castle, as he is required by Oliver, to prepare the meat, which is being cooked by French chef Master Maurice.
This chef duly appears at the castle, Robin in disguise with his merry men. He prepares a feast "never to be forgotten." The script offers scope for comedy, with everyone speaking ze French, the new master chef is highly selective in his menu, preparing a meal of boar's snouts and lamb's tails. The large remaining portions of the animals must be discarded, removed of course to the villagers.
"The masterpiece" is served with some pomp, but no appreciation from the count. He is not amused. Yet the villagers are

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Too Many Earls
Wanted: "a fat purse," for the Outlaws are short of ready funds.
Here's the solution: Marian is visiting her Uncle Reggie (Arthur Howard), who is in dispute with his neighbour Lord Northgate over a plot of land. Marian suggests they settle the argument at an archery contest, Marian volunteering Robin to shoot for her uncle. The prize is 100 gold crowns.
Reggie is utterly against employing an outlaw, and refuses to make a request for the sheriff to grant safe conduct for Robin at the event. But Lawrence, one of the Outlaws (Nigel Davenport), poses as Reggie and obtains the permit from the sheriff by such trickery. The sheriff is keen to offer the permit when he is offered half the prize for the winner of the contest, 500 crowns. It's only a pity that Marian persuades the real Reggie to ask for a permit for Robin. "The fat's in the fire."
At the contest, the final sees Nottingham Red, ie Robin Hood, against his opponent Giles Piper, champion for Northgate. Shooting at 125 paces, the result is a tie! So the pair have to shoot at a moving target, and you know who the winner is of course. Naturally the sheriff is standing by to seize Robin. Reggie however intervenes, producing the safe conduct grant. Thinking he'll be the richer by 500 crowns, the sheriff allows Robin to leave...

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Highland Fling

Hugh McDermott makes the second of four appearances in the series, as the irritating Duncan.
Paul Eddington is also back, this time as a Master Fletcher. His true arrows interest Little John. In fact, he proves to be a messenger from King Richard, who wants Robin to collect the debt owed by King William of Scotland and return it to Henry of France.
Friar Tuck accompanies Robin. Inevitably en route they are attacked by outlaws, but Robin proves he is also an outlaw, by shooting a quince off a nervous Tuck's pate. The pair are taken to the outlaw leader, Duncan, who is inquisitive as to Robin's mission. He does discover it by searching Robin's possessions at night.
Robin collects the money then starts for home. But King William aims to retrieve his payment and sends his cronies after Robin, who hides the money on Tuck's person. After a skirmish, Duncan's men- he has designs on the cash too- rescue Robin. Tuck feigns death and in a scene played for fun has to be buried. Duncan thinks the money is still in the box Robin is carrying, realising too late that Robin is tricking him. Robin then rejoins Tuck before his 'burial' and they leave in safety

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The Mystery of Ireland's Eye
Marian is worried that her uncle Edward de Courcey has disappeared. As he lives in Ireland, Robin, with Friar Tuck, heads quickly to Holyhead, thence towards the Emerald Isle. In thick fog they land on de Courcey's isle.
Bad Rolf (Eddie Byrne) tries frightening them off by pushing a boulder over a cliff. The locals offer Robin, Tuck and Marian a far from hospitable welcome. Thus at the local inn they meet a stony silence. But they learn that there is supposed to be a curse on the place.
When they ask about uncle, they are informed that "the high priest took him away."
Enter Rolf, "beware of the wrath of the ancient gods," he warns darkly. Apparently, Edward had tried to defy Thor.
Robin speaks out against the locals' ignorant superstition, and sets out to find the missing uncle.
Rolf responds by attacking the inn and seizing Lady Marian. He plans to "dispose" of her and her uncle by sacrificing them to Thor. This is getting to be Hammer horror. At dawn, that's the time.
Robin, however, is prepared. Rolf commences his prayer, "prepare to receive our sacrifice," when Tuck intervenes, and challenges Rolf to produce Thor. He cannot, but Tuck, with some hidden help from Robin, can offer a sign.
"This is some sort of trick," complains Rolf.
"You're a charlatan, Rolf," is the answer, as the islanders perceive that Rolf has deceived them. The prisoners are released, "I shall never be able to repay you."

Not one of the more inventive stories

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The Little People

Following on from the previous story (#73), Robin, Tuck, and Marian are in Ireland, making for Cork.
They seek shelter from the rain, but a farmhouse door is not opened to them. In a nearby barn the three find food, left for the leprechauns.
In the night, they are awoken- the farmhouse is on fire. Patrick, the farmer blames English soldiers, and wants to hang Robin, who pretends to be friends with The Little People. "They don't exist," Patrick scoffs, though his wife is worried that such words will make the Little People angry. Robin promises to bring proof that they exist, and is allowed to do so, with Marian held as Patrick's hostage.
Robin makes for caves where a group of children hide, their leader Brian clains descent from a king. He orders Robin and Tuck be held prisoners. Of course Robin frees himself and fetches Patrick and his wife. By an illusion, Marian is made to appear a princess, promising to help the children. Brian however remains immovable, until he learns that Patrick had been putting out provisions for The Little People. The famrer offers the youngsters a home, so they all live happily...

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The Infidel
A Saracen Dog" has been captured and brought before Baron Mark for judgement. He is to be used in an exchange of prisoners, Lord Rossmore has been captured in the Holy Land. But the lord's heir and nephew Sir James (Nigel Davenport) plans to kill the Saracen, called Ali, so that his own uncle will be killed. He escorts Ali to a waiting ship, but at Sherwood, he prepares to execute his plan. A slight failing is that Ali is wise to it, and escapes. He comes upon some peasants, who immediately start fighting him. Little John breaks it up, "since when do Englishmen fight three against one?"
Robin Hood backs Ali up, befriending the fugitive, who tells them of Sir James' dastardly plot. So Robin, with Little John and Marian, offer to escort Ali to the ship. At the Blue Boar they happen on Baron Mark, who insists on escorting Ali himself. But Robin follows, expecting trouble. There is! An ambush.
Sir James hands Ali over to a constable, "the Saracen murdered the Baron," is the lie Sir James offers. Then the villain stirs up villagers to string the infidel up.
Robin interrupts the excitement and proposes a trial by fire, since Ali had told him he could walk on coals. However, what Robin doesn't know is that Ali requires an ointment to achieve the feat. Ali walks on the white hot coals and is exonerated. End of Sir James.

Sympathetic treatment of a foreigner, in contrast to the conniving villainy of a British 'gent'
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Series 3

79 The Salt King
80 A Tuck in Time
81 Pepper
82 The Charter
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
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
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

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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
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
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....
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

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The Doctor
Little John is attacked by two soldiers, and though he gets away from them, he slips down a hill. When he fails to return, the Outlaws search for him. They find Little John with a broken leg. He is carried back to camp.
Sir George Woodley has an eminent surgeon staying with him, Benvolio, so Little John is taken to him. "Extremely serious," is the obvious diagnosis. But the doctor will save him.
Howard informs the sheriff, and the doctor is arrested along with Little John. The doctor insists that he still be allowed to treat his patient, but the sheriff refuses. After branding the sheriff "a scoundrel," no wonder the doctor is thrown into jail.
At the subsequent trial, Robin causes a diversion starting a fire, enabling Friar Tuck to spirit the doctor away. Robin gets away only after a swordfight with the sheriff, who is wounded.
Little John still needs to be rescued. The sheriff needs medical attention himself, and a messenger brings his plea to Robin to send the doctor to him. Robin refuses, but the doctor is more honourable and reminds Robin of his noble duty. Thus the doctor goes to Nottingham, and tells the sheriff he will only treat him, if he is allowed to treat Little John first. That request meets with a refusal, so the doctor hardens his own heart.
The sheriff is sweating, in a fever, and has to accede. Little John is treated and sent back to Sherwood, before the sheriff is saved. An obvious plot, but quite enjoyable
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The Lottery
Will Sharpe (Alfred Burke) has started a lottery which he holds in public, winner is... Number 15. Friar Tuck is watching proceedings and is suspicious when he notices the winner later join up with Will. The friar demands the losers are recompensed, but is brushed aside since Will is off to make big money in Nottingham.
Once again, the winning number 15 is drawn. But this time the sheriff's men pounce, dragging Will into the sheriff's presence. "I'll help you run it," declares the sheriff, knowing the whole operation is a swindle. He might as well have told Will that he'd be annexing most or all the profits. Instead he tells Will, "I want this lottery to be a great success."
Friar Tuck has informed Robin, who suggests that Marian attends the lottery draw, while he will arrange for a replacement barrel with new lottery tokens to be made.
Realsing he is not going to do well out of all this, Will grabs 100 marks of the takings and does a bunk. But he is captured, "lock 'em up."
Robin smuggles his barrel into the sheriff's castle, and also kindly releases Will.
Lady Marian makes the draw, Friar Tuck a witness. The sheriff looks on in expectation. The token she draws is a blank. Blank faces. She draws another.... also blank. In fact all the tokens are blank. "A deliberate attempt to humiliate you," Tuck quickly suggests to the sheriff.
Despite this embarrassment, the sheriff is forced to announce to the good people that this lottery is null and void, and, he concedes, all money will be returned
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Lincoln Green
Master draper Simon Shanks brings his Lincoln Green cloth to The Outlaws, saying he has split with his former partner David, offering Robin his wares at half price. But a tip off from Lady Marian alerts Robin to the doubtful quality of some of this cloth, and there is no sale.
Simon goes straight to the sheriff, and tips him off that Robin is about to go to David's shop in Lincoln to buy more Lincoln Green, which is supplied exclusively to The Outlaws.
So the sheriff's men search David's shop, but only find a set of weavers, Robin and Little John in disguise, the latter finding the job "not as easy as it looks."
However they are finally rumbled, and taken as prisoners to Lincoln Tower, the sheriff gloating. Simon is granted possession of David's shop, since David is now in disgrace.
"This time you'll hang," the sheriff promises Robin. But inspired by the story of David and Goliath, Lady Marian gets David to sling a roll of twine up into the tower where Robin is imprisoned. With the aid of the string, scissors are passed up, to release their bonds, then a roll of strong Lincoln Green cloth, by which our heroes can climb down to freedom.
What happens to Simon we never discover, but it seems David has now become an outlaw

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Little Mother

Two of the Duke of Retford's men-at-arms attack a defenceless old woman, the appalling scene sitnessed by Friar Tuck and Lady Marian.
The victim is none other than Little John's mother, and he wants to go and help her, but is it a trap? "The oaf" annoyed the duke, insulting him, making him look "foolish," and for this misdeed he had been declared an outlaw (see #1.3).
The duke visits the old lady, and promises to take care of her and grant amnesty to her son. This is a palpable trick. Mum sends word to Little John that it is safe to visit her, and he does so, against advice from Tuck.
In her little hut, mum welcoems her wandering son, but also tells him off for opposing the duke. But soon she perceives the treachery of the duke when a posse of his villains seize John. Luckily Robin and his outlaws have also surrounded the hut, where inside the duke sentences Little John to be flogged and the hut confiscated. After that he'll be hung.
A short siege is ended when Little John does a Samson, and pulls down the hut. All the duke's men scurry away, and Lady Marian kindly provides Little John's mother with a new cottage

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Series 4
For most of the stories the Sheriff has now (sadly) departed, but his 'worthy' successor is his deputy, played with understated nastiness by John Arnatt

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 Bagpiper
125 The Parting Guest
126 The Pharoah Stones
127 A Touch of Fever
128 Six Strings to his Bow
129 The Devil You Don't Know
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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Goodbye Little John
This story belongs with the final group since the Deputy Sheriff is now in charge, if you see what I mean.

Little John is "glum," as "they don't want me here any more." Will Scarlett, he feels, has usurped his rightful position. The pair scrap, and Little John stomps off in a huff. He picks on a stranger, who in turn, tells the Deputy all about Little John's spat. The deputy is pleased that the Outlaws have broken ranks.
To the Blue Boar Inn, where Little John is "partial" to Joan, the Deputy sends a letter, which Friar Tuck reads out to Little John- it is a promise of his freedom. It must be a trap, insists Friar Tuck. Robin is told, and concurs. He keeps watch on the inn. To here, the deputy rides, alone as he has promised. He's a brilliantly devious character. Friar Tuck reads out the document proclaiming Little John's pardon- what's the catch? The deputy signs it, and Tuck witnesses same. Little John walks away a free man. But though thinking may not be his long suit, he reflects and walks back to the inn. "You want to break up Robin Hood's band!"
He takes to the deputy with a pikestaff, "you'll hang for this Little John" Little John"

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A Race Against Time

Little John and Will spot the corpse of a lord, who has been killed by soldiers who have robbed him. They show their prize to their master, it's a letter in Latin from the Duchess Constance asking Robin Hood for help.
At the Blue Boar, this lord is paying off Wilfred, who had led the dead man into the trap. Wilfred becomes the worse for drink, guilty at his betrayal of Sir Nedrick. Robin wants to know who had intercepted his letter, but the drunken man doesn't know. He was to meet him at The Cross Keys to get some more payment.
Will and Robin go there, and the former spots the villainous Sir Hartley. Soon there is a full scale swordfight, Robin is very slightly injured. He returns to camp feigning a more serious wound, so that their prisoner Wilfred will believe him to be dying. Wilfred runs off and reports to Sir Hartley the news, that convinces him that his secret scheme is still unknown. It's not too convincing as a storyline.
Robin meets the Countess at The Blue Boar, her letter had been a request to escort young Prince Arthur up to Northumberland. Sir Hartley, agent of Prince John, is planning to bump him off. Another full scale fight in which the inn is slightly wrecked. The winner of course is Robin, and the prince will now be safe

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The Edge and The Point
Robin meets his match! Will had accosted a stranger named Boland (Michael Gough), back from the Holy Land, but had been beaten in a swordfight. Boland demanded to know where to find "murderer and thief" Robin Hood. He's after a reward for capturing him.
Robin is told of this dashing swordsman and wants to test his prowess against him. Little John has knowledge that the man is on his way to Nottingham. On the road, the two men confront each other, Marian watching hidden at a distance. When Boland is victorious, Marian intervenes, though the gallant Robin refuses her aid. Noblesse oblige and all that.
Boland is all ready to take his prisoner to Nottingham, when two of the sheriff's men intervene and attack them. With a little help from Marian, Robin is freed, and he kisses her by way of thanks.
Boland reaches the city and offers his services to the deputy sheriff, who is impressed and promises cash for the capture of Robin Hood, as long as he, the deputy, is credited with the triumph. Their scheme is for the expert swordsman Boland to teach the deputy his skills so that Robin can be beaten in a fair fight. If indeed anything is ever likely to be fair with the deputy!
Once training has been completed, the challenge is issued. Perhaps the deputy isn't 100% certain of victory, for he advises Boland, "if I should trip, you shall have the pleasure of killing him yourself."
Boland and Little John are the only witnesses at the duel. The fight commences. "Boland taught you well," Robin observes to the deputy. In the end however, as expected, the Deputy has to yield. Noblesse oblige, Boland refuses to follow instructions, and Robin is not struck down by him

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The Champion
The Deputy Sheriff's latest scheme is to announce to Lady Marian the sad news of her father's death, on the field of battle in the Holy Land. The law states that in the absence of a male heir, a new master of her lands and property must be appointed, his choice is Sir Guy (John Horsley). But as we hear, when the deputy later meets up with Sir Guy, it's all a fabrication about Marian's father's death.
Blustering Uncle Percy is castigating two 'surveyors' he has found on their land, carrying out Sir Guy's instructions, so they claim. Marian informs Robin Hood, and Friar Tuck is able to inpart some much better news, he has met a friend recently returned from Crusade, who had met the so-called dead man well after the date, according to the deputy, of his death! They decide on using delaying tactics in law, to prevent the takeover, giving time for Marian's father to get back home.
However they reckon without sixty year old Percy. He is obviating any case in law by challenging Sir Guy to a duel. Now Sir Guy is no fighting man, but at half Percy's age, he can surely not lose. Percy however is confident of victory, though when Marian hears of it, she is highly doubtful. Robin duels with Percy, to prove that the old boy is past the age of fighting. But Percy is adamant. He sees it as "cheating," were Robin to take his place. So Robin tries another trick.
At the Green Dragon, Sir Guy is practising when Robin, Will and Little John show up, heavily bandaged. Sir Percy did it, they explain. "Impossible!" cries Sir Guy, but when he is shown Robin's prowess with a sword, a seed of doubt is sown. He gets the jitters.
The contest commences, the deputy looks on confidently. It is Percy who is victorious! In a neat twist, we find that the cowardly Sir Guy had got Robin to be his champion. End of another of the deputy's schemes

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The Debt

As so often, Tuck is taking a short rest, in the forest, when he is robbed by a man claiming to be from Robin Hood. Naturally Robin wants to meet the man who steals alms for the poor.
This man Martin is now robbing poor peasant John, but accidentally he shoots him with his arrow. He relieves Lady Marian of her brooch, and her horse. But Robin thankfully catches up with him. "I've come to join you," Martin tells Robin, and since he had saved Robin's life in the Holy Land, Robin has to agree even though Martin seems to have no scruples about robbing even poor people.
Robin has to tread carefully, for Martin is aware Lady Marian is in with the outlaws. Robin invites Martin to join him on a raid, as a way of making sure he is discredited in the eyes of the sheriff. Very unwisely, Martin holds up the deputy Sheriff himself, and he falls into one of the sheriff's cunning traps. Now he is rescued by Robin so that his debt is paid.
Robin and Martin fight over the stolen money. Some cheating by the incorrigible Martin sees Robin wounded in his arm, though Robin naturally has the final word. Since John has sadly died, the money is kindly donated to his daughter

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The Bagpiper

A mediocre story about a Scotsman that Little John and Will meet- with the usual jokes about kilts. He is Duncan (Hugh McDermott), an old friend of Robin's, who gets Marian to repair the bagpipes that the outlaws had shot at- in mistake for a deer. He takes a fancy to her.
Next morn he reveals he's here in repsonse to a challenge from Tam The Piper. Robin is asked to accompany Duncan to the contest, and despite his protests, he has to wear a kilt.
At the castle of Sir Fulke, they meet Tam. Robin dances while Duncan plays. Robin realises that Duncan is here for revenge on Tam. The pair have a skirmish with Duncan victorious, however Sir Fulke has seen through Robin's disguise and has them arrested by the sheriff's men. But with some assistance from Will and Little John, Robin escapes, Duncan being slightly wounded.
Slight is the operative word.

And the bad news is:
Duncan is still in Sherwood for the
next exciting story

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The Parting Guest
Following on from The Bagpiper, "the unbearable" Duncan of Stoneykirk in the last of four appearances, is still hanging about Sherwood. Playing his bagpipes early in the morn is no way to win the Outlaws' friendship, though his porridge is much appreciated by Marian.
Jessie is his lassie, and she has travelled all the way from Scotland to seek him. He refuses to return north wi' her.
Robin hatches a scheme to get Duncan to leave: he starts making eyes at Jessie himself, she sings in praise of Lincoln Green, Duncan confronts Robin and his "passionate persistence." "I hope you'll be very happy," he confides, since he himself is after Marian!
"He's got Jessie, and I've got you," Duncan tells Marian, who is not amused. The two women resort to fighting, as it all becomes very cliched. Robin proposes an archery contest instead, but Marian is bound to win. He offers five gold crowns to the winner. Marian notices that Robin gives her a doctored arrow. She fires, but is wide of the mark.
Thus Jessie wins, and Duncan takes her, and her prize, away. Marian admits she threw it. "My ain true love," Robin laughs with her, in mock imitation of Duncan, who is thankfully never ever seen again

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The Pharoah Stones
Little John helps himself to a travelling bag belonging to a traveller with a strong West Contry accent. However the stranger is not the dullard he seems, for he persuades LJ to purchase three stones, "they foretell the future."
Will is training Edgar, a new recruit, when they are attacked by soldiers. LJ, believing the stones have declared him invincible, comes to their rescue.
Robin is seeing Marian home, when they part with a kiss. LJ, obseesed with his stones, is worried about their safety, having been warned by the stones. In fact a tree almost topples over Marian!
LJ is now convinced his stones are a boon. The stones tell him not to attack the wicked tax collectors, and the other superstitious outlaws follow LJ's lead. Only Robin and Will are prepared to go on this mission, though Marian is also willing. They must, since the villagers will starve otherwise.
Robin hatches a scheme to convince LJ to go against the stones. Will pretends Marian has been arrested, and despite what the stones warn, LJ is prepared to go to her rescue.
The tax collectors are counting their cash in an old barn, LJ is caught by them and placed in irons. But the other outlaws come to his rescue and grab half the cash. LJ decides he's done with the stones so Robin chucks them away far into the forest

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A Touch of Fever

Derwent leads an ambush on three travellers, who, after a fierce fight, tell Robin that they have returned from the Holy Land, with a "few trinkets." Their leader is Sir Nigel (John Carson) who is on his way to see his cousin, Lady Marian. "We can't very well rob a relative of yours," Robin tells her.
Sir Nigel succeeds in getting away from the Outlaws, and pursues one of the robbers, as he believes, to Fitzwalter Hall, not realising Marian is the one he was chasing. He tells her he wants to settle down and why not marry her? Is it "a touch of fever?" Marian offers him no encouragement.
She and he have a race on horseback, and having eluded him, she makes for her assignation with Robin. But Nigel has spotted them, and now, if she won't marry him, he threatens to tell about her meeting Robin... to the sheriff. She gives him short shrift.
The two indulge in a spot of archery. She is clearly better. In anger Nigel informs the sheriff of what he knows, but the sheriff is blind to Marian, and Nigel angrily accuses him of being in league with her.
He falls out with his men over the treasure they have brought from the crusade, and it ends up with the sheriff offering him the services of a good doctor. Somehow the story never quite finds the comedy to which it evidently aspires

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Six Strings to His Bow
Sir Alan A Dale sings with his harp, but who is firing an arrow at him? Is his singing that poor?
Robin Hood, no less, offers him protection, but all the thanks Robin receives is getting knocked out. Actually Sir Alan is wanted, though he knows it not, for murder. Another shot at him, but this time it is Lady Marian who is wounded, though only a graze to her arm.
Then Alan scraps with the Sheriff, both hurt. Marian persuades Robin that he help Alan.
This is a muddle of a tale, as Lady Marian having helped Alan, is felled from her horse, scattering fragments of her cloak for any Sherlock Sheriff to find, just catch this woman the detective gasps, and Sir Alan's chivalry will make him give himself up. The Sheriff has almost tracked down Alan's female accomplice when Sir Alan chucks a harp at him. Anyway it was only Robin the sheriff had been chasing, in disguise.
His head between his tails, the sheriff yields and Sir Alan joins Robin's band

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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.
The outlaws hold up four horsemen, escorting a prisoner. "Cut that man loose," orders Robin. The prisoner, Ralph, wildly kills one of his captors, who is allegedly a replacement for the currently useless Sheriff of Nottingham, who is leaving for London for three months (re-education, I would guess).
The plan is that Ralph will pose as the replacement sheriff, and so Ralph fixes a time when he will be inside Nottingham Castle, and able to get Alan released.
However this is all part of Ralph's cunning plan to trap Robin, since this Ralph is indeed the cunning new deputy Sheriff himself.
The Deputy gets Alan to play on the harp, so as to lure Robin into the inner sanctum of the castle. The trap is set.
The deputy is also convinced that Lady Marian is in league with Robin. That our dim old Sheriff cannot accept, "are you sure you're not being too clever?" For Ralph hopes to get Marian to betray her loyalties.
The old sheriff watches on as Robin climbs the rope left by Ralph, into the room where Alan is playing. "You're trapped!"
The deputy sinks so low as to put a sword close to Lady Marian's neck. Such unscrupulous behaviour brings out the gentleman in the retiring Sheriff, even at the cost of losing his prized outlaw. Lady Marian's honour is intact too.

Thus Alan Wheatley bows out of the series with some dignity, "there he goes- the old fox"
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The Lady-Killer
This story reintroduces Will Scarlett, first seen in series 1, but now played by Paul Eddington.

After spotting some tasty venison, Robin is thwarted when a stranger shoots his quarry first. But the man is arrested for killing the king's deer. Robin and Derwent rescue him.
He is Will of Winchester, who introduces Robin to Maud, with whose father Will is currently staying. But they have strayed far from home, "Will wanted to show me his crossbow."
So they stay the night with the outlaws, and Will shows off his new type of crossbow, superior, he claims, to Robin's longbow. Of course Robin can't resist a challenge, and discovers the crossbow certainly is effective.
Maud's dad has got the sheriff on the track of Will, who, while kissing Maud, is arrested. "You are to be hanged," the sheriff coldly informs him.
Will attempts to bargain: he will supply crossbows like the one he boasts of. The sheriff sees a demonstration of the new crossbow.
Marian warns Robin that the "popinjay" is in trouble and needs rescuing again. Will has proudly shown off the abilities of his new bow, but of course the sheriff has a trick up his sleeve. Will is to be the target of the crossbow. He makes a run for it.
"Drop your sword," Robin, riding in, shouts to the sheriff. The latter is held prisoner while Robin bravely recovers the crossbow, and the sheriff becomes the new target for it. Of course when Robin fires, he misses on purpose. Will rides off in triumph with Robin
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Tuck's Love Day
A rather different story, with some dialogue shot on location.

Sir Geoffrey (Basil Dignam) has returned from the Holy Land. The sheriff's men catch him eating blackberries on what they claim is the sheriff's land. It is my land, protests Sir Geoffrey.
Robin soon discovers that the stream used for marking the boundary between Sir Geoffrey's land and the sheriff's has been diverted.
Friar Tuck is on the carpet for not collecting alms for the poor. His abbot is impressed when he promises to "spare no effort" to raise the money from the rich. He proposes to hold a Love Day, apparently an annual event enabling the church to decide on matters of law. Thus he can decide on Sir Geoffrey's claim, and since the sheriff is too mean to pay for a lawyer, he agrees that Friar Tuck can decide on the dispute. Of course, he is ready to ensure the verdict goes in his favour.
While Tuck's unusual court is in session, at the scene of the disputed territory, Robin's men divert the stream back to its former course. Though the sheriff's men spot the manoeuvre, a brief swordfight ensures they are pressganged into unblocking the dam.
"The boundary is the stream," declares Tuck at long last. Of course, just then, the newly rediverted stream decides the issue, the sheriff all but washed away in the flowing waters
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The Loaf
The bad old Sheriff, not his deputy, is in this.

A boy and girl nick a loaf from two soldiers. Friar Tuck stops the pursuit, gicving the lad sanctuary in his church. The fact is that The Sheriff has pushed the price of bread so high that stealing is the only option left. The lad's sister throws mud at the soldiers to boot.
The Sheriff is all for breaking into the church and grabbing the child. But since that is impossible, he loudly pronounces that the boy "will be hanged." Alternatively, five husdred freshly baked loaves will secure his release. Since all flour is being held by the Sheriff, to push up the price of flour even further, this is an impossible demand. He even ensures a strong guard is kept at The Old Granary, where all flour is stored.
Will poses as one of the Sheriff's men, but is unable to persuade the guards that the flour must be moved, despite the forged order that Robin has written. So Robin himself poses as The Sheriff, and creates a fake battle in front of the Granary ostensibly chasing away the outlaws who have apparently come to steal the flour. As it is dark, the guards are fooled easily enough, and the pretend sheriff decrees that the flour must be moved to Nottingham. It is done, only the flour is used for the purpose of baking the required loaves.
The Sheriff awaits "the loaves of mercy" in confident expectation that they will not materialise. But one by one, the bread is donated as the sheriff despairs- more could have been made of his thwarting. As it is, he angrily snaps, "keep your bread," and stomps away.
The lad is allowed home. The bread is happily taken away by hungry peasants
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Sybella
Bound for the Holy Land, The Earl of Staines is attacked and killed by Lord Onslow, one of John's supporters. Onslow takes the Earl's place.
Marian is attending the sheriff's ball, though very few guests are in evidence. They are entertained by a magician assisted by The Dancing Girl Who Never Forgets. This is Sybella, and she remembers the answer to any question the magician puts to her. The latter happens to overhear that Onslow has taken the Earl's place. Once spotted, he tries his vanishing trick but is shot dead. Sybella however escapes and is rescued by Robin Though frightened, she needs to pass on the news, but ironically is unable to do so.
Marian rides to meet the Earl, finding him at the Falcon Inn. It is too late to warn her that Sybella has got out the news that the Earl is dead and that Baron Onslow is masquerading as the Earl. He intends to ride to the Holy Land to assassinate King Richard.
Naturally, Robin rides to Marian's rescue, fighting a duel with Onslow, with a little assistance from Marian herself. The plot has been thwarted

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The Flying Sorceror
Lord Ellmer (Arthur Howard) is in the marketplace with a feather that flies. Gossip has it that the old eccentric is a witch.
Lord Giles of Richmond is in town to collect John's taxes and is disgruntled by the sheriff's failure to produce his quota. He eyes Lord Ellmer's lands, and with the sheriff hatches a plot to dispose of Ellmer and grab his castle.
The kindly old Ellmer enthusiastically explains his experiments on flying to Lady Marian, "if man ever does fly, it won't be on a broom!"
He is captured by Giles' men and led into a trap. But Robin has got wind of the plan.
Three men, pretending to be serfs intercept Ellmer and are allowed to push him over a nearby cliff. But Robin arrives in time to prevent the tragedy. The sheriff however is happy enough for, with Robin trapped on the cliff edge, he shouts out," you're surrounded."
Ellmer's experiments come in handy, He uses his kite, to which is attached a rope, and it flies across the cliff, "it worked!" The rope, imbued with a life of its own, gives Robin the opportunity to escape, an unlikely scene in which Robin gives Ellmer a lift on his back as they scramble their way to safety.
Too late the sheriff discovers that Robin has eluded him once more. After the escape, there's a brief shot of Ellmer collapsing after his ordeal. You'd have thought Robin might have been a bit tired too

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The Truce
Robin and Little John hold up a stranger, who challenges Robin that he will beat him with a bow and arrow. Even though this Mark Crispin claims to be The Champion Bowman in England, of course Robin beats him.
Crispin leaves them, and makes for Lord Repton (Richard Caldicott), who has wagered 500 marks with the Deputy Sheriff that he can find an archer who can beat any that the Deputy can produce. The only candidate that the Deputy can think of, might be Robin himself. Thus the outlaw is offered a truce, though will the deputy honour it?
On the day of the contest, with both men confident, the wager is increased. Lord Repton becomes suspicious why the Deputy is quite so confident of winning. Once he has realised that his opponent is Robin, albeit in disguise, he tries to persuade the Deputy to throw the contest, on pain of being exposed as shielding an outlaw.
But Robin wins round 1. Round 2 the moving target, same victor. The Deputy claims the wager. Robin gets in first to accuse Crispin of being Robin Hood! That takes the wind out of opposition sails!
It's a neat turn, in this generally feeble tale in which the Deputy seems extraordinarily upright, even with that magnificent purse of 1,200 marks
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The Charm Pedlar
Hugo (Victor Maddern) is selling his numerous dubious powders at a village fair. When Robin later holds him up, the fellow has no cash about his person, and even offers Robin an ancient fragment from Noah's Ark. But Robin is unimpressed with this gentle "rogue," and lets him go.
Marian however wants the deputy Sheriff to run Hugo out of town, for she has seen poor peasants being swindled. Friar Tuck wants Robin to do much the same, so Robin shows up as a rival to Hugo, taking away his trade. First item he offers for sale is Caesar's skull, a shrunken relic, and a bargain at twopence.
Enter the deputy, following Marian's request, to arrest Hugo, as well as the disguised Robin. They are thrown in prison, where Hugo reveals his confidence that he will soon be released, for the deputy is given half his takings. But Hugo is in for a nasty shock, he and Robin are to be hanged. >br>Trading on the greed of the guards, Robin escapes, taking Hugo with him. Posing as members of their own excecution party, they exit the city via the main gate.
Here The Outlaws are waiting, planning to spring them from prison, and seize the moment by attacking the group. They soon realise their error.
"Stay away," is Robin's sage counsel to Hugo, and he departs, without any of his profits

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The Reluctant Rebel
Sir Geoffrey Claire (John Carson) and his man Herbert (Leslie Phillips) pose as dangerous outlaws, Tom of Tadworth and Jim Stark, as research for a book Geoffrey is to write. Leslie Phillips puts plenty of fun into his role, indeed he is pro tem the equal of his master.
They come on Robin Hood who gives them a test in archery, and by lucky chance 'Jim' scores a bullseye. But 'Jim' is less adept at wrestling Little John until Robin gives him a tip. However Robin has seen through the pair.
He decides to give them a chance in a raid to release a prisoner of the sheriff. 'Tom' wants to inform the sheriff of such lawlessness, but 'Jim' is has more scruples about betraying his new friends. The two of them clash swords, the winner takes his ex-master back to camp.
The raid is successful and the notorious outlaw Jim Stark is freed, to come face to face with the fake Jim. Herbert talks himself and his master out of a hole very neatly

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Hostage For A Hangman
Will has persuaded Alan to serenade a fair lady for him. It all goes awry when two of the sheriff's men attack them, and Will is captured.
Very surprisingly he is later allowed to go free, with a message from the Deputy Sheriff, to meet Robin under truce. The place to be fixed by Robin.
The two meet. The subject is The Hanging of Robin. He must give himself up, otherwise two innocent men will be hanged every sundown, until Robin complies.
Robin decides to capture two lords whom Marian is being required to entertain. They are lackeys of Prince John. The pair are tied up in the forest, though Robin promises to release them if they return to John and advise him of the evil act the deputy plans. They do not agree.
Thus the two 'innocents' that are first to be captured are these two lords who have been dressed up as serfs in "filthy rags." Despite protesting their nobility, they are taken prisoners.
The confident deputy meets up again with Robin. The latter explains that he has kidnapped the two lords, and will be forced to kill them. "You're worse than I am," expostulates the deputy.
In a typically sly move, the deputy has brought forward the time of hanging to noon, so Robin has to dash to the rescue of the two lords, who prove suitably grateful, and reprimand the deputy, "Prince John shall hear of this"

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Hue and Cry
The deputy sheriff is out and about assessing peasants' taxes. He is attacked and robbed of his chain of office. In a dazed state he makes for the nearest village, where a peasant inadvertently reveals that villagers are awaiting the arrival of the Deputy, meantime they have hidden their cows!
The law of Hue and Cry mean that the peasants must trace their one missing taxpayer, Dick, who is deemed to be the one who has robbed the deputy. Else they all will be punished for the crime.
Dick has made for Lady Marian's, where he shows maid Jane the chain. It seems that he had only taken it, because she had dared him. "Suppose they catch you?"
Jane informs Lady Marian, who in turn asks Robin to help. Will, meanwhile, has discovered Dick burying the chain and he too is taken to Robin.
The villagers have all been locked up. They will be hanged unless Dick is caught.
Robin's scheme starts with a meeting with the deputy, offering to return the chain. The next morning, at a piggery, the deputy arrives, allegedly alone, to collect said chain. A yokel, actually a disguised Robin, hands it over. Marian also brings Dick and Jane here, and Dick and Robin stage a mock swordfight to convince the deputy that Dick is attacking the robber of the chain. The deputy's reinforcements suddenly show up, and the poor deputy gets tipped into the pig swill. Time to cheer now!
The deputy lets the villagers go free, believing Dick innocent, and for his trouble is robbed by the Outlaws

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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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Blackbeard

In the year of our Lord 1718, Captain Woodes Rogers, the new governor of the Bahamas, has come to offer the King's Pardon to all pirates. He's sympathetic to their current plight, being once a privateer himself, and he rejects Captain Beamish's suggestion to flush them out with guns.
This peaceable man lands with a small band at the stronghold of Nassau, where pirates are disputing among themselves over the latest booty. The argument is settled by Blackbeard (George Margo), who snatches the lot for himself.
News of the pardon is received with mixed responses. Blackbeard has his own opinion- he spits on the governor's declaration. The old governor (Alfie Bass), who had in fact appointed himself to the job, considers the pirates "good lads," and some are convinced by Rogers' reputation and are amenable to the truce.
They hold an assembly chaired by the eccentric old governor. Blackbeard of course is all for cutting the throat of the king's flunkey. But Ben and his supporters are for accepting the pardon, and the result is inevitable, pistols at ten paces. Rogers steps in and refuses to permit them to duel. Instead, he duels with Blackbeard who beats a quick retreat.
The impetuous Cpt Beamish is tricked by the fleeing Blackbeard into launching an attack from his ship, firing cannons at the fort which is Rogers' headquarters. He soon discovers his error.

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The Raider

Van Brugh (Alec Mango), a prominent planter on the island, strangely rejects Captain Woodes Rogers' invitation to join a Council formed to set the pardoned ex-pirates to work. Once a pirate, always a pirate is his attitude. And when Charley Vane starts firing at the town from his pirate ship, it seems he is right.
At the Council meeting, which van Brugh has finally been persuaded to join, against Woodes Rogers' advice, it is decided that Governor Woodes-Rogers should give chase in the Delicia, and bring Vane in to face justice. The governor is not keen however, as it means leaving the fort unguarded. However, with a bit of trickery, he persuades the lazy ex-pirates, lead by Benjy, to strengthen the battered fort.
Treachery! Vane is in league with van Brugh. The two are out of pocket now that they can no longer use the island for their smuggling acitivities. As soon as the governor has set sail, Vane is to attack and hold the fort. But van Brugh's wife (Jane Griffiths) warns Cpt Rogers, and he is ready for the attack.
"This is going to be easy," Charley Vane tells his men as they move on the fort. But they are in for a shock. Realising he has been outmanoeuvred, Vane runs for it across the dunes, and on the beach he fights to the death with the governor. End of Charley Vane.
Van Brugh has to feign enthusiasm as he joins in the town's celebrations.

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Captain Dan Tempest
"Trouble," in the shape of Lolita the ship of Captain Dan Tempest. He's sailed back to New Providence to see his girl Lolita and bring her dazzling tokens of his love, treasures from Peru taken from a Spanish ship. He has not accepted the King's Pardon, and so is under arrest, at least according to Governor Woodes Rogers. "Soft bellied cowards," Tempest brands the ex-pirates who have settled down peaceably, but a swordfight ends in Tempest's arrest and confiscation of the treasure. He's sentenced to death. End of series?
The governor offers him a pardon if he agrees to settle down. And now Dan "don't look like the same man," as he builds himself a nice house and then carries off Lolita (his girl, that is) to settle down there. But she's not enamoured of his new landlubber way of life and rejects his offer of marriage.
So Dan gathers up some of his old crew and retakes Lolita (the ship this time). However Woodes Rogers is on board, having anticipated what would happen, and Dan Tempest is persuaded to transport goods to Charleston to help the colony's finances. Lt Beamish, "that stuffed monkey," joins the crew of the Lolita, just in case Tempest tries anything. Though how the gullible Beamish could stop anything at all is rather doubtful.
At Charleston Beamish accepts a mere £5 for the cargo, but Tempest is made of shrewder stuff and the price is upped and upped, until £75 is finally agreed. On the return journey, here sails the ship of Blackbeard! Tempest's ex-pirates are all for joining the villain, but with Beamish's aid, and a cannon, Blackbeard has to beat a retreat.
Safely back in New Providence, Dan is now "spoken for," for Lolita has agreed to marry him.

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Dan Tempest's War With Spain
Not by any stroke could Robert Shaw's singing here be described as tuneful. Still, Dan Tempest is contented, before, that is, he reads the note from his Lolita: "Not Cut Out to Cook." She's sailed off to Jamiaca. Coincidentally, it seems, Woodes Rogers has also departed for the same island and out of the series, leaving Captain Edward Beamish in charge of New Providence.
Dan and his old pirate crew always knew they were not "cut out for this life"- and they start brawling, and end up in jail. Tired of waiting for their trial, it's an awfully simple job to blow a hole in their cell wall and escape.
Captain Beamish is receiving a delegation of Spaniards who have arrived in harbour in their ship the Esperanza. Pompously, the smug new governor receives his visitors, only to learn that they are taking control of his kingdom. Spain is at war again! "Resistance is impossible."
But the crew left behind on the Esperanza are soon cowering when Tempest and his three buddies drop in. They are away on their life of adventure again. But Tempest changes his plans when he sees the Spanish flag hoisted on the fort. He resolves to retake the island.
The ship is set adrift, which draws the Spanish delegation out to sea, and some are sunk, others put to the sword. The Spanish occupation has fizzled out.
Ironically, Dan greets Beamish who has been locked in his prison. Dan generously gives him the credit for the victory, and the pair join forces.

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The Wasp
Captain Beamish is composing a modestly boastful report of his governorship of New Providence, when his serenity is shattered by a pirate ship firing at his fort. Blackbeard and his men are making off with rum leaving Beamish and his men "tied down like a bunch of rabbits."
Dan Tempest now has the authority to deal with these marauders, for Woodes Rogers has just sent an official order appointing him as patroller of the seas around New Providence.
One lad from the belligerent ship's crew is taken prisoner. He's nicknamed The Wasp (Wilfred Downing, overacting). Beamish is impressed by his excuses, that Blackbeard had pressed him into piracy. He releases him from jail so he can work as cabin boy under Dan.
"No monkey busienss," Dan warns him and gives him a few much needed lessons on board ship. Swabbing the decks, cleaning the cannons soon has The Wasp deserting to return to his former master Blackbeard, armed with some useful information about Dan, and the offer to take up privateering alongside Dan.
The Wasp acts as go-between, arranging a meeting between the two men, out at sea, off Turtle Bay, alone.
Of course, Blackbeard is full of cunning, and springs his trap to take Dan and The Wasp prisoners. But the lad sees the error of his ways and helps Dan turn the tables, despite heavy odds against them. They leap off Blackbeard's ship, and back to New Providence.
Beamish reprimands The Wasp, but it's Dan who naturally has the last laugh, and the pair join forces.

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Whale Gold

"Scum and seaweed" has Dan drawn up from the sea, but to trained eyes, it's ambergris. "Once you get whale gold fever," warns the wily Pat (Noel Purcell), "you're not human any more." That's the corny theme for this tale.
Pat senses "a big strike" on the shore, "so big I can't even lift it." But its great value does lead to the predicted greed, against Captain Dan Tempest's rule to Share and Share Alike.
Stealing away from the boat, on to Whale Gold Island, Pat secretly commences cooking the ambergris, with Grimes as his partner, though Sykes gets wind of their scheme and demands his cut. "It's whale gold fever," sighs Pat.
Now some of it has been cooked, it smells so much nicer. Dan and the remainder of the crew of the Sultana are after the trio. In a cave they are still cooking, but fall out, Sykes running off with what has already been cooked. As he swims away, sharks put an early end to his flight.
Grimes and Pat also argue and there is an explosion, caused by the rum being used in the process. Then there was one- Pat is left, and Dan finds him lying alone in the cave. "I've got the whale gold fever," he again moans pathetically- pathetic also is the word for this tale. Even the fine Noel Purcell isn't convincing in this part that was made for him. But Dan forgives him, so I suppose, so must we.

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Slave Ship
George, Ernest and Sam are three slaves who rebel against their master's harsh treatment. They escape to the river, pursued by hounds, and flee in a rowing boat. Narrowly, they miss the gunfire from New Providence and drift out into the open sea. But desperate for victuals, when they sight a British ship, they creep on board by night and have a surprise takeover from the lax crew and Captain Scobie, who are set adrift in an open boat.
However the three are no experts in seamanship, but they have a stroke of luck when they realise this is a slave ship. A ready made crew, who are released, and who gratefully take on their share of the tasks.
News of the piracy is relayed to Lt Beamish. Dan Tempest sails to recapture the ship, now renamed The Liberty. Captain George, alias Savage Bill, and his crew put up strong resistance, but are finally subdued. We're not real pirates, explains Ernest, though Dan is rather impressed that these three could have overcome a whole ship's crew. Dan shows them clemency and allows them to row away to freedom. However he does relieve Ernest of the 1,000 coins he has plundered off Captain Scobie. The ship with its slaves, Dan returns to New Providence.
The slaves also receive kindness from Dan, who enters a bidding war for the slaves, making a very high bid of 1,000 coins for them, though as this was Captain Scobie's cash, it's not so generous. He frees all the slaves to enter paid work on the plantation.

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Gunpowder Plot
The Black Corsair's pirate raid on New Providence nearly exhausts their supply of gunpowder. Dan Tempest sets sail for Jamaica with a requistion for more powder, and he'll not take no for an answer.
The problem is that "it's red tape that holds the Empire together," according to wise old governor (Andre Morell), and he refuses Dan's request. All Dan can do is deliver a letter to the governor's daughter, the fair Meg (Pamela Wright), from her secret admirer, one Lt Beamish.
But Dan is not going away empty handed if he can help it. He schemes a fake pirate raid by capturing a man o' war and Armando is left in charge to fire dummy cannonballs at the town, while Dan and Gaff guided by Dicken who has pretended to be a castaway, help themselves to the powder, while attention is distracted by the cannonballs. Dan even has the time to stamp Beamish's requisiton himself, though Meg catches him at it and is going to sound the alarm when a kiss from Dan is enough to persuade her otherwise.
So Dan and his men return safely to the Sultana and sail back to New Providence with their gunpowder.
"My heartiest congratulations," beams Lt Beamish.

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The Ladies

"Canary bird" Dan Tempest is singing again. He's happy. While his crew are despondent, until the news spreads that the ship The Caroline will be sailing into New Providence on Wednesday. Her cargo- new settlers, women!
Soon Taffy is building a "nest" for "a pretty little petticoat," anyone, "I'm not particular." Gaff however approaches the whole affair more cautiously.
One sailor, Cranstone, reports to his old boss, Blackbeard, of the new arrivals. Blackbeard is interested. To stir up trouble, Cranstone also tells Lt Beamish of what Blackbeard is planning. Well, he is rather forced to tell under pressure from Gaff and Armando.
Cpt Hawkins (Roy Purcell) is in charge of The Caroline and dismisses Dan's warning of a raid by Blackbeard, "tie 'em up and throw them in the hole." But it's easy for Dan to turn the tables and he tries to convince Hawkins of the impending danger, "we have to trust one another."
Amid some ogling from a few of the ladies, the new settlers are transferred to Dan's ship, The Sultana. However Christine (Petra Davies), daughter of Cpt Hawkins, doesn't trust Tempest and remains hidden on The Caroline. Dan and most of his crew also stay on this ship, dressed as the women settlers, ready for Blackbeard. Even beards have to be shaved off to make them look passably genuine!
So Blackbeard is in for a shock! "What about the ladies?" he asks Hawkins as he leaps on board. An unusual swordfight follows, petticoats v pirates.
Inevitably a gloating Blackbeard stumbles upon Christine, "I love a girl with spirit." But Dan hurtles to her rescue, promising the pirate leader, "I'll cut you in two." He doesn't quite do that, but Blackbeard does have to beat a hasty retreat with his men all tied up.
The women arrive safely in New Providence, time doesn't permit us to see any more sadly.

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The Surgeon of Sangre Rojo
1722- Lt Beamish writes for help as an epidemic is sweeping New Providence. He declares a state of martial law. One victim is the Sultana's cabin boy, Dickon, so Dan rows him ashore, then, despite Beamish's quarantine order, sets sail in search of a surgeon. Armando accompanies him, as his daughter Angeline is also ill, and their plan is to disguise themselves as Indians.
Thus they land at a Spanish settlement. At the word 'epidemic,' the Spaniards all flee from them, and they find a doctor. Don Francisco, at point of a gun, is obliged to agree to come and treat the victims. The Spanish pursue them, their cannonballs feebly splashing in the water and limply on to the faces of the pursued.
Francisco realises Dan is English and is not at all happy with their subterfuge, but nobly agrees to treat the patients. He diagnoses typhus, "where there's fleas, there's typhus," so there's a bit of comedy as everyone on the Sultana has to be decontaminated- ducked in the sea, and their hair cut.
Dan traces the episdemic to pompous Van Brugh's warehouse, and has to set fire to the place.
So Dickon is cured, as is Angeline. The surgeon's work is done, and unofficially, he is allowed to return to his own people

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Before the Mast

The Felicity is to bring much needed supplies from Barbados to New Providence. But the Spanish are lying in wait for her.
Six of the enemy row ashore, and there's a row at the inn, for drink is in short supply, so angry pirates are served with turpentine. This makes them all easy prey to the Spaniards.
The crew of the Sultana are their next target. But Dickon reaches Captain Dan Tempest to warn him, though while he is gambling with Lt Beamish, already part of the ship has been set on fire. Brave Dan hastily removes most of the powder magazines from the flames as the men douse the fire. But one barrel does explode and the Sultana has to sail hurriedly to land to repair the damage. "Out of commission for two or three days." During that time, the Felicity will be at the mercy of the enemy.
Lt Beamish helps Dan fix himself up with a beard and an eye patch, so he can impersonate One Eye, a traitor for the Spaniard cause. Dan joins the Spanish crew in this guise, so he can sabotage their ship. Dickon stows away on board too.
The perceptive Spanish captain El Supremo, however, thinks that One Eye "reminds me of someone." But who?
Dickon is suspected of the sabotage and is readied to be thrown overboard, a ball and chain tied to him. But Dan's cutting of the mainsail convinces El Supremo that Dickon can't be the saboteur, and now suspicion is turned to 'One Eye.'
You feel nearly sorry for the noble but bamboozled El Supremo, as his chance at the Felicity seems to have blown away. But hope for him is renewed when Dan, alias One Eye is captured at last, He's to be given the thrown overboard treatment. And this time, his hands tied, he is actually thrown overboard. But the knots are not tight enough, and Dan wriggles free.
The repaired Sultana, under orders from Beamish, attacks El Supremo and "gives them a broadside they'll never forget." Luckily, Dickon has jumped into the sea as the powder magazine on the Spanish ship goes up in flames. Back on the Sultana, Dickon and Dan are safe and sound

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Dan Tempest and The Amazons
"I want the dock clean," orders the blustering Lt Beamish. He is talking about clearing all the rubbish in the streets, but maybe he also means Dan's men who are brawling over a woman. Dan's solution to the men's frustraion is blindingly simple, "More Women." He means, so they can do the cooking.
It so happens that the ship of French pirate captain Delacour, The Tigress, is running into New Providence. Is he to be trusted when he offers seven English women for sale for £2,000? Normally he'd sell his own grnadmother if he could. "It's a bargain," declares the eager Gaff to doubtful Beamish. The reason for Delacour's willingness to sell becomes evident, for the girls, lead by Abbie (Joan Sims) have displayed an unexpected spirit, and overcome the remaining crew on The Tigress. "The rats are abandoning ship," leaving the women to sail away, Dan in pursuit.
The ladies land on an island and start firing at Dan's men. Gaff attempts an ill-considered raid and is taken as hostage. However one of the girls, Mollie, takes a shine to him. He does to her too.
For once even the mighty Dan Tempest is flummoxed. But Abbie isn't, for she drives them "loco" with the smell of cooking, and worse, cuts Dan's ship loose.
Dan is man enough to see there is only one course open, a strategic surrender he calls it.
Together, Dan, Abbie and the rest sail for New Providence. Abbie demands that if they stay, they are treated well and that this port is maintained "clean and respectable." An aim to which Beamish heartily concurs. He likens their understanding to the Magna Carta!

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Articles of War
"They should be thankful they have fish," pronounces Lt Beamish pompously. But Dan's men are simply sick of such a repetitive diet. They "hate the sight of" yet more fish. Trouble is, the limited amount of meat left in the colony has to be fed to the sick, and the British sense of fair play ensures that sick Spanish prisoners of war receive rations of meat rather than them.
Gaff and Co dream up a scheme to set the prisoners free but the scheme is foiled and they receive a ticking off from Beamish. The unsympathetic Dan even adds, "it won't hurt us not to eat meat."
Under flag of truce Cpt Hernandez (Eric Pohlman) lands in Nassau to ask for the return of prisoner Count Pedro, first cousin of the Spanish queen. The alternative is that he will attack the next food ship which will be bringing fresh supplies of beef.
Gaff decides on another scheme. Armando dresses up as the Spanish count and announces himself on Hernandez's galleon. Soon the lads will be tasting red juicy meet again. But Hernandez sees through their subterfuge and Armando is put behind Spanish bars. If Dan tries any funny business, he will be thrown to the sharks!
"I'll teach those blanket-heads the meaning of discipline," Dan swears, when news of Gaff's miserable plot reaches him. But a swap of Count Pedro for Armando seems the only way forward.
However, Armando succeeds in breaking out of his imprisonment and as a parting gift, blows up the Spanish ship. All the Spaniards are captured. But that means yet more Spanish mouths to feed

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The Hand of The Hawk
Sid James makes a welcome appearance, and even sings Rio Grande in the Fountain of Youth. Chantey Jack he is, with plenty o' seafarin' tales. However at present he hasn't even "a bent farthing" so kind Dan Tempest buys him some soup. He is served by Costellaux, who bears an uncanny resemblance to his counterpart in modern day Lead Balloon (Michael, played by Tony Gardner).
Jack sings for his supper, a song which warns Beware iof the Hand of the Hawk. Enter Captain Flask (Anthony Dawson), and Chantey Jack scarpers, petrified. Not even time to finish his soup.
He is able to tell Dickon about a treasure map of Cat Island, just before he's done in. Dickon tries to tell Dan, but he's unaccountably too busy to listen, so the lad swims out to Flask's ship The Peacock, alone. Yes, he spots that Cpt Flask has a hawk tattooed on his hand. The Peacock is bound for Cat Island, Flask lands first, though he seems tormented by the singing of the late Chantey Jack. Dickon also swims ashore to find the captain digging in a cave. "I've been waiting years for this."
Dickon starts a-singing through the echoing cave. Flask panics afore he realises it's only a lad singing. He forces Dickon to carry the treasure chest, but more singing interrupts them. This time it sounds like Dan. Flask panics, randomly shooting, that inevitably causes the cave to cave in and he is buried.
The monotonous song is repeated once more back at The Fountain of Youth, Dickon singing this time. The nature of the treasure, standing proudly in the inn, is never revealed

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Marooned

Celebrating the king's birthday, Dan and his men fail to notice thieves helping themselves to provisions from the warehouse. That likeable villain Clip West (Bill Owen) is behind the raid.
Phineas Bunch (Willoughby Goddard- "I've wasted away a bit") is first to spot the theft and Dan and his crew are soon setting sail in pursuit. There's a battle royal, well a battle anyway, "prepare for full broadsides." Very quickly West's ship has sunk, "good shooting Tempest," cries the sporting West.
But though in irons, "Clip West isn't finished yet." He flatters the impressionable Bunch and promotes him to captain. Bunch releases the prisoners and Dan is marooned on a lonely island. "I'll get you for this, Bunch, and clap you in irons," Dan promises.
On the island, a raft is constructed, and Dan and his men paddle to Needle Island, West's hideout. By imitating fierce dogs, they hope to get the robbers to come into the open and fight, but in fact the thieves are arguing among themselves and are fighting each other.
Thus West, Bunch and the thieves are captured easily, and Dan puts them to work on his ship. "Three months," cries Dan eyeing the wretched Bunch, "and I'll have this man slim as a marlin spike!" Sad to relate, we don't see that happy day, but clearly Mr Willoughby Goddard was able to enjoy a laugh at himself

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Gentleman Jack and the Lady
A story improved by the presence of Hazel Court as a pirate with style.
A Spanish ship is sighted. Attack, cries Dan, but also after the prize is a rival French ship out of New Orleans, Captain Gentleman Jack in charge. The "two tough coconuts" exchange banter. "Coconuts have a tough shield," notes the wily Jack, "but if you crack 'em hard enough, they spill milk." But it is Dan who sneaks on board the Spanish galleon first, overpowers the crew and forces Jack to yield.
Perhaps Jack's crew are correct in murmuring that Jack is scared of the great Dan Tempest. Yet the truth is rather different, for Jack isn't really all he seems, he's a lady, Miss Anne Bonny. And she is laying her plans to snatch the Spanish ship herself.
Dan's crew are celebrating their victory at The Fountain of Youth. Our lady enters, all eyes on her. She makes eyes at Dan but issues the challenge, "your piracy is a violation of the alliance between England and France." She can charge Dan with piracy, the thing he has renounced- allegedly. But to avoid this she proposes settling the matter "like men"(!). By dice, in fact. She gets out her dice and rolls five sixes. Yes, loaded dice. But Dan knows that ruse.
So "the living mermaid" tries feminine wiles. Lt Beamish, he is putty in her hands. She doesn't have to do much for him to agree to this assignation with him. Then she tries her tears on Dan himself, and elicits a promise to meet in the moonlight after supper. So there are these two handsome men, all dressed in their finery, off to meet her, in a comedy scene, familiar, yet entertainingly done. But at the tryst, they meet only the other for Anne, alias Gentleman Jack, has sailed away with the Spanish galleon. The only comfort is, she hasn't got the cargo, which had been landed ashore.
She leaves behind two posies, one for Dan, one for Beamish, to round off the fun
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Mr Beamish and the Hangman's Noose
It had to come, poor Lt Beamish's "heart isn't in it," raising an eleven gun salute for his replacement, the new governor. Capt Mainwaring (Lewis Gedge) is the man, and he's nothing like his Dad's Army namesake, except he is "a strict disciplinarian."
Taking exception to the "ruffians," the ex-pirates, he arrests Beamish on a charge of piracy, for associating with these cutthroats. Court martial in London faces him, so Dan Tempest speaks up for him to this "popinjay." Against Dan's better judgement, his crew try to release Beamish, but they are spotted. In his ship's cabin, Dan is arrested, but Blackbeard's treasure map has been deliberately left to be found. Mainwaring grabs the bait, though he finds Dan has naughtily removed any way of identifying the location. "There isn't any hidden treasure," Beamish honestly tells the new governor. The grasping Mainwaring agrees to free his two prisoners, in return for the latitude and longitude of the treasure island. However it turns out no fair deal, as Beamish and Tempest are kept in their cell. Mainwaring sails off to dig up his fortune, leaving behind his partner in crime, Van Brugh, as temporary governor.
A warring Spanish ship changes everything. Dan and his crew are needed to repel the invaders, so the prisoners are freed. The Formidable, Admiral Bingham's vessel, helps in routing the enemy, but the admiral is far from pleased to find his new governor is away on Desert Island, treasure hunting. Thus Beamish is reinstated, and the "flimsy" charges instigated by Van Brugh dropped.
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Dead Man's Rock

Most interesting as this script which centres on Lt Beamish seems more suited to the original character of Woodes Rogers, even the way Beamish is dressed is akin to that of the ex-governor.

It starts with Beamish mysteriously burning secret orders he has received from the Admiralty.
Next he orders The Sultana be given a facelift. It's just unfortunate that a Spanish man o' war attacks New Providence with Dan Tempest's ship in dry dock. But rather oddly, a flag of truce is hoisted, just as things are looking grim. Captain Hernando Rodriguez (Richard Pasco) has one simple demand, one prisoner, namely Lt Beamish. "You flatter me," gasps Beamish, as Dan tries to hide a smile. If the acting governor does not give himself up, the town will be razed to the ground.
But why do they want Beamish? It seems related to the secret orders. Beamish can't see the town destroyed and perceives it his duty to submit, though Dan is more a fighting man, "we'll see 'em to the devil."
Beamish accordingly hands himself over quietly, though young Dickon tries to dissuade him, and is taken prisoner also. They are removed to an impregnable Cuban fortess. "No man has ever come out of these dungeons alive."
But Armando introduces Dan to an old man, "well over 100," who helped build this bastion. He knows a secret or two.
Down in the depths of the dungeons, Beamish is spouting Shakespeare to educate the young and ignorant lad. Then he is brought before Rodriguez to give up his knowledge of the secret orders. It is related to a British envoy who is coming to make an alliance with British alllies against the Spanish. Beamish must reveal all, or Dickon will suffer. Our gallant Beamish remains silent.
By climbing a creeper, Dan and Armando penetrate the stronghold- I'm unclear why they needed to consult the old man to find out this information. The guards are overcome, keys snatched and other prisoners released, including Dickon and Beamish. Before they escape, Beamish has to challenge Rodriguez to a duel, "well done, Mr Beamish." There was only ever going to be one winner

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Blood Will Tell
Gresham Isle could, according to solicitor Sir Gilbert Pym (Willoughby Goddard), fall into Spanish hands, for it has not been possible to trace the heir to the estate, Sir Percy.
Gaff had sailed with Peg Leg, who had abducted the young Percy, and according to him the lad fell into Davy Jones' locker. So who is this who claims to be Sir Percy? According to Dickon, the supercilious imposter is really Dogfish. This Percy and his servant Bellows are really in league with Van Brugh.
"Who's to say you're not Percy Gresham?" ponders Dan looking at young Dickon., and the scheme is born. But Beamish's conscience won't allow him to employ deception. But despite this, Dickon is trained into the aristocracy, learning the art of fencing, poetry reading, and even dancing, though sadly we don't see this.
Then both Sir Percies present themselves to Sir Gilbert. "I shall see Lord Percy, both of them, together," he decides in his wisdom. 'Tis an "embarrassment of riches," but wily Sir Gilbert has a trump card. Percy's old nanny, Nan Y Macao examines them both, neither is Percy she is fairly sure. But Sir Gilbert decides it is "a matter of honour," and that "blood will tell," and proposes a fight.
East Cove at daybreak is the time, though Bellows tries some dirty work, that is kidnapping Dickon. But dear old nanny is there to see justice done, and though she knows Dickon ain't Percy, she unties his knots and sees him to the fight.
So Dogfish v Dickon commences, the latter of course victor. "He made me," protests the feeble Dogfish. Thus Gresham Isle is safe with its new owner. However Dickon does the honest thing and hands the deeds over to the crown and the capable hands of Beamish
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Dangerous Cargo
The 'Cargo' is actually Lady Hilary, played by Sarah Lawson who does her best to charm but fails either to win over Cap'n Dan or the viewer, in this frustratingly annoying story with a muddled script in which the sets seem more stagey than ever.

"Steady as you go," cries Dan Tempest in thick studio mist. He's sailing to a secret rendezvous with His Majesty's man o' war Scarborough, Cpt Steele in charge.
Dan's orders, escort Lady Hilary to Barbados, for her honeymoon with the governor. Dan spurns her but changes his mind when Captain Mendoza draws alongside in his Spanish galleon The Bay of Cadiz. He demands Lady Hilary be handed over to him. Secretly (why I'm not sure), Dan abducts the maiden and gets her away from trouble in a small skiff. It seems she carries some important message about something or other.
Dan Tempest is charged with treachery, Lt Beamish takes charge of the Sultana to hunt down Dan. Alone with Lady Hilary, but no hint of romance, Dan is making for Five Keys, 'the dregs of the Caribbean.' Pirates all of 'em gather here, not the place to take any lady, so Hilary turns into a bosun's mate before the pair book into a disreputable inn. However Mendoza has tracked them down and Lady Hilary walks straight into his hands. Dan quickly rescues her from Mendoza's galleon. and delivers her safely into her husband's arms. In the nick of time, for he is just being denounced as "a contemptible swine," but now his hanging is cancelled and he receives his proper thanks
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The Return of Calico Jack

The Sultana is being loaded with goods for Charleston and thankfully "there's not a pirate in the Caribbean who will dare attack the Sultana."
Or maybe there is, for here sailing into port is Captain Jack Rackham, alias Calico Jack, "that means trouble," and in charge of the Sultana is only Gaff, for Captain Dan Tempest has gone on ahead, in other words, he's not in this story.
Blustering ashore, Calico helps himself at The Fountain of Youth, obnoxious as ever, Gaff tries to stop him and the pair come to blows. Lt Beamish intervenes to stop the rowdyism, and, in a typical Beamish blunder, it is Gaff who is locked up for "lawless and disorderly conduct," to Calico's obvious amusement.
With the connivance of the wicked Van Brugh, Calico takes possession of the Sultana. However fruit seller Mrs Wainwright is suspicious and her story sends Beamish to challenge Calico. Gaff has escaped his jail and the two of them thwart Calico's plot. So it is Calico who ends up in prison. Here endeth this strange little Shawless tale

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Ghost Ship
For three days the Sultana be becalmed at sea, me lads, Dickon and Armando are fishing when Dickon accidentally kills a diving bird. "Not an ordinary bird," warns Armando for it's an albatross. This is the cue for superstition to break out amongst the crew, though Dan Tempest castigates them severely for such nonsense. A potential crisis is thankfully averted when a breeze starts a-blowing.
As they sail onwards, they spot a Dutch ship "just drifting." Patroon is the name of the vessel, and Dan takes an armed party on board. "Something strange about all this," is there anyone on the ship? Seemingly not, the log book indicates the captain was the notorious Van Den Meer, a peg leg cutthroat.
Gaff and Dickon stay on board while Dan and the rest return to the Sultana to tow the Patroon into harbour. Strange sounds begin a-frightening Gaff, the sound of a peg leg a-walking on deck, then there is this groaning sound. Down in the hold, Dickon notices that the bilge hatch has been shifted. Bravely he descends down below, alone, "who's there?"
Gaff gets worried, now he is alone. Specially when the groans recommence. "D-a-a-a-n-n," he cries, scuttling back to the Sultana. "We'll never see that lad again," he sorrowfully admits to Dan. He could be right, for someone has cut the tow rope, and the Patroon has vanished.
Dan changes the Sultana's name and searches for the ghost ship. When he does, he sneaks on board and discovers a secret entrance to where the pirates are hidden. He plays the pirates at their own game, his groaning noises flushing them out. "It's Van Den Meer come back." Thus Dickon is rescued

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Conquistador
Two fishermen, including Juan, Armando's brother, are attacked by the Sultana, "s'impossible."
"Impossible," echoes Lt Beamish, when the news is reaches him. Dan Tempest has never returned to piracy! But even Beamish has to change his tune when the Sultana starts firing on New Providence. "I don't understand why Dan would do this," cries Beamish in despair.
But behind the attack is actually the Spaniard Don Estaban who has taken possession of Tempest's ship. Dan and his crew have been ignominiously locked in the ship's hold.
The traitorous van Brugh joins forces with Don Estaban and Beamish is sent "Dan Tempest's" demand for £10,000 if New Providence is to be spared. In response, the order goes forth that Tempest and his crew are traitors and must be shot on sight.
Dan tricks his way out of captivity and swims ashore. He hears the clamour amongst the people not to pay this ransom money, though van Brugh has persuaded the Council to agree. Beamish is reluctant to submit, but accepts the majority decision and takes on the job of taking the money to the Sultana.
Singlehandedly, Dan has now overcome the Spanish on his ship, released his crew, and together they reclaim their ship, Dan having a jolly good swordfight with Don Estaban.
It is now that Beamish boards the ship, his sole aim is to shoot the traitor Dan, if it is the last thing it does, which it surely will be. He is thwarted and has to see that Dan is no traitor, "I'm ashamed," he admits. But at least Beamish's honour is intact, for he never had any intention of paying any ransom

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Mother Doughty's Crew

Hooded intruders raid a merchant ship.
"They didn't steal very much," Dan points out, so what is their motive? Dan, whose crew might be under suspicion, vows to track these gentle pirates down.
"We're going to lie in wait," Dan tells his men. But Gaff is not going to help, he's smitten by Betsy Doughty (Anna Walmsley) and is joining the crew of Mother Doughty (Ena Burrill) on The Turtle Sloop. However he is rather surprised and shocked to find they are freebooters. "We never hurt anyone," explains Betsy.
Dan's patrol halts The Turtle Sloop, and he comes aboard to search, but Armando and Taffy discover nothing suspicious. They miss stolen jewels hidden in turtle shells.
Mother Doughty has set her eyes on The Stingray, a merchant ship, "a vessel you'd be proud to sail," she tells Gaff. Despite his misgivings, Gaff does some snooping on The Stingray, only to find it's a trap set to catch the pirates. Dan'll be waiting to pounce.
Even Mother Doughty realises there is something suspicious and plans "a little surprise." Her gang will storm The Stingray with guns a blazing and take over the command. Dan however has spotted Gaff through his telescope and Gaff has laid his own scheme, setting fire to The Turtle Sloop. "All your years of plunder have gone," Gaff tells the crew in moral tones, as they flee the burning vessel. He even renounces Betsy and is welcomed back with open arms by Dan and his men

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The Conquest of New Providence
After another dull song, homeward bound, Dan's crew espy Sam Bassett adrift in an open boat.
"We've lost New Providence," he gasps. The Spanish, lead by the wicked Don Estaban, have hoisted the Spanish flag there. "I am Master here now," he proclaims to the citizens. His reign of terror has centered on the lowly Maria, who is being forced to cook for him. She'll be given her freedom, if only she will reveal where Lt Beamish is hiding.
Dan has rowed ashore secretly and spreads the word that there's a meeting at noon at the Fountain of Youth. Maria lets Beamish know, he is hiding in the hills.
But Don Estaban is using Phelps the bootmaker as an informer and news of the meeting is relayed to the Spaniard. There's a mighty swordfight at the inn and though Dan escapes, Beamish and others are taken prisoner. Thompson the carpenter, who is being forced to make improvements to Don Estaban's new residence, is required to construct a gallows for Lt Beamish.
"Beamish won't hang, " declares Dan. He's right, of course. The condemned man is given his last meal, a dagger concealed therein. Hands tied, Beamish is then marched out to his fate. But that gallows is not built as well as it ought, instead of being hanged, Beamish is handed a lifeline as he drops to the ground. 'Tis a signal for Dan and his confederates to retake New Providence. Personally, Dan deals with Don Estaban, who loses the swordfight and has to beg for mercy.
At a celebratory banquet, Dan toasts Beamish. "Our conquest of New Providence is at an end," adds Beamish. With those fateful words, Beamish oddly disappears from the series, except for a brief appearance in Cutlass Wedding

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Hurricane
Here beginneth ye second batch of stories, with Dan Tempest and his crew enjoying adventures at sea.

It's a day off for Dan's crew, and boiling hot too, but the weather is changeable and there's no rest for the wicked. A hurricane blows up all of a sudden, so Dan orders his men to batten down the hatches. Then they gather the townsfolk in the inn, while Armando goes to see if his wife Maria and their baby are safe. Two fishermen are washed ashore and seek shelter in Armando's hut. One, a Spanish officer hands him two escudos for their help.
Next day, with calm restored, the damage must needs be repaired. But "tight fisted" Van Brugh refuses to loan any money for the work to go ahead. Armando tells Dan about the Spanish officer, who seems rolling in gold coins. It comes from a stranded Spanish galleon, the other shipwrecked sailor informs Dan. He is called Carlos, a Basque, and he promises to show Dan where their boat lies.
But of course a Spanish ship is wanting to recover their treasure. Dan and Armando swim ashore leaving Gaff in command of the Sultana to draw off the Spanish ship.
The grounded galleon is located but the enemy return and Dan blows up the vessel, causing it to sink.
The foolish Spaniards fall into Dan's simple booby trap, and after a fight have to surrender, while the locals go a-diving and haul up the sunken treasure. Dan shares it 50-50 with the natives

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Cutlass Wedding
It's a Red Letter Day, for Taffy is to be married. An excited Emily (Maureen Davis) prepares for the wedding, but it seems Taffy is much more unenthusiastic. It will be "like walking a condemned man to the scaffold."
Miss Abigail (Joan Sims) warns Lt Beamish against any "funny business." For it seems this wedding has been arranged to appease the womenfolk who have been shipped to New Providence. And when Taffy does a bunk, all the women threaten to leave. That must indeed be prevented, so who can be the bridegroom for Emily? Lt Beamish perhaps? Dan proposes the men draw straws and the lucky winner, or maybe he'd say he was the loser, is Sam Bassett.
Reluctantly Sam approaches her with flowers and sweets. But Abigail has been warned of this despicable scheme and the girls band together and give the men some rough stuff before rowing away into the sunset.
The "addle brained" females are pursued by Dan and his crew, and just as well with the wind freshening.
A stormy night gives way to a tired dawn, both boats having drifted helplessly in the darkness.
The girls land on an island, Dog Tooth Rock, where dwell a rough crew under their French leader (Paul Eddington). He promises to sail the girls to Jamaica, in return they pay their way by performing odd jobs. Yet treachery is afoot, for the gang are actually slave traders. It is indeed as well that Dan is on their track. A swordfight and the ladies are freed.
The smitten Sam Bassett proposes to Emily and this time the wedding happily proceeds. "That's the first marriage," observes Abigail to Dan. But who is she eyeing?
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The Aztec Treasure
Dan Tempest and his crew be at Port Royal. Armando gets into a pub brawl with the obnoxious Martin (Thomas G Duggan), who surprises Dan with the offer of sharing a treasure, 50-50. It's The Fiery Mirror, an Aztec treasure. Yes, Dan is certainly interested when he hears the Spaniards might also be after it. Not that we ever see anything of them! "I know where it is," Martin states.
On the next tide, they sail for the large island. Crocodiles, the jungle cats and Indians are the dangers that they will face. They crawl through studio bush after studio bush until the first setback, a toy jaguar is chucked on to Taffy. "Along came a jungle cat, and then there were four," quips the insensitive Martin. Though Taffy isn't dead, he is unable to trek through those bushes much further. After some crocs are shot, Taffy has to be taken back to the ship, assisted by Gaff. "One became a nursemaid and then there were three."
"You talk too much," is Dan's simple comment. But soon there are two, for Armando dare not pass the cross Aztec spears which bar the entrance to the cave where lies the treasure. There's the wheel of gold, "the fiery mirror!" "Let's get it out."
Aztecs not unreasonably take exception to this action and the thieves are captured and bound in chains. There's a quick trial and sentence of death is passed, execution at crack of dawn. But Dan and Martin break free of their chains. Dan has to prevent Martin killing the Aztec chief and the two prisoners fight each other! They fight until Martin is no more, serve him right.
Armando has braved the curse of passing the spears, and finds Dan nice and pally with the Aztecs. And so they leave the island in peace. The generous Dan has agreed to leave the treasure. He concludes with a rather trite piece of philosophy
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Prize of Andalusia
Off Florida, a castaway on his last legs. "I owe you my life." He's the first officer of The Daffodil. He splutters out the tale of how the Spanish ship The Isabella had attacked his ship, and stolen the cargo, gold belonging to England.
San Pedro is a neutral island, and it is here that Dan Tempest seeks for news of The Isabella. At the Golden Fleece, Dan strikes lucky, finding a sailor from this very ship. Seizing him by the throat, Dan demands to know where the ship is. He learns that the captain, Gomez, has taken the gold to the villa of the recently widowed Marquesa of Andalusia (nicely played by Jean Cadell). The old lady is returning to Spain with her husband's coffin, and has been persuaded, for a consideration, to transport the gold to King Philip. However she and her faithful steward Sebastian (Conrad Phillips) have eyes on keeping the treasure for themselves.
Shrewdly, she uses Dan to eliminate Captain Gomez's escort. With his eyes wide open, Dan approaches the villa that night to appropriate the gold back for England. Over the outer wall, he leaps, and snoops around. Gomez's men put up strong resistance, but to the Marquesa's pleasure, they are overpowered. She permits Dan to take the gold, "everything has gone as I planned."
Thus the gold is loaded on to Dan's ship, though just in time, the suspicious Dan rumbles her ruse. "The gold isn't in these chests!"
So Dan and Armando creep back to the villa to find the Marquesa on the point of leaving. She has hidden the gold in a coffin. Dan halts her and Sebastian has a swordfight with Dan. The winner gains the right to take the treasure, and that, of course, is Dan Tempest. As for the Marquesa, all she can do is return to Spain with her husband's body, but no gold
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Dan Tempest Holds An Auction

Dan is selling his cargo in Charleston. Governor Sir Charles Johnson offers him a price that's "daylight robbery" and Dan's not the only seller being swindled here. Paula Meadows (Jane Griffiths) and her brother Chris are tobacco growers, and are being also forced to sell for a pittance.
They are planning to take their harvest elsewhere to obtain a fair price, but Johnson's cronies are about to stop them when Dan Tempest stumbles on their plight. He saves them from a murderous attack, then they consult lawyer Fred Knox who arranges for local planters to attend a meeting at which Dan encourages them to stand up and be counted. "Johnson and his company are getting fat at your expense."
Dan tells them he is going to auction off his own cargo, and he invites them to enter their goods in the sale. It's going to be a slightly rigged affair, but then Johnson would otherwise be the only bidder. Knox is to bid, give Dan a promissory note for the goods won, which Dan will then transport to Boston, there to obtain a fair price. Dan will return with the cash won't he?- Of course he will, though some doubt it because of Dan's past shady reputation.
Johnson thwarts the scheme by getting his men to seize Knox, but of course Dan has anticipated this and he rescues the lawyer.
To the auction, and a fair price is obtained by all since Knox buys up everything, much to the governor's chagrin. Goods are laden on to Dan's ship. Johnson, though, has more dirty work afoot. Harbour regulations- port tax needs paying to half the value of the goods afore Dan can sail away. Oh, it's a new law he has just introduced. Lawyer Knox examines the document- ah it lacks one signature, so that leaves Johnson only with brute force. Dan's crew rally round to protect their cargo, while Dan easily settles his account with the rotten governor. Now Johnson is a broken reed.
"Goodbye Dan, and thank you"

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The Spy Aboard

'Tis on Abaco Island that Captain Dan Tempest is burying his hard earned gold for safe keeping. But not so safe, for Captain 'Peg Leg' Flynn (Richard Johnson) has spotted the deed and relieves Dan and his crew of the treasure. Despite apparently shooting Peg Leg, the pirate captain limps purposefully away, surely he must be "pistol proof," well that's the legend that precedes him.
Dan of course will retrieve his gold, but his most urgent job is to root out the spy on his ship who must have informed Peg Leg of the valuable treasure.
It seems easy to guess who- one of his new crew members- there's surly Sam, then there's Raikes (Jack Hedley), or is it Cookie? To ascertain the spy's identity, Taffy is volunteered to act as a spy in Peg Leg's crew.
So in the port, Taffy inquires after Peg Leg, and gets knocked out for his trouble, and bundled into a sack.
Face to face with Captain Flynn. Peg Leg reveals he had sold his soul to the devil. He don't look too happy either.
Shipmate or sharkbait- that's Taffy fate as Peg Leg awaits the report back from Dan's ship about Taffy's credentials.
Dan is able to spot his spy, and follows the trail of pigeons being used to despatch messages. It's a swordfight between Dan and his crew on one side, versus Peg Leg and his quartermaster, The Gorilla. A fight to the finish, "I'm going to destroy your lying reputation," cries Dan. You know which side wins.
After exposing Flynn as the con merchant he is, Dan helps himself to his gold. Peg Leg's reputation in shatters, his crew desert

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Flip and Jenny

A feast in the Windward Islands, but who is stealing their roast ducks? A hook appears to remove more provender. Two stowaways! Brother and sister Flip and Jenny (Jane Asher) Purdy. They want to be pirates like Dan.
The sorry tale is told, Lord Hinch had put their dad in prison, he's an indentured servant to his lordship, and the reason- dad wants his children to be taught to read and write. "The skunk" Hinch disapproves of such lofty ambition.
So it's up to Dan to get Purdy out of jail. The guard outside his cell is easily overpowered. Inside they hear the snooty Hinch (Robert Hardy) dispute with his prisoner, "will learning to read help them pick tobacco?" Hinch leaves him giving Dan the chance to release him. But Purdy won't go! Danny knocks him out and carries him off.
Lying in wait are Hinch's cronies. There's a fight, the children helping with peashooters. Dan relieves Hinch of his sword. That gets Hinch's dander up, and he offers £500 reward for Dan, dead or alive.
On board The Sultana, Purdy is demanding to be returned to jail to fight for his rights. Dan agrees, with a little idea of his own.
It's quite a shock to Hinch, to find himself surrounded by Dan's crew. At knifepoint, a ransom is demanded. But who is this? It's Purdy to the rescue (nothing to do with The New Avengers!)- Dan is being "unkind to his Lordship," and "the tables do turn," as Dan and his men are incarcerated by the smiling lord. As for Purdy's reward, that takes the form of releasing him from his indenture, a 100 acres of land, and the promsie to construct a schoolhouse.
It all sounds rather too good to be true, especially as the legal documents that Purdy signs to ratify the agreement cannot be read by the illiterate Purdy.
Part two of Dan's plan is simple and predictable. A simple jailbreak and Dan bids a hearty farefell to Flip, Jenny and their dad. It seems that Lord Hinch is a man of honour after all and that the Purdy's future is secure

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Indian Fighters

On board the Sultana is a hero, Indian fighter 'Understandable' Perkins (Ronan O'Casey), who has been given passage home to Charleston.
But when Dan Tempest mentions the man's name there, he is promptly arrested, correction, he resists arrest and has to be forcibly dragged off to jail. It seems he's been mistaken for the smooth talking Perkins. Governor Charles Johnson has incarcerated him, as Perkins, for not paying his rent.
Perkins has returned to his cabin, only to find it has been burned down. When he hears of Dan's arrest, he hands himself in, and ends up in the magistrates court. That's understandable. Dan listens to the charges of his non payment of rent. Perkins' complaint is that the Governor had unreasonably increased this rent fourfold. Guilty.
Dan's novel scheme is to knock out the magistrate, don his wig and robe, and summons Perkins into his presence. The pair of 'em knock out the guards and make their escape.
Young Paula (first seen in Dan Tempest Holds An Auction) calls the other Indian fighters to a meetin' at sundown outside Perkins' old cabin. Perkin's lives up to his name and seems to 'understand' both side's arguments. So here's the plan. Dan and his crew pose as Sultana Indians in authentic costumes. Governor Johnson is wining and dining Paula when news comes that his hunting lodge is on fire. Off he dashes, but his militia have been persuaded not to help.
Those Sultana Indians, with Paula's assistance, slip into the Governor's castle, Johnson Hall, and with no militia, the Governor appeals to the Indian fighters to side with him. They agree and stage a mock fight with the Sultana Indians.
Back at Perkins' farm everythin' is fine 'n' dandy. The rents have been cut, Perkins a free man. But Dan, well he's too busy a-kissin' Paula. That's understandable

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Mistress Higgins' Treasure
Near Virginia, Dan Tempest is landing a cargo for implements for local farmers. They cannot afford to buy them in town because of the exorbitant taxes (ever heard that story before?!), so kind Dan is smuggling some ashore for them. But before they can land, a black hooded figure steals on board, friend or foe? "It's a woman!" Susannah Higgins (Adrienne Corri), schoolmistress, asks "Man of Action" Dan Tempest to go in search of a pirate treasure she knows all about. "I've seen it," she tells Dan earnestly.
But Dan has had that one before, and can see the woman's head is full of romantic stories. Thinking she might be a spy of the Crown, he locks her safely in his cabin while he delivers the implements. But on land there's bad news. The farmers cannot buy the tools as they are all broke, ever since their goods, bound for England on a Crown ship, had been looted by pirates. So Dan returns to the Sultana only to find that the gullible Gaff has been smooth talked by Mistress Higgins and gone off in search of the treasure. But where?
Posing as a learned schoolmaster, Dan takes lessons at the school and though the children soon spot who he really is, they do tell him what he wants to know, that Pelican Island is Treasure Island.
By the time Dan reaches there, Gaff and his lady guide have been taken prisoner by Mingo, a Crown agent, guarding the treasure. Dan steps in to the rescue, and disarms Mingo in a swordfight, Mistress Higgins saving Gaff's bacon for good measure.
There's the hidden farmers' cargo, no great pirate treasure, still the whole adventure was a lot of fun, except maybe for Gaff who is now being pursued into the distance by the amorous teacher...
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To the Rescue
In Savannah, Paula's Uncle Louis is being swindled by his employers, a tobacco trading company. They are forcing him to sell his bumper crop for a pittance, so Dan agrees to remove it from the company's warehouse and take it to Boston, there to obtain a fair price. "If you fail," Louis points out, "I'm ruined for life." Regrettably the pirates aren't too quiet about stealing the tobacco and there's a skirmish resulting in Louis Brion being fined £200 and his crop confiscated. However Major Percy (Ewan Solon) shows some clemency by offering an amnesty if Louis will reveal who the thieves were- they all got away. Louis declines.
John Barker, captain of that pest of ships The Phillippa, is selected by Percy to transport the tobacco to England. But no crew wish to serve on the scurvy vessel. So Gaff, Taffy and Armando are inveigled on board, and locked in the hold. One hour in arrears, The Sultana follows The Phillippa with its reluctant crew. They get their own back by drilling some holes in their prison ship, "we're leaking cap'n, from stem to stern."
Their distress signal draws The Sultana to their rescue. A la Errol Flynn, Dan swings aboard the sinking Phillippa, and transfers the cargo to his ship. By the rules of the sea, it now belongs to Dan. However Captain Barker and some of his other conscripts have their own ideas. "Get your hands up." Swiftly Armando disarms Barker and there's quite a punch-up on deck before` Barker and his crew are summarily chucked overboard.
To Major Percy, Dan explains the legal points, and asks £12,000 for his tobacco, the sort of price it could fetch in Boston. As they don't shake hands on such a deal, Dan sets sail for Boston. Louis thanks Dan who takes Paula back with him to Charleston
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36 The Decoy
The Sultana is carrying a cargo of skins, bound for Charleston. From his pirate isle, The Terrible Turk (Marne Maitland) is on the watch for possible plunder.
Fleeing from him is a "lost lady," one Rebecca Bradbury (Virginia Maskell) whom Dan finds drifting in an open dinghy at sea. Once safe on the Sultana, she begs Dan to help rescue her husband George who had been kidnapped with her. Dan however is suspicious of her story, indeed he goes so far as to tell her he thinks it "rubbish."
Yet she is made of stern stuff, for though locked in Dan's cabin, she draws a gun on poor Gaff and Dan finally has to concede he was mistaken when he learns of her story. She and her husband had been travelling to Governor Johnson in Charleston to redeem their mortgage he holds on their plantation. Their failure to repay him will mean they forfeit the land to him. Dan suspects The Turk has been employed by the crooked governor to delay that payment.
So though the odds are against them, Dan sets sail for The Turk's isle. In fact he lands on the neighbouring Half Moon Island and gets Rebecca to light a fire to draw some of the Turk's forces there. There's a full scale fight after which the victor, Dan and his men of course, sail to the Turk's isle for another fight after which The Turk of course, has to beat an ignominious retreat.
Thus George is rescued and taken by Dan to redeem his mortgage from the surprised governor

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Instrument of War
Prisoners' Island off the Carolina Coast.
Dan runs ashore to pick up his cargo, a live cargo, one highland chief named David MacGregor. He's one of many on the island banished here from native Scotland for resisting the enclosures, and though they have served their sentences, their overseer Marsh (Alfred Burke) refuses to let them leave. Apparently they haven't the get and go to just go.
Bagpipes have been banned as an instrument of war (I'm not making any of this up), and when David's dad sounds said instrument to divert attention from David's departure, he is imprisoned. His plan doesn't work either, since David is spotted and locked up too.
Dan persuades his reluctant crew to rescue the prisoners, if only he could find uot where they are being held. To do so, Dan "gets himself arrested" by posing as David, hiding out with his sweetheart Sheila. Marsh's men catch him there, as per plan. Armando is to follow to the place where Dan is taken, to arrange a rescue, but he stupidly trips and is accidentally knocked out.
So there is no help for Dan, who is locked up with David, and both are due to be hanged on the morrow. With the gallows nearing completion, desperate Dan does something you feel the prisoners could have done before, that is do something. He gets David to make some makeshift bagpipes out of wineskin and a bamboo stick. The skirl draws the Scots with their dirks, though to be honest they are not needed at first, because Dan and David break out of their prison anyway. With the ad hoc bagpipes making an impressive summoning call, the highlanders clash with an almighty power on their captors, there's an easy victory, then Dan can set sail for Port Royal with David, to plead for justice for those left on Prisoners' Island
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Pirate Honour
Making for Georgetown, Dan solemnly warns his crew to be on their best behaviour as dangerous Major Langley (Brian Oulton) is "at the helm" at this port.
Yet Dan follows not his own sage advice, when he and Dickon rescue a young lad accused of theft. After the obligatory punch-up, they get him away and the boy and his mother join Dan on board The Sultana. He is called Edwin, and his late father Captain Drewitt had been an old friend of Dan's. Langley is after Edwin to get him to divulge the whereabouts of a treasure. At that word, Dan's ears prick up. Mrs Drewitt explains she had been sent a letter from her husband, stating he had buried his valuable cargo on Folly's Island, "in the earth, under the hand."
Edwin, his mum and Dickon return ashore and are promptly arrested, but at least that gives Dan a clear run to Folly Island. Langley tries bribery to get Edwin to reveal where the treasure is buried, but when that fails he threatens to flog his mother. Reluctantly Edwin tells all. "Send for Black Bart," cries the triumphant Langley. Now Bart was the pirate who had Cpt Drewitt put to death, he's a notorious character, Armando says he once made him walk the plank.
On Folly Island, an old hand made of ivory is found. Digging uncovers the chest, but Black Bart (Alex Scott) is on hand to claim it, "the treasure please." With Dickon, Edwin has broken out of jail and dashed to the island. Too late to save Dan who is now tied up on board his own ship. Dan is forced to walk the plank, but a nice trick, there appeareth Armando, whom Bart believes dead.a-swimming in the ocean. "You're dead!" And suddenly it's Bart who is falling off that plank, too late realising it is no ghost. A quick fight with Bart's men and they are all tied up.
The adventure concludes when Dan hands Mrs Drewitt the treasure and they all set sail for Boston
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Printer's Devil

This final story is improved by Miles Malleson who adds a little fun in his role as Josiah Parkerhouse, printer and philosopher, currently under arrest for his diatribe against the corrupt governor of New York.
"The truth cannot be jailed," he tells Dan Tempest, who becomes a philanthropist himself and rescues Josiah and hides him on board The Sultana along with his printing press. The plan is to drop him off at Cape May where the governor Sir Joseph James (Noel Coleman) is equally in need of Parkerhouse's exposure as "an unscrupulous dandy."
The cunning governor gets wind of Dan's arrival and sends his lackey Sharp (Maxwell Shaw) to search the vessel. But Parkerhouse is disguised as a sailor and the press hidden. Nothing discovered, the angry governor orders the ship to be impounded, Sharp being left in nominal charge. But Dan's men annoy him with their drunken singing, though this is done only to hide the noise of the press being concealed in a specially built cabin. Inside here, Parkerhouse prints some broadsheets exposing the rascally Sir Joseph's liaison with Blackbeard the pirate. Dan smuggles the leaflets ashore, taking them to an ally, Mrs Miles, a baker. As she wraps her loaves and buns in the printed attack on the governor, Dan rides round the countryside distributing them to all and sundry. (If you think this is really Robert Shaw on horseback, a close look on a freeze frame will disabuse you.)
"We must stop this scurrilous attack," cries Sir Joseph, who proceeds to try and arrest Mrs Miles. Dan is on hand with a cutlass borrowed from the good lady, as the governor attacks him with his sword. Youi know how it must end.
So Sir Joseph is rightfully stripped of his office and the story and series sadly concludes with Dan returning the cutlass to the goodly Mrs Miles. He doesn't even kiss her

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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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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." For a while in autumn 1958 she wore a blonde wig, apparently she was suing a hairdresser who had tinted her hair badly!
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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Undercover (No Hedda or Walter Tell or Gessler)

Austrians shoot a hooded black figure on horseback. He mutters a dying message that Jacques has been killed, and something about The Raven. Now Jacques had been a Swiss spy in the Austrian Emperor's castle and this Raven had supplied WT with valuable intelligence, so, posing as a poulterer, WT rides to Innsbruck to find a replacement for Jacques.
Herr Johann, the keeper of the inn where he stays, sets Ernst on WT and ties him up in a cellar, then informing General Michaelis (Ian Colin). But when he is convinced of WT's bona fides, it becomes clear that Michaelis himself is the high up Austrian spy, the Raven.
The Emperor (Derek Bond) has a right hand man in General Rheinhardt (John Longden), and they are planning a secret new route for all Gessler's gold to be transported to Austria. As Michaelis is also privy to this information, the next shipment of gold is easily diverted into Swiss hands.
But Johann has a daughter, Magda (Jill Browne), who is in love secretly with Austrian Sebastian, and he's the one charged by the Emperor of proving the suspected Michaelis' duplicity. Michaelis is followed and in a double coup, he is caught alongside WT! Resistance leads to the mortal wounding of Michaelis, but WT eludes capture by hiding in a beer barrel.
"If Rheinhardt brings Michaelis down, he must die or Switzerland will run with blood," WT had prophesied. So with the sword WT finishes off Rheinhardt, before making good his escape. Michaelis had handed WT the name of another high up Swiss sympathiser, General Fisher, so happily the spy ring is able to continue

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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
2 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 4, 6 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

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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
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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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The Eviction

Portobello be "not a good place to bring up a lad," but Jim lad disagrees with this common opinion.
At the tobacconist's, a rude fop, Lord Ellington, complains when Jim sits on his lordship's horse.
Later at the Cask and Anchor, as Long John helps Jim with his spelling ("exsellent"), the fop bursts in trying to seize the crew member who had earlier defended Jim. Miss Purity kicks him out. So Ellington complains to the governor about a brutal assault.
As a result Miss Purity's inn is closed down (not pure enough!). Amid her protests, the place is boarded up, and even LJ cannot persuade the governor to "listen to reason." Poor Miss Purity is in tears, until LJ rashly opens his big mouth and invites her aboard The Faithful, "only temporary like."
To the ship she adds her "touch of home", and soon, LJ believes, she'll have the crew knitting doileys. They are all getting desperate.
LJ redeems the situation by exposing a Spanish plot led by the foppish Lord, who is actually a Spanish agent who has kidnapped the real lord. He had been planning a coup.
The gov offers LJ 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, though everyone enjoys a drink "on the house"

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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

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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
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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

26 stories were made

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.
The series was previewed in September 1961 in the cinema at the Devonport naval barracks. It was attended by the stars and producer Anthony Bushell. Apparently it went down none too well with many derisive sailors who were watching, "I have seen worse audiences," commented Terence Morgan.

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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.
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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)

My reviews of the 38
surviving stories to follow

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 ('Lord of the Stomach'), Iain Gregory as Blondel, and Alan Haywood as Sir Geoffrey. Trader Faulkner appears in numerous stories as Prince John, but also as everyone from an apocethary to a priest to a tailor, usually bad.

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). Of 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 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 show 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 dares to declare that the dying king had indeed declared John his successor.
Fortunately Richard eludes a murderous attack by the treacherous Philip, thanks to his supporters rescuing him, he and brings Catherine to substantiate the reason for his delay.
Unfortunately she is in with John, so there's only one way for Richard to prove his honour- go to the Field of Combat with Sir Philip. The winner is crowned king, Richard naturally.

Uncredited speaking extras: 1 The priest. 2 King Henry. 3 A knight. 4 A soldier of the princess. 5 A friar
Lionheart Menu

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2 The Lion and the Eagle

As new King Richard rides into London, it's "like the plague," everyone appears scared of him, and the reason Richard soon discovers- Bad Prince John has been spreading 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 while his kidnapped mum is missing, held captive at Woodstock. "You will never spread your wings and fly away from me," he poetically warns her. But he also tells her that she is not a prisoner!
Richard follows her expensive trail of scattered trinkets and poses as a pedlar, getting Blondel to take his goods into the castle. Eleanor realises the ruse, and John decides to remove his mother to 'safety' in an isolated ruined castle.
But Richard follows the trail, and, scaling the ramparts, rescues his mum, confronting his errant brother. A Thousands marks to the man who kills Richard, screams John, but it is no contest and John is ordered to get out of England. As noone accompanies him, there's a fat chance of that happening!

Uncredited speaking parts: 1 Woman in street. 2 Scared man. 3 Prince John's cook. 4 and 5 A peasant and his wife. 6 and 7 John's soldier and his sergeant. 8 A swordsman

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, allegedly 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 natured, with Richard victorious naturally, and crowned 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 flimsy 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 between the paltry armies, plenty of rolling in the mud before John's minuscule retinue is 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.
Uncredited speaking parts: 1 The Bishop. 2 Knight. 3 and 4 Two soldiers

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4 The Wolf of Banbury

Rich Lady Rosalie, engaged to Sir Geoffrey de Lacey, is kidnapped by "renegade murderer" 'The Wolf' (Francis de Wolff!) aka Sir Giles. 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 sends via a poor nun, his ransom demand. But he also plans to marry the fair maiden.
King Richard, posing as outlaw Sir Hugh, joins the Wolf's band, and has to prove his worth by kidnapping the poor Bishop of Oxford. He is to perform the marriage ceremony, "it will be interesting to tame you when we are married," Wolf snaps at poor Rosalie. "I would rather die," she cries.
That marraige of course can never be, so, on the battlements, the Lion fights The Wolf, with the expected outcome- one giant splash.

Uncredited speaking parts: 1 A prisoner. 2 A baker. 3 A woman prisoner. 4 Lord Chancellor (Ian Fleming). 5 A herald. 6 Soldier on horseback. 7 Bishop of Oxford. 8 Giles' guard

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School for a King

At Chinon Abbey in France, Richard is handed a document written by his father King Henry, full of royal wisdom that will enable him to become a good king. Summary: power corrupts, courage and justice are a king's attributes. "I promise I will do my best," says Richard.
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 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 an account of his stewardship. Stephen's response is to lock Richard in a cage, but locals supported by Sir Gilbert and Sir Geoffrey stage a revolt resulting in a gigantic fight.
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. 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.

Uncredited speaking part: Soldier chasing Pierre

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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 makes for the castle of his cousin Bertrand, "that madman" who keeps lions inside his castle. To them Bertrand throws any unwanted prisoners, earning him the nickname Lord of the Beasts.
The king is delayed by a pointless fight with one Sir Percy who asks for royal assistance as his fiancee Katherine has been snatched from him by Sir Bertrand. But the king says he is too busy trying to rescue Sir Gilbert, not realising he too is a prisoner of Bertrand. Percy challenges his king to a duel. No prizes for guessing the winner.
Cousin Bertrand (Kevin Brennan) has a sort of James Robertson Justice voice and swagger. He is indeed ferocious with fierce beasts to boot. He devises a plan with Sir Philip. This is 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- which is surprisingly docile, like a doped lion. In fact Bertram 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, releasing a slightly fierce lion. Thus Richard has a fight, 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 Sir Percy and the unfierce Bertrand.
Uncredited speaking roles: 1 Lord Chancellor (Ian Fleming). 2 prison warder (Andreas Malandrinos)
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The Pirate King

In Honfleur, Richard is waiting impatiently for his galley to take him back to England. He is informed that pirates 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, with a message 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, who totters in rags into the king's presence. Richard poses as a peasant 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 is a brilliant chess player, 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 lead's the king's men, aided by Sir Thomas- the aged John Longden, or his double, is unusually active! After the skirmish, Richard's men dress as pirates and 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 since Sir Thomas & co leap to the rescue. Now it's hand to hand fighting, Richard v Forkbeard. Poor Sir Thomas looks knackered.
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.
Uncredited speaking parts: 1 Messenger at inn. 2 Landlord. 3 A Pirate. 4 Captain's second in command. 5 Second pirate. 6 Swimmer

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The Alchemist of Rouen
Something of the influence of Hammer Horrors can be seen in this story, with Trader Faulkner trading in his role of King John for 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 strange stupor.
King Richard comes upon Sir Geoffrey, who seems to be sleepwalking. In a trance he wanders the streets of Rouen, 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 Master Villanus. Geoffrey himself, apparently hypnotised, is in the arms of the beautiful Villa, Villanus' sister. 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, as well as permission from the king for Villa to marry Sir Geoffrey, she's besotted with him.
Richard must refuse, so it's a case of the old torture, the walls closing slowly until they grind you to a pulp. That will take less than one hour, unless Richard recants.
It's Sir Gilbert who prevents this nasty fate. 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. When he hands a lock of Villanus' hair to the king, he is appointed a baron. And a happy Rosalie and Geoffrey are reunited

Uncredited speaking parts: 1 Man pleading at Richard's court. 2 Archbishop
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The King's Champion

At last, Richard is crowned King!
At the coronation feast there are some vacant seats since Prince John has persuaded King William of Scotland that Richard's elder brother Prince Henry is still alive!
Many are wavering and even those at Richard's court are half convinced, Sir Gilbert has seen 'Henry', or his ghost, "it might be the old king himself."
Richard's right to be king is challenged by a messenger from Henry, the Black Knight. 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. He rides to Huntingdon, there to engage in combat. Only 'Henry' has persuaded the Black Knight to take his part. The fight commences on horseback, then on foot. "Richard's beaten!" declares the Pretender, but he's wrong there.
In fact this 'Henry' is forced to confess that he was only a worker in Henry's kitchen. We all know who put him up to it.
At another banquet, Richard and King William toast a peace.
Uncredited speaking parts: 1st messenger. 2nd messenger

To Richard the Lionheart start

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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 has already come to 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 been in hiding at Glastonbury, where he had learned 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 revealed to 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 offers a yawn, feigning sleep, his men following his cue.
"They will never leave," breathes Guinevere, as 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 his ace is that he holds Excalibur. Alas for him, it is far 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.

Uncredited speaking part: Messenger from King Percival

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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 quietly 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, rejecting several suggested liaisons, declaring nobly that he must 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 he falls for her and bets her a kiss that King Richard will not marry Alice. They kiss anyway.
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. Fro some unexplaiend reason, 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!

Uncredited speaking parts: 1 Chancellor (Ian Fleming). 2 Sir Thomas (John Longden). 3 Second Courtier

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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 has been teetering, especially since Philip and Alice are "sulking in his tent," actually a grand castle. 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 of course "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.
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.

Uncredited speaking roles: 1 Messenger. 2 The gaoler. 3 Captain Abbas. 4 Maid. 5 Saracen servant. 6 Knight with Alice

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The Norman King

The eve of the year 1191 sees King Richard with Queen Berengaria wintering in Sicily, guests of King Tancred (Elwyn Brook-Jones). Though they are attending a New Year's Ball, Richard is impatient to set sail for Jerusalem.
His cousin King Philip continues his evil scheming. For the masked ball, he dresses of all things 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 is a man of honour, and hides Richard in a secret passage, hoping to persuade him to call off the crusade, thus his life will be spared.
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 providing 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 part on the best of terms, but ready to meet on opposite sides in the Holy Land.
Not in in this story: Sir Geoffrey or Blondel

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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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The Adventures of Sir Lancelot

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