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

. . . . . DINOSAUR TV FILMED HISTORICAL SERIES
My favourite of these series must be The Adventures of Robin Hood. This series from Sapphire Films, and eventually distributed by ITC set the standard which other imitations vainly tried to emulate. Next best ITC series was surely The Adventures of Sir Lancelot, with William Russell bidding fair to outshine even the one and only Richard Greene. William Tell was a later addition to the genre, and I'd rate this nearly a success. The Buccaneers, changing horses in mid stream, never quite grabbed me, even though Robert Shaw made a swashbuckling hero. Sword of Freedom and the Count of Monte Cristo were, for me, the weakest, of these ITC series. The last of the line, as it were, Sir Francis Drake, had spirit, as well as a better budget, but exuded little charisma from its star who was always a trifle wooden.
Of the others, Roger Moore made a fine contribution with his Ivanhoe, and Richard the Lionheart was enjoyable, and perhaps the most historically interesting, if that matters.
Though not made in Britain, I have included Long John Silver in this section, because, well, because how can Robert Newton be forgotten?
So why did the genre die, in effect, after Sir Francis Drake? No filmed historical drama series were made after this one for a while, perhaps it was because the settings required bigger budgets than producers could afford. Or perhaps this was combined with the fact that the accent was now on hour long filmed series, and it was felt that the target audience of mainly children wouldn't concentrate for so long. Or was it simply because the formula was past its sell-by date? Surely not. Couldn't we have enjoyed The Vikings, or William The Conqueror, or The Canterbury Tales, or Bonnie Prince Charlie?
Picture: a romantic moment in Long John Silver
Question- Pick the odd series out: Sir Lancelot, The Buccaneeers, Sword of Freedom, Richard the Lionheart, Robin Hood. Answer. (It's the TV link I'm looking at, not the 'historical.')
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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, and his assistants; 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 assistant Frank Holland. Lots of the actors attended including both Sheriffs, Alan Wheatley and John Arnatt, plus Marian, alias Patricia Driscoll with husband Duncan Lamont. Also there was Paul Eddington ("given a big chance in the last serial"), Alexander Gauge, Archie Duncan and stunt man Rupert Evans. The report adds it was "a happy occasion." The picture shows Archie Duncan chatting with Hannah Fisher.
The excellent supporting cast contributed to the series' success. Most memorably Alan Wheatley, who said he received hate mail on account of his on screen villainy. Archie Duncan was Little John- however he was replaced in thirteen early stories, because he broke a leg when mastering a bolting horse on location shooting. He received the Queen's Commendation for bravery, since some children had been in the direct path of this horse.
The series provided a rare phenomenon, success for a British TV series in America, the Eldorado of all British production companies. In early April 1957, the series came a respectable 17th in the US National TV Nielsen Ratings with a score of 34.9, indicating over 11 million homes watched the programme (by comparison Sir Lancelot came only 86th).
To
Historical menu

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Wedding Cake

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

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

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Black Boar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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21 Prisoner in the Tower

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

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

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By Hook or By Crook

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Search for Gold

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

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Search for Gold

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

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

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Three Days to Worcester

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

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

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The Raven

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

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The Swindler

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

Ivanhoe Menu . . . To Historical

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WILLIAM TELL

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

These first in the series
were all made in HOLLYWOOD:

1 THE THREE NAPOLEONS
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 THE GOLDEN BLADE
10 THE DUEL
11 ANDORRA
12 AFFAIR OF HONOR

. . BRITISH MADE:

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

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

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

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

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1 The Affair of the Three Napoleons - (US pilot episode)

"In the year 1834, rumblings of rebellion threatened the throne of France. It was a time of intrigue, conspiracy and secret rendezvous."

Our first sight of the Count is at his desk leisurely sipping wine.
He has a visitor, Mlle Renee Morell (Faith Domergue) who makes an appeal to the man "battling injustice wherever he might find it" (Sounds rather like The Four Just Men introduction!).
Her father Albert has been done in while trying to find out the identities of the plotters against King Louis Philippe. The only clue, a snuff box with 3 gold coins.
But though she is positive that her father once knew MC while both were imprisoned in the Chateau d'If, surprisingly MC is cold and unhelpful, sending her away. It's because he is worried his own identity might become known.
Yet as a defender of the downtrodden, he does investigate the crime, first questioning a man in Vichy whose life MC had once saved. He learns that these three gold coins are the way that supporters of Napoleon identify each other. Morrell had infiltrated the group but had paid the price.
A baron, on his way to meet the leaders of the plot, is intercepted by MC, who then impersonates this baron. He presents his credentials, the gold coins to the leader, Paul, at a ball this man is holding. He introduces his fiancee, none other than Renee. She's puzzled at MC's presence here. Privately MC tries to make amends for his former rudeness, but telling her that her fiance is the leading plotter against the king isn't the best way of doing that. "I intend to tell Paul," she says to MC, but she is finally persuaded to give MC a little time to prove his accusation.
However the baron whom MC is impersonating gets out of his bonds and persuades Paul of his own bona fides. MC has to come into the open, and snatching the documents Paul holds with the names of all his co-conspirators, he makes his escape. Though Mario is wounded in the fight, Jacopo is entrusted with taking these documents to the king. As Mario watches on from his sickbed, MC has a showdown with Paul and the enemy of the king is then arrested.
Renee can see now that she's been "a fool," and thanks MC

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2 The Pen and The Sword

The scenery looks like the wild west, but apparently we are in France, where Veritas, a mysterious masked figure, is delivering leaflets denouncing army general Jean Beauclair. "He certainly has a facility for stirring up excitement." In fact the allegations cause the general to shoot himself.
The next target for Veritas is Justice Minister Bonjean, who deserves all he gets, for he has squandered the people's taxes in gambling. The worried minister, as worried as any modern day politician, declares, "we must find Veritas."
12 Rue de Charbonne is where the pamphlets are printed, so soldiers break in there to arrest Dubois, a bookseller, though his daughter Charmaine manages to get away in time, straight into the safe arms of Monte Cristo. But she at first sees him as yet another aristo and doesn't trust him. But he gains her confidence by promising to rescue Dubois, if he can find where he is being held prisoner.
Bonjean himself will give the information! He's gambling as usual, and Monte Cristo takes him on, a million francs is the stake. Bonjean is soon down, "I lost everything."
But Bonjean's army officer Debrec has persuaded Charmaine to reveal the identity of Veritas, it's the Count. "I order his immediate arrest," cries Bonjean in triumph.
But face to face with Monte Cristo he is not so brave. The pamphlet denouncing him seizes him with anger and he rips it up.
Take me to Dubois, demands Monte Cristo, and admit you have stolen two million francs of the people's money, in return the leaflet will be suppressed. After a swordfight Monte Cristo is locked in prison, but at least he's found Dubois, for he is sharing a cell with him. He proves the pen is mightier than the sword, well sort of, after another swordfight, when the pen is handed to the defeated Bonjean, to sign his ignominious confession

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3 The De Berry Affair
It's the year 1835. The Count of Monte Cristo is out shooting with the French Minister of the Interior when someone takes a pot shot at King Louis Phillipe. Missed. While the king regains his wind, The Count gives chase, "Edward it seems you are always on hand when I need you."
Behind the failed plot is the Duchess Deberry, niece of the king, who wants the king deposed, though not killed. She is arrested by Thiers, though in fact it is he who is behind the whole plot too. There's only "one man in France" (the king's corny own words) who can save her, yes, The Count. With his two friends Jacopo and Mario, he rides to the fortress where is held the duchess. On the morrow she is to be executed, so there's no time to lose.
Donning masks, eliminating the sentry, they have quickly effected the rescue of the duchess. Out the way they have entered, though soldiers gives chase. Looking more like The Lone Ranger on his white steed, the Count draws off his pursuers, even though wounded in the arm by a gunshot. Thus the duchess escapes, and reunited with Edmund they ride on. More like a gangster film, they nearly run into a roadblock, organised by Sevier, Thiers' right hand man. As they ponder their next move, the duchess explains why she had rather unwisely headed this attempted coup. "I've still much to learn of government and politics," she admits, she's not the only one. But she agrees to ride to Paris to testify against the plotters. Edmund, Jacopo and Mario take on the guards at the roadblock, disarming them incredibly easily. With a sword to his throat, Sevier has no choice but to give them safe passage to the Count's chateau, but there waiting for them is Thiers who has "no alternative," he claims, but to eliminate them. But Edmund has trumped his ace, for the king has been listening to what has amounted to a confession, "the fortunes of war," and it's Thiers who is taken away captive.
A toast to the king, and the duchess is permitted to go into exile in Italy . . To
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The Sardinia Affair
"It's been a long time," says Carlo to Edmund, their first encounter in the series.

A wicked Sardinian Marquesa is annexing lands for himself, with the aid of his enforcer Count Boris Madroff. Aldo Patrini is one of the displaced farmers, his fiancee is Theresa, Carlo's niece. To silence Aldo, the local magistrate and tax collector, who just happens to be The Marquesa, sentences him to death. At the scaffold, Aldo has to bid his adieus to Theresa. "Drop your guns," cries MC, as Carlo releases the prisoner, and off they all gallop.
MC has sorted out the mystery as to why The Marquesa wants all this land, there's a fortune in silver hidden under the lands.
MC challenges Count Madroff to a duel at Hangman's Scaffold. The devious enemy attempts to make a trap, but Monte Cristo is one jump ahead. He has devised a very ingenious scaffold with two hangman's ropes. A lighted candle will burn the rope that will cause the chopper to fall. Each duellist must shoot his own flame before it burns the fatal rope. That's easy for MC, but not for his opponent. In his panic Madroff admits his villainy, the duel is stopped, the Marquesa thwarted.
And thus MC rides into the sunset with Jacopo as well as Carlo, after a toast from happy Aldo and Theresa

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The Black Death (no Carlo who is back in Sardinia)
Paris 1835. MC is rushing Dr Rousse to Lyon so he can treat a girl with the plague. Though he is ordered to return to Paris, which is under quarantine, he continues the journey, being convinced the quarantine is all a scam. The doctor is sure it is the water supply in Montmartre that is causing people to go down with a disease, though the official instructions are to take a daily pill supplied by Dr Marcel Director of Hospitals. Certainly he is making a fortune out of these pills, which are nothing more than placebos.
Monte Cristo is anxious to help the citizens of Paris as long as he does not line the pocket of the pill pedlar, so he offers two million francs to fight the epidemic, on condition that the money is not spent on the pills.
Dr Rousse tests the water supply, but he and MC are attacked by some roughs. The result is that it is proven that the water supply is polluted with the black plague, however as soon as it is boiled it is purified and safe to drink. "You have convinced me, doctor, "thus MC.
However the Hospital Director and Prefect Perrier are not willing to blow up the north well, so MC has to demolish it himself. Then MC "proves his point" by challenging the Prefect to drink the local water, MC will drink it boiled, Perrier the ordinary well water. "Your health," toasts MC playfully, but Marcel is reluctant to drink from his cup. He is obliged to confess that his pills are nothing more than flour, spices, Arabic gum, and pink sugar.
The sick girl recovers and the church bells peal because "Paris is free again." (Hurrah, from viewers)

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6 First Train to Paris

1834. Roland has an urgent message for Monte Cristo- the new railway engine is to be blown up. He can say no more, mainly because he's shot dead. But his dying action is to shove a scrap of paper into The Count's hand, on it the time of the explosion, 5am on the engine's trial run. "Someone is planning to blow up the train," declares Edmund, in a masterpiece of the obvious.
He and Carlo gallop at breakneck speed through what looks more like California than France, en route enjoying a little swordfight. Too late they arrive at the scene of the crash, "a terrible tragedy," not that we ever see even the sight of any train. Premier Jean Gerard is a broken man, for he had promoted the new railway. Leader of the opposition, journalist the Duke of Cordot (John Hoyt) refuses to act in the national interest, seeing his own political chance.
Yet Edmund appears strangely confident that a crisis can be averted and promises Gerard to find out who is behind this sabotage, though anyone with any brains at all could guess. At the Paris Stock Exchange, looking remarkably like a studio set, there's panic as railway shares start to plummet. 'Tis what Gerard has feared. One man however is buying! That's Edmund, partly to keep up public confidence in the new railway but also to flush out the villain. As people continue to sell, Edmund continues to buy. "He can't possibly succeed," Cordot smirks.
Trading has now ceased for the day. Edmund's "sheer insanity" leads him to Cordot in this way...
Police detective Duval arrests Edmund for Roland's murder, who told you about him? Edmund responds. It must be the man behind the plot. That's Cordot. Edmund refuses to be arrested and ties up Duval and his men. With Jacopo and Carlo, The Count rides to gather proof against Cordot. He persuades Gerard to tell Cordot that he already has proof of Cordot's duplicity, that ruse gets Cordot to contact the men he'd contracted to kill Roland and with a neat little trick Edmund has Cordot where he wants him.
Now railway shares are thankfully booming and the premier is back at the helm
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Victor Hugo
Paris 1835. The great French writer is not seen in too favourable a light.
Three masked men attack Hugo (Keith Richards), but to the rescue come MC and his mates and the assassins flee. The "literary genius" had been preparing to expose "a foul and wicked traffic in galley slaves," with the help of Captain Girrard, chief of police at Bourget.
Yet when one of the attackers is captured, Victor Hugo shows little clemency, despite the fact that this man, Cambrai, is an escaped galley slave himself, convicted for a crime of stealing a loaf of bread. Cambrai claims he was not involved in the attack on Hugo, he was only in the vicinity searching for his long lost daughter. But Hugo demands he is sent to prison, even though MC is sure he's innocent.
The Director of Prisons persuades Hugo to travel to Bourget to speak face to face with Girrard. He is accompanied by the Chief Inspector of prisons, only we know he happens to have been one of the assassins.
MC is questioning Cambrai who is languishing in jail. "Have heart my friend," MC comforts him, before himself setting off for Bourget. Hugo has ceased writing what MC describes as "fashionable drivel," and has also reached Bourget in disguise. But Girrard has been murdered and Hugo in his alias of Gaston Laverne is chief suspect! Justice is swift, and he finds himself up before the court, where he gives an impassioned speech. But he is still found guilty and sentenced to the galleys. Clearly the magistrate is in on this galley racket. But MC interrupts proceedings, toying with the court and with the disguised Victor Hugo, before the guards are overcome and he helps Hugo get away via a window.
Victor is now in a position to arrest the high up officials behind the galley slaves racket, and his ambushers. Cambrai is released and reunited with his daughter. Victor promises to make him immortal in his next novel, "the story of a man who went to the galleys for stealing a loaf of bread." And his title? Les Miserables. All very educational!
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Return to the Chateau d'If

This story partly recounts Edmund's early history, of how he was incarcerated and vowed to right injustice.

1835. "A paragon of female loveliness," Marguerite, is to be married to an Italian duke. But on the French/Italian border, the duke is seized and hidden in the Chateau d'If. News of his 'death' is relayed to his fiancee. But the alert Marguerite notices that Rabat, her guardian's henchman is wearing her fiance's ring, so she contacts MC for help. He can't resist such a fairy story and he is soon duelling with Rabat. Answer my questions, insists MC, who naturally has gained the upper hand. The duke ain't dead admits Rabat, he's locked away in the chateau, until Marguerite's wicked guardian has legally obtained her inheritance. Apparently if she doesn't marry very soon, she doesn't receive a penny of her family inheritance, it all goes to you-know-who.
But d'If isn't any old chateau, it's an impregnable island fortress where once was imprisoned MC himself.
Indeed for twelve years MC had wearily lain there, alone. Then he had made contact with a fellow inmate, the Abbe Faria, from whom Edmund had learned the noble virtues, which had made him swear to right wrongs done to other unfortunates, when once he was free. The Abbe's dying gift to MC is a map to a treasure that must be used for philanthropic ends. The dead abbe is thrown into the sea, but in fact it is MC inside the sacking, and thus he escapes his prison.
Now he has returned to that dread abode, past one guard (only one!) from whom Edmund takes the keys to the dungeons. It is eerily quiet as MC searches for the duke, too quiet, for he is caught and incarcerated once more, indeed it's his own cell where he's once more imprisoned.
Jacopo and Carlo have waited in vain for their master's return, and posing as guards, they too break into the chateau. But Edmund is already free! Using local knowledge you might describe it, he breaks out and forces the director of the prison to show where the duke lies. Thus the duke is rescued, but the director sounds the alarm and there is a fight to the finish, Carlo and Jacopo arriving in the nick of time.
Marguerite's uncle is preparing to receive the fortune, for Marguerite has not married. But in bursts MC with a smiling bride and the duke, their wedding has just taken place, the wicked uncle has been thwarted and they live happily ever after

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The Golden Blade

1835. From the payment office of the Paris Barracks, gold is to be despatched to Calais. Anyone up in Westerns knows the form. The stagecoach carrying the box of gold is held up by three masked men. One leaves behind evidence that incriminates Jean, a sergeant at the barracks.
His betrothed is Cecille who is promised help from The Count of Monte Cristo himself, "I dislike injustice of any kind." But at a court martial, Jean provides no alibi, and is adjudged guilty.
MC is sending a shipment of gold from Paris to Calais, the news spreads like wildfire. It's a trap naturally set by MC. Another hold up. MC trails the two thieves to The Golden Rooster inn where their accomplice takes charge of the booty. MC walks into the inn and offers to buy it from them. Two thousand francs is his offer, for it's only lead coated with a very thin layer of gold. The three rogues fall out, as MC watches on, amused. Their boss Lassine finds them thus, and he has walked straight into MC's trap. "Very clever my dear Count." Now Lassine is Jean's superior officer.
But for once MC proves the loser, for the crooks capture him and lock him in Senlis dungeon. A ransom is demanded, "let's say ten million." Jacopo learns where MC has been hidden and quickly frees him. Lassine is captured in his turn, and dragged to prove Jean's innocence. Thus it comes to pass that Cecille and Jean can wave a happy farewell to their saviours

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10 The Duel

1835. Odette is bidding farewell to her fiance Pierre who is leaving Paris on the Toulon stage, sorry coach. No sooner has this departed than one Charles Rolla steps up to her, makes advances and her father is forced to defend her honour by challenging Rolla to a duel.
But she knows a man who can help, Monte Cristo. As the duellists square up, Edmind arrives on the scene. Yet just too late to prevent a tragedy. "Why did you murder my father?" cries Odette.
From the police, The Count learns that Rolla is a serial duellist, this year he has already killed four men in duels.
At the Paris Opera House, Rolla tries to spark yet another duel, with The Count himself, whose inquisitiveness needs silencing. But Edmund will not rise to the bait and Rolla resorts to a final insult, "coward!" Even that fails to rouse the pacific count.
Jacopo follows Rolla, Carlo finds out more about the dead opponents, while Edmund enjoys the rest of the opera. Then he quizzes Odette about what she knows of Charles Rolla. It seems that his father Vincent will inherit a dukedom if one more person happens to die, and the man standing in the way of such an inheritance is none other than Pierre Monet, Odette's intended. There's some rather muddled connection between all the dead in The Victoire, a ship that sank at the Battle of Trafalgar. The Commander of that ship was Vincent.
Edmund makes haste to Toulon where Rolla is already demanding satisfaction of Pierre, "tomorrow at dawn."
However it is Monte Cristo who announces himself at this duel, and he challenges Rolla. Pistols. Distance to be two paces decides Edmund. "Ridiculous," scoffs Rolla, who, exposed, collapses on grovelling knees.
The Count apologises to Pierre for usurping his place at the dawn meeting, and there's some consolation for Pierre with a kiss from Odette

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11 Andorra

1837. In his palace, Charles the widowed Duke of Andorra is shot dead by his brother Victor's accomplice Louis. Gerard, the heir and his sister eleven year old Renee are hastily taken from their castle home by the faithful Porello, who is murdered for his trouble.
But before his death, Charles had asked The Count of Monte Cristo for help, and our hero soon sees through the conniving Victor and his apology of a story that the two children had died of a sudden illness.
MC finds where the children are hiding, and takes them over the border and into Spain right under the eyes of the watchful Louis. They have joined a company of gypsy mummers.
The two children as well as Edmund dress as gypsies, and borrow a gypsy caravan to return back to Andorra. But Victor has learnt of their plan and before they can leave Spain, there's the traditional swordfight, "stop the gypsies." Carlo keeps the children safe while MC gives Victor what he throoughly deserves, and the children enjoy the sight of Victor being taken away by the Spanish police, "you're safe now, children"

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Affair of Honour
This must be the last of the American made stories, as at the end Carlo bids adieu saying, "my family in Italy needs me." Or in other words, the producer doesn't want me.

It's another duel, this between a merciless baron who is an expert swordsman and Antoine. Up rides MC accompanying Maria here to support the underdog, she is really the cause of their dispute. But the baron suddenly collapses, it would appear that there was a deadly poison on the tip of Antoine's sword. He's wanted for murder, though MC, certain of his innocence, helps him elude arrest.
Marie asks Raoul Count de Bray her uncle, who is her guardian and keeper of her fortune until she is of age, if he'll help her escape the country with Antoine. But de Bray has signed a confession claiming he's the killer of the baron, who was his business rival and who was forcing him into financial ruin. MC however believes he is only trying to protect his ward.
To solve the case, MC consults Professor von Humbolt, an expert in poisons, but he's not at home, says his assistant Suzanne. Now MC is under arrest for obstructing the police, and Antoine's hiding place has been found out. But Jacopo and Carlo rescue MC who breaks into the police station to borrow the duelling sword used in the duel.This he takes to von Humbolt, who identifies the poison as curare, yet in the whole of Europe he is the only person who has such a rare poison and this he keeps under lock and key. You guessed it, the key's disappeared! Suzanne must have taken the curare and given it to the killer. MC tracks the poisoner down and duels with him, despite facing a sword tipped with curare, "just one scratch..." It was bound to end one way. "There's no need to arrest him," MC informs the police. Antoine and Maria express their thanks
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The Mazzini Affair
Guiseppe Mazzini (Michael Aldridge), "revered by every liberty loving soul in Italy," is hunted down by Austrian forces when Italy is overrun in 1832.
Baron Reiker orders him to be hanged, but Rico d'Amico, who runs an olive oil and wine business, sends for MC, who promises to rescue Mazzini, for the sake of his fiancee Carla (Maureen Connell). As "the place is thick with guards," MC poses as the priest administering the last rites.
8.10am, the priest announces himself at the condemned man's cell. He gets Mazzini to dress in priest's robes while MC takes his place. The execution is only postponed however, MC's is to take place next morn!
Manoeuvre 17 is the rescue plan. A composed MC is defying the Baron's taunts, "before you die, we require you to talk." Where is Mazzini hiding out? But answer comes there none, for MC leaps out of a window, a strategically placed haycart breaking his fall.
Baron Reiker gives pursuit, and surrounds the shop where Mazzini is hidden. There is a fight in which of course MC is the victor, but the Baron's gun is finally more powerful. "You put up a good fight, Count," Reiker concedes.
However there's a stroke of good fortune, for the Baron's right hand man Frederick proves to be on the Italian side, and hands MC his sword, and MC promptly defeats Reiker in a fair duel.
Mazzini and Carla are shipped away from Italy to safety in France by MC

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A Toy for the Infanta
1833. In the Royal Palace of Spain, evil Don Carlos (Noel Willman) is disputing the throne with Maria (Margaret Whiting), and this while her husband, his brother the King still breathes! Carlos wants power, but Maria hopes her young daughter will become queen when she is of age, her main ally being King Louis Philippe of France, but Maria's pleading letters to him have been intercepted by Don Carlos.
Edmund, the Count of Monte Cristo learns of her plight and vows to help her and the Infanta out of Spain and to safety in France, until that day when Carlos is overthrown. For "Don Carlos rules in Spain," is the word on soldier's lips, now the old king has passed away.
An abbot knows where the queen is currently hiding her daughter. "Only God can help us now," she warns Edmund, but he can too! "You're risking your life," she sighs admiringly.
But evil Carlos has prised out their plan of escape from Maria's lady in waiting. At 8am the party are leaving, and it is then that Carlos pounces. The Infanta has been kidnapped, "you may never see her again." There is a simple choice, so Maria is forced to agree to sign the abdication papers- once she has been reunited with the Infanta.
But with the help of the abbot's pigeons, bells are rung to help track the path of Carlos and the Queen as they travel to join Maria's child. And though Monte Cristo is facing burial, on Carlos' orders, he of course easily avoids that fate, and following the ringing bells reaches the monastery where the Infanta is hid. But true to his wicked ways, Carlos has reneged on the deal, now Maria has signed the document, and Monte Cristo has to give him a lesson. In the bell tower MC duels with Carlos, while below Jacopo and royal supporters disarm the soldiers guarding the queen. That abdication is burned, then Carlos is used as a hsotage to enable Maria and her child safe passage into France. However quite why that was now necessary, I wasn't sure
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Marseilles
Jean de Breve has no friends left, except of course MC, plus his own son Albert (Conrad Phillips). For "the worst has happened" as he has been dismissed from his post as ambassador in Marseilles, a scapegoat for the actions of pirates who have been robbing ships. Valuables have been lost, the latest, a consignment of fine glassware.
"To clear his father's name," Albert accompanies MC, Jacopo and Rico southwards, and dressed as sailors they enter an inn in the seedier part of the port. One drinking acquaintance of MC is sewer rate Marcel (Patrick Troughton) who suggests they ask around at a lodging house. More drinks here asMC gets another sailor (Denis Shaw) talking. He pays for his drink in Spanish money. When he makes for his ship, he is followed. He boards The Mistral.
After a fight, MC gets to learn who owns this vessel, one Gustav Rousse. In his large house, MC spots some glass goblets that had been stolen by the pirates. What explanation has Rousse to offer?
Not a satisfactory one, for sure. Albert is left to guard Rousse, while MC searches The Mistral. Though it's due out of port shortly, it is strangely deserted. MC has walked straight into a trap! The captain prepares to put to sea as Rousse explains how he had got free. Shooting the traitor who had betrayed MC and the arrival of the police to arrest Rousse ends the story, for MC had known all along there was some funny business afoot.
Jean is reinstated as ambassador, so all is once again well with the world
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The Luxembourg Affair
1836. A grieving young Grand Duchess Therese is imprisoned by General Ludovic (Lloyd Lamble) after her father dies suddenly. The general plans to instal Therese's cousin Madeline on the throne as his puppet, in order that he can arrange an alliance with the Czar- a sort of early Commie threat.
But Ludovic is in need of some financial backing, and he approaches the Count of Monte Cristo as a rich banker. However MC is as ever quick to suspect that Madeline is not the real heir to the throne.
So aided by Rico and Jacopo, they bribe a servant to reveal where the true duchess has been hidden. The West Wing is the answer.
Through her window, enter MC in the grand manner. But not so smart, for the General is waiting for him, and he is arrested. Ludovic tries to convince MC that he is acting in the best interests of his country.
MC plays along with him, agreeing to still provide the bank loan. But to make sure of it, the general orders Therese to be taken to a new hiding place far away.
A thwarted MC tries to persuade Madeline to give up her false claim on the throne, and indeed she tells the charming MC where Therese has been taken to, her gamekeeper's cottage.
"Looks quiet and peaceful," though not for long. Jacopo climbs in as a decoy, MC announces himself and there's a struggle. Soon Therese is rescued.
Just in time, MC interrupts the signing of the treaty between Ludovic and the Czar. The cash is not forthcoming! The duchess, the real one, is crowned and MC settles with the wicked general. Madeline and Therese are reconciled, even though the former must be punished
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The Texas Affair
France 1836. A stage is held up, just like in the Wild West. It so happens MC is on hand and escorts the passengers to safety at his chateau.
Henri Mate (Henry Oscar), personal aide to the Prime Minister, calms down the two who had been attacked, old American soldier John Crane (Macdonald Parke) and Martha his granddaughter (Betta St John). Crane had sailed to France to seek support for his native Texas' cause in its struggle for independence from Mexico. We get a bit of a history lesson about The Alamo, "they fought and they died because they loved freedom." This moves MC who promises to speak personally to the French Prime Minister.
Yet on his way there he is attacked by a gang lead by a man with a hooked hand. MC is tied up and whipped, but is then fortunately rescued by Rico and Jacopo.
So now MC resumes his trip to Paris, only to be rebuffed by the PM himself, "no business of France." But MC has a heart to heart with him, pledging to introduce John Crane to present his case at the forthcoming Council of Alliance. MC even acts the modern day banker, threatening to disrupt his own country's finances if he does not get his way.
When he fetches Crane, MC learns Crane has been kidnapped. Jacopo however knows where the villains have hidden him, at the Three Bells, and here they catch up with the baddie with the hooked hand. He's with the high up official who is in the pay of Mexico and who has organised this kidnap.
"Now we will know the truth" as Crane is rescued, and before the Council, Mexico's duplicity is exposed

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The Carbonari
In some old abbey ruins, a man conceals a parcel in the brickwork. A second man collects it, then shoots the first for not paying the blackmail demand of one million francs, instead stuffing a parcel full of used newspapers. Ever heard that plot afore? On the dead man is marked a cross, the mark of the Carbonari, "the most dreaded secret society in Europe."
A grieving Annette Fauntelle (Patricia Marmont) enlists MC in the investigation into her brother Louis' death. Henri, Louis' father states the blackmailers hold the Arnaud papers and Annette's fiance Charles (William Frabklyn) had received the warning, "Tell Monte Cristo not to interefere in the affairs of the Carbonari," and had been beaten up to reinforce the point.
Inspector Villon is certainly making little progress in the official murder investigation, indeed one suspects he could be a Carbonari member himself so slow is he, while MC learns that these Arnaud papers detailing a political scandal will ruin Henri if they are published. The new blackmail demand is two million francs. "We must fight," agrees Charles, but he's one of them. Midnight tonight, he slyly informs MC, the blackmail money must be handed over, at the same ruins. Annette is to take the money herself, shadowed by MC and Charles. As before, the parcel is hidden in the brickwork, and after she departs we see Charles helping himself to the money. Somehow MC is caught by Inspector Villon and is arrested for being the blackmailer. Charles had tipped Villon off. "MC, I don't believe," Charles sneers. "Seize him!" orders Villon, but Rico and Jacopo are also lurking and come to MC's rescue. Off they gallop, to surreptiously search Charles' home, to snatch the Arnaud papers. But Charles is ready for them, "kill them," he shouts to his men, "leave the Count to me." It's a fight to the finish, Villon arriving to hear Charles' confession. That's inevitable as he loses the fight, and as the two million francs is found in his safe!
The papers are burnt and the Fauntelles are happy once more. Though poor Annette can't have been that pleased her to find ex-fiance in jail
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19 The Devil's Emissary (filmed in Britain) -

"Soon I shall have my revenge!" declares Sgr Diabolo (John Sherman).
With his henchman they terrorise a remote French valley. A failure to obey him, will mean it's the worse for Marie (Jan Holden), whom he holds prisoner under the spell of his mesmerism. Posing as Sgr Lucifer, our hero,
The Count, deliberately walks into a trap in order to trick Diabolo into a confession of his wickedness

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Bordeaux
Flash to 1832. Count Fernand de Morcerf is charged with highway robbery and murder.
Later, MC is at a Bordeaux jewellers, where he sees a ruby ring he had once given to de Morcerf's wife. For 26,000 francs, MC purchases it once more, and calls upon Mercedes de Morcerf (Betty McDowall) to ask what it's all about. Crumbs, do you know MC had been in love with her before his imprisonment, and she thinking him to be dead had married another.
She explains she had been forced to sell the ring to pay Captain Florian to delay her husband's impending execution. But now, in seven days time, he is due to go to the guillotine.
"I'm always leaning backwards in my pursuit of justice," is the nice line of the Bordeaux prefect of police Bonnet. But since he's being played by Alan Wheatley we take that remark with some scepticism! However Bonnet promises to review the evidence against de Morcerf.
His treachery is soon transparent. That ruby, MC is accused of stealing it, according to the jeweller himself. MC is thus locked in the deepest dungeon, "you may call it home."
To try and get out, MC offers a half million franc bribe to Cpt Florian. Agreed in principle, and MC signs a draft which Florian immediately hands to Bonnet, to hatch up their own wicked scheme.
Florian does seem to keep his side of the bargain. de Morcerf's 'escape' is planned the night before his execution, MC is immediately allow to 'escape.' He goes straight to Paris and the Minister of Justice, Jules du Pre, who finds it hard to believe in de Morcerf's innocence, dismissing MC's story as "a fantastic charge. Jules' other ear is bent by Bonnet, who warns him that MC has escaped from jail, and is wanted for murder.
To lure MC out of hiding, Bonnet kidnaps Mercedes. "He'll be shot on sight," gloats Bonnet, in the best Alan Wheatley manner.
But his smile is wiped away when MC steps in to her rescue, and her husband's. The inevitable fight, with Bonnet watching on impassively, waiting to shoot MC. But in comes Jules and his merry men to witness the terrible evil. That's the end of Bonnet.
To the Marseillaise, de Morcerf heartily thanks MC. So does his wife, a trifle sadly, "goodbye"

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Naples
1835. A holiday for our trio in relaxed mood in Naples. However it is rudely interrupted by a man with a knife in his back, dead. In his pocket is a long service watch donated by the Italian bankers Savini, a branch of MCs financial empire.
Luigini de Savini has just died, "been ill for some time." In his will, he has left all not to Vitttorio as expected, but to Bianca, second cousin, once actually engaged to this Vittorio. He however had done the decent thing and broken off their alliance, fearing he would now be seen as wanting Bianca for her fortune.
Savini's business partner Durracq and his lawyer Brosa are clearly up to some sort of swindle. Holiday postponed for MC, who is sure that Savini must have made a later will in favour of Vittorio that has conveniently gone missing. At 2am the lawyer's office is deserted, a convenient time for MC to poke around, inside Durracq's box, but little of note is discovered, but one curious detail, in one letter the name of Antonio Bardo, and this just happens to be the name of the dead man at the start of the adventure.
MC tells Brosa and Durracq that he is nursing Bardo back to health, a trick to get them to come and try and finish him off.
It works, and Durracq and Brosa get a surprise and after a swordfight and fisticuffs, Durracq seems to be winning, only for the police to arrive on the scene and shoot the villains.
So Vittorio and Bianca are smiling again together.
Note: Philip Stainton as the Italian policeman, does his part with a pleasing swagger

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Albania
A masked intruder at MC's chateau shoots the owner, but only in the arm. In return, Jacopo shoots the villain whose dying words are the mystifying "Monte Cristo sent me."
It would seem that someone is impersonating the illustrious count. Certianly someone has been signing away some of his money to a bank account in Albania.
So MC makes for Tirana, strangely deserted. The Albanian leader Baron Lhoti is being kept under house arrest in his own palace, along with his daughter Monteza. MC enters her presence announcing himself, and gets his face slapped. Though she says she's never met MC, she hates his right hand man Hassan Ben Ali who is responsible for their current plight.
When the real MC convinces her he is genuine, she agrees to call her three guards who are at once overpowered. MC, Jacopo and Rico disguise themselves as soldiers to enter the fortress where the imposter MC and Ben Ali stay. MC recognises his 'double' as the disgraced Duke of Bonneville.
These scheming pair are trying to force Lhoti to sign over power to Ben Ali. They increase the pressure on Lhoti by kidnapping Monteza, and now "we may be able to persuade your father to see the light."
Both are imprisoned now, along with Jacopo and Rico who have also somewhere managed to get caught, but MC gallantly rescues them all and comes face to face with the man who has borrowed his name. "Only one Monte Cristo can remain alive," cries the Duke, but against Ben Ali also, the real MC has two villains to dispose of. Of course he does so effectively and permanently. "Your people are free again," he smiles to Lhoti and Monteza

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Act of Terror

1836. In Le Havre, masked men seize Victor who has signed on as crew member on one of MC's ships. The gang are terrorising the waterfront, just like in the film made about the same era.
MC has returned to his chateau for an urgent meeting with Jacques Bergere and Pierre Duval of the Le Havre Society of Shipowners. They bring Janine, Victor's sister, who relates the terrible tale. All ships are unable to move out of Le Havre, except those of Jean Marat.
100 francs a day plus a bonus is what MC offers sailors who are willing to sign on his ship The Pelican. At that wage there are plenty of takers, but the first volunteers are laid upon by thugs and MC, who is following them, is also captured. He is taken to the hunchback leader of the terrorists who wears a mask like the rest of his mob. MC is released, in order to take a message to the shipowners, it's the old protection racket.
At a very heated meeting, MC does relay this message, and accuses Marat of being behind the terrorism, a charge that is vehemently denied. In fact the tables are turned on MC, when it is announced that MC's own ships are now permitted to sail, as he has stumped up the protection money of 50,000 francs. This information is sent on an unsigned note, and isn't quite true, but it causes the meeting to break up in disarray, a duel the inevitable end when Duval faces up to the beleaguered MC.
Later Marat admits privately to MC that his ships were being allowed to sail because he had paid up. But to whom? Marat is inevitably killed before he can answer.
MC has one chance, to pose as a sailor seeking a job. He is taken to join the other conscripts like Victor, but Rico and Jacopo follow him. When he is brought before the gang leader, he is of course recognised. But MC has found out what he wants to know, the identity of the big boss. An almighty punch up concludes the action, despite his wounded arm MC triumphs. Victor is reunited with his sister.
Thus the racket is busted. The story seems more American than French, hardly a true story of press gangs, maybe the gang leader is supposed to be a cross between Charles Laughton and Marlon Brando, but he turns out more like one of the Three Stooges

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The Experiment
Paris 1835. Scientist Pierre (Conrad Phillips) is arrested and locked in the Bastille. Maurice Rasson and Honore, Countess of Dijon (Harriette Johns), grab the chance of 'borrowing' Pierre's treatise on oxygen, seeing the opportunity of making themselves a fortune.
Suzanne, Pierre's wife, appeals to MC, who promises to look in to the matter. Pierre has been accused of being a traitor, his trial to take place behind closed doors. MC canattend as an observer.
Maurice, representing the Academy of Science, tells the court that Pierre has invented this deadly vapour. A demonstration with mice who are exposed to this gas ends in their death. "All lies," screams Pierre, but the evidence seems incontrovertible and he is sentenced to the guillotine.
Suzanne helps MC reconstruct the experiment later, though she cannot recall every detail of it, and in the end they have to give up. The only thing to do is get the real formula back from Maurice who panics when he sees MC has stolen it. Honore however is the stronger partner, "Cristo must not live through tonight," she declares. Her scheme is to use their gas to kill MC who is now of course quite convinced of Pierre's innocence.
Not yet quite gassed, MC gets Rico to grab Honore, and Jacopo Maurice, to haul the pair before the trial judge.
Before the court, MC makes an offer, they and he will take a sniff of Pierre's 'gas,' which MC knows is the real thing, but Honore and Maurice believe is their poisoned substitute. That forces an admission of their trickery, after which MC sniffs it happily, proving it is harmless. "Oh you fool," cries Honore bitterly. Thus Pierre is freed
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Mecklenburg

Quite a pleasing story, set in 1835.
Ferdinand, Duke of Orleans, plights his troth with Princess Helene of Mecklenburg, promising to elope with her on Friday night. But evil Baron Reimer (Raymond Huntley), for political reasons, is arranging her marriage of convenience with the Crown Prince of Prussia. Why the couple don't elope on the spot is not so clear. But perhaps just as well, for as he scales down from her balcony, Ferdinand plops into the arms of Reimer's cronies.
MC wants to know why the French nobleman has not returned to his homeland. He asks the Baron. I should add that MC is in disguise, posing as a Prussian aide to the Crown Prince, and thankfully the Baron is quite deceived, even to the extent of agreeing that MC should be given the honour of shooting the imprisoned Ferdinand. Reimer also presents MC to Helene, who is persuaded to sign her marriage contract with the Crown Prince, in return for Ferdinand's alleged release. Wily old MC manages to get the contract, "I will hold this for my Crown Prince," he declares.
Ferdinand's execution is set for 10pm that very night. Privately, MC is able to tell Helene of the whole devious plot and she happily plays along, a necessary task, for unexpectedly the Crown Prince is coming very soon. He mustn't meet MC or the game will be up!
10pm, and instead of an execution, MC starts an almighty skirmish which sees Ferdinand freed and carried to safety.
But there's rather bad news for Helene. The Crown Prince has arrived, a charming fellow if truth be told, and Baron Reimer has prepared an immediate wedding ceremony. However in steps MC with Ferdinand, and the wedding is suddenly off. The Crown Prince is obliged to leave ignominiously and the Baron charged with high treason. That he cannot stomach, so has a swordfight with MC which concludes with the convenient toppling over the balcony of the Baron.
So now Helene is queen and free to marry Ferdinand, hurrah!

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The Portuguese Affair
At the Three Swans Inn in Portugal, Lt Denis Dodge (Richard Bebb) of the British Navy is having a quick drink, en route to his marriage, when there's a police raid. Dodge is ordered to dodge, as the police are after a thief, Cuero (Bill Nagy). The crook is soon captured, but where is the secret document he has stolen?
Denis Dodge arrives for his wedding, to the lovely Theresa, who is being given away by MC, but he is arrested for Cuero's murder.
He is carted off to prison, but MC is the man to sort out this injustice! The Minister of Justice is appealed to, but he is strangely indifferent, indeed there is no official record of such a crime or prisoner. This is beginning to look more like a spy story, especially with Cuero's American accent, but Branza, the Minister's assistant (Patrick Troughton) explains Cuero was a secret agent, bringing a document that would implicate Don Pedro in a plot to make himself dictator in Portugal. Poor Lt Dodge is being tortured to make him reveal where this document has been hidden, even though we know he knows nothing.
Rico and Jacopo find a disused mine where this torture is taking place. However Rico is shot in the head as Jacopo rides to fetch his master. However he isn't quite dead of course.
MC is questioning the landlord at The Three Swans and that elicits the news that a cobbler has got Cuero's boots. MC retrieves them and there is the document in the lining, then he creeps into the mine with Jacopo to rescue Denis. The rocky scenery looks awfully flimsy in the subsequent punch-up, finally it caves in, as it is meant to, after Denis has been rescued.
Now MC can expose the traitor named in the secret paper. We finish with a happy marriage ceremony amid the usual jolly laughter
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Lichtenburg
1837. Our trio interrupt a swordfight in the streets of Lichtenburg. Lawlessness reigns here, ever since King Ludwig has fallen ill.
MC hears the sorry tale from Franz Wilhelm, the man they've rescued as they sit at the Three Lions. Now Prince Gustav (Esmond Knight) is running the country, though Princess Anna, Wilhelm's fiancee, is technically queen when her father dies. But Gustav has the army to back him up.
MC sneaks into the royal palace to learn where Anna stands in the power struggle. She has actually issued Wilhelm's death warrant, though she claims to know nothing about it. She's kept a virtual prisoner in the palace, her hopes pinned on General Steiger's underground movement. But since Gustav has taken over, Steiger has gone to ground himself, so MC promises Anna he'll discover if Steiger is still alive.
He's as good as his word, and finds Steiger literally underground, in his hq under The Three Lions. Via subterranean passages MC again sneaks into the palace, this time to confront Gustav. The prince is planning to have the cathedral bells peal as a signal to his men to kill all the underground members he has found out about, including Steiger. But MC prevents him from issuing the order to ring the bells, but gets a shock when Steiger proves to be only out for himself. Steiger shoots Gustav, "I'm sorry it turned out this way." Not as sorry as poor Prince Gustav! Steiger is ready to take power, but MC must prevent that. The usual fight, MC v Steiger, Anna watching on in horror. No need for any fear, Steiger is booked for the scaffold.
Then the bells do peal, for Anna is proclaimed Queen
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Burgundy
1834. Philippe Poitier (William Franklyn) is the best grape grower in all Burgundy, the happiest man apart from one thing that mars his happiness, his refusal to pay any "donation" to Citizen Borner (Charles Lloyd Pack), and that in turn means that Cadeaux (Charles Farrell) won't allow him to marry his daughter Josette.
This money is collected by Borner allegedly to fight the vineyard owners' corner with the Paris government, though in fact it's a variation on the old protection racket.
Borner's hired bully Le Drue denies beating Phillipe up when MC agrees to look into the racket. So MC decides to play along with Borner, and at The Purple Pigeon, he announces himself as the finest grape grower of Toulouse. Le Drue is eager to introduce this wealthy owner to Borner who is naturally eager to support MC's fight against high taxation- for a consideration.
Cadeaux learns that Borner is only a swindler and is stabbed to death. Citizen Borner gives a fine if hypocritical oration at Cadeaux's funeral. But now Jacopo has unearthed facts about Borner's unsavoury past, a string of similar swindles right across Europe. MC, still undercover, offers to take over Cadeaux's role as collector of the "donations." But then MC further pretends he is a swindler also and proposes he join forces with Borner. The latter accedes, only looking for a chance to bump off MC at the first opportunity. His method is a time bomb set for 3.02pm, just after a meeting MC has organised is to start. Borner plans to do a bunk with Le Drue, and all the money, but MC stops him leaving. The bomb about to explode, the nasty Citizen is so scared he confesses.
The bomb had already been disabled by Jacopo, but Borner was not to know that!
Thanks from Philippe and Josette as MC rides off
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Majorca
1836. Having travelled from Barcelona, MC, Rico and Jacopo are now in Majorca to find surprising healdines in the local paper that MC had fallen over the cliffs at Palma, his body now resting in All Saints Cathedral.
It is here that MC "puts in an appearance," and they learn from Father Lopez that the dead man had been residing at the White Chateau with his wife.
As MC tries to question the Contessa, two men knock him out and take him to Demetrio (Peter Illing). He'd arranged for a Cellini medallion to be stolen from the Royal Museum Madrid, but thieves had stolen it from his thieves! He wants his prize back. MC must get it.
MC presents himself at the chateau to confront his 'wife' Eugenie (Maureen Connell). She is staying here with her brother Philippe (Ian Bannen), they are undercover agents of the Madrid Museum. They are expecting the thief to try and sell the medallion to the Count, and indeed this nearly happens, only the man is strangled. In his hand Jacopo finds only the chain of the medallion. Of course Demetrio must have grabbed it back! After a fierce fight MC recovers it and returns it to Philippe.
An inspection of the medallion reveals what the robbers really wanted, for inside is a paper with but two words Chateau Madeira. "What does it mean?" It's the clue to the whereabouts of a hidden treasure, and before this is recovered there's another fight, this time Jacopo starring, who wins of course.
A kiss for Eugenie as the three leave the island. The story just about hangs together, but only just
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A Matter of Justice
A court martial at Army HQ in Paris. Lt Albert Lenz is found guilty of treason and sent to Midi Prison, prior to exile on Devil's Island. Naturally his mother is distraught and appeals to Maurice Ronda a newspaper editor who agrees to interview the judge, General Le Claire. "There has been no injustice," he insists," the case is closed. On the grounds of national security, noone is permitted to read the secret case file.
MC is unimpressed and poses as a guard, with two prisoners, Rico and Jacopo, to gain entrance to the jail. Lenz however refuses to escape with them, for that, he explains, would be an admission of his guilt. He says he had been convicted as a spy, a letter forged in his name was the decisive evidence, this had been discovered by the head of Army Intelligence Colonel Michelle. His prosecutor du Valle (John Phillips) had easily got Lenz convicted.
After a fight with prison guards, MC confronts Michelle. He's played by Alan Wheatley, so we know he's bound to be a baddie! "The case is closed" he echoes. But Jacopo 'borrows' the file and MC persuades Ronda to publish the true story in tomorrow's paper. However MC is now under arrest for breaking in to Midi Prison, though media pressure, as it's called these days, doesn't keep him there.
MC returns the stolen file to Le Claire, the king's agreed to a new trial, he adds.
At this trial MC acts for Lenz. He questions Major Du Valle and then calls Colonel Michelle. Events are interrupted by a gunshot. Michelle has shot himself, and the case has to be adjourned.
MC has a serious talk with Du Valle. A game of chemin de fer. "I'll play fair," claims MC, but will his opponent? As du Valle loses he writes his IOU. This MC carefully retains.
The case resumes and MC proves that du Valle is the real spy. "May I have the honour of congratulating you," snarls du Valle to MC. Lenz is exonerated and gets a hug from mummy
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Point Counterpoint

Toulon 1837. The Santa Marietta is in harbour, a chance, Baron d'Anglas (John Loder) reminds his niece Simone (Betty McDowall) of revenge for her father's murder. The man guilty of the crime is MC!
The owner of the ship, Paolo, has a daughter named Rena, and she appeals to MC for help. He has disappeared, having been caught up in a plot to smuggle arms to finance a revolution. But in fact it's a trap. Simone is pretending to be this Rena, and she lures MC to the ship where the captain is very evasive about any arms. However the police chief (John Longden) has been tipped off about the guns on the Santa Marietta, and he finds them and promptly arrests MC. Simone's scheme has worked. But not quite for Rico draws a gun and MC and his friends escape.
But there is now a 10,000 francs reward for MC. Realising he has been made the fall guy, MC searches the baron's chateau, but bumps into Simone. He puts her right over her father's death. MC was his friend, and it was the baron who was one of those responsible for putting MC behind bars years ago, and worse, he had been embezzling her father's fortune. He probably still is. MC proves to her this is true but showing her the cache of arms hidden in the dungeon. She had been hoodwinked by a very clever rogue.
Deep under the castle Paolo and the real Rena are also found behind bars. MC has to fight the baron, his assistant and the ship captain, three against one, until Rico and Jacopo even up the numbers, and with just a little help from Simone, the three are captured and put under lock and key
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The Talleyrand Affair
Set at Christmastide, the background to this story is the proposed dividing of Netherlands to create the new country of Belgium. Lord Palmerston of England (Finlay Currie) supports such a move, but Holland are against it. Any such declaration will be in jeopardy if the envoy from France is delayed.
He is MC, rough seas have hindered his progress, but now he is strangely resting at The Wayside Inn for a meal. Thieves attempt to steal the document he is bearing, unsuccessfully, and that seems to awaken the Count into proceeding to London without ado.
Talleyrand is handed the French papers which agree to the partition of Netherlands. But he is being blackmailed by "the most beautiful woman in Europe," The Duchess of Maastricht (Patricia Laffan) who represents the opposing Dutch government. She has proof that Talleyrand's son Paul has accept a huge bribe. Unless Talleyrand opposes the scheme, his son's duplicity will be exposed.
Posing as a butler, MC serves at the duchess' table, and overhears where Paul is being held a prisoner, Wroxham Manor. With a little help from his friends, MC eludes the duchess and then penetrates into the Manor. Paul is located, and he apologises for being tricked by the duchess into gambling debts, but she is now on the scene and has captured them both. Leaving them tied up, she marches off to the signing of the treaty to sabotage it. But Rico and Jacopo free the pair and after a fight in which Paul is knifed, our heroes make good their escape.
In the nick of time, Paul reaches Lord Palmerston, and his wounded appearance help convince that the Duchess is lying and the traitor in their midst is exposed.
All this happened on Christmas Day, that could never be nowadays as everyone is on holiday for days on end, and maybe this could never have happened, if it ever did
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The Island
The Island of the title is The Isle of Monte Cristo, to where MC had flown after his legendary escape from Chateau d'If. The story is, he'd found his treasure on this isle, some say it's still there. To learn the truth, Rico, idly sipping a tankard at a wtaerside tavern is drugged.
MC is conversing with his old opponent, "in spite of our previous differences," The Duchess of Maastricht, first seen in The Talleyrand Affair. Jacopo brings news that Rico is missing, and The Ferrett, an informer, states he's in the hands of a gang of Corsicans. MC makes inquiries at a fishing village, the landlord of The Red Turtle promises him a reunion with his friends. Friends, because Jacopo is now in their hands also.
In a clifftop chateau, MC encounters once more The Duchess, who has some madcap scheme to overthrow the weak French government with the support of Corsican mercenaries. She invites MC to join the group who are to make Napoleon's grand nephew a figurehead on the throne. She needs MC's fortune, will he support her? That could never be, so Rico and Jacopo will receive more beatings. "Lead us to your treasure," she demands, and she is lead, to a cave on the island that I suppose could be called a wild and lonely place, wind whistling through the tunnels. Napoleon overhears The Duchess' plans to make him but a puppet leader, and her other friends are not too loyal either, so falling out among themselves, there's a bit of a fight and the revolution is over. For a second time, The Duchess has been thwarted. Her hopeful nature vainly waits for success third time lucky when she'll next meet MC
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The Barefoot Empress
Incognito, the Austrian Inperial Empress Anna (Jane Griffiths) is travelling through eastern France. French revolutionaries are planning to topple the king, and in the Church of the Three Angels, they hatch their plan to assassinate Anna while she's resting the night at the monastery of St Just.
MC has been ordered to protect the empress. He discovers the priest at the Three Angels church, dead. Following the assassins' tracks, MC knows he is riding into a trap, but it is the only way to find out who the assassins are. The trail leads to Col Latoure and Baron Buray who immediately capture MC. 'Tis for a brief moment however, for Rico and Jacopo spring to MC's rescue.
He rides off to protect the Empress, who is at the monastery, happily dreaming she's following in the steps of Joan of Arc. Though maybe she doesn't anticpate martyrdom, but even after monks have attempted, unsuccssfully, to kill her, she still gallantly refuses to accept MC's offer of assistance. He helps anyway, carrying her off to a mill. "Escape won't be easy."
Against her better judgement, the empress dons a peasant costume and while Rico and Jacopo divert the colonel and the baron, MC and her majesty ride away in a horse and cart. But they have to continue on foot, and soon the empress is bathing her weary feet by a river, considerably cheered at last by sustenance and giggling over herself as The Barefoot Empress. It's a happy scene, attractively photographed, though she is less pleased when MC refuses to accede to her royal command to make for Belfort, and comfort. The moment is interrupted when they are discovered, and it's a swordfight, MC v the colonel and the baron, "run your majesty."
Now it is dark. They reach their rendezvous, a barn where Rico and Jacopo have brought the empress' lady in waiting. Betrayal! The barn is sourrounded, and the prisoners of the barn are forced to come out or the barn will be burned down. There's a giant fight, somehow MC and Co do not seem to be outnumbered! The King's cavalry march in, far too late to be of any assistance, for our heroes are victorious. The Empress is now able to proceed in safety to her destination in Versailles
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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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5 The Eviction
Good tale of a fop, Lord Ellington, who gets Miss Purity's tavern closed down (not pure enough!). Naturally she's upset, until LJ opens his big mouth and invites her aboard The Faithful, "only temporary like."
To the ship she adds her "touch of home", and soon, says LJ, the crew will be knitting doileys. But he redeems the situation by exposing a Spanish plot led by the foppish Lord. The gov offers him a reward. Money? "There be more important things to a man, " replies LJ, "than the jingle of gold."
All ends happily for him, as the tavern is reopened. It's not recorded if Miss P is quite so pleased.

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The Pink Pearl

Script: Martin Rackin

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

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

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

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

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

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To Long John Menu

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

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

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

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

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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 THE MORTAISE AFFAIR
28 THE PRINCE OF LIMERICK
29 THE MISSING PRINCESS (only in 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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The Knight with the Red Plume
This opening story has a certain lack of assurance with the plot never quite clear if Lancelot is as good as he seems, but at least William Russell plays his role with confidence and I liked the hints of romance of Guinevere.

Leonides the Hermit greets Lance on the road. Sir Kay, Sir Christopher and Sir Lionel from Camelot also have an unpleasant encounter with Lance who defeats "all three at once," an amazing victory that has Leonides flashing a message to Merlin in Camelot about this wonderful new knight. Merlin dashes into the royal presence of King Art. "A knight so powerful," he predicts, "will shortly appear." Good news for Art who has lost so many good knights in combat of late (no wonder if all the knights are like Sir Kay and his mates), latest has been the death of Sir Gareth, slain by a knight with a red plume. His brother Gawain is granted permission to track down this mortal enemy.
Preceded by his three prisoners, Lance enters Camelot. Queen Guinevere smiles at this new champion. If Lance should prove himself worthy, declares Art, he will be proclaimed a Knight of the Round Table.
Guinevere escorts Lance round the castle, "it's very beautiful," and you can't help thinking she's thinking that of him too. Lance enjoys a chat with Merlin and works out how he does his magic tricks.
But Lance is the Red Plumed knight, announces Gawain, and a fight to the death is the only way. You know who's the victor, Lance gallantly sparing Gawain's life. We get a slightly muddled story of why Lance had been the enemy of Camelot, but the point is Lance is now free to serve the great Art, and he is solemnly declared, midst Merlin's magic to be one of the Round Table.
One boon he is entitled to request. He asks for Guinevere to be his champion. He kisses her hand
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The Ferocious Fathers

A kitchen boy is ushered into the royal presence of King Art, with a desperate tale of his master's besieged castle and the fair Helen in distress. Here's the chance for Lance to prove himself as a knight, and bidding Guinevere a fond adieu, he accompanies the lad, Brian, to the castle of Sir Urgan (Ballard Berkeley), which is very poorly constructed for it's collapsing under the attack of Sir Melius (George Woodbridge). Lance orders them to desist, but Melius and his men only laugh, though they laugh less once Lance has beaten all Melius' feeble soldiers and taken them prisoners to Urgan.
Do you want to marry my daughter? Urgan asks Lance, his reward. Lance hesitates, but she secretly tells Lance she would turn him down anyway, she loves another.
Against Lance's wishes, Brian joins Lance on the road back to Camelot. They are waylaid by the belligerent Andred, who challenges Lance to a fight. He's the one Helen loves. The misunderstanding sorted out, Lance accompanies Andred back to his home, he's the son of Melius. They arrive to find the castle under siege by Urgan. Lance orders him to desist, he complains, "I thought you were on our side." The drama turns to comedy, the two old farts have some ancient feud over a stream. "It's so ridiculous," as the pair fight each other, gradually collapsing in exhaustion. "You are both invicible," declares the all wise Lance and the quarrel is settled, marriage in the air.
Lance is granted custody of the kitchen boy, and that is how Brian became his squire

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The Queen's Knight
It's spring, the daffodils are out, Lance and Brian are returning from their last adventure, when they hear the bad news, that Guinevere that has been kidnapped by bad Sir Mordred.
His dad is King Pell and his castle impregnable, allegedly, though disguised as a trader, Lance easily sneaks inside. He carries in the provisions, but the chain mail under his peasant clothes betrays him. "I am Sir Lancelot," he does admit. Off to the dungeons with him, and despite fierce resistance, Lance is locked up down there.
The castle prepares for a siege, and it's not long in coming, for angry King Art demands Guinevere's return. Under a temporary truce, he's offered terms, the sovereign right to Northumbria for Pell and his heirs, in return for Guinevere.
Brian follows his master's footsteps and takes more provisions into the castle. He locates the dungeon which holds Lance, and releases him. More fighting follows.
King Art, believing that Lance has betrayed him, prepares to sign the treaty, albeit most reluctantly. But an angry Lance interrupts proceedings, castigating Art for yielding to such bullying. Lance challenges Mordred to a fight to the death. The cowardly Mordred is very unwilling to agree, but is taunted into so doing. Of course Lance is victor, and Pell promises to renounce the treaty in order to spare his son's life.
Lance happily escorts Guinevere back to Camelot

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The Outcast
Before he departs for Caerleon, Lance takes the opportunity to present young Brian to court. But he's not a person of good breeding, declare some knights, though Lance presses his claim for Brian to be trained as a knight. If he proves himself competent under Hugh the Constable, he'll undergo knightly training.
He has an enemy in Sir Glavin (Patrick McGoohan, not really developed as a character here). He gets his champion Osbert to show Brian up and Brian gets a bad mark. On the level of schoolchildren's story, it's just about credible, as Brian is persuaded to undertake The Quest, a sort of Tom Brown's Schooldays attempt to snatch matron's nightcap as she sleeps, without her knowing it. Ooo, matron.
"I want to be your friend, Brian," Mary tells him. She also adds that matron doesn't wear a cap! But Mary gives Brian one, a nightcap that is, in this calf love interlude, so "by St George," Brian can boast that he's performed The Quest.
But his fellow trainees are less impressed when they are told Queen Guinevere's ring has been nicked, and we now have the detective bit of the story, and of course the ring is found, with its jewel missing, in among Brian's possessions.
But the wise queen can see Brian is innocent, if not green, though his mates shun him. Sir Glavin proposes marriage to Mary now that, he says, he's rich. The baddie has made his mistake- she knows he is not rich at all. Has he got the stolen jewel? Of course, oh yes he has, Brian follows Sir Glavin who makes another mistake baddies always make, falling out with Osbert by refusing to pay him for his dirty work. The two fight, Brian intervenes. Lance comes back from his little holiday, to find the stolen jewel on Glavin. Thus Brian is exonerated, hurrah

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Winged Victory
King Mark's messenger, under flag of truce, to besieged King Boudwin, surrender or be killed. Boudwin sends for Art, but the request is intercepted and Mark's own spy rides to Camelot to discover Art's plans.
Merlin however advises that Lance be entrusted with memorising Art's reply, so Mark's spy has to lead Lance and Brian into an ambush so that they are captured. "I shall have that message," vows King Mark (Nigel Green), "or your life."
In the dungeon at Mark's castle, Brian urges Lance to give in, but Lance explains all about knightly honour. The sympathetic wife of Mark bathes Lance's wounds after torture and secretly passes a knife to him. But Mark has a cunninger idea, he's decided to torture Brian.
But there is hope for, improbably, Brian is carrying a carrier pigeon, a new 'discovery' by the great Merlin. Lance's note is read in Camelot and Art, Sir Tristran, Sir Claud and Merlin ride post haste to Mark's castle.
Lance gives in and reveals Art's plan. Naturally he doesn't reveal that he knows Art's plans will have changed. However Brian believes Lance is now a Judas. But the pair escape their dungeon to give Art the signal and Mark's castle is attacked, not really convincing that Art, Tristran, Claud plus Lance seem to make such easy work of Mark's soldiers. But with Brian grabbed by Mark as a hostage Art has to retreat, but Lance turns the tables and Mark is sentenced to four seasons in the dungeons. Mark's wife is given custody of the castle

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Sir Bliant
Three daughters of Sir Rolfe of Northumberland are kidnapped by the wicked sons of Sir Bliant. "They used to be fine boys," a sad Bliant informs King Art.
They must be taught a lesson, not to go round fighting (and other naughty things) all the time. Merlin has the solution: exploding arrows. But Lance has a neater method: he will disguise himself as Bliant and deal with his unruly sons.
Brian accompanies Lance to his castle, his advice is to kill the wicked brothers. But Lance wants to avoid bloodshed and meets Cath, one of Rolfe's daughters who is longing for "someone like Sir Lancelot" to come to their rescue. The disguised Lance persuades her and her sisters to agree to marry Bliant's sons... on conditions. The wedding is to be preceded by a tournament and in Game 1, a spear contest, Sir Rolfe himself accepts the challenge to beat the first Bliant. The winner will win the fair lady's hand. Of course the ageing Rolfe is no match, but when Sir Bliant steps up, to laughter, he surprisingly wins. The son is locked away to reflect on his misdeeds.
Contest 2 is wrestling. Bliant is reluctant to fight his own son, but he does and to general amazement wins, even more incredible his false beard doesn't fall off.
The final son has a sword fight. The three sisters watch on, of course Bliant is victorious and the three sons are brought to heel, so that in future Bliant's will be "a peaceful home." But Cath has worked out how it all came about

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The Magic Sword
Sir Bernard is one of the knights practising swordplay, but let's face it, he's not terribly good, no fighting instinct. Hugh his trainer is in despair. Even "pompous idiot" Sir Kay realises he can beat this one, and Kay wagers on his victory with Merlin. The magician tries to pep up Sir Bernard's courage, with a tale of Lance's magic sword. "With that sword you'll batter Sir Kay to the dust." Such words turn the lamb into the lion, Sir Kay is humiliated, Sir Bernard so brimming with confidence he dashes off to rescue his ladylove, Lydia of Garth Castle.
En route, so bold is he that he brushes all and sundry aside to confront Sir Damas and his three wicked brothers who are holding Lydia a prisoner until she agrees to marry one of them.
The conquering hero explains about his sword to Lydia, without it he's lost. The brothers get wind of this and steal the sword. Sir Damas accepts Bernard's challenge, and as he has possession of the sword he is invincible, or so he thinks.
Merlin and Lance explain to Bernard that the whole story was ficititious. Lance proves the point by overcoming Damas, with his magic sword and all, end of all magic. Then Lance and Bernard beat off the four rotters to admiring looks from Lydia.
Lance's magic sword is rescued by Lydia from the lake whence it had been chucked, in echoes of the Excalibur legend.
Dan Cunningham plays the gentle Sir Bernard with a fine panache to suit the fairy tale qualities of the story

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The Roman Wall
Of the semi regulars, only Brian is in this story.

Lance and Brian are at the castle of King Boltan, rather like ancient detectives, to solve the mystery of the disappearance of Iolta (Jennifer Jayne), Boltan's daughter. The incredible tale is that she has been spirited away by ghosts, spirits of the ancient Romans. "You can't fight ghosts," suggests Brian, but Lance of course is made of sterner stuff and makes for the alleged place of abduction, an ancient wall.
Scaling it, he finds an incredibly unlikely settlement of Romans, still in England long after the Roman Empire had fallen. Their leader (Gerald Cross) calls himself Governor of the Roman Province of Britain, a strange camp figure but honourable also, surrounded by ancient Roman artefacts and architecture. After a hospitable Roman meal, Lance raises the subject of Iolta. "We mean her no harm," Lance is informed, indeed she is essential to keep their Roman lineage unbroken.
All very friendly, though the gov's adviser Probus (Nigel Greene) is less diplomatic, attempting to poison Lance. That fails, but Lance decides it best to get away, but gets a surprise when Iolta refuses to go with him. She is happy here, for it seems she's fallen in love.
Probus arrests Lance and Brian and cunningly averts Lance's accustion of poisoning. The matter is decided by a duel, Probus nominating Gogus (Derry Nesbitt) and it's hardly a fair fight, but against the odds Lance triumphs and compels Gogus to confess that Probus had indeed attempted to poison them.
Thus the governor agrees to release Iolta, and her marriage is approved in this highly improbable adventure
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Lancelot's Banishment

Why does King Marhaus of Mercia ask for his swords to be blunted? "Strange order." Lance is suspicious, but King Art is all for friendly jousting in his forthcoming tournament and the pair rather fall out, Art calling Lance a name-calling churl. When Lance informs his king that he is obtuse, there has to be a parting of the ways. Lance storms out of Camelot.
Of course Lance is right and soon finds out when Marhaus' soldiers attack him and take him prisoner. But Marhaus has to back down when his sister, Princess Angela (Zena Walker) senses her brother is up to no good. Marhaus pretends it's all a mistake.
Over a meal they discuss the nature of kingly power, though not in too intellectual a manner. Lance is still suspicious and discovers Marhaus' secret arsenal of sharpened weapons. In an allegedly friendly duel Lance is supposed to be killed while all he has to defend himself is one of the blunt swords and dud shields. But Lady Angela again intervenes having been warned of Lance's danger by a very tuneless minstrel.
When Lance shows her her brother's sharpened weapons, she knows her duty.
At the tournament Art and Marhaus are to kick proceedings off with a friendly joust. Art thinks it's to be friendly, though the naughty Marhaus plans to bump Art off and seize Camelot. Lady Angela's testimony is decisive. As a result, Lance takes Art's place and Marhaus is surprised and defeated. Angela pleads gracefully for her brother to be spared. Marhaus departs in disgrace but with his head, as for Lance, naturally he is welcomed back

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Caledon

Alone, Lance has been sent on a mission across dangerous country. In a narrow valley he is ambushed by brigands whom he quickly sends packing. But his horse has been mortally wounded, so Lance has to proceed on foot.
He comes across a group of horse sellers who give him shelter and hospitality. However they are brigantes and plan to rob Lance under order from their chief, the nasty Jaggyd (George Murcell).
Lance takes a fancy to a big grey horse and after Jaggyd's henchmen display their duelling skills, Lance is saddled up on the grey, yet some gorse has been placed nastily under the beast's saddle. Caldeon, that will be my horse's name, declares Lance, but the animal proves too strong for even him, no wonder with that gorse, and Lance is thrown to the ground unconscious. Jaggyd robs Lance then he and his gang hastily make a getaaway.
When Lance comes round, he is fortunate to see Caledon again, who leads him a merry dance, but finally the steed is rounded up, and Lance bathes its wound caused by the gorse. Then off in pursuit of the evil Jaggyd.
Caledon rides like the wind and, Jaggyd tracked down, there's a fight on horseback, then on foot and right on the edge of a cliff. One of them tumbles down, and Lance has the loser at swordpoint. The dispirited Jaggyd is forced to return Lance's possessions who rides off with one new and fine possession, Caledon

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The Magic Book
Tyning Abbey is in danger, with an invasion of 650 Danes imminent. But King Arthur cannot spare any of his men, so Merlin the Magnificent volunteers to defend it, Lance kindly offering to accompany the old man. Father Till (Eddie Malin) is in charge here, ancient and doddering. Lance plans the best defence for the abbey while Merlin whiles away the time admiring the latest acquisition of the abbey, an enormous book by Archimedes, to be copied by the monks. The principles of the lever is one section that takes Merlin's eye. But Squire Brian espies something much more dangerous, Danish soldiers
The monks are not permitted to fight, but Lance persuades them to shout, imitating the cry of soldiers, whatever cry that be, and the feeble Danish soldiers, all five of them, are so scared they run off. Though not far, waiting for a time to attack.
Copying the designs of Archimedes on block and tackle, Merlin starts constructing his own weapon, while Lance attempts to delay proceedings by talking to the Danes under flag of truce. The philosophy of books is soon discarded in favour of a good old swordfight. Lance is taken prisoner. "Tomorrow we have nice fire of books."
But their next attack is repelled by Archimedes, or at least by his principles. A giant boulder is toppled down a slope towards the Danes, who scatter in abject fear. Lance escapes and kindly frees the trapped Danish leader, pinned down in the rubble.
But certainly it is Merlin who is credited with the miracle of saving the abbey

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The Ruby of Radnor
Art has come to the castle of his cousin Lord Everard with Queen Guinevere and his retinue, bringing a priceless ruby for the annual display of the regalia. But Everard is a bit naughty, his two henchmen steal all the treasures.
Back in Camelot, Lance is ticking Brian off for putting goldfish in Merlin's water. Worse, the lad blows peas at Lance. He is punished by being made to transport two pigeons, though his journey is made easier when he secretly hitches a ride on a cart, the very cart that the thieves are using to carry away the crown jewels.
Lance has ridden in hot pursuit of the jewels, but unfortunately in the wrong direction, for Everard has sent him on a wild goose chase.
Brian uses his brain, and sends one pigeon with a sample of the jewellery. Then, incredibly, he knocks out the thieves and makes off with the cart and the regalia. Bumping into Everard, he explains all. That was bad luck, for the crown jewels are retaken and Brian locked up.
The search is now on for Brian. That pigeon has flown home, the only snag being where is Brian hidden? To provide the clue, Brian sends his other pigeon, as he cannot write, he ties a sprig of unusual ivy that only grows in the vicinity of Everard's castle. But Merlin is uncommonly slow in working out what the ivy means.
Brian has befriended another prisoner, Hugo, both are to be hanged shortly.
Lance now faces Everard with what he believes has happened. But no clue as to Brian's whereabouts until Lance is hit by another pea. A swordfight, and Everard is overpowered, and Brian and Hugo are released. Another fight, the crown jewels proving useful offensive weaponry. Everard escapes on horse, but Lance plunges off the battlements to thwart him and recapture the ruby
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Witches Brew
Damien has been put into prison by his own father, King Rolf, played by Leonard Sachs who uses the tragedy to show off his skills as a budding Olivier.
To find out the reason, Art sends Lance to Rolf's well armed castle, odd it is guarded so well, for Rolf holds the reputation of a peaceful king. The reason is soon evident, he is in the power of Eunice (Maxine Audley), a malevolent influence indeed. Poor King Rolf seems in a daze for Damien has been found guilty of treason and is to be executed.
Lance is permitted to talk to Damien in his cell. The prisoner admits he had spoken out against his father's new warlike behaviour, and against the resultant poverty of his subjects. He knows who to blame too. "Be careful, she's very clever," he warns Lance. Eunice is indeed, for already she has woven Brian under her spell, and she makes him spill the lowdown on Lance.
Armed with this information she convinces Rolf she knows all about their visitor. "Who is the fairest in the land?" - Sounds more like Snow White.
All Lance can do is rescue Damien. He does so, carrying him away on his horse.
Wise Merlin sees Brian has been hypnotised, "a primitive hocus pocus." He proposes Art invite Rolf and Eunice to Camelot to resolve Damien's future. The two kings confer together while Eunice vies with Merlin. She can hear voices. He produces a voice also. She's not impressed with his magic birds, pigeons, either, "we younger magicians," she warns, "reject your mumbo jumbo." The competition is decided after she fails to hypnotise him, but is naively tricked into getting tied up. In tears, she admits her trickery, and as Rolf has been listening, his eyes are opened. Eunice is banished for ever.
Despite Merlin's antipathy to hypnotism, he is allowed to keep her hypnotic candles used to induce trances
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Double Identity
Here's a very familiar motif, performed well with Howard Pays in a dual role.
Lance is to be Sir Richard of Taunton's best man. The one thing that's unusual about Richard is that he's ambidextrous, and that's the key point. He'd been brought up by his bad uncle Sir John, but with his forthcoming happy marriage to Margaret, his estate will be one of the most powerful in the land. Bad Sir John wants the power for himself and it's exceptionally lucky that his own son Alfred, who was presumed dead, is actually alive and moreover the double of Sir Richard.
With Richard disposed of, he meets his future wife who immediately notices he behaves differently, coldly, and though Sir John has a story prepared, she looks worried. Swallow all that if you can.
Locals are worried too, for Sir Richard Mark II decrees a heavy increase in taxation, something Mark I would never have dreamed of.
Fortunately Richard isn't quite murdered, as a peasant finds him and like a Good Samaritan, nurses him back to health. A slightly unconvincing scene when Richard writes a message to Merlin. The gist of it is, stop the imposter.
But this idiot isn't winning any friends. Pressurised by his wicked uncle, he's getting drunk as he waits impatiently for the wedding day. Lance is mystified by him, for now Richard can no longer wield his sword with either hand. Nor can he write his name left handed as of yore. Actually all this extra evidence isn't really required for Margaret has perceived that this is never her real upright noble fiance.
Brian brings a message from Merlin that the real Richard is on his way, but of course the evil plot has been rumbled anyway. Lance gets the wedding ceremony postponed until Richard Mark I can make it. "He comes from the devil," mutters Sir John, his plans in ruins. Lance deals with the evil Sir John, his imposter nephew wounded in the swordplay. With the villains taken away, the two real lovers can be reunited and happily married
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The Bridge
The free village of Pontifax owns a strategic bridge, a vital crossing point. Lady Angela is the innocent dupe of her brother, Sir Marhaus who plans to annexe this bridge.
His scheme sees a cripple blocking the bridge, beaten for his troubles by Marhaus' men, the vital point is that if the bridge is impassible for any time, Pontifax loses its right to the bridge. Marhaus has arranged with a disaffected villager 'Honest' Caradoc (Jack May) to do his foul deed. But the plot is thwarted by Brian who witnesses the scene and after informing King Art, Lance is despatched to the Bridge.
With the cripple incident sorted, Caradoc creeps by night to place a pagan curse on the Bridge. When the villagers see the dreadful sight, he urges them to destroy the evil bridge. This is thwarted also as Lady Angela steps up and points out it's a load of superstitious nonsense, and proves it by walking o'er the bridge in perfect safety. That act wins Lance's admiration (why didn't he do that?)
So Marhaus has his sister kidnapped, but once again Brian has been watching and tells his master. "He's going to rescue Lady Angela, he's always doing that!" And despite odds of 3-1, Lance beats off the guards holding her prisoner. "Angela, are you all right?"
She finds it very hard to believe her own brother could have kidnapped her, but is convinced when she overhears him plotting. He even refuses to obey her and back down from his storming Pontifax. Lance however is waiting for his army, a barricade across the bridge drives them back and Lance easily defeats the evil brother in a swordfight, forcing him to back down. Off to Camelot, Lance and Angela ride happily side by side

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Lady Lilith
Sir Liones (Richard Leech) is the rightful legal heir to Goodhew Castle, yet the late owner's daughter Lilith, a mere female, has been running the estate efficiently for some years. Liones had even proposed marriage as an honourable compromise, but had been turned down by this woman he describes as "a monster, more male than female."
Art has decreed that the law maintains that Sir Liones must inherit Goodhew, Lance is despatched to inform Lady Lilith of the dreadful decision. She greets Lance with a bucket of water.
A little cross, Lance and Liones batter down the castle entrance, only to fall into the duckpond. Clearly this is only a comedy no early women's lib. As Lance dries himself, Brian chats with the determined young lady, "you're beautiful," he tells her in admiration. Lance is pondering how to deal with this prototype libber and it's an easy task for the reason that she refused Liones is that she was in love with an ideal, as represented by Lance himself. Such makes Lance more determined to match her with Liones, though as Brian himself is smitten, it's hard for him to agree to aid Lance in his scheme. Lance tries that old standby to put her off, dressing in rags and acting like a boar, yet nothing seems to put this good woman off the legend that is Lance.
Brian's own plan is almost a success. A ghostly vision appears before Liones who trembling vows never to set foot again in Goodhew Castle. But the effect is spoiled when Brian trips and is exposed.
Crunch time and Lilith is forced to leave her castle, "it's the law." But she has an ace up her sleeve, challenging Sir Liones to a duel. "I can't fight a girl." Preposterous, agrees Lance and he carries Lilith away kicking and screaming as it were from her home. That rouses Sir Liones' wrath and he fights Lance, all good fun really. Of course Lance is victorious, but that brings on him Lilith's wrath, "you brute," as she falls into Liones' arms. Here endeth this semi-comedy

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Knights Choice
A splendid tale of chivalry which commences with a fanfare as King Art and Queen Guinevere enter to announce a contest for the replacement of the late knight Sir Marco. Be it known that on St Crispin's Day next, anyone who will, may compete in a series of tests, presided over by Sir Kay.
Now the wicked Morgana-le-Fay, Art's sister who had once tried to bump him off, turns up at Camelot to press the claims of her son Sir Rupert (a young Robert Hardy) at the "ridiculous" Round Table. Another entrant is a mere peasant, Balin (Derek Waring), and these two emerge as the favourites amongst many others. As Lance plans to ensure Rupert is unsuccessful, his mother schemes to eliminate Balin before she takes power in Camelot.
At the contest, a sort of olde worlde tv elimination event, Art asks, as at a wedding, if there be any objections to the contestants. Morgana pipes up. Balin, she claims, is unknown. Art has to eliminate him, but Lance speaks up for him and acts as his sponsor, so all is well.
Round 1 is swordfighting. Round 2 wrestling. Then an obstacle race in which the two rivals dead heat, "a near thing eh?" Three are left for spear hurling, again our two tie so with equal scores, Morgana proposes "a real fight... to the death if necessary." We can be certain she's gonig to fix it somehow, and her cunning plan is for her stooge Sir Julian to flash a mirror in poor Balin's eyes during combat. However the suspicious Merlin has overheard it all and uses his own astronomical wiles to get the fight postponed by a quarter of an hour. His incredible accuracy has convinced him that an eclipse of the sun will thwart the evil Morgana. Balin is about to be beaten when it all goes dark, "it must be the end of the world." Now the battle continues until there is only one victor. Lance gives Sir Julian a lesson and Morgana is banished with the loser. To cheers Balin is knighted

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The Prince of Limerick
Lance is displaying new talents, for he is massaging a half naked King Art. The latter orders Lance to participate in a tournament in Ireland organised by the oddly named King Anguish.
En route, Lance and Brian are held up by a pleasant young man, who demands not money but a rhyme to conclude his poem fabout his lady love Kathleen. He's called The Prince of Limerick (Jerome Willis), and as Brian is able to supply a rhyme for the word Agony- apparently the poet cannot dream this up himself- the trio become friends and are invited into Limerick's cave. The doubtful historical accuracy of limericks we will gloss over, but we do learn the sad reason why the prince lives in a cave, King Anguish had dispossessed him, only for the very minor offence of writing a limerick. The prince is entering the tournament too, if only he could win the prize, the hand of his beloved Kathleen.
When Lance is introduced to her, he understands why the king is anxious to offload her as the prize, she talks non stop. However her attitude mellows considerably when Lance produces a poem from her Limerick. Lance reunites the couple and warmed by their love, Lance withdraws from the event in order to give Limerick a better chance. But the poet is no fighter so they try some strategy and send a cheeky poem to the favourite to win, the evil Baron Wicklaw. The idea is to make him so angry he won't fight with a clear head. In the end, Lance takes Limerick's place. He easily wins round one on horseback, and also round two swordfighting. This victory emboldens Limerick and to fill up the programme time he agrees to the free for all melee to which Wicklaw challenges him. Lance finds this one a little different as the chosen weapons are shillelaghs. Yet the outcome is the same. More limericks from Limerick make Wicklaw so hotheaded he easily loses this skirmish also, "foul play," cries Wicklaw, a bad loser.

I liked Tony Quinn's part as the anguished King Anguish, who finds the burdens of office and fatherhood too great to bear

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The Thieves
Jost happening to be riding by, Lance hears the cry Stop Thief. Piggott has stolen some bread. Lance stops him but realises the poor man is starving, and kindly gives him some money. And some advice, get some work. But it's not so simple, for the thief has been branded on his forehead, so noone will trust him enough to employ him.
Returnng to Camelot, Lance relates the depressing story to King Arthur whose tough laws had decreed the branding of thieves. Lance argues, all very socialist, that such men are not thieves by choice. To prove his point, he convinces Arthur to temporarily be branded as a thief himself to understand the thieves' predicament. He agrees, as long as Lance does the same.
Dressed in rags, the pair come across Piggott who had been arrested, as Lance's purse was in his possession. Found guilty he had been put to death. Such summary justice might appal, but Lance and Arthur have no time, for they are chased by soldiers and flee to Robin Hood, well almost, a band of thieves in the forest.
Only laughter greets Arthur's ("Arty's"!) suggestion to these, that they reform. Their leader proves the point by seeking for work from the local lord, only to be turned away when his branding mark is seen, "nothing for the likes of you." However this lord then suggests they rob for him athough such an appalling suggestion angers Arty who rejoins the roguish band. Soldiers attack them and after a stiff fight Lance and Arty are captured and found guilty, "take them to the dungeons." All the thieves are sentenced to a mass hanging. Arty protests, he is King Arthur he announces, but such a claim is laughed to scorn. But Arty is underestimated, treated as a dimwit, and the thieves fight their way to freedom. Though Lance is still held prisoner, Arty gets back to Camelot where he regains control, sending the evil lord on a forced pilgrimage to Rome. King Arthur has learned a lesson, and after Lance is rescued, the former thieves are promised work
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SIR FRANCIS DRAKE
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 the star chosen from three who were tested on July 28th 1960, was hardly in the charismatic Richard Greene mould. I wonder who the two others who made tests were?
Having said that, some of the stories do rise above the usual rather mundane children's swashbuckling adventures (for example, stories 3, 11 and 12). I also like the stirring theme music by the underrated Ivor Slaney- perhaps if it had had a vocal, it would have been a hit.

1 The Garrison - Captain Williams (Patrick Wymark in Welsh) is in charge of the Blankenburg fort with 500 men, but when Drake fails to bring his provisions, FD is accused of cowardice. Making amends, Sir F discovers a mere 13 men at the fort, so where are the rest?
2 The Prisoner - Has Captain Drake "met his match" in the shape of a Spanish Contessa (Natasha Parry) he's rescued from a sinking galleon? Her scheme is to blow up the Hind, but FD outthinks her, and she faces being blown up along with FD, who still has time to tease her "you're very beautiful you know"
3 Mary Queen of Scots - Here's a genuine attempt to portray the dilemmas of the queen and her cousin (Noelle Middleton), as crooked politicial activists try to manipulate Mary's death. A more conventional second half as FD gallops to her rescue, foiling the evil plot of Sir Amyas (Alfred Burke)
4 Governor's Revenge - Patently obvious is a provincial gov's plan for revenge on FD. Hawkins is framed and sentenced to death, but Drake's plan is pretty obvious too- he kidnaps the gov's fiancee
5 Lost Colony of Virginia - FD relieves the tottering fortress of Virginia, a tale to stir every American heart
6 English Dragon - "Gay young" Lord Oakeshott (David McCallum) is held prisoner in Calais, so as the Queen is "fond" of him, FD promises to rescue him. But this foppish Lord "adores" the countess (Delphi Lawrence) living there, and won't leave, so FD has to drag him back to England
7 Bold Enterprise - "The richest gold town" of the Spaniards is where the queen's cousin Lord Westbrook (Patrick Holt) is imprisoned. Against her majesty's command, FD sails with the ebullient Bosanquet (Richard Pearson) to get the gold- "Drake shall answer with his head!" The Spanish governor isn't too pleased either- "My King shall hang you for this!" But when FD produces Westbrook as well as the gold, all is forgiven, at least on the queen's side
8 Doctor Dee- Can you imagine Raymond Huntley playing a magician? Well here he is, as Dr Dee, an alchemist who "causes a member of the court to vanish." Only in fun, but Mendoza the Spanish ambassador persuades him to give the queen a horoscope that will discourage FD from attacking crippled Spanish ships. But FD can read the signs too and retrieves Dee's scientific notes Mendoza has stolen, so Dee is able now to give the right prediction enabling FD to attack legitimately the enemy. Also in this story, Michael Crawford sings Greensleeves
9 Escape - FD is washed ashore and thrown unrecognised into a Spanish prison. He faces psychological torture by the governor, before the old dawn firing squad. Not your traditional swashbuckler this, more a script by a writer with a WW2 hangover, transposing 350 years ahead of FD's time
10 Boy Jack - Queen Elizabeth entrusts young courtier Jack to FD to make a man of him. He is to escort him to Portugal, which has, unbeknown to FD, just been taken over by the Spanish
11 The Flame Thrower - "By heavens, madam, what a welcome we can give the Spanish Armada now!" In an unusually philosophical start, Martin (Neil McCallum) has a conscience about his weapon being used in warfare. But the Spaniards have no such scruples and force him to make the Flame Thrower for them. So it's FD to Martin's rescue!
12 King of America - Apparently the "true story" of Kieron Moore, correction Thomas Stukeley who before the Pilgrim Fathers declared himself King of America. Drake's nephew Michael Crawford, alias John Drake (he's no Danger Man, though) tags along, besotted by the fair Susan Hampshire, sorry Celia. However the King's subjects capture a Spanish pirate ship and decide to return to England, minus Kieron Moore. Alone in his kingdom, he's about to be polished off by those Spaniards, when FD sails in- hurrah!- to his rescue
13 The Irish Pirate - FD is ordered to bring the rebellious Earl of Tyrone "in chains" to Queen Bess. This is a corny caricature of the Irish with a couple of disagreeable Burkes and an Irish piratess (Olive McFarland)- only nice moment is when their brawl is suddenly ceased by the appearance of the minuscule Lord Abbott (Gordon Phillott)
14 Drake on Trial - Did FD really kill all the crew on a Spanish ship after they had surrendered? But it proves to be his double who is then persuaded by the Spanish to attack a Dutch ship. Queen Liz is not amused until FD tracks down the imposter
15 Beggars of the Sea - Rotten army the Spanish!- they won't fight unless they are actually paid. And Dutch insurrectionists are ensuring that pay never reaches them in Holland. Spanish Count Julio (William Lucas) is sure it will arrive this time when Queen Elizabeth guarantees the Spanish payship a safe passage through the English Channel. At least this is what she says: "No English ship must attack it." This is an awful lesson for youngsters in how to be devious!
16 The Bridge - FD is asked to rescue a Portuguese leader from an impregnable castle captured by the Spaniards. What's he look like? asks FD. A painting of Patrick Troughton is shown: "that's a face one's not likely to forget"
17 Johnnie Factotum - After fierce fighting FD captures a Spanish treasure. He then goes undercover to catch crooks who plan to snatch the booty on its way from Tilbury to her Majesty, in a plot that must have been used later for The Saint! He's nearly outwitted in this violent robbery by the Queen of Alsatia (Katharine Blake)
18 Mission to Paris - Her Majesty beguiled by a foppish French prince, even considering an alliance with the notorious French branch of the de Medicis! But why, if Alencon is so "repulsive?" Oh no, the Queen thinks him "handsome." Though even the prince's own mother thinks he needs "exterminating." FD is sent to France to gauge the wicked French Queen's intentions, and they are not honourable. Thanks to an ally in her palace, Navarre (Patrick Allen), FD avoids the Medici's murderous plans.
19 Gentleman of Spain - Barbary pirates have carried off slaves from Wales, so FD goes to Tripoli to save them. He has an unlikely ally in Don Miguel (Nigel Davenport): "at least the Spaniards are Christian"
20 The Reluctant Duchess - A crotchety Dutch duchess must be persuaded not to collaborate with the Spanish, so FD has to 'encourage' her to come to England. With the aid of an actor Maartens (Ferdy Mayne) FD, the lady and his company have to perform Hecuba by Euripedes to convince the enemy of their bona fides. "Have you nothing livelier?" asks a bored Spanish duke. A bit unfair on Mary Merrall as the duchess who seems to enjoy spouting the stuff, though things liven up with a sword fight
21 The Gypsies - FD's ship picks up some marooned gypsies who bring "the evil eye" on the crew. FD and John, who's fallen for the beauteous Sara, find themselves forced to protect their passengers, who are really trying to loot the Golden Hind. The ship is nearly sunk, but as the witches flee, their longboat falls victim to the sharks
22 The Doughty Plot - Veteran actor and producer of this series Anthony Bushell plays FD's old friend Tom who organises his version of Mutiny on the Bounty. But it ends unsuccessfully and there follows the "landlubber's" solemn trial
23 Fountain of Youth - Sir Henry (Reginald Beckwith) takes charge of FD's expedition to Florida, where FD helps the natives rescue their chief Black Eagle from the Spaniards. His reward is the undying thanks of BE's daughter (Catherine Woodville) plus barrels of magic water from an Indian well known as the Fountain of Youth, that Queen Bess is discretely anxious to taste
24 Court Intrigue - "If Drake is attacking the treasure fleet... the Queen will lose her kingdom." The Spaniards try to decoy FD away from protecting the English shores, so the Armada can strike. "Patriots not pirates" is what the Queen demands of FD's men. However, here's a game of double bluff with FD wise enough to "repulse an invasion" as well as making time enough to "escort" the Spanish treasure back to England
25 Visit to Spain - FD is a guest of the King of Spain to witness his "little monster of a son" who is getting married to an Italian princess (Francesca Annis), only she doesn't love him and he despises her. FD is in his element as he prevents this alliance
26 Slaves of Spain - In Tobago the Spanish have forced some British to become slaves, digging in their gold mine. Despite some local treachery, the "inhuman monsters" are beaten and the series ends with a kiss for FD, well more a peck really, from Yana aka Nanette Newman

To Historical Menu . . . . . . The site with Sir Francis Drake cast lists

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The Adventures of the Scarlet Pimpernel (1955)
"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.

1 The Hostage
2 Sir Percy's Wager
3 Lady in Distress
4 The Elusive Chauvelin
6 The Sword of Justice
8 Sir Andrew's Fate
9 The Ambassador's Lady
10 The Christmas Present
14 Antoine and Antoinette
18 The Tale of Two Pigtails (final story)

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The Hostage
An American voiceover introduces "the immensely rich and immensely foolish" Sir Percy Blakeney. At present he is idly musing over flower satin waistcoats with The Prince of Wales, when Chauvelin is announced. Sir Percy, alias The Scarlet Pimpernel tuts over the Frenchman's cravat and hereinafter calls him Shovelon. This man's request is to stop the "meddlesome" activities of SP. But His Majesty pertinently retorts, "why should a British subject meddle in the politics of France?"
That exactly describes SP's latest mission, to rescue the Baroness Suzanne de Fleury (Yvonne Furneaux). He and Tony (Robert Shaw) effect her rescue, just as she is being carried off to the guillotine. Their coach deliberately crashes into her as she is en route to her death.
"It is better you do not see my face," SP tells her, leading to awkward scenes in which he is seen only in shadow. This motif was soon dropped from the series. SP informs her she is being taken to England and safety, but she cannot go, for Chauvelin is holding her son Pierre as hostage. SP reassures her she will be reunited with Pierre. "God go with you."
SP's first move is simply to annoy Shovelon. Then he promises, as Sir Percy, to find out the names of some of the anti revolutionary supporters. The coachman whose coach SP had bought to effect the crash that brought about the Baroness' escape, could identify SP, so SP impersonates him in Chauvelin's presence, offering every assistance in rounding about SP. Chauvelin jumps at the chance, knowing that SP is likely to try and snatch Pierre. "I have four men watching ze child, he will have a warm reception."
Of course, if anyone it's Chauvelin who gets the warm bit, a surprise change of character from coachman to SP as he grabs Pierre, "we're going to take you to your mother." As Chauvelin is taken as hostage now, it is easy for SP to get away. "I wish I knew your face," sighs Chauvelin. The baroness is most grateful as SP explains why he helped, it was to fight injustice. Another reason perhaps, is "the touch of romance," as he kisses her farewell
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Sir Percy's Wager

His Highness' game of cards is interrupted with news that Lady Caroline, who had married a French count, has been arrested. She will go to the guillotine unless, Chauvelin announces, the activities of the Pimpernel are stopped. But noone of course knows SP's identity.
Hastings travels to France with SP. All Englishmen are being watched by Chauvelin's men, in the vain hope of uncovering the identity of SP. Thus SP's hotel room is searched, "what the deuce is he up to?"
SP proposes a trip to the country, for no reason in particular, but finds all roads are blocked, order of Citizen Chauvelin. SP and Hastings complain about such treatment, taking their case straight to the top, Chauvelin himself. Chauvelin entertainingly explains to SP that he is trying to trap the Pimpernel. Chauvelin knows that such a fop as Sir Percy could never be SP!
Dinner at Francois' tavern. By careful listening SP learns the time set for the execution of Countess Caroline. Posing as drunkards, he and Hastings kidnap a coachman, then Chauvelin himself, concluding in their hotel room and smuggling the Countess away in a cask of Amontillado. The sequence is long and tedious, with the drunks singing London's Burning too often, so "ze countess escapes." SP and Hastings have a perfect alibi, none other than Citizen Chauvelin himself. Countess Carrie gets safe back to England thanks to SP who wins a wager of 100 guineas. That wager was that Chauvelin would not stop SP.
Despite all the fun at poor Chauvelin's expense this is a muddled and poor story

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The Elusive Chauvelin
SP is practising his fencing skills with Sir Andrew, idly chatting about Christine Hobson who seems to have won SP's heart, "one day perhaps, when our work is finished..."
Then a shock. A blackmail demand for £500 or Sir Percy will be exposed as the Pimpernel. Take the money to the Travellers Rest. But then relief, for it seems almost every British nobleman has received a similar demand, everyone except The Prince of Wales.
At a dance hosted by the Countess la Villiere, SP dances with Christine, who informs him that her brother George is about to catch the elusive Pimpernel, he's going to The Travellers Rest. But George's plan backfires as Chauvelin takes him prisoner there, believing he must be SP. His bait of the blackmail notes has succeeded! SP and Sir Andrew attempt to rescue George, but for once Chauvelin is too wily, and takes George away to France to face the guillotine.
SP and Sir Andrew follow on, and at a French tavern they try to trick the "scoundrel's" executioner Louis (is it Christopher Lee?), but he sees that they are no peasants but aristos themselves and SP barely escapes arrest himself.
While SP distracts Chauvelin, Sir Andrew nicks some of the great citizen's wardrobe, even down to his wig. Thus disguised as Chauvelin, SP boldly marches into the prison where George is held, and swaps clothes, George now emerging as Chauvelin. But how does SP get out of jail free?
A baffled Chauvelin quickly investigates when he hears he is supposed to have been at the prison. He knows he hasn't been. In the cell he is attacked by SP who then emerges as Chauvelin, leaving the poor real Chauvelin gagged. When he shouts for help he's ignored on Chauvelin's own instructions, "you blundering fool" and other similar complaints follow.
Thus George is free and back in England honourably does not divulge the true identity of the Pimpernel

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Sword of Justice
Count Latour (Ian Fleming) brings terrible news as he flees to England, that he has been tricked by no less than SP himself! On the boat across the Channel, his family had been thrown overboard, and his possessions seized. SP is no better than any ordinary criminal.
Naturally The Prince of Wales is appalled and even agrees to collaborate with the French authorities to capture SP. For SP himself, the question to resolve is, just who is this imposter? Sir Percy even offers his services to Chauvelin to help bring SP to justice. Set a thief to catch a thief, he proposes and a doubtful Chauvelin is all but persuaded to adopt a disguise to work the oracle. But not quite.
Hastings discovers that a girl named Georgette in Paris is introducing French aristos to the Pimpernel.
Dubois is a footman, another disguise of SP, and he has better luck with Chauvelin. He gets Chauvelin to wait for SP's alleged rendezvous with a fleeing duke at a lonely cottage in a forest. Still as Dubois, SP goes to the tavern where Georgette hangs out. Here he meets Sir Thomas (Brian Wilde) and Georgette who agrees to take SP to meet... himself!
They are taken to the lonely cottage and the trap, though the imposter nearly gets away. But the real SP stops him in a swordfight to the death.
But not quite to the death, for Sir Thomas is arrested as the imposter, and justice will run its course. SP lives to fight another day

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

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The Ambassador's Lady

Enter Sir Percy in all his foppish pomp, at a banquet, for once we never see him in his role as the Pimpernel. But he still takes down Citizen Chauvelin of the Public Safety Committee a peg, on the subject of his attire. Chauvelin is wearing what he considers the latest in neckwear, the material, declares Sir Percy, used by the artistocracy as a blanket for horses..
Next to arrive are Jacques and Renee Fleury, newly married, and she's "certainly a most attractive young lady" according to Lord Hastings.
Now enters the Prince of Wales (Alexander Gauge) whose brief speech announces the ending of friction between England and the new French Republic thanks to Citizen Chauvelin's plan to instal a new French Ambassador in England, Fleury (William Franklyn) no less.
What puzzles Sir Percy is what lies behind Chauvelin's scheme. Generously, Sir Percy places his town house at Fleury's disposal. Here Hastings seems to be getting yet more smitten with Renee.
Sir Percy warns Hastigns of the etiquette of the matter and departs for France. At Dover he and Sir Andrew spot Chauvelin who is meeting up with Chicon, a known assassin. "What's he doing here?" Fleury must be their target. His death would provoke all out war, England v France. So the trip to France is postponed.
Hastings is now kissing Renee, ripe for a diplomatic incident. The bait is well and truly taken when he's discovered in her boudoir. He is forced to write a compromising note which is to commence My Beloved Renee. It's lucky Sir Andrew has followed Sir Percy's orders and been on watch, and he comes to Hastings' rescue. Renee however takes control, holding her gun. But in a subsequent struggle she is shot by Chicon.
Hastings wants to avenge her killing, as does, naturally, Fleury himself. The latter has first go and at the dock a fight concludes with the assassin tipped in the drink.
Relations with France could have sunk to a low, but Fleury's statement that it was a Frenchman who caused his wife's death fortunately prevents all that

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The Christmas Present

Lashings of Christmas cheer in this one, though Sir Percy starts off as though the future Scrooge, claiming not to like Christmas, nor indeed children, and he certainly has no desire to get married.
Yet the "wild party" he is to attend, is in reality a mission to rescue four French nobles, held in a grand house near Nantes. SP is puzzled why they are not being held in a prison, but having scaled a snowy wall, and through a snowy window (I said this was a Christmassy tale), by good fortune he bumps into the marquis Jean Paul (Christopher Toyne), no more than a child. His sister Renee (Nicola Braithwaite) is asleep in their room, along with the Comte Charles (Richard Rogers) and Antoinette "only a baby" (Leslie Dudley). SP takes her in his arms and invites them to his Christmas party. "There isn't any Christmas any more in France," is the very sad response. But they're keen to go with SP. He effects their escape by painting spots on Antoinette, and then as a doctor declares the youngsters all have the plague. By order of Citizen Chauvelin he has to take the children away, though a real doctor, puzzled, nearly thwarts the scheme.
On a donkey's back a la seasonal tale, the youngest ride until shelter is sought for the night. In a poor home, there is room for them to stay, the wife sharing what little festive food they have, "though the glorious Revolution has abolished it." SP delivers a sermonette on the meaning of sharing at Christmas, "France will be France again when she remembers Christmas."
Soldiers search the house, and it is tempting for the poor family to give the children away, with the offer of a huge reward, but they don't.
Thus safely the children reach England, even the donkey is made welcome in SP's drawing room. His housekeeper Mrs Burton hardly bats an eyelid at such a scene, so happy is she to have children for Christmas, "it's a wonderful Christmas present."
The story concludes with Marius Goring singing the last verse of The Twelve Days of Christmas, after which everyone happily joins in, making this a memorable Christmas special

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Antoin and Antoinette
This is narrated like a charming fairy story, but it proves disappointingly stodgy.
Antoin and Antoinette are to be married, but their happiness is terribly marred when the evil Chauvelin arrests them. Antoinette's younger sister Elise (Gillian Town) is also in love, but only with an ideal, that of the Pimpernel. When her sister is arrested she hacks Chauvelin's shins and runs away.
Now she happens to stumble across her hero, not realising it is he. She explains to SP she is looking for the Pimpernel to help rescue her sister from the guillotine. Indeed SP had been on his way to achieve that very thing.
In Placassier, the cruellest judge in all Revolutionary France is about to pronounce their death sentence when the court is interrupted. When the judge returns, he has subtly changed, indeed he is SP in disguise. He orders the prisoners be taken to Paris, and it was so.
Chauvelin finds the real judge gagged and gives chase after the two lovers. Still in disguise, kindly SP informs her that she is sentenced, along with Antoin and Anoinette, to be deported to England.
It all looks promising until at an inn in Valbonne, Chauvelin happens to find them. But a maid, SP in disguise yet once more, knows that the way to Chauvelin's heart is via his stomach, and some Potage Normandie followed by Poulet does the job. That, plus some drink, though Chauvelin doesn't quite fall for it. "I did underestimate your intelligence," admits the maid, alias SP.
So at last Chauvelin found himself face to face with the Pimpernel, and in the ensuing swordfight, SP, presumably as a gallant gentleman, actually hands the wicked Frenchman an axe, but still defeats him.
Thus "the lovers sped to the coast," and safety

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The Tale of Two Pigtails
This story introduces, it says, Maureen Connell, who plays Princess Melanie, though perhaps more of interest is the foot of the cast list where "1st Soldier" is played by Peter O'Toole.

Chauvelin's latest scheme to stop the French aristo's fleeing to Britain is to use Calais fisherman Pierre Sabot to pretend to offer the rich passage to England, only to betray them to the French authorities. The latest fly in the trap is Princess Melanie who has been captured at the harbour, and is now awaiting to be taken to Paris "to make the acquanitance of Madame Guillotine." Sabot is paid for his deed, but on this occasion the fisherman gives Chauvelin what he deserves, a hefty punch and escorts the princess to a waiting boat. Of course, on this occasion Sabot was SP in disguise!
A furious Chauvelin chases after the princess, from Dover to London. Here SP, now as Sir Percy, is advising the Prince of Wales on his wardrobe. There is to be a reception, and Chauvelin presents himself here ("can't stand the fellow").
The "exquisite" princess is introduced to her former captor, who is now fuming, but surely he cannot recapture her here? He tries. The princess has been given some rooms in the Chinese wing, which is currently undergoing redecoration in the true Chinese style. Chang is the esteemed decorator, but Sir Andrew diverts him to enable SP to disguise himself was the Chinaman, ready to greet the intruder. Chauvelin climbs a ladder into the princess' room to get a shock. "He who pokes nose in wrong bed, deserves to lose face." Ejected from the room, down the ladder, goodbye Chauvelin.
The princess thanks SP profusely for rescuing her, again. Chauvelin complains to the Prince about this "oriental charlatan," rashly offering a thousand guineas if Chang is not an imposter. To Chauvelin's embarrassment, despite much pulling of his beard, it seems this Chang really is genuine
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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 PRINCESS aka 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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2 The Sicilian

A swaggering stranger from Sicily (Peter Wyngarde) is in town: "I don't like his face," says Marco.
With good reason for he's a cardsharper and it's only "poetic justice" that Marco has to win those 'winnings' back in a similar way. Some weighted dice and "I've been swindled!"
The Sicilian does not take to being "fooled completely" and so plans his revenge by killing Marco.

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6 Portrait in Emerald Green

Butcher Julio (John le Mesurier) is refusing to pay his taxes! He refuses until the public accounts are published.
De Medici needs him to 'disappear' and hatches a plot involving Julio's young wife Lucrezia (June Rodney). Her portrait is currently being painted by "gay blade" Marco. The butcher, having got wind that Marco is a "wife stealer" bursts in demanding satisfaction.
But the fight does not conclude with his death as the misunderstanding is cleared up. Lucrezia herself is persuaded to kill her husband using the poison found in the emerald green paint Marco is using.
Naturally Marco spots this evil plan and now a swordfight is the only way Julio can be disposed of. That plan too is doomed to failure and de Medici finally has to abort his extortionate tax schemes- hurrah!

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The Duke
Unrest among the locals, Medici demands more troops to prevent any rebellion, or does he want them for more sinister reasons? "To keep power, one has to walk a tightrope." Spanish troops are readily available, to be supplied by the Duke of Ferrara (Richard Pasco). But how to pay for the troops? An arranged marriage would please the Duke, and Francesca is the lucky girl, but is Marco so happy? He attempts to persuade "the most eligible lady in Florence" not to marry the Duke. She is not however impressed by Marco's motives, she realises this marriage is but a political alliance.
The Duke is readily in favour of the marriage, but only if Francesca herself, whom he admires greatly, is willing herself. The Duke is not in favour of any political union, he wants true love!
But Medici has a trump card, for he has captured the Duke's brother, and unless the marriage goes ahead, there will be an execution.
Marco and Machiavelli 'borrow' two soldiers' uniforms to sneak into the Duke's property. A trail of gunpowder is laid from the magazine room to the very place where The Duke dines with Medici, who is being held as a kind of prisoner. Marco forces them to the magazine room, on pain of an explosion, but they have a swordfight, Marco of course the victor and the whole scheme collapses as Marco ironically frees Medici.
Back in Florence poor Medici has to explain why his mission has failed. "I've got to thank him for helping me," he rants. And Francesca and Marco patch things up with a kiss

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The Eye of the Artist
Highway robbery, a document is stolen. It had been bound for Carlo Orsini (Brian Nissen), newly married to Lisa, "I wonder if you're as happy as I am."
News of the robbery dashes his happiness, and he wisely goes into hiding. He is one of the leaders who are trying to set up a republic, in opposition to the evil de Medici.
On his track is Philip (John Carson), the robber, and in the pay of de Medici. He calls on Lisa and chats her up, until she understands he is a treacherous rotter.
It so happens that Marco is painting her portrait, and he at once combs Florence in search of Orsini, to protect him. But Philip has reached him first, in a tavern. There's a swordfight, one man is killed, though Carlo gets away. However an informer soon has him under arrest.
Marco takes Lisa to de Medici's palace. She has to play a part, no sign of fear must betray their real feelings. Where is Lisa's husband, they ask de Medici. After some devious dialogue, they are introduced to de Medici's prisoner, whom Lisa denies is her husband. But Philip insists he is.
Marco is made to draw a picture of Lisa's husband. De Medici gloats over Marco's dilemma: will he betray Carlo or risk his own head? He draws. Lisa acts her part, and de Medici is fooled into thinking that the man Marco draws is her husband- actually the dead man in the tavern has been drawn. De Medici proves peculiarly gullible, and the moral of the story seems to be telling lies can get you out of a scrape. Full marks however to Norma Parnell, who gives a lot of enthusiasm to her part as Lisa

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The Bell
In the night street, Sandro stumbles on the wounded body of his Uncle Beppo. His sad story: every year he rings the Liberty Bell, symbol of the freedom Florentine citizens enjoy, but this time he'd been turned away, by order of de Medici. That's enough to arouse the ire of Marco who declares, "we must ring that bell."
After some dispute, Marco is granted permission by the Guild of Bell Ringers, to ring the Liberty Bell. But at the tower, he is turned away by Captain Rodrigo.
So Marco complains to the Council. De Medici counters Marco's story, casting aspersions on Marco's motives. The bell, he claims, is an outworn symbol. With de Medici one of the Council, it is a foregone conclusion that Marco's complaint is rejected.
Francesco de Medici, sister of His Magnificence, receives a nice kiss from Marco, and a request to be invited to the ball tonight. Flattery gets him in, though when she perceives the real reason for his sudden attentions, she tells her brother. At once, de Medici is on his guard, his guards made to guard the bell extra carefully.
At the ball, Marco dances with the enchanting Francesca but then slips away, much to her anger. Captain Rodrigo finds him in the belltower. But a neat trick by Marco creates a clever diversion. Is the palace on fire? "Sound the alarm," cries the dismayed Magnificence.
But the alarm isn't working, for a very good reason, Marco has cut the bell rope. There's only one bell to ring, and Marco seizes the moment and puts forward the unwelcome solution. Ring the Liberty Bell, and rather than see his palace and all its finery destroyed, poor de Medici is forced to "ring the wretched thing" himself

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The Value of Paper
Rich Umberto has industriously compiled a book that could be an inspiration to Florentine freedom fighters. But the Treatise on Liberty is on parchment, Umberto is old fashioned, and only his own copy of the book exists.
Paper is the modern medium, Luigi (Patric Doonan) one of the new breed of printers. But he is in love with Lisa (Jennifer Jayne), daughter of Umberto, who refuses to consent to their marrying.
Serlio, one of de Medici's men, gets wind of the book and threatens to expose Umberto. The old man won't budge to his blackmail, nor will he agree to Marco's plan to have the book duplicated on paper and distributed widely. He nicely points out to the painter that his paintings are unique creations, just as Umberto's writing is unique. "You're an exasperating old man!"
Serlio informs the magistrate about the treatise. He can't tell de Medici as he is away (indeed we only catch a glimspe of His Magnificence in this tale, he has no speaking role).
Lisa 'borrows' the book each evening without her father's permission, so that Luigi and Marco can set it in print. Each night a little more of the task is completed.
With the return of de Medici, the Magistrate is ordered to have Umberto arrested and put on trial. But the magistrate seems a little sympathetic and merely fines the old man after which the book will be returned. However Umberto refuses to pay up. "Is liberty seditious?" he cries, and his defiance has only one end, his book will be burnt on the morrow.
Luigi's incomplete edition is however printed and Marco, who has read it through, adds an appropriate conclusion. As Umberto is paraded next day in a fool's cap in the market square, the treatise is handed out to the citizens. But the original parchment is set alight, "you're burning my life!" But since everyone now can read the book, Serlio is defeated, and a fight sees him lose, upon which he is forced by Marco to read it himself (so much for freedom!).
Umberto can see the value of paper and of course consents to Lisa's marriage
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Forgery in Red Chalk

De Medici is pumping wise Leonardo da Vinci over his "most ingenious" invention. But the old man denies he has any plans for a submarine. But de Medici can see the strategic value of such a machine, with it he could rule all Italy.
He orders Rodrigo to find the document. In turn Rodrigo makes Leonardo's devoted servant Paolo hand it over. But Paolo gets away and seeks refuge in Marco's house, in whose studio he secretly hides the plan.
Paolo is arrested and thrown into a dungeon. Leonardo is distraught when he finds the document has been stolen, "it must not fall into his (de Medici's) hands." Luckily Marco finds the hidden document.
He interrupts Rodrigo searching Leonardo's room, and after a fight, de Medici's henchman is sent packing. De Medici throws Leonardo in the dungeon alongside Paolo.
Marco creates his own unlikely plan for an underwater machine. This he takes to His Magnificence who is busy attempting to force Leonardo to make a copy of his plan.
"It's a trick," warns Rodrigo, but de Medici is blind to the truth, so keen is he to obtain such a machine. He kindly releases his prisoners as he eagerly devours the writing which is in reverse script. I was awaiting an entertaining punchline, but it never happened

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Chart of Gold

"Old rogue" Cosimo, once commander of the Florentine fleet in the good old old days has returned after ten long years. But he doesn't know his wife Viola has been currying favours with Cpt Rodrigo and they have been bringing up his "fine intelligent" son Alberto (Richard O'Sullivan) in the de Medici ways.
His Magnificence spins a yarn to the lad that this newcomer is an imposter, and following orders, Viola slips a sleeping draught into her husband's wine. Marco is also commanded to be silent about the commander, but Marco cunningly lets slip about a map of Eldorado that Cosimo possesses.
A swap is wangled, the map for the prisoner Cosimo. As soon as the commander is set free, he goes home to find his own son against him. But both learn the truth when Viola is found with Rodrigo, and a fight to the death ends with Viola intercepting the sword meant for the evil Rodrigo.
Cosimo and Alberto happily together at last, flee Florence with Marco's aid.
Too many motifs in this tale to make it work properly

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Cristina
No prizes for guessing why Angelica ain't in this story, if you read on...
The first woman Marco ever painted was Cristina of Sienna (Julia Arnall). Of course he had fallen in love with her, but she, she had only toyed with his affections.
Arturo Bardi is being chased by the Duke of Sienna's men. He's engaged in a struggle with this evil Duke, and asks Marco to take care of his sister while the heat is on. We can guess who she is! Mario and Cristina have a bitter exchange, not improved by the weak script.
Giuseppe, Captain of the Duke's Guard demands Marco reveal where Arturo is hiding. No answer, so the threat, "we will get your lady friend." For apparently Marco and Cristina do love each other after all, "nothing stands between us now." Actually there most definitely is something, for, Cristina reveals in another doubtful twist, she is married to this Arturo.
The Duke's henchmen are closely watching Marco's home. Sandro is injured trying to reach Arturo. So Marco makes a dubious bargain with Giuseppe. He will allow them to follow him to Arturo's hideout. "You can't do this," objects Sandro.
It's the old double cross. Giuseppe is not amused, "you fool," is what he actually says. With Arturo and Cristina safe off the scene, Giuseppe has only one recourse, have Marco beaten up. He leaves him for dead. But once they have left, Sandro rescues his gallant friend

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Violetta
One of the better stories.

Count Origi's niece the young Lady Violetta has been painted by Marco, a charming portrait, he seeing right in, claims the proud artist, to her very soul. A grateful Origi has important news concenring the revolution for Marco.
However Antonio the count's secretary stabs him and then has the nerve to accuse Marco of the murder. Marco barely gets away with his life. He's a wanted man.
By the body, Marco had found a note in Origi's own hand, "Antonio has murdered me." Unfortunately it's written on the back of a list of names of secret supporters of the revolution. It must be destroyed. Marco enlists the help of the innocent Violetta, to explain this to the magistrate, without showing him the letter.
She does so, telling what she saw and heard, a cock and bull story that Marco had killed in a dispute over the painting. It convinces the wise magistrate.
Of course, we realise she is in league with Antonio, "you have killed for me," she gloats.
Having discovered her treachery, Marco manages to persuade the magistrate to allow him to prove his innocence. It's a clever ruse. He boasts to Violetta that he, Marco, did kill her uncle. Overhearing, Antonio protests, no, he did it. Who is listening to all this? The magistrate!
Perhaps Marco's portrait of the young lady hadn't been so insightful

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Adriana
Marco is at de Medici's palace, painting a huge mural. Francesca is worried because His Magnificence has arranged for some "old hag" to improve her. She is Lady Adriana, who has been given "free rein" to improve the young Francesca.
This story is a series of miserable attempts at comedy scenes, disputing between Adriana and Francesca, Francesca and Marco, as well as Adriana's wooing of "love sick calf" de Medici. What plot there is, relates to items oddly disappearing from Francesca's room. One stormy night she is mystified by knocking at her door, noone there, Adriana comforts her and the suggestion is Francesca might be going mad.
However Marco is clever enough to surmise that Adriana is only after de Medici's fortune, "she has been very clever." He devises a scheme whereby Francesca counters Adriana's plotting by suggesting that Adriana herself is becoming forgetful.
"You are all talking in riddles," complains His Magnificence, and I couldn't disagree with him. A swordfight brings out the true motives of Lady Adriana, she lies exposed before de Medici.
Strange that Marco should be so kind as to help his mortal enemy, but then this imitative script by George Baxt is awarded, by myself, nought out of ten

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The Assassin
The cocky Otello (Bill Owen) rescues Marco from a potentially murderous attack by Captain Rodrigo's men. He appears to want a reward for his services, as he is a professional, a soldier of fortune. Marco can only offer him a meal, which turns into a bed for the night, Otello invites himself, helping himself to Marco's shirts and even to Angelica. He's nothing if not irritating.
As he is in Florence at the behest of de Medici, next day he calls on His Magnificence. They converse. Marco del Monte is on the hit list of de Medici! Concludes Otello, "the fee is quite satisfactory, it shall be done." Apparently Rodrigo had been sent to do the foul deed, but it had been messed up- though de Medici doesn't know thankfully that was the result of Otello's intervention.
Otello does inform Marco. He doesn't want to kill Marco, but it's his professional pride, you see, "I'll make it easy for you."
Tongue in cheek, Marco invites Rodrigo to improve his assassinating skills by witnessing a scene outside his studio. As Angelica anxiously watches on, quite a touching scene actually, it is high noon. "Good day friend." Rodrigo is watching on as Marco and Otello face each other. Suddenly it's a goaded Rodrigo against Otello, when Rodrigo's cronies join in to prove their worth. Marco jumps in to the outnumbered Otello's aid, saving his would-be assassin.
Since de Medici has broken the terms of his contract with Otello, which states no witnesses at the scene, Otello willingly renounces his task, though I for one, couldn't have cared less, I'm sorry to tell you

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RICHARD THE LIONHEART (1961)

Click for my reviews
of the 38 surviving stories:

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

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

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

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1 Long Live the King

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

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

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2 The Lion and the Eagle

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

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

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4 The Wolf of Banbury

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

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School for a King

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

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Crown in Danger

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

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

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

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

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The King's Champion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Great Enterprise

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

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

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The Norman King

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

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The Strange Monks of Latroun

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

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

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

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

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

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

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24 The Vision Fades

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

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The Fugitive

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

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Knight Errant at Large

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Raiders

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Richard the Lionheart

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Richard the Lionheart- this was made by The Danzigers, all the others were made under the aegis of Hannah Weinstein (Fisher).

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