The UK screenings of this serial on BBC Television were plagued by technical problems. The BBC cut the original 4 x 75-minute editions down into 12 x 25-minute ones, but the print of episode 12 somehow created seemingly insurmountable vision breakdowns, causing picture interruption on every attempt to broadcast it. See more »
I'd fond memories of watching this English dubbed international mainly French co-production 12 parter on the BBC during 1969 and repeat showings in the early '70's. Well those memories are still intact after just watching the complete DVD version, although my over-riding wonder is: how on Earth did I follow all the plot twists and turns when I was 10?
The BBC version gallops along to music to stir the blood - except as far I was I ever concerned I never had to fight for what I wanted and all that I believed, and I never thought it right to fight for what I wanted to live the life I led. Maybe it's best to have fought and lost than not have fought at all though, I certainly hold that as an axiom in relation to ebay! The story revolves around a Franco-Spanish war in 1630, and the Spanish attempts to take the pivotal French garrison town of Casal. I feel a detailed knowledge of the intricacies of Latin politics would be useful, my reading of Dumas had to suffice. Thoiras in charge of Casal is constantly feted as a leader to die for, imho he wasn't worth it, shivering in his protective dungeon all that time. The gentleman Chevalier Recci and his servant Guillot gallop over the lovely countryside and swash their way in and out of trouble and skirmishes with the Spanish - naturally Recci falls in love with a high born lady, Isobel along the way. Many other adventures and characters are encountered, it would be difficult to list them all! The last logical (to the story) part to me was #11 - the last actual part (#12) was on the DVD in the original French, and the story slowed to a canter and then a trot - maybe not surprisingly I couldn't remember that episode.
It was exciting enough to a 10 yo, and still held my attention as a 47 yo, recommended harmless nostalgic fun for the non-critical.
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