BBC adaptation of Anthony Hope's classic adventure novel.






Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Prisoner of Zenda, Inc. (TV Movie 1996)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Owner of Zenda, Inc., a successful business empire, disappears. His son is about to inherit the company, but a kid who looks just like him takes over the young man's identity and the company. The "good" kid now must get his life back.

Director: Stefan Scaini
Stars: Jonathan Jackson, Jay Brazeau, Richard Lee Jackson
Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

Anthony Hope's classic tale gets a decidedly 'un-classic' treatment at the hands of Peter Sellers. Following the story somewhat, friends of the new King Rudolph of Ruritania fear for his ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Quine
Stars: Peter Sellers, Lynne Frederick, Lionel Jeffries
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

The King of Ruritania is kidnapped by his scheming brother: can his British double save him?

Stars: Christine Amor, Robert Coleby, Clair Crowther
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An Englishman on a Ruritarian holiday must impersonate the king when the rightful monarch, a distant cousin, is drugged and kidnapped.

Directors: John Cromwell, W.S. Van Dyke
Stars: Ronald Colman, Madeleine Carroll, C. Aubrey Smith
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An Englishman vacationing in a Ruritarian kingdom is recruited to impersonate his cousin, the soon-to-be-crowned king when the monarch is drugged and kidnapped.

Director: Richard Thorpe
Stars: Stewart Granger, Deborah Kerr, Louis Calhern
The Woman in Black (TV Movie 1989)
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When a friendless old widow dies in the seaside town of Crythin, a young solicitor is sent by his firm to settle the estate. The lawyer finds the townspeople reluctant to talk about or go ... See full summary »

Director: Herbert Wise
Stars: Adrian Rawlins, Bernard Hepton, David Daker
Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When the king is drugged and abducted by his ambitious brother, a lookalike relative must take his place to keep the evil sibling off the throne.

Director: Rex Ingram
Stars: Lewis Stone, Alice Terry, Robert Edeson


Series cast summary:
 King Rudolf V / ... (6 episodes, 1984)
Nicholas Gecks ...
 Fritz von Tarlenheim (6 episodes, 1984)
 Antoinette de Mauban (6 episodes, 1984)
Jonathon Morris ...
 Rupert of Hentzau (6 episodes, 1984)
 Colonel Sapt (6 episodes, 1984)
Clyde Gabell ...
 Krafstein (5 episodes, 1984)
 Michael, Duke of Strelsau ('Black Michael') (5 episodes, 1984)
 Princess Flavia (5 episodes, 1984)
Benjamin Feitelson ...
 De Gautet (4 episodes, 1984)
David Landberg ...
 Bersonin (4 episodes, 1984)
Michael Eriera ...
 Lavengram (3 episodes, 1984)
Robin Langford ...
 Detchard (3 episodes, 1984)
John Moore ...
 Josef (3 episodes, 1984)
James Richardson ...
 Soldier (3 episodes, 1984)
Derek Ware ...
 Sergeant (3 episodes, 1984)
George Waring ...
 Prefect of Police (3 episodes, 1984)
Robin Bowerman ...
 Johann (2 episodes, 1984)
 Marshal Strakencz (2 episodes, 1984)
Peggy Shields ...
 Frau Holf (2 episodes, 1984)


BBC adaptation of Anthony Hope's classic adventure novel.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

tv mini series | See All (1) »







Release Date:

12 August 1986 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(6 parts)


See  »

Did You Know?


According to Barry Letts' memoirs Douglas Camfield was going to direct but died a couple of days before shooting began. See more »


Version of The Prisoner of Zenda (1915) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A rattling good yarn for Sunday afternoons in winter...

It's about 20 years since I've seen this, so forgive the haze of nostalgia...

This was a splendid BBC 1 Sunday tea-time serial, of the kind they don't make any more. At 3 hours, it had nearly twice the running time of the various film adaptations, so was able to include more of Hope's plot. It was well-acted: John Woodvine was the definitive Colonel Sapt (a middle-aged military bruiser - C Aubrey Smith was far too genteel, and too old, in the 1937 version!), and Jonathan Morris was a superbly malevolent Rupert von Hentzau to rival Ramon Novarro and Douglas Fairbanks jr's big-screen portrayals.

It was compelling, too: week after week, my friends and I would mark out our territory with cushions in the TV room in University Hall in St. Andrews, to watch it after Sunday afternoon tea. The main weaknesses in it that I can recall are milder than those of the cinema versions. Given the BBC budget, I think there were one or 2 cases of wobbly scenery. Pauline Moran, as Antoinette, seemed too young and girlish, not as much of a contrast with Flavia as she needs to have. Also, although George Irving (Holby City's Mr Meyer!) had the right dark intensity and, at 30, was young enough to be a credible Michael (who is meant to be under 27), the character was played as a shorn-headed, militaristic heavy, which is not the impression I get from the novel. (In Hope's book, Michael doesn't get on with the army, the Church hierarchy, or the upper classes, and is the much-loved champion of the urban poor - which suggests a) a rather less stuffy character; and b) that the socio-political morality of the original novel is, to say the least, perverse.) But then, all the adaptations I've seen have taken on trust the values of the narrator character, Rassendyll. Disappointingly, we didn't get the Michael v. Rupert swordfight or Antoinette chasing Rupert with a revolver - presumably because of the impact of the 1937 film, which also omitted these incidents.

But I'd love to see it again, and I hope the BBC will see fit to issue it on DVD at some point.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: