The Joseph Cotten Show: On Trial: Season 1, Episode 12

The Trial of Colonel Blood (4 Jan. 1957)
"On Trial" The Trial of Colonel Blood (original title)

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
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Himself - Host
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
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King Charles
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Jack Raine ...
Sir Hubert
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Colonel Blood
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4 January 1957 (USA)  »

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(RCA Sound Recording)

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Another Mystery from the "ON TRIAL" Series
11 October 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The cast for this show is really quite interesting: Henry Daniell, Norman Lloyd, and Michael Wilding are all in it, and it is set in one of British History's more colorful periods: the Restoration (1660 - 1685). This is the reign of the only successful early Stuart Monarch, King Charles II. The son of Charles I (who was beheaded in 1649 after a treason trial held by the Puritan "Majority" in Parliament), Charles II had spent the next decade in a series of adventures in Britain (his army was defeated by Cromwell at the battle of Worcester in 1652) and on the continent. Unlike grandpa James I, daddy Charles I, and younger (stupider) brother James II, Charles picked up a lot of common sense in his travails. While, as King, he guarded and pursued his own power prerogatives, he learned you don't tread on the peoples' toes indiscriminately - you try to build up a personal link to the public. That is why, of the first Stuart monarchs, he retains public liking to this day - as "the Merry Monarch".

But he was a man with a sense of sophisticated humor - George Sanders or Vincent Price played him in historical films. But Henry Daniell? Hardly a man to play publicly with his little dogs, or to be seen chatting with his girlfriend, actress Nell Gwynne, openly. Daniell of the serious nature and dour face made a dandy William III in CAPTAIN KIDD, and that role fit his personae well. But here he's Charles II. That alone is worth wondering about.

Then there is Michael Wilding's character, Colonel Thomas Blood. This Anglo-Irish Colonel was into several weird kidnap and crime plots, but is best recalled as the man whom (in 1678) tried to steal the Crown Jewels of England from the Tower of London. I take it that this is the subject for the trial, but he also attempted to kidnap the Duke of Ormonde on another occasion. So I can't tell what the trial is about. I tend to believe it is about the plot to steal the jewels because of the really odd final events involved. Blood was arrested and brought to trial, but King Charles was so impressed by the rogue he released him out of admiration for his daring. Possibly that was the story here. But as it is, unless the episode still exists, we shall never know unless we see it again.


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