Ivanhoe (1958 TV series)

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Ivanhoe
Format Adventure
Starring Roger Moore
Opening theme Edwin Astley
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of episodes 39
Production
Producer(s) Herbert Smith
Bernard Coote
Running time 30 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel ITV
Original run 5 January 1958 (1958-01-05) – 1959 (1959)

Ivanhoe is a British television series first shown on ITV in 1958-59. The show features Roger Moore in his first starring role, as Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe, in a series of adventures aimed at a children's audience. The characters were drawn loosely from Sir Walter Scott's 1819 novel.

Plot[edit]

The series was set in England during the 12th century reign of King Richard the Lionheart, who had gone to fight in the Crusades and failed to return. In his absence, power had been taken by his younger brother, the ambitious and wicked Prince John, who sought to strip the people of their rights and land. The dashing and heroic knight Ivanhoe, with his father-and-son companions Gurth and Bart whom he had freed from servitude (from the evil Sir Maurice), attempted to right wrongs, secure justice, help those in need, and thwart John and his allies.

Making of the series[edit]

Swashbuckling adventures for a younger audience, such as The Adventures of the Scarlet Pimpernel, The Adventures of Robin Hood and The Adventures of Sir Lancelot, were a mainstay of television programming in Britain in the mid-1950s. In December 1956, Columbia Pictures signed up Roger Moore, then working with limited success in Hollywood, to play the title role in an intended series for transmission in both America and the UK. The series was a co-production between Columbia subsidiary Screen Gems and British producer Sydney Box.

The budget was far more lavish than that of the Robin Hood series running at the time and filming started in early 1957, mostly at the ABC Studios at Elstree Studios and on location around Buckinghamshire in England, but with some shooting also taking place in California. The series premiered on ITV in January 1958, while filming continued to complete all 39 episodes through to June 1958. Although a pilot episode was filmed in colour, the series was shot in black and white.[1] The executive producer was Peter Rogers, who shortly afterwards began producing the Carry On films. Guest stars on the series included Christopher Lee and John Schlesinger. Other supporting actors included Jon Pertwee, Paul Eddington, Leonard Sachs, Kenneth Cope John Warner and Adrienne Corri.

Moore insisted on undertaking much of the stunt work himself, resulting in several injuries including three cracked ribs from a fight scene and being knocked unconscious when a battleaxe hit his helmeted skull. Moore later commented: "I felt a complete Charlie riding around in all that armour and damned stupid plumed helmet. I felt like a medieval fireman."[2]

The series finished when Moore returned to Hollywood after Warner Brothers offered him a movie role in The Miracle.

Cast[edit]

Roger Moore - Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe
Robert Brown - Gurth (Ivanhoe's squire)
Peter Gilmore - Waldo Ivanhoe
Andrew Keir - Prince John
John Pike - Bart (the son of Gurth)
Bruce Seton - King Richard
Anthony Dawson - Sir Maurice
Norah Gorsen - Lady Rowena (Ivanhoe's girlfriend)
Henry Vidon - Sir Cedric (Ivanhoe's father, who owns Rotherwood Castle)

Broadcasting[edit]

The 39 episodes of the series was originally broadcast from 5 January 1958 to 4 January 1959, then was later repeated several times. The original air dates are in parentheses.

  1. Freeing the Serfs (5 January 1958)
  2. Slave Traders (12 January 1958)
  3. Wedding Cake (19 January 1958)
  4. Black Boar (26 January 1958)
  5. Whipping Boy (2 February 1958)
  6. The Witness (9 February 1958)
  7. German Knight (16 February 1958)
  8. Face to Face (23 February 1958)
  9. Rinaldo (2 March 1958)
  10. Lyman the Pieman (9 March 1958)
  11. The Escape (16 March 1958)
  12. Ragan's Forge (23 March 1958)
  13. The Ransom (29 March 1958)
  14. The Prisoner in the Tower (5 April 1958)
  15. Murder at the Inn (12 April 1958)
  16. Brothers in Arms (14 June 1958)
  17. The Weavers (21 June 1958)
  18. Counterfeit (6 July 1958)
  19. The Widow of Woodcote (20 July 1958)
  20. The Kidnapping (27 July 1958)
  21. Treasures from Cathay (10 August 1958)
  22. By Hook or By Crook (17 August 1958)
  23. The Double-Edged Sword (24 August 1958)
  24. Search For Gold (31 August 1958)
  25. The Masked Bandits (7 September 1958)
  26. Freelance (21 September 1958)
  27. The Masons (28 September 1958)
  28. Arms and the Woman (5 October 1958)
  29. The Cattle Killers (19 October 1958)
  30. The Gentle Jester (26 October 1958)
  31. 3 Days to Worcester (9 November 1958)
  32. The Night Raiders (16 November 1958)
  33. The Raven (23 November 1958)
  34. The Monk (30 November 1958)
  35. The Swindler (7 December 1958)
  36. The Princess (14 December 1958)
  37. The Fledgling (21 December 1958)
  38. The Circus (28 December 1958)
  39. The Devil's Dungeon (4 January 1959)

Availability[edit]

The series has not yet been released on DVD. Because it was on ITV during the late 50's, it's very likely that the company Network DVD would be responsible for distributing the show in the UK, as they have distributed many shows from that era on DVD. However as of June 2014, there hasn't been any official announcements made.

Title song[edit]

Each episode starts with the title song:

Ivanhoe, Ivanhoe
Side by side we’re proud to ride with Ivanhoe
At his call we spring to help him ride along
The song we sing is free and joyous song
Ivanhoe, Ivanhoe
Far and wide throughout the countryside they know
There’s freedom on his banner
Justice in his sword
He rides against the manor
Where tyranny is lord
Rich and poor
Together we go
Forward with Ivanhoe
With I-van-hoe

Each episode ends with the following song:

Ivanhoe, Ivanhoe
To adventure, bold adventure watch him go
There's no power on earth can stop what he's begun
With Bart and Gurth, he'll fight 'till he has won
Ivanhoe, Ivanhoe
He's a friend who will defend the people's foe
He'll strike with speed like lightning bold and brave and game
In justice he is fighting to win the fairest dame.
Shout a cheer, adventure is here
Riding with Ivanhoe
With I-van-hoe

References[edit]