The Adventures of the Scarlet Pimpernel

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For the 1999 series starring Richard E Grant, see The Scarlet Pimpernel (TV series).
The Adventures of the Scarlet Pimpernel
The series titles superimposed over a guillotine
Genre Swashbuckler
Based on Book by Baroness Orczy
Directed by David MacDonald
Dennis Vance
Michael McCarthy
Wolf Rilla
Starring Marius Goring
Composer(s) Sydney Torch
John Bath
Edwin Astley
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 18 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Harry Alan Towers
Producer(s) Anthony Gilkison
Dennis Vance
David MacDonald
Marius Goring
Cinematography Lionel Banes
Running time 23-26 mins
Production company(s) Towers of London
Distributor ITPC/Official Films
Broadcast
Original channel ITV
Picture format 35 mm film 4:3 Black and white
Audio format Mono
Original run 24 February 1956 (1956-02-24) – 22 June 1956 (1956-06-22)

The Adventures of the Scarlet Pimpernel is a British television series based on the adventure novel of the same name by Baroness Emmuska Orczy. The series, produced by the Towers of London for Incorporated Television Programmes, was created by writer Michael Hogan; it ran from 1956 for a total of eighteen episodes.

Cast and characters[edit]

Production notes[edit]

  • Lucie Mannheim was married to Marius Goring
  • Filming was at Elstree Studios, London

Guest stars[edit]

Many guest stars went on to appear in other ITC series:

Episode list[edit]

Airdate is for ATV Midlands. ITV[1] regions varied date and order.

Episode # Prod # Title Directed by Written by Original airdate
1 "The Hostage" Michael McCarthy Ralph Gilbert Bettinson 24 February 1956
The Scarlet Pimpernel rescues a Baroness from Chauvelin, but she is reluctant to leave because Chauvelin has her son. The Scarlet Pimpernel must rescue the boy and not give away his identity as Sir Percy Blakeney. Stars Yvonne Furneaux and Robert Shaw.
2 "Sir Percy's Wager" Dennis Vance Joel Murcott and R.G. Bettinson 2 March 1956
Outwardly foppish and simple and always ready to make a wager Sir Percy bets with Countess la Valliere, Chauvelin's agent at court, that the Pimpernel can rescue Lady Caroline Wells and almost loses his freedom.
3 "The Princess" David MacDonald Ralph Gilbert Bettinson 9 March 1956
The Pimpernel rescues the Marquise de Manton and returns to Paris disguised as Pierre, a peasant, to rescue her maid and in making their escape from prison imagines what might have been if he was not aristocracy. Stars Susan Lyall Grant
4 "A Tale of Two Pigtails" David MacDonald Angus McPhail and Diane Morgan 16 March 1956
A Princess is rescued by the Pimpernel and Chauvelin goes to the court of the Prince Regent determined to find The Pimpernel but reckons without the Pimpernels ability to disguise himself as a visiting Chinese diplomat. Kissing Melanie's hand would be remembered in the episode "Something Remembered". Stars Maureen Connell, Dennis Edwards and early appearance by Peter O'Toole
5 "Lady in Distress" Dennis Vance Ralph Gilbert Bettinson 23 March 1956
The Pimpernel plans to free a woman from the guillotine but it is a trap of Chauvelin using Cecile who holds the Pimpernel responsible for her brother's death. In the rescue the Pimpernel is shot and cut with a sword to the right arm. Stars Cyril Shaps, Alfie Bass and Ingeborg Wells
6 "Something Remembered" David MacDonald Joel Murcott and R.G. Bettinson 30 March 1956
Sir Percy with his wounded right arm in a sling is asked to aid Jaques Fleury by his sister, Melaine, whom the Pimpernel once rescued. The aid wanted is weapons to fight Chauvelin but the Pimpernel remembers wars fought between Britain and France and only agrees to destroy the weapons. Stars William Franklyn, Maureen Connell and Robert Cawdron.
7 "The Elusive Chauvelin" Dennis Vance Ralph Gilbert Bettinson 6 April 1956
Chauvelin comes to England with a plan to capture the Pimpernal but takes the wrong man. Sir Percy must travel to France to rescue the young man but can only accomplish it disguised as Chauvelin. Stars Theo. Gregory. Uncredited speaking part as, Leon, the chief executioner by Christopher Lee
8 "The Sword of Justice" Dennis Vance Ralph Gilbert Bettinson 13 April 1956
The Pimpernel is being impersonated by an Englishmen murdering French aristocrats. Sir Percy engineers a plan that allows his capture and execution by Chauvelin. Stars Brian Wilde and Theo. Gregory
9 "Thanksgiving Day" David MacDonald Michael Hogan 20 April 1956
An American woman is arrested as the Pimpernel and her brother, Frank Rawlinson sanctioned by John Adams, needs the Pimpernels help to rescue her as he had recently been wounded in a duel with Sir Percy. Stars Phil Brown, William Abney, Arnold Diamond and Dennis Edwards
10 "Sir Andrew's Fate" Wolf Rilla Ralph Gilbert Bettinson 27 April 1956
While smuggling aristocrats out of France Andrew and Richard are pursued by Chauvelin's agents. Andrew is shot and wounded forcing Richard to leave him behind. Sir Percy returns to France to find Andrew and the only clue to his whereabouts is a girl Collette and her friend Madame Tussaud. Stars Balbina, Susan Richmond, and Ivor Dean
11 "The Ambassador's Lady" David MacDonald Joel Murcott and R.G. Bettinson 4 May 1956
Chauvelin to Sir Percy's amazement appoints Jaques Fluery as French ambassador and Richard's eye for Fluery's wife becomes the talk of the court. Fleury's wife is complicit in Chauvelin's plan to kill Jaques Fleury and blame Richard so France can declare war on Britain. Stars William Franklyn, Simone Lovell and Robert Cawdron.
12 "The Christmas Present" David MacDonald Ralph Gilbert Bettinson 11 May 1956
Mrs Burton, Sir Percy's housekeeper, laments Christmases past when many children lived in the house. She is upset when Sir Percy leaves her alone to go to France to rescue four aristocrats that to his astonishment are small children, In his effort to save them he collects a donkey and a dog, despite pursuit by Chauvelins soldiers, and brings them home much to Mrs Burton's pleasure.
13 "The Flower Woman" David MacDonald Marius Goring 18 May 1956
The Comtesse de la Vallire, a spy of Chauvelin, has known for sometime Percy is the Scarlet Pimpernel and when she hears one of her friends, a leader of the revolution, imprisoned is to be executed by the Committee of Public Safety. She enlists his help and he dressed as a blind man and she as a flower woman try to save the prisoners in an event known as the September massacres but only 30 are saved and her friend had already been executed.
14 "The Imaginary Invalid" David MacDonald John Moore 25 May 1956
Sir Percy discovers that Chauvelin is blackmailing the banker Rothstein by holding his daughter captive. Rothstein is ill with worry, Chauvelin is ill with gout, Rothstein's daughter is also ill. Sir Percy disguised as Chauvelin's doctor effects her rescue. Stars John Laurie
15 "Antoine and Antoinette" David MacDonald Angus McPhail and Diane Morgan 1 June 1956
Antoine and Antoinette are waiting to be married when Chauvelin arrives and arrests them. Elise, the younger sister of Antoinette, who has a crush on the Pimpernel escapes to try to reach England when she meets Sir Percy and his two associates on the road. Sir Percy disguised as the local judge rescues them and brings all three to England narrowly escaping capture by Chauvelin.
16 "Winged Madonna" Wolf Rilla Joel Murcott and R.G. Bettinson 8 June 1956
The Winged Madonna is an icon from one of France's dissolved monasteries. A girl trying to sell the icon to raise money for the monks and nuns draws Sir Percy and Hastings into devising not one but two plans of rescue when the Father Guardian refuses to leave so he can attend a pregnant woman. Disguised as an undertaker the Pimpernel visits Chauvelin to arrange a funeral. Stars Walter Rilla
17 "Gentlemen of the Road" David MacDonald Ralph Gilbert Bettinson 15 June 1956
When a beautiful woman shows an unusual interest in the Prince Regent's affairs Sir Percy uncovers a plot to assassinate the Hanovarian Prince Regent using highwaymen and restore a Stuart King to the throne of Great Britain. The Scarlet Pimpernel becomes a gentleman of the road to thwart the plan. Stars Conrad Phillips and Celia Hewitt.
18 "The Farmer's Boy" David MacDonald John Moore 22 June 1956
The Pimpernel rescues one of his agents and has to find the man's daughter before Chauvelin and disguised as a farm worker seeks a job at a farm owned by the girl's miserly uncle and meets the farmer's boy. Stars Elvi Hale, Roger Delgado, Ivor Dean, and Michael Ripper

Other media[edit]

Alpha Home Entertainment released Volume 1 of The Adventures of the Scarlet Pimpernel on DVD in 2006. Volume 2 was released in 2007. Each volume contains four episodes from the television series.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Before 1968 ATV transmitted weekdays in the Midlands and weekends in London. See History of ITV

External links[edit]