The Water Margin (1973 TV series)

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The Water Margin
Water Margin titles.jpg
English title card
Genre Costume drama, martial arts
Written by Shi Nai'an (original novel)
Starring Atsuo Nakamura
Sanae Tsuchida
Kei Satô
Isamu Nagato
Country of origin Japan
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 26
Production
Running time 45 minutes per episode
Broadcast
Original airing 1973-1974 (Japan)
1976-1978 (UK)

The Water Margin is a Japanese television series based on Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. Made in two seasons of 13 episodes by Nippon Television it was shown in Japan in 1973 and 1974 as 水滸伝 (Suikoden).[1][2]

The novel details the trials and tribulations of 108 outlaws during the Song Dynasty. This adaptation follows Lin Chung (Atsuo Nakamura) and his clashes with the local government official Kao Chiu (Kei Satô).

It was adapted for BBC by David Weir[3] without translations, using only brief plot synopses.[citation needed] The dubbed version, narrated by Burt Kwouk, was shown on BBC television from 1976 to 1978.[4] An English novelisation, written by Weir, was released in 1978 as Water Margin.[5]

The Water Margin is famous for its, sometimes obscure, but memorable philosophical quotes, such as "Do not despise the snake for having no horns, for who is to say it will not become a dragon?""

Episode list[edit]

Series 1[edit]

The first ten episodes were shown on the BBC from 21 September 1976 to 23 November 1976. The final three episodes were shown just before series 2 from 20 September 1977 to 4 October 1977.

# Title BBC airdate
1 "Nine dozen heroes and one wicked man" 21 September 1976 (1976-09-21)
2 "None ever escape alive" 28 September 1976 (1976-09-28)
3 "Both at last will reach the sea" 5 October 1976 (1976-10-05)
4 "Ever busy are the gods of love" 12 October 1976 (1976-10-12)
5 "A Treasure of gold and jade" 19 October 1976 (1976-10-19)
6 "Bandits who steal are executed" 26 October 1976 (1976-10-26)
7 "How easy to die, how hard to live" 2 November 1976 (1976-11-02)
8 "A man's only happiness" 9 November 1976 (1976-11-09)
9 "A dutiful son and the love of a brother" 16 November 1976 (1976-11-16)
10 "Escape is not freedom" 23 November 1976 (1976-11-23)
11 "The girl who loved the flower priest" 20 September 1977 (1977-09-20)
12 "Kao Chiu loses his heart" 27 September 1977 (1977-09-27)
13 "When Liang Shan Po robbed the poor" 4 October 1977 (1977-10-04)

Series 2[edit]

On the BBC series 2 followed on from series 1, shown from 11 October 1977 to 3 January 1978.

# Title BBC airdate
1 "A death for love, more deaths from greed" 11 October 1977 (1977-10-11)
2 "The bravest tiger is first killed" 18 October 1977 (1977-10-18)
3 "Heaven aims the master's arrow" 25 October 1977 (1977-10-25)
4 "The traps of love and hate" 1 November 1977 (1977-11-01)
5 "A foolish sage who got involved" 8 November 1977 (1977-11-08)
6 "Mourn the slaughter of so many" 15 November 1977 (1977-11-15)
7 "The war to end all wars" 22 November 1977 (1977-11-22)
8 "Death of a great man" 29 November 1977 (1977-11-29)
9 "Lin Chung is beaten" 6 December 1977 (1977-12-06)
10 "A concubine's dowry" 13 December 1977 (1977-12-13)
11 "Liang Shan Po and the millionaire" 20 December 1977 (1977-12-20)
12 "Knight of the long sword" 27 December 1977 (1977-12-27)
13 "The dynasty of Kao" 3 January 1978 (1978-01-03)

Home release[edit]

A DVD box set of the series was released in Region 2 format on 7 February 2005.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ BFI Database
  2. ^ allcinema.net
  3. ^ Radio Times magazine, 10–17 November 1979, pp15-16
  4. ^ The Water Margin
  5. ^ Weir, D. 1978, Water Margin, Weidenfeld and Nicholson, London, ISBN 0-297-77485-9
  6. ^ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Water-Margin-Complete-DVD/dp/B00073I8M2/ref=pd_sim_d_h__4

External links[edit]