Silas (TV series)

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Written byCecil Bødker (novel)
Justus Pfaue
Directed bySigi Rothemund
StarringPatrick Bach
Diether Krebs
Lucki Molocher
Nina Rothemund
Ingeborg Lapsien
Armin Schawe
Shmuel Rodensky
André Lacombe
Jacques van Dooren
Composer(s)Christian Bruhn [de]
Country of originWest Germany
Original language(s)German
No. of episodes6
Executive producer(s)Dieter Graber
Producer(s)Bernd Burgemeister
Editor(s)Heidrun Berktold
Running time45
Original networkZDF
Original releaseDecember 25, 1981

Silas was a 1981 ZDF Adventure TV mini-series based on the Danish children's book „Silas og den sorte hoppe“ by Cecil Bødker who kept on writing instalments until 2001.

The series was Patrick Bach's debut and because the series did so well he also starred the very next year in another adventure series about a young orphan: Jack Holborn

Silas was a German production, and despite being recorded in Normandy, France, it was filmed solely in German. Still it received attention beyond German-speaking countries and consequently the successor Jack Holborn involved international producers and was filmed in English.


As a little child Silas (Patrick Bach) was sold to a circus where he learned to pull stunts and tricks from early on. This comes in handy when he decides to rather live an adventurous life on his own than to be trained in the dangerous art of sword swallowing. Also being threatened by director Philipp (Diether Krebs) that the sinews of his feet would be cut just in order to prevent him from running away, it occurs to him it is now or never and off he goes. A farmer called Bartolin (Shmuel Rodensky) gives him shelter but underestimates the boy's skills and carelessly bets him his horse. Bartolin cannot accept the outcome of this bet and so Silas is on the run again. Getting hungry he accepts a meal provided by swindler Emanuel (André Lacombe) and his likewise rogue wife Theresa (Reine Barteve). They use a strong barbiturate on Silas and disappear with his horse. After Silas awakens in a boat on a river he sees Philipp trying to steal fresh milk from a blind girl. When the girl's mother arrives Philipp puts the blame on Silas, who as a result finds himself in a wooden cage. He has to find a way to gain the family's trust if he wants to escape.

While searching for his horse he mets the scallywag Godik (Lucki Molocher) who helps him to retrieve the animal. They stick together, both trying to make a living on what they've learned. Silas shows circus tricks and Godik works as a carver. Yet Silas gets into trouble again because he and Godik stumble across a treasure hidden by smugglers. Hunted by the smuggler's gang they run into homeless young Jenny (Nina Rothemund) who is running from an unsavoury woman called Corby (Ingeborg Lapsien). Silas, Godik and Jenny reach a town where Silas gets the idea of buying a bear with money from the smuggler's treasure. The citizens decide to investigate him over theft. He finds himself in prison with Corby who once abducted Jenny. Eventually he learns that Jenny is not really an orphan. Silas and Godik return Jenny to her family. Then Silas accompanies his friend Godik to his family. The lost son Godik is heartily welcomed and so is Silas, but Silas doesn't feel safe and believes his presence is endangering his new friends. On the road again he makes new friends - he saves merchant Sandal (Hans Helmut Dickow) and later also his son Japetus (Armin Schawe) from harm. But Corby has followed him. She teams up with some other low-lifes who eventually capture Silas and Japetus for ransom. Sandal's employee Karneol (Jacques van Dooren) saves them. Corby and her gang are imprisoned. Silas finally feels saved and returns to Godik and his family.


Bambi Award 1982

  • Cecil Bødker: Silas (Originaltitel: Silas og den sorte hoppe). Deutsch von Gerda Neumann. Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1996, 158 S., ISBN 3-596-80196-6

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