This 13 episode adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s work was co-made by HTV and Telemunchen. It starred David McCallum (of ‘Motherlove’, ‘Sapphire and Steel’, ‘The Man From UNCLE’ and ‘The Invisible Man’) and a load of no talents.
Each episode is about 22 minutes long, which is a total cheat. The theme music is lovely. An idiot mouth breather David looks up his evil uncle Ebenezer who lives surrounded by fog and scotch mist in his old dark house. Meanwhile Alan Breck Stewart runs around the highlands in over elaborate attire. Sheep are worried, red coats who act like ‘Carry On’ characters lurk, the extras are ugly and the sound is muffled. Flashbacks show how Alan is a defeated Jacobite who lost via the inept battle tactics of Bonnie Prince Charlie (Christopher Biggins!!!). Alan wears a kilt. David falls for Catriona, a redhead who can’t act. This has bad dubbing, unfriendly Scots and was okay but leisurely to the point of inertia.
“Is he kinfolk?”
“What’s a lad like you doing in a cesspit like this?”
“But for him I would have been crow’s meat long since.”
“I was passing.”
“Than pass on.”
“Black be your fall, the lot of you!”
It’s 1751 and unnecessary narration tells us what is going on. Alan, hero of Culloden, rides around as people in ugly costumes mumble dialogue. Why did he leave exile in France? Alan is a bit in denial about Bonnie Prince Charlie being a roué. David is not a fan of his uncle’s parsimony and then learns his uncle’s estate really belongs to him. He yells, fake thunder booms, atmospheric cobwebs are everywhere and the dubbing is horrendous. This was okay but David really is dim.
“If that happens, they’ll turn this glen into a graveyard.”
“The clans will never rise again.”
“We live here, you don’t.”
“Anyone who still thinks that is living in an exile’s dream.”
“Where does she live now?”
“With the pigs for all I care.”
“This room’s damper than a well.”
“I’ll do for him I will.”
Catriona lurks. David is loaded onto a slave ship and sent on a very slow boat to the Carolinas. A sailor who looks like Daniel Craig is nice to him. David can’t act. Alan rides around posing dramatically with his black cloak and feathered hat as he rants. Alan is a git. David doesn’t want to be a slave hoeing tobacco in Virginia. The slave ship captain is a poor man’s Brian Blessed. The ship is caught in a ‘storm’ which means buckets of water are dumped over the actors. The ship’s cabin boy Ransome (Andrew Schofield) is abused and nearly killed by the drunken Shaun. Alan ends up on the slave ship. This was annoying.