Thursday, 20 April 2017
664 The Master of Ballantrae
First viewed : 17 April 1984
I only caught the tail end of this adaptation of the Robert Louis Stevenson adventure yarn and, not knowing the source novel , I was intrigued enough to wish I'd seen it from the beginning. The mini-series was a joint Anglo- American venture shown over two nights during the Easter holidays.
The story concerned two brothers whose feuding begins during the Jacobite rebellion when the family decides to hedge its bets by having one support the government, the other the rebels. James the eldest decides to join the more romantic Jacobites cause but he is reported dead after Culloden and younger brother Henry inherits both the estate and James's girl. After adventuring overseas, James returns and is more than a little peeved at the situation.
I'd love to know what viewers north of the Border thought about the casting. John Gielgud played the father ( and won an Emmy for it ). Michael York played James and Richard "John-Boy " Thomas played Henry. Finola Hughes was the girl. Not too much tartan among that lot is there ? Also in the cast were Ian Richardson, Timothy Dalton and Brian Blessed in his usual understated form as a smuggling captain.
As I say I enjoyed the part I saw. It is currently on Youtube but as a transfer from VHS, the quality's not that great.