2 December 2006 | ric_mac
Distant recollections of a children's 'historical' adventure series
I was about four years old when this was first broadcast on British TV and i have never seen it since. My recollections are therefore not the clearest and most of what i can write has to be in relation to my distant, immature impressions of the series.
I can remember the stirring theme tune, which I think accompanied Richard charging on his mount. Or am I conflating Richard the Lionheart with ITC's The Adventures of Sir Lancelot?
The show appealed to my love of 'historical' adventure, and of course there were plenty of such shows around at the time, either on first run or in repeat: The aforementioned Lancelot (with William Russell, later of Doctor Who), as well as the adventures of Sir Francis Drake, William Tell and the wonderful, unforgettable Robin Hood (starring Richard Greene) -- probably amongst many others.
Most of these shows -- indeed all of those named in the previous paragraph -- were produced by Lew Grade's ITC, and until fairly recently I had unthinkingly placed The Adventures of Richard the Lionheart in the same box. However, this series was produced by the Danziger brothers who were renowned for the way in which they made films and TV in (what might be termed) 'very strict production circumstances'. Watching the show as 'a bairn', this fact would have made no impression upon me, but it would be interesting to see how well it stacks up against the ITC output, which would have had more money and time allocated. I suspect the comparison would yield a rather stark contrast!
All the same, I can't help thinking that children's TV in the early 1960s was more involving, exciting, stimulating and adventurous than most of today's output. This may not have been remotely accurate as a historical portrayal, but it surely sparked an interest in the real thing in many children.
Or is that just rose-tinted glasses?