User Reviews (6)

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  • I saw this both times when it was shown - when I was around 10 - and it started a lifelong devotion to John Buchan. As a working class Scottish kid, I could barely believe that I was watching a brilliant historical adventure story that featured heroes who came from my background and who weren't much older than me. All of the lads in my class at school loved it, too. The magnificent performance by the young actor who played Dougal, the leader of the Gorbals Diehards, still stays with me as a superb performance by a boy actor, and he captures much of the warrior-leader genius of the character from the novel.

    The old guy who plays Dickson McCunn was also brilliant, too, as the elderly, mild-mannered retired grocer who discovers he's actually a hero. The memory of the final scene of the six Diehards saluting him as he drives past them still brings a lump to the throat and a tear to the eye.

    Finally, David Wood as Sir Archibald Roylance is another great portrayal of a Buchan hero. (Wood was also the greatest ever Gollum - forget Jackson's LOTR in "The Hobbit" as adapted by "Jackanory".

    I wish this would come out on DVD or be repeated so my own sons can see it.
  • pat_sessions28 January 2018
    I saw this on TV when it was first shown and has stuck in my mind. I thought the plot and characters in the TV adaptation were brilliant. Most credible were the young actors portraying the Gorbals Diehards.

    A frequent question is "What is the music?"

    It's from Shostakovich and his Symphony No 7 "Leningrad". Such a superb musical work to be the theme for a superb TV drama.
  • The music is memorable - I think from one of Shostakovich's symphonies but I would like to have the full details if they are known. The British Film Industry site does not give the music credit details for any of the episodes. In terms of presentation, I watched this with my children and it is one of those series where the adults enjoy the show as much as or more than the children. The children in the programme - the Gorbals Diehards - provide much of the heroic interest. And the reasonably accurate social history context gives insights which should not be forgotten by modern Scottish or English people, or European or American either. If anyone can remind me of the source of the music I will be very grateful.
  • doodledoug28 November 2006
    This story comes back to me from time to time, bringing with it happy memories. The scout troop of the deprived laddies was brilliantly brought to life. Die-hards. It could not be more accurate as the wee street wise boys who hadn't seen a cow, being held together by a strong leader. I look at he hills beyond Glasgow now and think that that was extrardinary but at that time town life and country life were quite separate. I had forgotten that Buchan was the author and have no recollection of the story other than the Die-hards tramping along country lanes with implacable strength and humour. I agree with the other comments that I would dearly love to have this reissued or to appear on DVD
  • I recall watching this as a ten year old and loving it. Now (quite a few) years later I found it just as engaging and exciting. From back in the day when the BBC would create a tea-time drama for younger viewers, this is a cracking adaptation of John Buchan's story of the mysterious occupants of "Huntingtower' and of how a retired Glasgow grocer "Dickson McCunn" (Paul Curran), poet "John Heritage" (Peter Settelen) and a gang of wonderfully charismatic Glaswegian street urchins all work together to try to get to the bottom of the puzzle. Aside from some lovely outdoor photography, it's also memorable for not Anglicising the local dialect - it features folks with a "guid Scots tongue in their heid" as our adventure gathers steam - with wit and charm - over 6 half hour episodes. It's rarely seen nowadays, and to be honest the quality of the film has suffered from it's fair share of wear and tear, but it's a classic dramatisation of a superb story, with an ear- worm of a theme tune (Shostakovich) if ever were was one, that you ought to watch if you get an opporchancity!
  • I can vaguely recall being a spectator at the filming of one episode of this series back in the 70's - I think a car exploding was involved I think it was a Jag that was blown up but it took place in one of the streets close to Killermont primary school in Bearsden - possibly Earn or Afton Avenues - near where umpteen shots were filmed for Naked Video some time later. I can remember one of the actors at the filming that day had a crop of blond hair - was he the lead star?

    I think it would have been February or March of the year it was made.

    Strangely I never got to see any of the episodes but I too would like to see it come out on DVD.