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The Adventures



Lord Anthony Dewhurst


"His energy and power were, to me, colossal. I couldn't keep up with him, but I wouldn't have missed those months of close friendship for anything." - Peter Barkworth

Episode 1: The Hostage

The Scarlet Pimpernel rescues a Baroness from Chauvelin, but she is reluctant to leave because Chauvelin has her son. The Scarlet Pimpernel must rescue the boy and not give away his identity as Sir Percy Blakeney.

Directed by Michael McCarthy

Written by Ralph Gilbert Bettinson

Executive Producer: Harry Alan Towers

Produced by Marius Goring, Anthony Gilkison, David McDonald and Dennis Vance

Music by Sidney Torch

Cinematography by Stanley Pavey

Edited by Robert Johnson

Art Direction by Donald Sutherland

Production Management by Fraser Foulsham

Sound by Francis Flynn

Stunts by Alex Donoghue


Marius Goring as Sir Percy Blakeney/Scarlet Pimpernel

Yvonne Furneaux as Suzanne De Fleury

Stanley Van Beers as Chauvelin

Alexander Gauge as George, Prince of Wales

Lucie Mannheim as Countess la Valliere

Released by ITPC Television

Air Date: September 28th 1956

Episode Running Time: 25 minutes

Location(s): Elstree Studios, Borehamwood


media vault



The Adventures




Opening Credits

Bonus Episode

Bonus Episode

the hide out

Enjoy the Opening Credits to this iconic TV Series.

Something Remembered.
Broadcast November 2nd 1955.

Sir Percy's Wager. Broadcast October 5th 1955.


The Adventures



601c1af78645eb3f0a24aef6_Supporting Cast Logo Stacked.png
Marius Goring as Sir Percy Blakeney B&W _edited.png

(1912 - 1998)


(1928 - )

Van Beers
(1911 - 1961)


Alexander Gauge
(1914 - 1960)

The Adventures of the Scarlet Pimpernel Ep 1 - The Hostage review in The Daily Telegraph 2

Robert's first foray into mainstream TV sees him in regency clothes and a ponytail! He appears sporadically throughout the episode as a foil to Marius Goring's pimpernel. 

It's a fun episode and lavishly mounted and Robert plays the part of the English dandy with aplomb and even gets to disguise himself as a coach driver. A diverting watch yet nothing spectacular.

This is the first drama series to appear on the newly launched ITV in 1955. Marius is so absolutely delightful and funny, I wish that that they had gone on to make a second series and introduce the character of Percy's wife Marguerite St Just. They did have plans to make further episodes but the budget per episode was cut from about £3500 to £2000 which would have severely hampered the quality of the series, so no more were filmed. Costumes sketches exist by the Motley Group for Sir Percy/The Scarlet Pimpernel for episodes that were never made.
Swashbuckling series were a staple part of ITV’s early schedules. The undoubted king of the genre was Richard Greene’s Robin Hood, whIch notched up an impressive 144 episodes between 1955 and 1960.

Marius Goring’s Scarlet Pimpernel began his adventuring just two days after Robin Hood’s debut (both made their first appearances shortly after ITV launched in September 1955) but the elusive Pimpernel would turn out to have a much shorter run with just 19 episodes.

Possibly this was because the basic parameters of the series – Sir Percy Blakeney aka the Scarlet Pimpernel rescuing guillotine bound aristocrats – was narrower than some of the other swashbucklers.

But although the 25 minute running time would be a bit restricting in terms of character development (a problem with all series of this type) The Scarlet Pimpernel still breezes along quite effectively, as even the most routine tale tends to be enlivened by some familiar faces making fleeting appearances (today it was Robert Shaw with Yvonne Furneaux as the damsel in distress).

Stanley Van Beers plays it straight as Chauvelin, the Pimpernel’s nemesis, who is set to be a forbidding presence throughout the series. Given that the series format was set in stone from the start – the Pimpernel will always triumph and Chauvelin will always be frustrated – it’ll be interesting to see how the pair interact as the episodes wear on, and although he’s not present in this one, the fact that Patrick Troughton appears in 15 episodes is another good reason for watching.

The plot of The Hostage is pretty straightforward. The Pimpernel rescues Suzanne de Fleury (Furneaux) without breaking a sweat, but she refuses to depart for England and safety until her young son (held by Chauvelin as a hostage) is also freed.

Unsurprisingly, the Pimpernel also manages this – but along the way Marius Goring drops in a number of deft touches (the Pimpernel’s chaste appreciation of Suzanne, for example) that helps to enliven Ralph Gilbert Bettison’s teleplay. Bettison, an American refugee, would end up penning the majority of the series.

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