This touching tale of the doomed friendship between a fox cub and the humanitarian huntsmen who reared him is a workmanlike adaptation of David Rook’s novel The Ballad of the Belstone Fox.
Eric Porter as Asher and Rachel Roberts as his wife are first-rate but the real star is the beautiful wildlife photography.
Tag is an orphaned fox cub raised in captivity with a litter of foxhound puppies due to the kindness of Asher (Eric Porter), head huntsman to the Belstone estate.
Tag strikes up a friendship with a puppy, Merlin, and they blissfully play together until he is included in the hunting pack, the aim of the hunt being, of course, the fox.
When the hunting season begins, Tag reverts to his traditional role as the quarry pitted directly against Merlin and the rest of the pack.
Tag leads the Belstone Hunt a merry dance on numerous occasions and brings chaos to Ashler’s riders and hounds when making his escape.
His skill at evading the pursuing hounds even result in Horse & Hound magazine chronicling his exploits.
Meanwhile, his friend Merlin will lead the hunt in the pursuit of a fox but will take no part in the kill.
Asher lives to regret his moment of weakness when his pursuit of Tag results in the chasing hounds being mown down by an oncoming train when Tag leads them across a railway track.
The battle becomes personal and a resentful Asher vows to hunt down Tag. As the vendetta consumes the once-sympathetic Asher, tragedy awaits.