1 9 5 5 (Australia)
26 x 30 minute episodes
This early series – produced and filmed in Australia by overseas interests before Australia even had television – was based very loosely on Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1883 novel Treasure Island and featured Long John Silver (Robert Newton), his young cabin boy ward Jim Hawkins (Kit Taylor) and their ship, the Faithful, located on the island of Porto Bello on the Spanish Main.
There they worked for British Governor Henry Strong (Harvey Adams) to thwart the advance of the perfidious Spaniards and keep the island safe in the hands of The Crown.
Treasure hunting was thus reduced to an occasional pastime, but off-duty, Silver was frequently to be found in the pub of Miss Purity Pinker (Connie Gilchrist) – the Bull and Blunder – or at the Cask & Anchor Inn.
Mendoza (Lloyd Berrell), Patch (Grant Taylor), Israel (Rodney Taylor) and Billy (Henry Gilbert) were Silver’s crewmates.
The Adventures of Long John Silver was chiefly notable for the theatrical performance of Robert Newton in the grog-swilling, shiver-me-timbers title role which he already played in the movies Treasure Island (1950) and Long John Silver (1954).
The character was toned down considerably for television and was now portrayed as a likeable rogue rather than the ruthless schemer and murderer of Stevenson’s novel. Robert Newton died shortly after finishing this series.
The series was filmed at Pagewood Studios in Sydney by producer Joseph Kaufman. Although filmed in colour, the series was given its UK transmission in black and white.
Episodes were also edited into two feature films for cinema release in the US – South Sea Pirates and Under The Black Flag.
Long John Silver
Miss Purity Pinker
Where Men Are Men | The Pink Pearl | The Master’s Touch | The Orphan’s Christmas | Execution Dock | Devil’s Stew | The Necklace | The Fishwife | Pieces Of Eight | A Flag Flies Black | Temple Of Evil | The Crisis | To Purity, A Daughter | Turnabout | Miss Purity’s Birthday | The Eviction | Internal Triangle | Dead Reckoning | Sword Of Vengeance | Dragon Slayer | Voodoo | Strange Cargo | The Siege | Ties Of Blood | The Tale Of A Tooth | Ship O’ The Dead