1 9 6 4 (UK)
12 x 25 minute episodes
This BBC production told the tale of young sailor Edmond Dantes (Alan Badel) who arrives back in Marseilles as the master of the vessel Pharaon after the death of her former captain at sea. He wastes no time in arranging his wedding to the lovely Catalan girl Mercédès (Natasha Parry).
But Danglars (Morris Perry), the evil-natured supercargo of the Pharaon, wishes him ill and finds in Fernand Mondego (Philip Madoc) a handy tool to destroy Edmond.
Fernand is Mercédès’ cousin and had hoped to be her bridegroom – and if Edmond were to be imprisoned – say for treasonable communication with the exiled Napoleon Bonaparte – Fernand might still hope.
Edmond is thus falsely accused and sentenced to spend the rest of his life on the notorious island prison, Chateau d’If.
While imprisoned, Edmond meets the Abbé Faria (John Wentworth), a fellow prisoner whom everyone believes to be mad and who tells Edmond of a fantastic treasure hidden away on a tiny island, that only he knows the location of.
After many years in prison, the old Abbé dies, and Edmond escapes disguised as the dead body. Now free, Edmond must find the treasure so he can use the newfound wealth to exact revenge on those who wronged him.
The series – originally aired on BBC1 – was repeated on BBC2 in Summer 1965.
The cast, script and acting were superb and this 12-part series – although in black & white – is still regarded by many as the definitive adaptation of the classic novel by Alexandre Dumas.
Edward de Souza
Gérard de Villefort
Madame Hermine Danglars
Albert de Morcerf
The Abbé Faria
Valentine de Villefort
Raoul, Baron de Château-Renaud
Madame Héloïse de Villefort