1 9 6 3 (UK)
12 x 25 minute episodes
In Scotland in 1751, with the embers of the 1745 Jacobite rising still smouldering, young David Balfour (Ian Cullen) is kidnapped by Captain Hoseason (Ewan Roberts) – at the request of David’s wicked uncle, Ebenezer Balfour (Duncan Macrae) – and placed aboard the brig Covenant, destined for the Carolinas and a life of slavery.
He meets Jacobite rebel Alan Breck (Roddy McMillan) on the ship and together the pair escape from the ship, avoid the redcoats and return to Scotland to claim David’s rightful inheritance.
In later episodes, David attempts to gain justice for James of the Glens (Kenneth MacKintosh) but, after being reunited with Alan Breck, he is once again kidnapped and confined on the Bass Rock, an island in the Firth of Forth, until the trial is over and James is condemned to death.
David also meets and falls in love with Catriona MacGregor Drummond (Gay Hamilton), the daughter of James More Drummond (Leonard Maguire), who is also held in prison until Catriona engineers his escape.
David and Catriona travel to Holland, where David studies law at the University of Leyden until he learns of the death of his uncle Ebenezer, meaning he will now come into his full, substantial inheritance.
David and Catriona eventually marry and return to Scotland to raise a family.
This BBC series was a faithful – if plain – adaptation by Joy Harington of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novels Kidnapped and Catriona and well-acted throughout.
Ian Cullen died in November 2019, aged 80.
James More Drummond
Neil the Redhead
James of the Glens
The House of Shaws | The Brig Covenant | Disaster | Red Fox | The Flight in the Heather | Back to Shaws | Catriona | The Man with Red Hair | The Bass Rock | In the Hands of the Ladies | David and Catriona | The Return of Alan