1 9 7 7 (UK)
6 x 30 minute episodes
In Britannia in 130 AD, a young ambitious Roman officer named Marcus Flavius Aquila (Anthony Higgins) and his freed slave – a British gladiator named Esca (Christian Rodska) – search for the gold eagle standard of the Ninth Legion (his father’s legion), which vanished 13 years earlier when four thousand men disappeared without a trace while travelling from Eboracum (where York now stands) to battle the rising Caledonian tribes in northern England.
Disguising himself as a Greek doctor, Marcus travels beyond Hadrian’s Wall to unravel the mystery surrounding the fate of his father (Peter Whitbread) and find out what really happened to the Ninth.
After months of searching, Marcus and Esca meet Guern the hunter (Victor Carin). Now living as a British tribesman, Guern confesses that he was once a centurion with the Ninth, and tells them how the legion was annihilated.
Later, at a tribal ceremony, Marcus sees the Eagle and meets the man who killed his father.
He conspires with Esca to steal the Eagle but fleeing with it, they discover the tribesmen are close behind them.
This BBC Scotland production was based on a 1954 children’s novel by Rosemary Sutcliff, which in turn, was based on the true story of the mysterious disappearance of the Ninth Roman Legion – the Hispanas – which vanished in 117 AD in Britain en route to a battle with Caledonian tribes.
Marcus Flavius Aquila
Frontier Fort | Esca | Across The Frontier | The Lost legion | The Wild Hunt | Valedictory