1 9 7 4 (UK)
5 x 55 minute episodes
Based on the novel by Sir Walter Scott, The Fortunes of Nigel was a joint venture between the BBC, 20th Century-Fox Television and ABC Owned Television Stations.
Relaying the adventures of Scotsman Nigel Olifaunt in the time of James I, the series was impressive for its sets and spectacular costumes, emphasising once again how skilled the BBC is at producing period drama.
Young Nigel (Anthony Andrews) inherits the family title of Lord Glenvarloch on the death of his father in 1616, but unless he redeems a heavy mortgage, he will lose the ancestral estates. And so he travels to London to recover a large sum advanced to King James (Alfred Lynch) by his late father before the Union.
Lord Dalgarno (Murray Head), a young nobleman, spreads fake rumours about Nigel, who finds himself a fugitive.
Against a background of intrigue and skullduggery, he struggles to win his freedom and clear his name.
He is eventually pardoned by the King, has his mortgage paid off by Martha Trapbois (Charmian May), and returns to Scotland with Margaret (Nina Thomas) as his bride.
Aired in the UK at Sunday teatime during what was generally regarded as children’s hour, this adaptation also attracted an adult audience. The series aired on the ABC network in the US.
Sadly, the tapes of the series were later wiped.
Sir Nigel Olifaunt
King James I
Sir Mungo Malagrowther
Duke of Buckingham
Charles, Prince of Wales
Chevalier de Beaujeu