1 9 7 8 (UK)
6 x 30 minute episodes
Set in the 1920s, this children’s programme from BBC Scotland featured an imprisoned Russian princess (Emma Jacobs), retired Scottish grocer Dickson McCunn (Paul Curran), English poet John Heritage (Peter Settelen), some very villainous Bolshevik villains and a group of six street urchins called the Gorbals Diehards who were on a camping holiday from Glasgow.
The Bolsheviks and their Scottish allies were holding Princess Saskia and Huntingtower. The pretentious but pretty tough Heritage had heard her singing and knew that she was the girl he fell in love with during the Great War four years before.
His romantic (if somewhat soppy) soul cried out to rescue her, and he found a reluctant but steadfast ally in the drily humorous and down-to-earth McCunn.
The Bolsheviks’ Tinker hirelings were outmanoeuvred by the scruffy, under-sized refugees from the Glasgow slums, the Diehards, whose inbred knowledge of guerilla warfare would have won the instant approval of Baden-Powell.
The story of classic derring-do was based on a 1922 novel by the Scottish author John Buchan. The stirring theme tune was from Symphony No 7 “Leningrad” by Shostakovich.
Jean Taylor Smith
Sir Archibald Roylance