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Smith

1 9 7 0 (UK)
8 x 30 minute episodes

Smith (Ian Ramsey) is a young London street urchin, a pickpocket, and apprentice highwayman (albeit sweetly innocent) who is hunted, hounded and homeless and on the run from the law with a mysterious document which he purloined from a gentleman’s pocket and which – he senses – is of great value.

It transpires that the man has since been killed for the very document now in Smith’s possession.

Three mysterious men – Mr Black (George Innes), Mr Grey (Michael Goldie) and Mr Brown (Leon Collins) – want the document and Smith now knows full well what they will do to obtain it.

Smith can’t read but his sisters are sure that it promises a fortune to the bearer of the deed. Smith finds a blind magistrate with a claim to the papers and finds himself helping him, hoping to earn his share of the spoils while trying to stay alive.

Smith lives in constant fear of the Tyburn hangman and is in mortal danger from other, secret, enemies.smith2

This 1970 Thames Television adventures series, adapted from the Phoenix Award-winning children’s novel by Leon Garfield and directed by Michael Currer-Briggs, offered a vivid depiction of the precarious, marginal existence of the eighteenth-century highwayman.

A fun production with its tongue firmly in its cheek, it was also exciting, not just for its use of a bad boy hero but also for hinted-at gore and the threat of imminent violence and murder.

Smith
Ian Ramsey
Miss Bridget
Jo Rowbottom
Miss Fanny
Cheryl Hall
Mr Billing
David Sumner
Mr Brown
Leon Collins
Mr Grey
Michael Goldie
Mr Black
George Innes
Mr Welsh
Windsor Davies
Meg
Louise Dunn
Lord Tom
Lewis Fiander
Joseph
Michael Beint
Mr Mansfield
Moultrie Kelsall
Miss Mansfield
Meg Wynn Owen

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