1 9 7 9 – 1 9 8 2 (UK)
31 x 25 minute episodes
Dick Turpin starred former Man About The House star Richard O’Sullivan as the legendary 18th-century Highwayman who was driven to a life of highway robbery after being cheated out of his own inheritance by an unscrupulous landowner while on military service in Flanders.
The law was represented as corrupt in the form of the appropriately-named Sir John Glutton (Christopher Benjamin) and his sneering ambitious steward, Captain Nathan Spiker (David Daker).
Friend of the poor, and always chivalrous to women, Turpin was assisted in his boys-own adventures by an endearingly dumb young tearaway called Nick Smith, who went by the name of “Swiftnick” (Michael Deeks).
Richard Carpenter’s script meandered between lines like “Tell your men to drop their shooters” (shades of The Sweeney) and the inevitable Odsfishery that haunts even the best period drama.
The storylines were strong on action and the actual sword-fighting and buckling of swashes was good Stewart Granger stuff.
A spin-off mini-series, Dick Turpin’s Greatest Adventure (1981) co-starred Dallas bad girl Mary Crosby.
Nick “Swiftnick” Smith
Sir John Glutton
Captain Nathan Spiker
Swiftnick | The Capture | The Champion | The Poacher | The Pursuit | The Blacksmith | The Impostor | The Upright Man | The Whipping Boy | The Hero | The Turncoat | The Hostages | The Jail-Birds | The Fox (part 1) | The Fox (Part 2) | Blood Money | Deadlier Than The Male | The Elixir Of Life | The Thief-Taker | The Judge | Dick Turpin’s Greatest Adventure: Part 1 | Dick Turpin’s Greatest Adventure: Part 1 | Dick Turpin’s Greatest Adventure: Part 2 | Dick Turpin’s Greatest Adventure: Part 3 | Dick Turpin’s Greatest Adventure: Part 4 | Dick Turpin’s Greatest Adventure: Part 5