Tuesday, 3 July 2018

THE ADVENTURES OF ROBINSON CRUSOE...



The ADVENTURES Of ROBINSON CRUSOE is a FRANCO LONDON FILMS production that was first shown on BBC 1 on October 12th 1965.  (When I say "first shown", I don't mean that it appeared on UK TV first, I'm referring only to when it was first broadcast in this country.)  It had made its debut on German TV a year earlier, on October 3rd '64, in four 90 minute episodes, and aired in America the same year.  (The Italian version was first shown on December 13th '64 and the French one on September 10th '65.)  As well as the German TV four-part version, there was also a six-part version, as well as a 13-part version (that's the one we got) to suit the broadcasting requirements of different countries.

It goes without saying though, that the English language cut was the best - simply because, along with the Italian version, it benefited from a new distinctive soundtrack by ROBERT MELLIN and GIAN-PIERO REVERBERI that wasn't used in the German and French versions.  Can you imagine the show without that music?  I doubt it would've become so popular with any other musical score, because that's the thing that most British kids remember about the programme - the haunting music that so suited the mood of the serial .

However, now it's time for the inevitable personal reminiscence that blights most of my blog posts.  I saw the first four episodes while living in one house (the same one in which I first saw The SINGING RINGING TREE), and the remaining nine episodes in another house to which we moved in November of '65.  However, because the layout of the living-rooms of both houses was pretty much the same, I tend to associate the show with both of them equally.  (Incidentally, don't ask me why, but The Singing Ringing Tree is usually rendered without a comma, though the original German title has one.)

But back to Robinson Crusoe:  The BBC's rights to broadcast the show expired sometime in the '80s and, as far as I know, it hasn't been on UK TV since 1982.  The last time I remember seeing it (before I acquired the DVD a few years ago) was in the early '70s during, I think, the school holidays, though I probably didn't see every episode.  Hold on, scratch that - I seem to dimly recall seeing an episode or two in its '80s screening, but the memory is uncharacteristically vague and indistinct.

If you ever saw this serial, then you'll know why it's considered such a classic.  It's available on DVD and the soundtrack was re-released on CD a few years ago.  Well worth hunting down if, like me, you're fond of reliving your childhood.  Let's face it - they were the best years of our lives.  Below are a select few screen grabs from the NETWORK DVD (7952735) to help whet your appetite and prompt your memories.  And I've even included the theme tune for you - am I great guy or what?  (Okay, who's the joker who said "What" ?)










10 comments:

Colin Jones said...

Yes, a beautiful and haunting theme-tune - one of my favourite ever theme-tunes and one of the few I could still remember before YouTube came along. I must have watched Robinson Crusoe around 1974/75 or thereabouts - on morning TV during the summer holidays probably :)

Kid said...

If I remember correctly, CJ, it was first repeated in 1967, then 1969, then 1972, then again in 1973, then in 1974 and again in 1975. It was shown again in 1977, and repeated for the last time in 1982.

Lionel Hancock said...

I never saw any of the repeats now tell me was it b/w or actually filmed in colour

Kid said...

I seem to remember reading somewhere that it was filmed in colour but screened in black and white, though I could be wrong about that. Perhaps the colour stills that exist were merely photos taken on set at the time. I do know that it was filmed on 35mm, but the BBC ditched their prints and the DVD comes from inferior 16mm prints that were found later.

pete doree said...

Yep, Robinson Crusoe, Flash Gordon, Champion The Wonder Horse, Zorro, Casey Jones and a Johnny Weismuller Tarzan. There's your '70's summer holiday viewing right there. And all in black & white!

Kid said...

And The Flashing Blade, Black Beauty, Follyfoot, etc., PD. Back when music was music, eh?

pete doree said...

Great theme tunes, all.

Kid said...

I've got a cassette tape somewhere with a stack of theme tunes from kids' TV shows, PD. I must transfer it to CD sometime.

Lionel Hancock said...

Those were the days when TV and movies were run by showmen. They gave us a good story.good actors and a catching theme..Nowdays the loonys run it..Crap PC stories. Non actors and a rap singer swearing not singing.

Kid said...

And for proof of that, LH, we need only look at what the BBC has done to Dr. Who. Incomprehensible, misandric stories, pushing an LGBT agenda. Tragic. (At least the theme tune's the same.)

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