Features Classic TV Revisited: The Water Margin Published 2 years ago on April 8, 2017 The Water Margin was flailing swords and mystic magic in medieval China that aired Monkey style on BBC Two in 1976. It starred Atsuo Nakamura, Kei Sato, Hajine Hana Age? About 700 years. I know the Chinese were advanced but even they didn’t have telly back then. You’re right. It was a classic Chinese tale of 108 knights roused from their graves to fight tyranny and evil. So why was it on Japanese TV? They nicked the idea and the rest is history. Why was it so popular? Difficult to say because it was dubbed and acted by an unknown Japanese cast. Sounds a bit boring Oh no, it had a lovley theme tune and every episode had a set-piece sword fight. Er, great. No really. It was top TV and had a strong following on BBC2. You see it was effectively an eastern version of Robin Hood with evil and mysticism. And big swords Dirty great ones So who were the heroes? They were led by Lin Chung who was a disillusioned army officer who takes up arms against the evil Kao Chiu. And… He was a small-time bully with magical powers who taxed and murdered peasants and became prime minister. So… Lin grows in power as one by one Chiu alienates the “nine dozen heroes” of the story and peasants etc. Where were the water margins? Liang Shang Po, far to the south of the capital city. What happens? Lin Chung flees there after being framed in Kao Chiu’s evil plot and slung out the Imperial Guard. And… Meanwhile Kao orders priests to open a pit sealed by the Emperor. In the pit lie the souls of nine dozen rebel knights. They join Lin in the Water Margins. Meanwhile Blue Face is sent to kill long suffering Lin. So the show was enhanced by a sort of ancient mysticism? You are wise. A lot of old mumbo-jumbo then. No. It was a little opaque, I suppose. Try me Here is the opening to each episode with Burt Kwouk’s voiceover: “Do not despise the snake for having no horns for who is to say it will not become a dragon. So may one just man become an army.” Yeah, that’s opaque… Classic TV Revisited Advertisement advertisement and this just in Episodes9 hours ago Chronicle Mysteries: The Wrong Man (Hallmark Sun 24 Feb 2019, Alison Sweeney) Podcaster Alex McPherson seeks the truth behind the tragic death of a young lawyer, while partner Drew finds himself diving... Episodes9 hours ago The Zoo: The Marvelous Mott Mott (Season 3 Premieres 24 Feb 2019 on Animal Planet) The Marvelous Mott Mott: Animal Planet’s THE ZOO goes behind the scenes at the world-famous Bronx Zoo for a third... Episodes9 hours ago SMILF: Single Mom In Love Forever (S2EP5 Showtime Sun 24 Feb 2019) Single Mom In Love Forever: In 2014, Bridgette and Rafi prepare for the realities of parenthood as Bridgette experiences contractions,... Episodes9 hours ago Crashing: The Viewing Party (S3EP6 HBO Sun 24 Feb 2019) The Viewing Party: Pete (Pete Holmes) and Kat (Madeline Wise) attend a viewing party for Ali’s late-night spot on Seth... Episodes9 hours ago Black Monday: 243 (S1EP5 Showtime Sun 24 Feb 2019) 243: Mo takes Dawn to the Predator’s Ball in an effort to raise the capital The Jammer Group needs to... search EPISODES Episodes9 hours ago The 91st Annual Academy Awards airs Sun 24 Feb 2019 on ABC Oscar producer Donna Gigliotti, and co-producer and director Glenn Weiss, today announced the first round of presenters for the Academy... Episodes9 hours ago When Calls The Heart: Phone Rings and Heartstrings (Season 6 Premieres Sun 24 Feb 2019 on Hallmark) In the “When Calls the Heart” season six premiere “Phone Rings and Heartstrings” the town of Hope Valley adjusts to... Episodes9 hours ago Evil Lives Here: I Hate Being Daddy’s Girl (S4EP8 ID Sun 24 Feb 2019) I Hate Being Daddy’s Girl: When Robin Doll was rescued from her mother’s violence and went to live with her... advertisement MOVIES Movies1 week ago Private Worlds (Paramount 1935, Charles Boyer, Claudette Colbert) Charles Boyer stars as the new superintendent of a progressive mental hospital. His apparent coldness first arouses resentment among the... Movies1 week ago Yucatán (2018, Luis Tosar, Stephanie Cayo) In farcical comedy Yucatán a pair of white collar thieves compete fiercely against each other trying to steal from an... Movies1 week ago The Breaker Upperers (Netflix Fri 15 Feb 2019, Jackie van Beek, Madeleine Sami) Two women run a business breaking up couples for cash but when one develops a conscience their friendship unravels. production... MY TV TONIGHTWhat's on and when. Broadcast, cable and streaming... BRITISH FILM 1930-1990The Viewer's Guide to British Film 1930-1990 Indepth guide to six decades of cinema in the UK.