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TV

Kidnapped (2005, Iain Glen, John Bach)

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Based on the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson and set in a politically divided Scotland during the 1750’s, Kidnapped stars newcomer James Anthony Pearson as young Davie Balfour who is orphaned when his father Alexander (Adrian Dunbar) is crushed by a tree. Just before he dies, Alexander gives him a dagger and tells him that he must claim his rightful inheritance of a great landed estate from an uncle he never even knew he had. After a perilous journey, Davie arrives and introduces himself to his reclusive and eccentric Uncle Ebenezer (also played by Dunbar). At first he seems friendly enough but as soon as Davie mentions his inheritance, Ebenezer tries to send him to his death. When that fails, he has Davie kidnapped and taken away on his ship headed for slavery in the New World.

Amidst a crew of cut-throats and villainous slave traders, Davie feels that all is utterly hopeless and he despairs of his future alone in the world with no hope of return to his beloved homeland. Then the slave ship runs down a boat containing the notorious swashbuckling Highland hero, Alan Breck (Iain Glen). Despite being hopelessly outnumbered, Alan and Davie form a pact and agree to fight their way off the ship – except that Davie has never fought before in his life. Together the pair escape murder and shipwreck and embark on a quest for justice.

It’s stirring stuff, very well put together. This is the fifth TV adaptation of the book.

production details
UK / BBC One / 150 minutes / 2005

Writers: Bev Doyle, Richard Kurti
Novel: Robert Louis Stevenson

cast
Iain Glen as Breck
John Bach
Adrian Dunbar as Emily Barclay as
James Anthony Pearson as Davie
Paul McGann
Gregor Fisher
Kirstin Coulter Smith

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