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The Feathered Serpent (ITV Family Drama, Diane Keen, Patrick Troughton)

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The Feathered Serpent was a pair of period children’s adventure serials. Young Empress Chimalma finds herself caught up in the machinations of an evil priest in ancient Mexico.

Patrick Troughton played Nasca the priest whose evil plots were at the heart of the series.

Unusually for what was essentially a children’s tv series, The Feathered Serpent was given a prestigious TV Times cover for the week of it’s premiere (June 19-25, 1976).

Sue Turner, of the Thames children’s department, says her team had a great deal of fun and raised a lot of eyebrows by demonstrating that an action-adventure series, set in ancient Mexico, could be shot entirely in Studio 2 at Tedington.

The end result was The Feathered Serpent with music specially written by David Fanshawe, swordfights and a great deal of ritual and splendour. She also hopes it helped to make viewers aware of the rich and fascinating history of pre-Columbian America.

Cast: Patrick Troughton (Nasca), Diane Keen (Chimalma), Brian Deacon (Heumac), Richard Willis (Tozo), Robert Gary (Mahoutec), George Lane-Cooper (Chadac), Granville Saxton (Xipec)

Writer: John Kane / Script Editor: Ruth Boswell / Music: David Fanshawe / Producer: Vic Hughes

UK / ITV – Thames / 12×25 minute episodes / Serial 1 Broadcast 21 June – 26 July 1976 and Serial 2 Broadcast 3 Apr – 8 May 1978