Sir Francis Drake
This is Drake material which is purely for fun and a good wallow in nostalgia. The highly enjoyable twenty-six episodes are the black and white 1960s classic children's TV series. Some of us may remember watching these half hour stories, which are now presented as a set of three DVD box set. This surpasses the four episodes that were previously available on generic videos of 1960 TV shows for younger viewers.
The story lines of every episode are far from accurate. Pictorially Plymouth, Holland and Spain have exactly the same landing stage and Devon masquerades as the coast of Panama. In some instances money has been spent on secondary filming, such as the castle of Segovia in Spain and some Caribbean beaches. The actors are never actually seen on foreign locations.
Terance Morgan is so very much as I personally picture Drake, not so much in appearance but in character, portraying witty repartee, the quirky sense of humour and the fundamental kindness. The inaccurate and often fictitious story lines hold the audiences fascination, due to the good script writers' affinity with excitement. Disbelief can be suspended until the credits roll. After all Cervantes just possibly could have discussed writing Don Quixote with Drake and Shakespeare and just possibly have made Drake up to be a ruffian.
The series also contains some lovely verbal images of the Golden Hind. It is referred to as the apple of the captain's eye. I would imagine that the ship was just that to Drake. A courtier says "It is time that the sea dog went back to his kennel".
As with the film Seven Seas To Calais some episodes show that Drake could be vulnerable. Nothing can be learned from these programmes but I would recommend this DVD collection as they are exciting and interesting. The series helped launch the careers of young actors such as Michael Crawford and David McCullum. Viewers will notice parts of Plymouth Sound as a backdrop devoid of 20th century intrusions. The ship used for the series is the Golden Hind that for years has been a tourist attraction in Brixham harbour. Children will find the programmes just as interesting as the children of the 1960s.