The Adventures of the Scarlet Pimpernel 1955-1956


Directors: David MacDonaldDennis VanceMichael McCarthyWolf Rilla


Writers: Ralph Gilbert BettisonMarius GoringMichael Hogan, 

Angus MacPhailJohn Moore, Diana Morgan, Joel Murcott, 

Baroness Emmuska Orczy (from her novels)

Rôle: Sir Percy Blakeney/The Scarlet Pimpernel

Broadcast: 28 September 1955 to 22 June 1956 ITC

Synopsis: Sir Percy Blakeney, Baronet, is a notorious fop and hedonistic member of the Prince of Wales's court, but he is secretly the 'Scarlet Pimpernel', a mysterious figure who rescues innocents from the Reign of Terror taking place in France and transports them to safety in England.

The Scarlet Pimpernel Poster

Comment: This is the first drama series to appear on the newly launched ITV in 1955. Marius is so absolutely delightful and funny, I wish that that they had gone on to make a second series and introduce the character of Percy's wife Marguerite St Just. They did have plans to make further episodes but the budget per episode was cut from about £3500 to £2000 which would have severely hampered the quality of the series, so no more were filmed. Costumes sketches exist by the Motley Group for Sir Percy/The Scarlet Pimpernel for episodes that were never made.

Trivia: The large pink signet ring that Marius wears as Sir Percy is one he wore throughout his career, starting in the film Highly Dangerous (1950) and featuring in a number of films and television shows thereafter.

Availability: DVD (Network) of all eighteen episodes in a 3-disc set is available online. Release Date: 30 July 2012.

The Scarlet Pimpernel review by Jill Craigie in the Evening Standard 28 December 1955
The Scarlet Pimpernel article in The Daily Mirror 5 October 1955
The Scarlet Pimpernel review by Roberta Leigh in the Evening Standard 8 February 1956
The Adventures of the Scarlet Pimpernel Ep 1 - The Hostage review in The Daily Telegraph 29 September 1955
The Scarlet Pimpernel Episode Listing