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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

The Scarlet Pimpernel unfilmed scripts with handwritten notes by Marius Goring. From our personal collection, previously in the personal collection of Marius Goring.