October 29, 2005

CRANK UP THE VCR:

Kidnapped (Masterpiece Theatre,
Airing Sundays, October 30 + November 5, 2005 on PBS)

The boy at the center of this swashbuckling adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped, an epic tale of triumph over adversity, is fifteen-year-old Davie Balfour.

In an effort to claim his inheritance -- the House of Shaws, a great landed estate -- Davie finds himself trapped on a ship and headed for slavery in the New World. But thanks to the intervention of a swashbuckling highlander, Alan Breck, Davie eludes his captors and joins Breck on a wild flight through the Scottish highlands, pursued by notoriously ruthless English bounty hunters.

On a quest for justice, through perilous encounters with friend and foe, Davie gradually learns about the difference between right and wrong. But there are still difficult moral decisions to be made, right up until the story's final, enthralling chapter...

Iain Glen (Kingdom of Heaven, Wives & Daughters) stars as the legendary Scottish rebel Alan Breck, with James Anthony Pearson as Davie Balfour. Also appearing are Adrian Dunbar (The Crying Game) as Davie's loathsome Uncle Ebenezer and Kirstin Coulter Smith as Catriona, a crack-shot Highland lass who wins Davie's heart.

First published in 1886, Kidnapped -- a gripping adventure story full of drama, poignancy, heroism and danger -- surpasses even Treasure Island as a sophisticated literary work masquerading as a ripping yarn for young readers.


'Kidnapped' likable matinee fare (Matthew Gilbert, October 29, 2005, Boston Globe)
PBS's ''Masterpiece Theatre" usually delivers adaptations that don't involve a lot of chasing through forests and crossing of swords. If there's any heavy breathing in the franchise's hollow mansions, it's probably the result of villainous words or eye-poppingly tight corsets. The action sequences, such as they are, generally require only teacups, spoons, and silver tongs.

''Kidnapped," a two-parter premiering tomorrow at 9 p.m. on Ch. 2, is based on Robert Louis Stevenson's adventure yarn set in 1751, after England's occupation of Scotland. It's not your typical ''Masterpiece Theatre," but then neither was last week's spin on Sherlock Holmes starring Rupert Everett. It's the PBS version of a youth-market grab, a jaunty buddy movie whose heroic pair aren't quite models for teeth-whitening products. ''Kidnapped" has a lot of good energy and likable acting; but it might be more appropriate as a family matinee rather than as a Sunday-night feature. It has rainy Sunday afternoon written all over it.


Nice snear.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 29, 2005 10:02 PM
Comments

Last Sunday night's Sherlock seemed to be taking a cue from Grissom. We were waiting for the wee flashlights to be deployed. It was fun although I thought Jeremy Brett was the best.

Posted by: tefta at October 30, 2005 7:34 AM

My favorite book as a sub-teen who learned to enjoy eating dry uncooked oatmeal while hiking through the hills around Sprain Lake Reservoir, on the run with my Collie, pretending to be Davie Balfour.

Can't wait to see it.

Posted by: Genecis at October 30, 2005 10:54 AM

Mr. Gilbert doesn't like a good tale. Pity him.

Posted by: Mikey at October 31, 2005 9:18 AM
« WHAT COLOR IS THE SKY IN HER WORLD? (via BlueStater3): | Main | IT'S BECAUSE WE UNDERSTAND THE STRENGTHS THAT WE'RE LIBERATING THE BELIEVERS (via Robert Schwartz): »