All 12 episodes of the adventure series detailing the exploits of Francois de Recci (Robert Etcheverry). In 'Episode 1', Francois arrives at the Fort of Casal to do battle with the marauding Spaniards. 'Episode 2' sees de Ricci disappear from Casal, and in 'Episode 3', he and Guillot meet one of France's most important figures. 'Episode 4' sees Francois and Guillot encountering the Duc de Sospel and his beautiful daughter Isabelle after they are captured by bandits. 'Episode 5' sees Isabelle realise her rescuer is not all he seems and in 'Episode 6' Francois finds himself travelling with a group of players, whilst continuing to search for someone to get his message through to the French. 'Episode 7' finds him in receipt of orders delivered by the Cardinal's agent. And in 'Episode 8' the Duke is blamed for Francois' escape. In 'Episode 9', Mireille's part in Francois's escape results in her being threatened with execution. 'Episode 10' sees Francois head out on one final attempt to save the beseiged French troups at Casal. 'Episode 11' has Francois near to completing his mission, but not before he has dealt with the dread Alonso! And in 'Episode 12', included here in its original French language version with English subtitles, Francois finally returns home.
The Flashing Blade
is a tale of high adventure set in 1630 as the dashing Chevalier de Recci (Robert Etcheverry) undertakes a dangerous mission across occupied territory to avert war between France and Spain. This 13-episode serial was made for French television in 1967, and in dubbed form regularly shown on the BBC during school holidays from 1969 through the 1970s (usually when 1965's Adventures of Robinson Crusoe
was having a rest). This release is aimed at that generation who, from the spine-tingling theme song onward, remember the show with tremendous affection. Like the classic Hollywood movie serials, each 23-minute episode packs in a couple of action sequences; some plot twists, a little comic relief and very variable acting and costumes. For a children's programme the story is remarkably complex, and takes a while to gather pace. The colours have faded, the use of classical music is clumsy, but the dubbing is surprisingly accomplished. The swashbuckling action is at odds with the more serious historical drama, but viewed with nostalgia The Flashing Blade
is thoroughly entertaining vintage TV. --Gary S Dalkin