Rebels with a cause
in Swashbucklers
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This chapter focuses on four British swashbucklers of the 1980s, Dick Turpin, Smuggler, Adventurer and Robin of Sherwood that represent a distinct cycle within the genre. These series shared the same production team of writer Richard Carpenter and producer Paul Knight and collectively they demonstrated a consistent ideology and social politics. Dick Turpin was a Gatetarn/Seacastle production for London Weekend Television (LWT), which after an uncertain start had become the largest and most lucrative of the Independent Television (ITV) franchise operators by the end of the 1970s. Smuggler was a vehicle for Olivier Tobias, returning to swashbuckling for the first time since Arthur of the Britons. Adventurer has been unfairly overlooked in the popular historiography of television in comparison to the other Carpenter-Sidney Cole-Knight productions. The production discourse of Robin of Sherwood emphasised its difference from other versions of the oft-told story.

Swashbucklers

The costume adventure series

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