James Chapman
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Heritage heroes
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Robin of Sherwood would be the last major swashbuckling series for two decades: not until the British Broadcasting Corporation's (BBC) Robin Hood did the costume adventure return in a weekly series format. The television films of The Count of Monte-Cristo and The Man in the Iron Mask, produced by Norman Rosemont Productions for Independent Television Corporation (ITC) Entertainment, were outcomes of two processes in the television industry during the 1970s. Ivanhoe was another Norman Rosemont production, with an American writer and a British director (Douglas Camfield). Sharpe was a wholly British-funded production, while Hornblower was a co-production with the Arts & Entertainment Network. James Sharpe is a resolutely proletarian hero: in this regard, he is an unusual protagonist for a heritage swashbuckler. The politics of Sharpe are in fact highly conservative: the stereotypes are not confined to the upper-class officers and 'scum of the earth' infantrymen of Wellington's army.

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The costume adventure series


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