Dick Turpin

Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Unknown Jan 06, 1979 on ITV
out of 10
User Rating
4 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

When an innkeeper is evicted by greedy landowner Sir John Glutton, and her impetuous son is branded an outlaw by the authorities, they seek help from Dick Turpin, who has an old score to settle with Sir John.

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  • Good harmless fun.

    Sometimes I wonder how decisions are made about which television shows should be released on dvd. I remember this series from its original airing, but it hadn't really stuck in my mind. The pilot episode brought back memories, not of this show specifically, but of a type of programme that seems to have to disappeared from our screens: simple, unpretentious adventure shows for young people, without sci-fi, wizardry or merchandise tie-ins. By having the stories situated in England itself, existing historic locations could be used. The actors come from that gigantic repertory company the British acting community has, faces that you know but that are not going to distract you from the characters. The one exception would be Richard O'Sullivan, at that time mostly known for his comedic roles. He succeeds in making you forget Dr Bingham and Robin Tripp at once. The trick of his initial disguise gives him a wonderful entrance as well. The story moves forward fluently, and at the end of the half hour you've enjoyed a nice mini-movie.

    Only two things slightly annoyed me. The mixing up of the Turpin legend with the Robin Hood story reminded me of a Hollywood interpretation of history. And at the end of the episode Turpin and Nick ride off into the distance. But what happens to Nick's mother? Is she just left to her own devices? Does she lose the inn? How will Sir John treat her?moreless
  • First-ever episode of the classic series and the introduction of the main characters: Dick Turpin and his accomplice, Switftnick

    This is an excellent first episode to this series. It introduces the two main characters: Dick Turpin and his partner in crime Swiftnick.

    After Swiftnick attempts to rob Dick Turpin, and fails miserably, the two are forced into a partnership by Nick's mother, a former girlfriend of Dick's.

    The reluctant partnership works very well in this episode. This episode also serves to introduce two recurring characters, the aptly named Sir John Glutton and Captain Nathan Spiker. The latter especially is obsessed with capturing (and hanging) Dick.

    The sword fights are choreographed very well and quite convincing (even though the camera manages to focus on one of the fighters most of the time, giving a stuntman the opportunity to fight the opponent's fight).

    There are some witty exchanges too, showing the humour that was integral to this series.moreless
Jo Rowbottom

Jo Rowbottom

Mrs. Smith

Guest Star

Alex McCrindle

Alex McCrindle

Dr. Hector Andrews

Guest Star

Christopher Benjamin

Christopher Benjamin

Sir John Glutton

Recurring Role

David Daker

David Daker

Captain Nathan Spiker

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • The real Dick Turpin (1705-1739) was nothing more than a thief and a murderer, but in this episode he is given a background that has themes reminiscent of the Robin Hood saga. Apparently he went off to fight for his country and found on his return that his father's farm had been stolen by the evil Sir John Glutton. Turpin now steals from the rich and - at least - lends money to the poor.

  • QUOTES (2)

  • NOTES (0)


    • Turpin decides to call Nick Smith "Swiftnick" as a tribute to another famous highwayman. John "Swift Nick" Nevison (1639-1684) got his nickname from none other than King Charles II who was impressed by Nevison's flamboyance and the fact that the highwayman never used violence.

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