The Borderers

BBC Two (ended 1970)


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Episode Guide

    • Where the White Lilies Grow
      Where the White Lilies Grow
      Season 2 - Episode 11
      When Cessford's son William brings his betrothed to Cessford Castle he brings murder with him as well. But an old blind ballad singer and the clear eyes of Gavin Ker feel their way into the poisoner's mind.
    • Among the Eagles
      Among the Eagles
      Season 2 - Episode 5
      Cessford's attempts to uncover a traitor at the Court of Queen Mary involve him in a charge of treason and win him an implacable enemy.
    • Vengeance
      Season 1 - Episode 1
      Gavin Ker of Slitrig, the eldest son of the family, seeks a wider world, but a shattering experience lies in front of him.
    • What a Vengeance Upon England
      What a Vengeance Upon England
      Season 2 - Episode 4
      Cessford tries to marry off his troublesome ward to the son of Sir John Forster, the English Warden. The romance is complicated by a splendid Arab stallion, which nearly turns Cupid's arrows into the more lethal kind
    • Snatch
      Season 2 - Episode 3
      The gypsy way to win a wife was to snatch the desired lass from her home and kinfolk. When Agnes Ker catches the eye of Hector Faa, 'Lord and earl of Little Egypt', Gavin must fight Hector and Agnes herself to get her back
    • Survival Day
      Survival Day
      Season 2 - Episode 2
      The one day of the year when all the cattle are sold and all the frustrations of winter life on the Borders are washed away in the strong ale in Hawick turns grimly sour when the borderers learn enough to believe that the cattle buyer is in league with Cessford to rob them of their living.moreless
    • Plot Counterplot
      Plot Counterplot
      Season 2 - Episode 6
      With high hopes of promotion Cessford journeys to Edinburgh only to find that he has swallowed several juicy baits on his way to dismissal and disgrace.
    • The Quacksalver
      The Quacksalver
      Season 2 - Episode 7
      The Quacksalvers who trick their way into Slitrig and win the friendship and gratitude of the Kers are either to be pitied or helped, or rogues. Gavin Ker has to endure much before he finds out which.
    • The Terror of the March
      The Terror of the March
      Season 2 - Episode 12
      Cessford cannon is the H-bomb of its time, but when the cannon comes to rest at the bottom of the Slitrig Loch the outlaws of Liddesdale don't know whether to cheer or cry.
    • Hostage
      Season 2 - Episode 10
      To win the return of his stolen beasts, Gavin Ker captures the son of the man who took them. The boy is to be hanged in three days if the beasts are not returned.
    • A Woman or an Epitaph
      A Woman or an Epitaph
      Season 2 - Episode 9
      The borders in the sixteenth century were a man's world. Woman's true position was not that much higher than cattle. But one woman, 'the wee daftie', forces several men to change their opinions.
    • To the Gallows Tree
      To the Gallows Tree
      Season 2 - Episode 8
      Gavin Ker defends his bonded tenant against torture and a monstrous charge.
    • The Siege of Cocklaws
      The Siege of Cocklaws
      Season 2 - Episode 1
      The Laird of Cocklaws defends his castle against an English force. Gavin Ker supports him, but knows full well that Cocklaws's motives are as big a sham as the attack itself.
    • Dispossessed
      Season 1 - Episode 13
      Brought from England to marry a Scot she detests, Lady Helen escapes from her escort and is held to ransom by some outlaws. Sent to rescue her, Gavin falls in love with her and she with him. But to wed would only invite vengeance from her fiance's family and hers. Gavin's mother is appalled to realize that, despite this, they look like going ahead with their marriage.moreless
    • Fugitive
      Season 1 - Episode 5
      An English fugitive, Tom Styles, flees across the border to Scotland and hides. Gavin, riding by, is attacked by outlaws and Styles saves his life: in return Gavin shelters him at Slitrig. But it is a punishable offence to harbour wanted criminals from England, and soon Gavin has to choose between his own life and Styles's.moreless
    • Treason
      Season 1 - Episode 4
      Gavin is visited by a friend who tries to persuade him to travel to Europe with him. But some pilgrims arrive... a religious fanatic, a girl veiled like a nun, a truculent friar. Soon Gavin is caught up in the political crossfire of the time - and exposed to a danger that in those days would have terrified everyone.moreless
    • Witch Hunt
      Witch Hunt
      Season 1 - Episode 3
      Religion is in turmoil and men turn to darker gods. On the Scottish border witchcraft is rife. So when a neighbour's cattle catch plague accusing fingers point and a charge is laid against Gavin's younger sister Grizel. Cessford has to try her, little knowing how hard it is to make the charge of witchcraft stick.moreless
    • Truce
      Season 1 - Episode 2
      Accused of murdering an Englishman when he led his men across the border in search of Agnes, Gavin must stand trial at the next Day of Truce - when the opposing Wardens meet together to settle their outstanding quarrels. Gavin can be saved if he signs a bond making him Cessford's man. But Gavin would rather lose his life than his independence, and as things are he might have to.moreless
    • Stranger
      Season 1 - Episode 6
      The Kers of Slitrig could be a force to be feared throughout the Border - if they only had a ruthless leader. David Scott is just such a leader and since he claims to be the real Laird of Slitrig even some of Gavin's family support him. If a bloodbath is to be avoided Gavin hasn't too long to re-assert his authority.moreless
    • Hero
      Season 1 - Episode 7
      Cessford lies wounded at Slitrig after an assassination attempt by John Hume. To finish him off the Humes will attack - and Slitrig has run out of gunpowder. Margaret meets an old admirer, Lord Boyd. Boyd seems tempted to help Hume to the Wardenship, but equally tempted to settle for the easy life and Margaret, whom he loves. Whose side is this enigmatic figure on?moreless
    • Bloodfeud
      Season 1 - Episode 8
      The Kers have quarrelled with the Armstrongs and today Jamie has to ride through Armstrong country. He encounters them at a waterfall and one of the Armstrongs dies. Did Jamie kill him? Not even Gavin is sure of his brother's innocence - yet the outcome of the trial could well affect Cessford's position as Warden.moreless
    • Justice
      Season 1 - Episode 12
      Mario Vecchi, a young Italian physician, tries to save the life of Gavin's friend Andrew Johnstone. The patient dies and the Armstrongs demand Vecchi's life as a murderer. Gavin seeks protection for Vecchi from the law, but will he get it? Or will he have to admit that on the Border violence can only be met by violence?moreless
    • Outlaw
      Season 1 - Episode 11
      The Telfers, friends of the Kers, are evicted for debt and dispossessed of their lands. Disdaining Gavin's charity, old Fergus Telfer, a devout manwho always yearned to be a priest, finds himself starving in the Debatable Land with his grandson Wat. Desperately he seeks a religious justification for doing the only thing they can do to survive - steal!moreless
    • Wedlock
      Season 1 - Episode 10
      The Warden's cattle have been raided by the Scotts of Branxholm, who boast of it openly. Cessford arrests them, and by doing so brings down the wrath of the Lord Lieutenant, the Earl of Moray. It's not just Cessford's Wardenship that's at stake now. Moray has plans for bringing peace to the March that are resented by all. One person especially dislikes them - Agnes Ker.moreless
    • Giant
      Season 1 - Episode 9
      A wandering English mercenary called Rudge is taken on by Gavin to help with the harvest. Cessford calls - Gavin must make a raid into England to rescue an important Scottish spy. With him he takes Rudge - a heavy man who proves an even heavier liability.
    • The Sea-Cole Man
      The Sea-Cole Man
      Season 2 - Episode 13
      To prevent a blood feud between the Kers of Slitrig and the Johnstones, a wrestling match is arranged in which each family will be represented by a chosen contestant. With Cessford to gain most in the middle, and the two families fighting to win or nobble each other's champion, it is a wonder the bout ever gets into the ring. But it does, and the honour of the Kers is satisfied at a terrible cost in blood.moreless
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