The Prisoner of Zenda

BBC (ended 1984)


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The Prisoner of Zenda

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The Prisoner of Zenda, a classic adventure novel written by Anthony Hope in 1894, was made into a six part mini-series in 1984 by the BBC, a British Public Service Broadcasting Corporation. Following the plot of the book closely, the mini-series details the swashbuckling adventures of the monarchy of a fictional country called Ruritania. On the eve of his coronation, King Rudolf (Malcolm Sinclair) is drugged, abducted and imprisoned by his power-hungry brother, Michael (George Irving), and some accomplices, including the villainous Rupert of Hentzau (Jonathon Morris). To prevent Michael from claiming the throne, the king's attendants pressure the king's cousin, Rudolph Rassendyl (Malcolm Sinclair), who is a striking image of the king, to impersonate the monarch at the coronation. To complicate proceedings, however, Rassendyl falls in love with the king's betrothed, Princess Flavia (Victoria Wicks), but he is unable to reveal his real identity to her. Nevertheless, Rassendyl hatches a plan to free the king and allow him to reclaim his rightful place on the throne, knowing all the while that if his plan comes to fruition, he will be duty bound to part from Princess Flavia forever.