Writing about Malleson, yesterday, and about the fact that he had been an officer in the Bengal Infantry, reminded me of a very old TV series I used to watch as a kid.
Tales of the 77th Bengal Lancers was an oddity from Screen Gems from the late 1950s – an exotic adventure series shot in Simi Valley, California, doubling as the Northwestern Frontier of the Raj, and with American actors portraying British and Indian officers.
As one of the leads, Philip Carey, was unable to loose his New Jersey accent, he was introduced as a Canadian officer.
And, in case you are wondering, no, there never was a 77th Bengal Lancers – but for we kids, it was all right.
The show was apparently shot down, as a series, after one 26-episodes season, because it couldn’t face the competition: Lassie.
In the mid-70s, it was broadcast in Italy by TeleMontecarlo – in the kids’ afternoon slot, together with Ivanhoe, starring a very young Roger Moore, and The Wild Wild West.
Historical adventure very loosely based on Walter Scott, exotic thrillers in the style of Talbot Mundy, and the mother of all weird westerns – I had a great childhood.
Which also leads me to believe that a lot of my current interests in terms of fiction were actually heavily influenced by those early TV shows.
But I can’t complain, really.