Flight of the Heron

1968 | United Kingdom

Epic period drama made by Scottish Television and based on D.K. Broster's 1925 novel centred round fictional events at the time of the non-fictional Jacobite Rebellion of 1746 and leading up to the battle of Culloden. 

Angus MacMartin (Finlay Currie) was the blind soothsayer who foresaw the flight of the heron, which was meant to herald the coming together of a young highland chieftain and an English officer. His prophecy is fulfilled by Ewen Cameron (Ian McCulloch) and Captain Keith Windham (Jon Laurimore), who-although on opposing sides, come to know and respect each other. However, history is set on course for one of the bloodiest battles ever fought on British soil, and one that would tear apart the clan system in Scotland forever. The production was Scottish Television's most expensive at that time for a children's drama and their investment amounted to around 60,000 pounds. Much of this was recouped by repeating the series on the same night but in a late-night slot for adults illustrating the strength of children's drama in the 1960s. Extra credence was given to the series by filming all the location scenes right on the spot where the actual events had taken place some 200 years before. 

The series was adapted for television by Moultrie R. Kelsall. Unfortunately, Finlay Currie passed away shortly after the series was made. Among the supporting cast were Richard Wilson and Tom Conti.

Published on December 12th, 2018. Written by Noel Onely for Television Heaven.