Ivanhoe (1997 TV series)

Ivanhoe was a 1997 television mini-series based on the novel Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott.[1] It was a produced by the BBC and A&E Network[2] and consisted of six 50 minute episodes.

disambiguation: the cartoon television series Ivanhoe the King's Knight also debuted in 1997.

Story byDeborah Cook (scriptwriter)|Deborah Cook’s adaptation of Sir Walter Scott’s novel.
Directed byStuart Orme
StarringSteven Waddington
Susan Lynch
Ciarán Hinds
Jimmy Chisholm
Composer(s)Colin Towns
Country of originUK, US
Original language(s)English
No. of series1
No. of episodes6
Executive producer(s)Chris Parr (BBC)
Delia Fine (A&E)
Producer(s)Jeremy Gwilt
Running time60 minutes
Production company(s)BBC Productions in association with A&E Network production
Original networkBBC1
Picture format4:3
Audio formatStereo
Original release12 January (1997-01-12) 
16 February 1997 (1997-02-16)


This adaptation of Sir Walter Scott’s novel is set in 1192 AD and depicts a disinherited knight who is accused of treachery. He returns anonymously to his home in England, to clear his name and win his lady love. King Richard had been a prisoner in an Austrian dungeon, but is now returning to an England ruled by Prince John. The production claims realism,[3] mainly through a depiction of a very rough and poverty stricken time; the producers claim this is in contrast to earlier, "sanitized" versions. People wear layers of often old, sometimes ragged clothing to keep the cold out, are sometimes dirty, and have long shaggy hair and beards.

TV episodes

Episode 1: The knight and crusader Ivanhoe is released from an Austrian prison after refusing to betray King Richard. He returns to England, where it is rumored that he did betray the King. Ivanhoe must clear his name and save his beloved Rowena from a loveless marriage to Prince Athelstane. Disguised as a pilgrim, he comes to the aid of a stranger, Isaac of York, who offers Ivanhoe a chance to compete in Prince John's tournament.

Episode 2: At the tournament, Ivanhoe defeats the Norman knights and earns the enmity of Prince John. In the second day of tournament, the Prince champions a group of his Norman henchmen, including the former crusader Bois-Guilbert, against Ivanhoe and the Saxons. Ivanhoe is joined by the mysterious Black Knight, and Bois-Guilbert and the Normans are defeated.

Episode 3: Wounded in the tournament against the Normans, Ivanhoe is tended to by the beautiful healer Rebecca, daughter of Isaac of York. Meanwhile, Bois-Guilbert schemes to steal Rowena for one of his cohorts. Disguised as outlaws, the Normans storm the Saxon camp, kidnapping Rowena, Ivanhoe, his father, Rebecca and Isaac.

Episode 4: Robin Hood and his allies, along with the Black Knight, prepare to attack the castle where Ivanhoe and his companions are held. Inside, Rebecca and Ivanhoe discover their love for one another. When the castle is stormed, the Saxons save Rowena from Bois-Guilbert. He then kidnaps Rebecca, whom he secretly loves, and the flee as the castle burns.

Episode 5: An attempt is made on the Black Knight's life, and he reveals himself as King Richard to his outlaw comrades. Meanwhile, John sentences Rebecca to burn as a witch, and her only chance for survival is to demand a trial by combat. Bois-Guilbert will act as the court's champion—but who will defend the honor of Rebecca?

Episode 6: King Richard assures his supporters that Ivanhoe never betrayed him, clearing the way for Ivanhoe's marriage to Rowena. Ivanhoe then learns of Rebecca's fate, and a devastated Rowena begs him not to ride to her defense. But Ivanhoe will not miss the chance to fight Bois-Guilbert—and finally right old wrongs.


Experts behind the series

  • Stunt Coordinator: Gareth Milne
  • Horse Master: Steve Dent
  • Sword Master: Nick Powell
  • Stunt Performers: Joss Gower, Nick Hobbs, Nrinder Dhudwar, Tom Lucy
  • Historical Advisor: Christopher Gravett
  • Judaica Advisor: Lewis Glinert
  • Armourer: Rob Partridge


Parts of the series were shot at Doune Castle, Hermitage Castle in the Scottish Borders and at Craigmillar Castle and Blackness Castle near Edinburgh.[4]


The series has been released with 6 VHS tapes included in the set.


The series has been released on a 2 DVD set.

See also


  1. Scott, Walter (25 June 2008). Ivanhoe: A Romance.
  2. "'IVANHOE' MINISERIES INVADES A&E". Washington Post. 20 April 1997. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  3. Kulakivska, Veronika. "The analysis of "Ivanhoe" by Walter Skott". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. (2015) Filmed here - 1997, Ivanhoe, Stuart Orme, BBC Film Edinburgh, Retrieved 20 February 2015
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