The Warrior Before Time

Roger Moore starred in five different series in the early, pre-Bond years of his career (good on you if you can name them all without a reference).  The first of these was ‘Ivanhoe’ from 1958-59.  A one-and-done show set of 39 (!) half-hours that got Moore started.  While the show was a co-production with an American company, the show, as it should have been, was British through and through, and that extended to the army of character actors, many also just starting their careers, which populated shows of that era.

In episode 35 of 39, ‘The Swindler,’ Jon Pertwee pops up as Peter the Peddler, the titular swindler.  And he’s in fine form here as a fast-talking agent of chaos, conning Robert Brown’s character out of money, which sets Ivanhoe against him, but it turns out Ivanhoe can use his skills to outwit another nobleman who is also against Ivanhoe.  Got all that?

Like most half-hours of this time, Ivanhoe is proto-TV which is evolving before your very eyes, but is also contrained by format in terms of character development and plotting.  Still it’s a fun ride, and Pertwee is a delight in a glimpse of his earlier roles.

In Doctor Who terms one can’t help but think of The Time Warrior in terms of being a (pseudo) historical look at dress and attitude.  Of course the time periods don’t match, but you won’t bedrudge an easy, if strained comparison, will you?  Also the ‘Ivanhoe’ episode  was written by Bill Strutton, who also had a Doctor Who connection.  He wrote The Web Planet.

See how it all ties together?  Never mind.