Treasure Island

Series 1 - Episode 1

Radio Times
Review by:
Patrick Mulkern

Does the world need another version of Treasure Island? On the strength of this stirring two-parter, into which Sky has pumped millions, the answer is yes. Despite giving us a prologue with Donald Sutherland as treacherous Captain Flint, where we see how Long John Silver lost his leg, as well as a new subplot involving Jim Hawkins’s mum and Silver’s wife, it has a ring of authenticity that others lack.

The Hispaniola looks terrific, but don’t expect much ooh-aahing from the refreshingly multi-ethnic buccaneers. Among the nobs, Daniel Mays is a diffident Dr Livesey, Philip Glenister makes a hard-nut Smollett, while Rupert Penry-Jones is an insufferable prig as Squire Trelawney.

A bald Eddie Izzard breezes through the piece with a lightness of touch as Silver. He told RT he wanted to make a “gritty, GoodFellas-y version”. This may not be anywhere near as viscerally brutal but, crucially, we believe in the tenuous bond Izzard’s Long John builds with young Jim (the excellent Toby Regbo).

About this programme

1/2. Part one of two. Teenager Jim Hawkins, Captain Smollett, Squire Trelawney and Dr Livesey prepare to set sail in search of an elusive hoard of gold, following the discovery of a treasure map that once belonged to a notorious pirate. Unfortunately, crew member Long John Silver wants the riches for himself, and persuades his fellow sailors to back him in a mutiny. Swashbuckling adventure, starring Eddie Izzard, Elijah Wood, Donald Sutherland, Philip Glenister, Rupert Penry-Jones and Keith Allen.

Cast and crew

Cast

Long John Silver
Eddie Izzard
Ben Gunn
Elijah Wood
Cpt Flint
Donald Sutherland
Cpt Smollett
Philip Glenister
Squire Trelawney
Rupert Penry-Jones
Dr Livesey
Daniel Mays
Pew
Keith Allen
Billy Bones
David Harewood
Meg Hawkins
Shirley Henderson
Jim Hawkins
Toby Regbo

Crew

Director
Steve Barron
Writer
Stewart Harcourt
Categories
Drama

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