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“The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe”


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I would love to hear from you about your stories of the making

of the film and and if you have any pictures taken during that

                              time I could include them here....

I was with the ‘Robinson’ film unit for about two weeks in all, and my involvement was entirely accidental.

I was at the time a deep sea sailor working on sailing boats and was between births in Las Palmas (Sept/Oct 1963) waiting for a boat on which I was to sail across the pond to the Caribbean.

I happened to be in a bar in Puerto de la Luz one evening and got into conversation with another young man (I would have been 25 at the time – yes, I’m 72 now!) who turned out to be Robert Hoffman. In course of the conversation I learned that he was playing the part of Robinson in a film version of Robinson Crusoe. Before setting out on my sailing career I had worked as an actor in England (and in one theatre company I was understudied by Donald Sutherland!) so asked Robert if there was any chance of finding work with the film unit. I thought it would make an interesting change from the temporary job I was doing at the time – teaching English conversation in a so-called English College in Las Palmas.

He told me that there might be a chance as an actor had been sacked that day for having a dalliance with the girl friend of the assistant director, and the scene they were supposed to be shooting the next day included the character  the sacked actor was supposed to be playing. He told me to be at the quay-side the next morning at 7am and he would introduce me to the director. This I did and was taken on board as one of the Esmerelda’s crew, and the first scene I had to do was the bit where we are setting off to find water on the coast of Arabia. Although I was an experienced big boat sailor, a rower of a dinghy I was not, which I think shows!

The boat serving as the Esmerelda was in fact not a square rigger but a schooner which had yards tied on to its masts to make it look like a square rigged ship. To anyone who knows about such things she looked ridiculous. I spent the next few days on board her running up masts, hauling ropes and other sailorish things

The actual landing of the dinghy, barrel and Robinson did not actually take place until about a week later when the unit moved over to the other side of the island, an area of huge sand dunes known as Mas Palomas. Beaching the dinghy ended in total farce, which obviously does not feature in the final cut.

Incidentally, the ‘wreck’ of the Esmerelda was built in the harbour at the Puerto with a great deal of labour and care, and the idea was then to tow it out to sea and round to the other side of the island where the film unit had moved. Unfortunately the harbour authorities would not allow the film company to tow the wreck out to sea because on inspection they declared the it ‘un-seaworthy’. So they had to dismantle it, load everything on a truck, take it to the other side of the island, rebuild on the beach and then launch wreck Mk II out into the water. Also, Robinson’s stockade was built on a rocky bluff above one of the island’s main roads. When it was blown up the effects people were a bit too generous with explosive and caused a rock-fall which blocked the road for days.

          Were you involved in the making of this film? Do you know someone who was?
Please email me at (click my email address for an email form)
          Were you involved in the making of this film? Do you know someone who was?
Please email me at (click my email address for an email form)

I took this photo from the deck of the boat I sailed on from England to Las Palmas. The 3-masted schooner in the background is the boat they used for the ‘Esmerelda’ in the film. I took the pic before I knew I would be involved in the filming. From some letters I wrote home at the time I have have discovered that I was paid the princely sum of the equivalent of £2 a day for working on the film. Riches!

can be seen as a sailor on Darrick's ship (part 5).

Daniel Defoe and the origins of Robinson Crusoe.
How it all began long ago!

The UK TV series schedule.
First shown in 1965.

The UK TV series credits.
Including a video of the first part of Episode 7 from the BBC TV series.

Introduction on the sleeves
 of the Video's, CD's and DVD's.

The 1990 CD tracks list and credits.
and 30second excerpts from the CD.

The 1997 CD tracks list and credits.
and new sleeve notes.

More Detailed Robinson Crusoe information.
British TV of the sixties,
Robinson Crusoe Island at "Wikipedia",
and the actual book to download or read.
Front Page

Ordering Tapes, CD's and now - DVD's.
Now you can DOWNLOAD the CD and tracks from here.

Picture Gallery.
With some unseen colour pictures from the series.

Stories and photos from actors on the set of
“The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe”

BBC Radio 4 Programme: 20th January 2011
“Robinson Crusoe: Rescued Again”

Robert Hoffman today,
and links to Interviews and other related information.

Are you haunted by that Theme Tune?

Archaeological digs on Robinson Crusoe Island.

Comments from my Guestbook

The NEW 7” vinyl single Limited Edition - November 2011

Research, letters and e-mails,
in my long quest to find that Theme Tune!
Visit my "Pure Nostalgia" page for other TV series.
A "MUST" for UK visitors!
Includes many video clips from well-known and famous series from the BBC.

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