Rosemary Sutcliff’s The Eagle of the Ninth was on BBC TV in 1977 | Getting DvD or download

TV ProgrammeRosemary Sutcliff‘s historical novel The Eagle of the Ninth, which by 2011 had sold more than a million copies since its appearance in 1954 (according to publisher OUP), was made into a BBC TV series shot in Aberdeenshire in the 1970s.

Rosemary  Sutcliff adored the portrayal of Marcus, the hero. As I have posted before, I thought ” I probably had” old old video tapes of hers in the attic. I do not, I find now on moving house.

Some readers here and ‘likers’ of the Facebook page have lobbied for a re-release or at least DVD.  I have tried.  Meanwhile John has been doing sterling work respondng to requests for DvDs (see below). And now there is some action about downloading  with torrents (and I have managed to dowlaod the whole series and am loving it – I last watched it I think with Rosemary).

The TV series was broadcast in six episodes.

  1. Frontier Fort (4 September 1977)
  2. Esca (11 September 1977)
  3. Across the Frontier (18 September 1977)
  4. The Lost Legion (25 September 1977)
  5. The Wild Hunt (2 October 1977)
  6. Valedictory (9 October 1977)

Very tiny excerpts here.

(Revised 3/2/14)

100 thoughts on “Rosemary Sutcliff’s The Eagle of the Ninth was on BBC TV in 1977 | Getting DvD or download

  1. Maybe what follows is old news, so if it is, please accept my apologies in advance.

    Like all those on here, I have always been an avid reader of Rosemary Sutcliffe’s novels, both as a boy and as an adult. “The Eagle of the Ninth” is now available on DVD but only as a Region 1 (ie USA) version – which will not play over here. However, for the present, it can be watched in its entirety on Youtube.

    I never knew this BBC series existed until a few days ago. As others may know already, this is an extremely well made version and faithful to the story – unlike the travesty of the big screen version “The Eagle”. Quite why it has never been released by the BBC I know not. A tale of empire (Roman not British) and daring doings probably doesn’t accord with their left wing bias! When it was made the BBC produced excellent drama, whereas now …


    • I did a search and cannot find the DVD version for US systems of the BBC series that you refer to. Would you mind pointing it out to me? Thanks,


    • There is now a version available for Uk dvd on amazon. Seems sourced from bbc archives, but not sure if official or the quality. Will find out for sure later tonight.


      • My SimpleMedia version arrived, and although marginally better quality than the download below, it is hard to believe from official bbc source.


  2. I don’t do Mac but there apparently is a Mac version of uTorrent:

    If you use uTorrent, make sure you turn off all the stupid ‘devices’ and other crap, and don’t install any piggybacked ad software. uTorrent is not the completely clean app it was in days of yore. (Which is why I use an ancient version.)

    I see Transmission in the client list sometimes, and it looks decent enough, tho I haven’t tried it myself:

    Vuze is also popular but I know nothing about it.

    There is only one seed right now, with a very slow connection (at least to me), so it’s going to take a long, long time to get 2GB worth. Would help if folks could seed for a few weeks after getting it all.


    • Hi Reziac,

      I can see you in my peer list. At this time you are at 68% @ about 35-48kbs. It should not take long now. I have been seeding this for about 2 months now and have uploaded about 36 gigs worth.


      • Ah, so that’s you :)

        Yep, that sounds about right… am now at 79% now and coming at a good clip.

        Did everyone else finish up? Right now I only see 1 seed, 1 seed not connected, and one peer (myself).


        • You must have finished downloading as you have disappeared and I have no other peers connected at this point till someone lese downloads the torrent. You should enjoy it in AVI format. The quality is quite reasonable.


          • Forum ate the first attempt, let’s try this again!

            Yep, all arrived about an hour ago… thanks so much!

            I just peeked at the first one, and right, it’s pretty decent quality for having started life as VHS. Better than some DVDs I have of old shows. Looking forward to viewing it!


        • Depends not only on the vagaries of your connection, but also on the seeder’s connection. When I’m using the net I throttle it down some (cuz I don’t have a lot of bandwidth), but if I’m not, I’ll let it run faster. I see two of you right now, both going along at a good clip (one almost done, one barely started!) 3 seeds and 3 peers now. Is that all us, just these six folks??

          Incidentally the ‘reply’ link in the last two forum reply messages goes to the 404 page. It worked yesterday…??


          • Great I have it all. And now streaming to my TV. Wonderful, thank you. I will leave it seeding if I can get the hang of that! And check out the error.


          • I’ve found it’s not a good idea to stream while downloading. If the player and the torrent client both try to access the same sector at the same time, one or both is likely to crash.

            BTW there’s no reply link on your latest post… it seems to do this occasionally, ???


        • There’s just one seed (one person who has the complete copy and is offering it) and I see 5 peers right now. Once a couple other people get a complete copy and start seeding, it should go faster.

          uTorrent is threatening me with a whole week or longer before it all arrives here!


          • Hi all, I have 100% of the torrent and I am seeding it at the moment at max for me which is outbound at up to 80kbs. Its the best I can do with my connection. Just be patient and it will arrive soon enough. At present there are only two connections taking from me. Enjoy.


          • Coming at a better speed now, off and on. Looks like I’ll have it all within my lifetime! :) I’ll let it seed as long as I can, tho I don’t have a very good connection, being piggybacked on my landlord’s wireless.


          • I have three peer connections now. They should also be seeding so hopefully it wont take too long.


          • Well, better late than never to learn about Torrents, peer to peer downlaoding etc. I ow understand it is seeds that give and peers that take? I am ridiculously pleased to see this morning that nearly 50% is downloaded now, and that the text document is fully downloaded. It says :
            “Created from VHS recordings.

            Video and Audio quality is not bad considering.

            Please share.

            Thank you all…..


          • With torrents, everyone both gives and takes. It’s considered bad form (“leeching”) to just take, tho you don’t really get to decide which you do — it’s more supply and demand. If there are tons of seeds (people with the whole thing) you may not have anyone taking from you at all.

            When there are plenty of seeds, or if you have a poor connection, you may want to limit your upload speed (and sometimes your download speed as well) so it doesn’t hog your whole connection.

            Also, if things are too slow you can do a search for the ‘hash’ (should be on the info tab of your client) and see if it’s listed by other trackers, then copy those into the individual torrent’s tracker list. Sometimes this helps, sometimes not.

            Beats hell out of schlepping DVDs overseas, tho :)


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