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. Only just saw this message from John in Melbourne, but I would love a copy of the series. I saw it when it was first broadcast and have been looking for a copy ever since. Happy to pay for postage etc to Uk.


  2. Hi John,
    I just found this site while looking for some other info on Rosemary Sutcliff. Is it possible to get a DVD copy of Eagle of the Ninth from you. I watched it when I was a teenager and read the book many times. I did not think it would ever be possible to see it again. I wish the BBC would re release it.
    Thank you,


          • Hi John,

            Thank you ever so much for that. Do I owe you anything for it? By the way can you delete my post with my address on?

            Thanks again



          • Hi Johnm

            No you don’t owe anything. I’m afraid I have no idea how to delete posts on this site.




          • Hello John, I am writing from Australia. I have been searching for the BBC’s 1977 Eagle of the Ninth TV series for years! We watched it in year 8 history and I would be over the moon to see it again. If you are still taking the trouble to share them, I would dearly, dearly, dearly love a copy. I could transfer you any cost, which I think is quite easy to do internationally via Paypal. Hope to hear from you. My email address is aniqa.bano “at” Best wishes


  3. Hi everyone.
    For many years the BBC production of “Eagle is something I’ve so wanted to own. If any of the above good people would be prepared to let me have a dvd copy I would be one happy man. All fees and postal costs will be paid by p/pal if possible. Again many thanks if anyone can help with this.


  4. I recall watching eagle of the ninth when I was a school kid but all I remember now is the credits as i remember the eagle was shown as the writing came up
    I would live to watch it again as im a fan of Roman films anyway over the decade as I am also fan of historical epics and


  5. I cannot believe that there is a chance a copy exists of the 1977 series! I fell in love with Marcus and Roman Britain aged seven when this was shown in UK. I forced my little brother to play “Marcus and Esca” in our grandparents’ garden, using a clothes horse and dust sheet for a pretend tent. I was obsessed with reading Sutcliff from that year. Her stories still haunt – particularly Sun Horse, Moon Horse. I have seen the tiny Youtube clip of the series but am so hopeful of having a copy of the whole having found this blog. If anyone can help my email is


  6. I’ve been a reader of Miss Sutcliff’s books for over 40 years, since my high school librarian suggested them to me. I was even fortunate enough to correspond with her briefly in the late 1970s. Just now re-listening to the Roman Britain trilogy downloaded from


  7. Is this true? There still exist copies of the BBC series? I surched for it on the internet to give one to my daughter, who is a sutcliff-addict just like her mom, for her 18th birthday. After all, I was happy to dig out the audio-version. Is there any possibility to get a copy send to Germany? Of course not for free. Travelling across water took a fee even in ancient roman times. ;-)


    • Drop me a line at the sistermine email address above. I’m currently struggling to copy the disc but happy to send something to Germany. We can talk details over email.


    • Colleen, and others looking for a copy – if you are in the USA pleas get in touch with me. John sent me a copy so I can work out a way to get it to others. I am currently breaking up the copy I have into episodes; please get in touch with me and I will let you know what I can offer. My address is


      • Hi – thank you for that – I live in Australia, own an independent music and movie store and I am trying to source a copy for a customer. If you can assist that would be great. Thanks! Col.


        • Colleen, my copy came from Australia where it was taped from tv. I have agreed to distribute copies in the US but not elsewhere. It is possible that someone will get something available online, but It won’t be me. It also seems that you might be doing this for money – I don’t want to take part in that. I don’t think there is a commercial copy available.


          • Hi again – I get lots of weird and wonderful requests and yes, this is on behalf of a customer. They always ask me to do things for them they can’t do themselves – and I find it hard to say no.

            I’m happy to not be involved – if she is up to it, can I provide your information to the lady concerned and leave it up to her to follow it up?

            Just one less job for me!




    • Happy to send a copy to those in UK, courtesy of John’s largesse. Send an email to sistermine6 at gmail dot com. It’ll be slow as I’m struggling to copy the disc at present, but when I work it out…


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