The Feathered Serpent

1976 | United Kingdom

Studio-bound Children's drama series set in the Aztec period starring former Doctor Who Patrick Troughton; formerly the hero of millions - but here the villain of the piece. 

Emperor Kukulkhan (Tony Steedman) wishes to bring about the end of sacrifices and other barbaric practices much to the disdain of his High Priest, Nasca (Troughton), who is fearful of losing his own quite considerable powers in the process. He concocts a plan that will draw in Kukulkhan's daughter, Chimalma (Diane Keene), the boy Prince Heumac (Brian Deacon) and a servant boy, Tozo (Richard Willis). Nasca weaves a web of deceitful lies and manipulation which ends with Heumic being sent to the summit of the Pyramid of the Sun to be sacrificed. However, he manages to survive and when the second series aired (two years later) Nasca is still at his conniving best and this time has employed the services of an old witch, Keelag (Sheila Burrell), who claims she can help him in his nefarious plans with the aid of magic and sorcery. As if Heumac hasn't got enough to contend with his intended marriage to Chimalma is disputed by Xipec (Granville Saxton), Governor of the Gold Region who sets him a series of challenges in order to prove his worthiness. 

The Feathered Serpent
The TV Times page for 21 June 1976, featuring The Feathered Serpent.

The implied violence and savagery in this teatime presentation wouldn't have been out of place in an adult series and the costumes were lavishly colourful and authentic, although Chimalma's wedding dress was designed by a competition winner in the children's magazine Look-In.

Published on December 11th, 2018. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.