Back in the days when Television companies had budgets for quality childrens programming, and still had a remit to entertain and educate, ‘The Feathered Serpent’ was, to quote the summary of the series that accompanies the DVD release by Network;
Starring Diane Keen and Patrick Troughton, The Feathered Serpent is a story of murder, intrigue and political manoeuvring set amid the splendour and turmoil of ancient Mexico. This release comprises every episode of the children’s drama series from Thames Television, memorable for its spectacular sets and lavish costumes, originally transmitted between 1976 and 1978.
Within the Toltec civilisation of ancient Mexico, ritual human sacrifice was an accepted part of everyday life. Our story begins as the old religion of the peaceful god Quala – “The Feathered Serpent” – is coming to an end; whereas Quala only demanded offerings of fruit and flowers, Nasca, the fanatical and power-hungry priest, calls for “blood, and yet more blood” to satisfy the new god Teshcata – “The Smoking Mirror”. Against this backdrop, Tozo a young servant boy, is sent by his master Prince Heumac, King of the Toltecs, to the court of the mighty Emperor Kukulkhan – a peaceful ruler who hopes to bring about the return of Quala by means of an arranged marriage between his daughter Chimalma and Prince Heumac. Tozo quickly becomes caught up in a battle between the forces of good and evil, and must call upon all his strength and ingenuity to survive…
from the Network DVD site – http://www.networkdvd.net/product_info.php?products_id=786
What we have here (below) is a very generous person putting a clip of ABC television (Australia) from 1981, and it contains, among other things, a couple of minutes of the show itself, and the end credits to ‘The Feathered Serpent’. Okay, it is not the intro, but as soon as I get the box set, or find the video posted somewhere, I will stick it on here. There is enough to give you an idea that it was a bit unsettling – quick, close your eyes!!!!;
Unbelievably, this used to be on in the daylight, when kids were still awake etc. Imagine what it was like watching it in the Autumn and Winter when it was getting dark at around 4.30, around the time slot this was broadcast. The intro was far worse, with flaming skulls floating around, superimposed over a blood red skyline (from what I remember) as an eerie soundtrack played out over the top. With scary voices chanting. It used to FREAK ME OUT.
http://www.denofgeek.com/Reviews/200469/the_feathered_serpent_the_complete_series_dvd_review.html – The lovely Den of Geek review ‘The Feathered Serpent’.
http://ftvdb.bfi.org.uk/sift/series/33226 – The BFI (British Film Institute) entry for ‘The Feathered Serpent’.