Kabir Bedi in Sandokan (1976).''Courtesy WebPhoto''

5.00 PM Introduction by Mario Mainetti (“TV 70” associate curator)
5.30 PM SANDOKAN – Episode 1 and 2
7.45 PM SANDOKAN – Episode 3 and 4
10.00 PM SANDOKAN – Episode 5 and 6

The third Director-General of Rai, Ettore Bernabei, was the first to conceive of adapting Salgari’s novels for the small screen towards the end of the 1970s. Years later, in an innovative example of international co-production, the director Sergio Sollima became involved, accepting the challenge on the condition that he could direct only in genuine locations, with Asian actors and total realism. The result was the first television adaptation to carry as much weight as a legend of cinema. The novels were mined for their most suitable subjects: Sandokan’s defence against English colonialism and his troubled love for Marianna; the struggle against the ruthless speculator Brooke, intent on exploiting the land. The six episodes, which met with extraordinary success at the time, feature betrayals, daring rescues, mistaken identities, love stories, tiger hunts, disguises, and cholera epidemics, with the emergence of other important characters: the pirate’s dear friend, Yanez; the young English colonel, Sir William Fitzgerald, who was manipulated by Brooke; and the hunter Tremal-Naik, a sort of alter ego of the protagonist’s.

from the novels The Tigers of Mompracen and The Pirates of Malaysia by Emilio Salgari
screenplay Antonia Lucatelli, Giuseppe Mangione, Manlio Scarpelli, Alberto Silvestri and Sergio Sollima
directed by Sergio Sollima
photography Marcello Masciocchi
editor Alberto Gallitti
set and costume designer Vittorio Nino Novarese
music Guido e Maurizio De Angelis (Oliver Onions)
main cast Kabir Bedi, Philippe Leroy, Carole André, Andrea Giordana, Hans Ganinenberg, Milla Sannoner, Renzo Giovampietro, Adolfo Celi.
coproduction Rai – Ortf – Bavaria Film made by Titanus Distribuzione
broadcast on Programma Nazionale from 06.01.1976 to 08.02.1976