Jack Holborn

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Television series
Original title Jack Holborn
Country of production Germany
original language English
year 1982
length approx. 55 minutes
Episodes 6 or 12 ( list )
genre Adventure series
idea based on a book by Leon Garfield
music Christian Bruhn
First broadcast December 21, 1982 on TV DRS
  • Patrick Bach : Jack Holborn
  • Matthias Habich : Captain Sharingham, Judge Sharingham
  • Andreas Mannkopff : Vronsky
  • Terence Cooper : Morris
  • Monte Markham : Trumpet
  • Jeremy Stephens: Pobjoy
  • Franz Blauensteiner: Taploe
  • Heinz Wanitschek: Clarke
  • Jovan Janicijevic: Carfax
  • Frano Lasic: Boatswain
  • Zoran Pokupec: Palmer
  • Brian Flegg: Captain Cox
  • Tricia James: Lady Myra
  • Patrick Smyth: Admiral
  • David Weatherley : Harbor Master
  • Dragan Lakovic: Mr. Arrows
  • Ljiljana Krstic: Mrs. Arrows

Jack Holborn in 1982 was the fourth ZDF - Christmas series . It is the film adaptation of the pirate story of the same name by Leon Garfield , published in 1964 , the first novel by the British author. After Silas (1981), Patrick Bach played a leading role for the second of four times in a ZDF Christmas series. Directed by Sigi Rothemund .


Director Sigi Rothemund wrote the script together with Justus Pfaue based on the youth novel of the same name by Leon Garfield. The shooting language was English because of international cast, the series was dubbed. The German actors dubbed themselves. The film was shot in Croatia.


The 13-year-old orphan boy Jack Holborn (named after the London borough where he was found) lives in an orphanage in Bristol and wants nothing more than to be a cabin boy and sail the oceans. This wish seems to come true when the privateer Captain Sharingham wants to take him on his ship, the "Charming Molly". Captain Sharingham, protected by his privateer's letter, is involved in opaque arms deals with pirates . For this reason, the captain's twin brother, Lord Judge Sharingham, rejects his brother's request and awards Jack to the Seiler family of Arrows for training.

Jack does not feel comfortable with the Arrows family and flees. His destination is the "Charming Molly", on which he hides as a stowaway. Jack is haunted by fragmentary memories of his early childhood, in which “Charming Molly”, the captain and his parents keep appearing. The ship is now under the command of Captain Cox, after Captain Sharingham was caught by British warships at a handover of arms and had to flee with part of his crew. Jack is discovered stealing ham and is tied to the masthead by Cox - despite the nocturnal storm. One day later, the "Charming Molly" is recaptured by Captain Sharingham and his pirates in order to capture the diamond treasure ship "Esperance". For cabin boy named Jack hopes to learn something about his family and the events in his memoirs of Sharingham. He promises to tell the truth if Jack saves his life three times. In the course of the story, Jack Sharingham even saves the life five times - however not the captain, but his twin brother, the lord judge, whom he believes to be the captain:

  1. Captain Sharingham, condemned as a pirate in Bristol after his “Charming Molly” was recaptured, meets his twin brother, who wants to arrest him, while on shore leave on the island of Nautia. There is a duel between the two, in which the lord judge is seriously injured. The captain takes his brother's clothes and escapes. At the same time Jack discovers the almost dead Lord Judge and brings him to the ship. Assuming that the injured Lord Judge is the captain, the "Charming Molly" sets sail. Jack takes care of the lord judge and saves his life for the first time.
  2. Because boatswain Morris does not want to go on a pirate voyage without the orders of his captain, a mutiny ensues in which Sharingham is also said to be killed. Jack and Morris manage to put down the mutiny. Jack saved the Lord Judge's life for the second time.
  3. Shortly afterwards, the "Charming Molly" gets into a terrible storm and collides with the "Esperance". Jack, Sharingham, Morris, Vronsky and the shipwrecked Trumpet are stranded on the West African coast and recover from the wreck of the "Esperance" a huge diamond and a treasure that Trumpet once brought on board. With shared booty, they wander through the swamps towards the interior of the country, with Morris exposing the supposed captain as the lord judge and therefore wants to shoot him. But Jack's remark that the previous lifesavings are thus useless, brings Morris away from his intention to kill, so that the Lord Judge gratefully states: “You see, Jack? Now you have saved my life for the third time. "
  4. A little later, Sharingham is captured by passing slave hunters. After a few days, the survivors reach a settlement and discover Sharingham at the slave market. Jack uses his share of the treasure to buy Sharingham and thus saves his life for the fourth time.
  5. Lord Justice Sharingham travels home to Bristol with Jack to clarify the fate of his parents, among other things, but is reported there by Captain Cox and brought to justice. It is chaired by the twin brother, Captain Sharingham, who has been pretending to be Lord Judge for weeks. Since Jack testifies against the captain, the hoax is exposed and the impostor is sentenced to death by hanging . In this way Jack saves the life of the rightful lord judge for the fifth time.

In order to avoid the rope, the convicted captain offers a new deal in prison: if Jack saves his life this time, he will find out the whole story of his parents.

Jack accepts the offer and, on his next visit, smuggles a small silver tube into the dungeon, which Captain Sharingham wants to insert into his windpipe before his execution in order to survive the strangulation by the rope. Jack now learns that his parents should be banished to a penal colony . Sharingham, then a respectable captain, agreed to help the family escape. Just as the family wanted to cross over to the “Charming Molly” in a dinghy on a foggy night, soldiers put them at sea. In the following exchange of fire, Jack's father used his mother cowardly as a human shield against the bullets of the soldiers. Sharingham, who feared being discovered, shot Jack's father from behind and was just able to get his mother on board his ship. Finally, Jack learns that his mother is still alive and is now the wife of the Lord of the Admiralty.

Despite Jack's help, Sharingham does not survive the gallows : While he is dangling from the rope, a man from his former ship's crew hangs on his legs with the intention of hastening his death, and causes a broken neck.

Episode list

Episode overview
No. title First broadcast Runtime (DVD)
1 A stowaway Dec 25, 1982 51:09 min.
2 Landing on Nautia Dec. 26, 1982 52:22 min.
3 A new man on board Dec. 27, 1982 51:08 min.
4th Adventurous expedition Dec. 28, 1982 46:45 min.
5 Return to England Dec 29, 1982 50:35 min.
6th The truth about Jack Dec. 30, 1982 49:51 min.

The series is broadcast in six episodes of 55 minutes each or 12 episodes of 25 minutes each. It is also available on DVD.

The music

The composer Christian Bruhn delivered one of his rarer symphonic works with the soundtrack composed for this purpose. The recording with the Munich Symphony Orchestra Kurt Graunke was released on CD in 2004 as part of the Generation TV cult series.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Croatia - on the trail of Winnetou and Game of Thrones - Schüren Verlag. In: schueren-verlag.de. Retrieved October 1, 2017 .
  2. Jack Holborn - Episode Guide. In: fernsehserien.de. Retrieved October 3, 2017 .