The Water Margin (1973 TV series)

The Water Margin is a Japanese television series based on the 14th-century book Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. Made in two seasons of 13 episodes each by Nippon Television it was shown in Japan in 1973 and 1974 as 水滸伝 (Hepburn: Suikoden).[1][2]

The Water Margin
English title card
GenreCostume drama, martial arts
Written byShi Nai'an (original novel)
StarringAtsuo Nakamura
Sanae Tsuchida
Kei Satō
Isamu Nagato
Theme music composerMasaru Sato
Country of originJapan
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes26
Running time45 minutes per episode
Original release
Release1973 (1973) –
1974 (1974)

The novel details the trials and tribulations of 108 outlaws during the Song Dynasty. This adaptation follows Lin Chung (Atsuo Nakamura) and his clashes with the local government official Kao Chiu (Kei Satō).

For an English-language version, it was adapted by David Weir without translations, using only brief plot synopses.[3] The dubbed version, narrated by Burt Kwouk, was shown by the BBC from 1976 to 1978.[4] An English novelisation, written by Weir, was released in 1978 as Water Margin.[5]

Episode list edit

Series 1 edit

The first ten episodes were shown on the BBC from 21 September 1976 to 23 November 1976. The final three episodes were shown just before series 2 from 20 September 1977 to 4 October 1977.

No. Title BBC airdate
1"Nine dozen heroes and one wicked man"21 September 1976 (1976-09-21)
2"None ever escape alive"28 September 1976 (1976-09-28)
3"Both at last will reach the sea"5 October 1976 (1976-10-05)
4"Ever busy are the gods of love"12 October 1976 (1976-10-12)
5"A Treasure of gold and jade"19 October 1976 (1976-10-19)
6"Bandits who steal are executed"26 October 1976 (1976-10-26)
7"How easy to die, how hard to live"2 November 1976 (1976-11-02)
8"A man's only happiness"9 November 1976 (1976-11-09)
9"A dutiful son and the love of a brother"16 November 1976 (1976-11-16)
10"Escape is not freedom"23 November 1976 (1976-11-23)
11"The girl who loved the flower priest"20 September 1977 (1977-09-20)
12"Kao Chiu loses his heart"27 September 1977 (1977-09-27)
13"When Liang Shan Po robbed the poor"4 October 1977 (1977-10-04)

Series 2 edit

On the BBC series 2 followed on from series 1, shown from 11 October 1977 to 3 January 1978.

# Title BBC airdate
1"A death for love, more deaths from greed"11 October 1977 (1977-10-11)
2"The bravest tiger is first killed"18 October 1977 (1977-10-18)
3"Heaven aims the master's arrow"25 October 1977 (1977-10-25)
4"The traps of love and hate"1 November 1977 (1977-11-01)
5"A foolish sage who got involved"8 November 1977 (1977-11-08)
6"Mourn the slaughter of so many"15 November 1977 (1977-11-15)
7"The war to end all wars"22 November 1977 (1977-11-22)
8"Death of a great man"29 November 1977 (1977-11-29)
9"Lin Chung is beaten"6 December 1977 (1977-12-06)
10"A concubine's dowry"13 December 1977 (1977-12-13)
11"Liang Shan Po and the millionaire"20 December 1977 (1977-12-20)
12"Knight of the long sword"27 December 1977 (1977-12-27)
13"The dynasty of Kao"3 January 1978 (1978-01-03)

Home video edit

In the UK a DVD box set of both series was released by Fabulous Films in 2005.[6] This was of a censored version broadcast before the watershed by the BBC in the early 1980s. In 2016 the series was reissued on DVD[7] and Blu-ray[8] with missing portions reinserted that were included in the original 1970s post-watershed broadcast. All UK releases only contain the English dubbed soundtrack.

In Germany a DVD box set was issued by Alive AG in 2008,[9] followed by deluxe[10] and basic[11] Blu-ray sets in 2016 and 2017. As with the UK the series was also originally broadcast in a dubbed version, but all German DVD and Blu-ray releases have also included optional original Japanese audio with German subtitles. In its native Japan, the series was issued in a DVD box set in 2008.[12]

Cast edit


English voices edit


See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Suikoden (TV series)". Archived from the original on 22 October 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  2. ^ allcinema. "映画データベース – allcinema". Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  3. ^ Radio Times magazine, 10–17 November 1979, pp 15–16
  4. ^ "Marty's Web Pages: The Water Margin". Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  5. ^ Weir, D. 1978, Water Margin, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, ISBN 0-297-77485-9
  6. ^ "The Water Margin: The Complete Series DVD (2005)". Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  7. ^ "The Water Margin: The Complete Series DVD (2016)". Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  8. ^ "The Water Margin: The Complete Series Blu-ray (2016)". Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  9. ^ "Die Rebellen vom Liang Shan Po: Die komplette Serie DVD (2008)". Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  10. ^ "Die Rebellen vom Liang Shan Po: Die komplette Serie Deluxe Collector's Edition Blu-ray (2017)". Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  11. ^ "Die Rebellen vom Liang Shan Po: Die komplette Serie Blu-ray (2017)". Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  12. ^
  13. ^ "水滸伝". ドラマ. Retrieved 19 December 2019.
  14. ^ "The Water Margin". Retrieved 19 May 2023.

External links edit