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Kidnapped
updated 11.27.2006

Warning! Plot points may be revealed below!

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
I'm only 12 years old, but my favorite thing to do is read. When I read Kidnapped, I fell in love with the people and the story. When I watched the Masterpiece Theatre version, I loved it! I think all the actors did a great job.

Rhiannon
Honolulu, HI




Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
As a 16-year-old kid, I totally appreciated and fell in love with the epic and adventure-filled story of Kidnapped! Being a "Jacobite Patriot," I was thrilled by how the director and actors brought out the energy of the rebellions in the 1700s and also how they stayed true to Stevenson's amazing story! Two thumbs up! Scotland rocks!

Aaron Bott
Layton, UT




Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
Over Thanksgiving break my family watched Kidnapped and thought it was absolutely brilliant. The scenery was great, the lines were funny and the acting was superb. I'm now researching more into it and reading the book.

Great line:
Alan: So, Davie, have you a sweetheart back home?
Davie: The only women I've met have tried to steal my money or burn my clothes.

Karen Hanson
Chicago, IL




Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
Kidnapped was a great presentation, but featured an unfortunate musical anachronism. The tune of "Amazing Grace" isn't Scottish. It's an American folk tune that wasn't published until 1831/1832 and most likely wasn't heard in the British Isles until well into the 19th century. Then it took another 138 years for it to become part of the piping repertoire, when the Royal Scots Dragoons transposed the tune in 1969.

F. X. McDonald


The words to "Amazing Grace" were written in the 18th century by a former slave trader, Londoner John Newton (1725-1807). Ordained in 1764, Newton became curate of the small rural town of Olney.

The Web site for the PBS series Life 360 adds this background:

(Newton) often wrote hymns for weekly services... In Newton's day, hymns were spoken and not sung, and illiterate parishioners memorized the words. Newton's original wording contained six stanzas, although many alterations have been made during the past 300 years.

The hymn's title has also changed. Newton called it Faith's Review and Expectation, and when he published it in a 1779 manual of hymns, he included a reference to First Chronicles, 17:16-17.

The origin of the melody is uncertain, but is thought to derive from an early American folk song entitled Loving Lambs, a tune possibly sung by Southern slaves. A version of the tune was published in 1831 in Virginia.
Bill Moyers produced a documentary about "Amazing Grace" in 1990.




Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
Where was this filmed? Not in Scotland. New Zealand perhaps?

Tom Laurenson
Millbrook



Kidnapped was filmmed in New Zealand.



Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
Iain Glen was absolutely spot on and perfect. I used to live in Scotland and have always been disappointed at seeing non-Scots playing Alan Breck (like Armand Assante). It is easy to tell a real Scot and Glen was clearly genuine. I didn't realize he played John Speke in Mountains of the Moon. He is truly an excellent actor we should see more from in the future.

Michael Stone
Norman, OK




Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
What a true "masterpiece" Kidnapped is, both the book and television series, in beautifully conveying the true feeling of another place and time. It is both true to the original and expressive of universal truths. Robert Louis Stevenson's passion for social justice and for the self-determination of proud if weak peoples oppressed by stronger nations is as timely today as it was in the 1880s when he wrote his masterpiece.

Bruce Johnson
Grand Rapids, MI




Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
I just caught the conclusion of Kidnapped with Iain Glen. Unfortunately I missed the first episode, but loved this adaptation of a book I had treasured as a kid. The Scottish location shooting is magnificent, and the performances perfect.

Monica Schonfeldt
Vancouver, BC




Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
As a life-long student of the "Appin Murder," around which Stevenson based Kidnapped, I was enthusiastic about this new production -- even though I had a feeling it would be more faithful to Stevenson and less to the historical truth of the events. After all, the true historical events of the Appin Murder and the subsequent miscarriage of justice that led to the hanging of James "James of the Glen" Stewart were only plot motivators for Stevenson. Still, this is a rollicking tale, nicely delivered and beautifully filmed.

I think Iain Glen's Alan Breck is more convincing than Peter Finch's in the older Disney version. Still, it would've been nice to have James Stewart portrayed for what he truly was -- a national hero, brave, unfaltering and a true believer in Scottish nationalism and independence. Historians cite the end of the Jacobite rebellions as November 8, 1752 -- the day James was hung at Ballachulish.

Dudley-Brian Smith
Baton Rouge, LA




Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
Great start. I just watched the beginning of this epic tale. What a wonderful choice. I love the acting. I now want to read the book. I wish you would do more of the classics -- maybe Count of Monte Cristo.

Buddy Buddy
Morehead City, NC




Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
I was very disappointed with this version of Kidnapped. The countryside and settings were laughable. Wherever the program was shot, it certainly wasn't Queensferry and those were certainly not Highland mountains.

John Gibb
Stella, NC



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