THE FEATHERED SERPENT was a children's show produced in 1976 by Thames television. The seventies were a crazy time for historical dramas; I, CLAUDIUS, THE CLEOPATRAS, THE WARRIOR QUEEN, ARTHUR OF THE BRITONS, and on and on. They had no fear in the choice of subject. If you think that a UK show couldn't pull off THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS, then you are quite wrong...as wrong as I was about this show. Lots of costumes, big, garish sets, and larger-than-life intrigue, splashed across a historical universe that really could only exist in the imagination...and what an imagination.
I'm honestly amazed that this was a children's show! There are brutal murders here; it's actually quite chilling at times. Troughton really was a master at playing an utter sociopath, capable of shifting with each development in order to further his goals. The rest of the cast was fun, and I got lost in the interior logic of their imaginary ancient Mexico. THE FEATHERED SERPENT really was a pleasant surprise.
Well, pleasant may not me the right word, actually, but it was certainly captivating.