In 1883, Robert Louis Stevenson’s narrative "Treasure Island" was first published as a novel. Since that time, there have been numerous adaptations of the story, including several films and made-for-TV movies.
From 5-9 p.m. Saturday, May 5, Syfy will present the most recent of these adaptations in a one-night only movie event by showing both halves of a two-part miniseries simply titled, “Treasure Island.”
It is impossible to quantify the effect that the original "Treasure Island" has had on the swashbuckling pirate genre, not to mention on modern and classic storytelling as a whole. From one-legged pirates with parrots on their shoulders to the infamous “X marks the spot,” "Treasure Island" has been the origin of much that has become popularized about 18th century pirates and the high seas. And viewers will likely find Syfy’s “Treasure Island” to be a suitable tribute to such a classic.
“Treasure Island” will feature Eddie Izzard as the crafty Long John Silver, Elijah Wood as Ben Gunn and Donald Sutherland as Captain Flint, along with Toby Regbo as the young Jim Hawkins, Shirley Henderson as Jim’s mother and Nina Sosanya as Silver’s wife.
Viewers will enjoy watching this new spin on Stevenson’s classic tale of fantastical treasure, youthful courage and murderous greed. As one might expect, it does include several instances of violence that sensitive viewers might find disturbing, but also avoids excessive gore, vulgarity and lewdness. Overall, it's a pleasant retelling of a classic tale that almost anyone can enjoy, especially those who might be unfamiliar with the story.
While it boasts a number of stars in its cast, “Treasure Island” still clearly lacks the budget of one of its silver screen counterparts, but makes a heartfelt effort nonetheless. It also takes the time to allow the story to unfold in a way that is easy to follow and allows the characters to progress and grow, or reveal their true selves, at a reasonable rate.
Far from the blockbusters of the big screen, this rendition of an archetypal story will still be a treat for viewers of all ages and for anyone at any level of familiarity with its original narrative or with the ever-popular genre of pirates and hidden treasure.