A column of French Legionaires find one of their fortresses manned by dead men. It looks like one of his own troops killed the sergeant-major. Who could have done it? A flashback then unravels the mystery of the three English Geste brothers. The three Geste brothers, orphaned early in life, are raised by their aunt at Brandon Abbas. Their raucous youths are filled with the literature of adventure and ritualised horseplay centered around these myths and legends. So when the family’s prized ‘Blue Water’ sapphire turns up missing, each of the young men confesses to being the thief in order to protect the others and one by one, they head off to join the French Foreign Legion. The three brother meet up in the deserts of Africa where they fall under the command of the malevolent Sergeant Lejaune. Not content to merely be a martinet, Lejaune sets his sights on stealing the jewel, which rumour holds to be in the brothers’ possession. Meanwhile, the unruly troops he commands are planning a mutiny and the marauding Tauregs pin this badly outnumbered and bitterly divided unit of Legionnaires at Fort Zinderneuf. The ensuing drama plays itself out as the French forces battle overwhelming odds. Will the Geste brothers get out alive and will the reason for the jewel theft ever be revealed? Dramatised in 6 parts by Greg Snow from Percival Christopher Wren’s 1924 adventure novel, “Beau Geste”. Directed by Adrian Bean

Note: The phrase “beau geste” is from the French, meaning “a gracious (or fine) gesture”.

Part 1 – Brandon Abbas, England, 1912. Beau Geste and his band play their make-believe naval-engagements on the grounds of their Aunt Patricia’s estate. It was on this particular day that John Geste first remembers seeing the ‘Blue Water’ sapphire. Later that evening, the Geste boys had the privilege of seeing and handling the ‘Blue Water’ gem. It was a great sapphire worth, some say, more than £30,000 which their Uncle Hector gave their Aunt Patricia, Lady Brandon, as a wedding gift. It is this gem that will change the lives of the boys, forever.
Several years later, George Lawrence, a member of the Nigerian Civil Service and close friend to Lady Patricia, runs into an old friend, Captain Henri de Beaujolais of the Spahis, as they met on the railway station platform of the wonderful Red City, Kano, Nigeria, sister city to Timbuktu. Henri has a tall tale to tell and needs George to be his ‘Watson’ and help him solve the mystery of the strange events at Fort Zinderneuf….
With Christopher Godwin [Captain Henri de Beaujolais of the French Foreign Legion], Christopher Good [George Lawrence, a Nigerian Official], Avril Clark [Lady Patricia Brandon, the Geste’s Aunt], Lyndam Gregory [Sergeant-Major Dufour], Jack Hodd [Young Michael (Beau) Geste aka ‘The Captain’], Oliver Miller-Oates [Young John Geste aka ‘Feeble Geste’], Jonathan Marchant-Heatley [Young Digby Geste aka ‘The Lieutenant’, Michael’s Twin], Scott Cherry [Older Digby Geste], Jonathan Shelton [Young Augustus Brandon aka ‘Ghastly Gustus’, Lady Patricia’s Nephew], Lucy Dawson [Young Isobel Rivers aka ‘Faithful Hound’, Lady Patricia’s Niece], Lily Souza [Young Claudia, aka ‘The Queen’], Malcolm Ward [Rastignac, Soldier of the Foreign Legion / David, Lady Brandon’s Underfootman], Stuart Milligan [Hank, an American Soldier in the Foreign Legion], Christopher Ryan [Buddy, an American Soldier in the Foreign Legion], and Tom Bevan [The Cabby].

Part 2 – Henri de Beaujolais has ended his mysterious story of the strange events at Fort Zinderneuf by reading a piece of paper found in the dead commandant’s hand. It was a letter addressed to the Chief of Police of Scotland Yard and all whom it may concern: “Confession. Urgent. Please publish. For fear that any innocent person may be suspected, I hearby fully and freely confess that it was I, and I alone, who stole the great sapphire known as ‘Blue Water’.” The letter was signed Michael Geste. …
The year is 1920. While Lady Brandon is showing the ‘Blue Water’ sapphire to a number of guests at her home one evening, the light go out leaving the room in pitch black. A few moments later, the lights come back on but the ‘Blue Water’ has disappeared and suspicion soon falls on Beau. …
With David Lumsden [Michael (Beau) Geste], Michael Lumsden [John Geste], Scott Cherry [Digby Geste], Avril Clark [Lady Patricia Brandon, the Geste’s Aunt], Antony Howes [Augustus Brandon], Oona Beeson [Isobel Rivers, Lady Patricia’s Niece], Beverly Foster [Claudia], John Evitts [The Reverend Maurice Ffolliot / The Constable / The Pawnbroker], John Church [The Colonel at the Recruiting Office], Malcolm Ward [David, Lady Brandon’s Underfootman / The Recruiting Sergeant-Major], and Tom Bevan [The Railway Ticket Collector].

Part 3 – The Recruiting Office of the French Foreign Legion, Paris, 1920. John Geste has joined the French Foreign Legion, following in what he believes are in the footsteps of his two older brothers, Beau and Digby. His is given hope by the colonel at the recruiting office who tells him that he is the third Englishman that week sign up for the Legion. Beau had left after confessing to have stolen the ‘Blue Water’ though he admitted to his brothers that it wasn’t him. Who is he shielding?
John is sent to Marseilles where he meets a non-commissioned Sergeant who brings him to Fort St. Jean, the military depot where he is to report. There, he makes friends with two Americans, Hank and Buddy, former Texas Rangers who have also joined the Foreign Legion, looking for adventure….
With David Lumsden [Michael (Beau) Geste], Michael Lumsden [John Geste], Scott Cherry [Digby Geste], John Church [The Colonel at the Recruiting Office], Malcolm Ward [The Recruiting Sergeant-Major], John Baddeley [A French Army Sergeant], Nigel Anthony [Francesco Boldini, Soldier in the Foreign Legion], Stuart Milligan [Hank, an American Recruit in the Foreign Legion], Christopher Ryan [Buddy, an American Recruit in the Foreign Legion], Lyndam Gregory [Ship’s Quartermaster], and Tom Bevan [Vogué, a French Petty Official].

Part 4 – John Geste and the rest of the new recruits have left Marseilles on board the steamer ‘Géneral Négrier’ and have arrived at Fort St. Thérèse, Oran, in northwestern Algeria, where they will receive their postings. Acting as a guide to John and the two Americans is Francesco Boldini, a former old légionnaire who has rejoined after five years of service and discharge, because he could not find work as a civilian.
On their arrival, John is happily surprised to find that he’s caught up to his two brothers, Beau and Digby. That evening, as the Geste brothers catch up on what has happened since they last met, Boldini is caught listening in to their conversation. They remind him that their talk of the ‘Blue Water’ sapphire, and that Beau has it on him, was just a joke, but Boldini secretly doesn’t buy it.
The following day, the men will be sent out of Oran: half to Saida, 120 km southeast, and half to Sidi-bel-Abbès, 55 km south. Not knowing which regiment to join, the Geste brothers pay Boldini for advice on where they and the two Americans should go. He tells them that he will set it up for them to be part of the 1st Regiment, the Premier Éstranger, because he knows, and gets along with, the Sergeant Major – Lejaune. As the men take a slow train to Sidi-bel-Abbès, Boldini makes his plans to steal the ‘Blue Water’…
With David Lumsden [Michael (Beau) Geste], Michael Lumsden [John Geste], Scott Cherry [Digby Geste], Kenneth Cranham [Sergeant-Major Lejaune], Nigel Anthony [Francesco Boldini, Corporal in the Foreign Legion], Stuart Milligan [Hank, an American Soldier in the Foreign Legion], Christopher Ryan [Buddy, an American Soldier in the Foreign Legion], John Evitts [Bolidar, Soldier in the Foreign Legion], Lyndam Gregory [Mustapha, Owner of an Arab Café], Barry J. Gordon [Maris, a Swiss Soldier in the Foreign Legion], Malcolm Ward [Brandt, Soldier in the Foreign Legion], Tom Bevan [Dupré, Corporal in the Foreign Legion], and James Telfer [Schwartz, Soldier in the Foreign Legion].

Part 5 – After months of training and bored with the lack of action, the 7th Company, Premier Éstranger, finally got its marching orders – they went to El Rasa. The Tuareg had taken control of a chain of oases and they had to get them back. After victory at El Rasa, they marched southward to the furthermost desert outpost of Zinderneuf, where John and Michael had the initial misfortune of losing Digby and many of their friends, including the Americans, Hank and Buddy. The group had departed to the mounted-infantry school at Tanout-Azzal, where the gentle art of mule-handling was taught.
Not long after their arrival Captain Renouf, their Commandant, commited suicide. Soon after, the new Commandant, Lieutenant Debussy, sickened and died, and his place was taken by none other than the sadistic Sergeant-Major, Lejaune. From the moment in which it was known that the Lieutenant was dead, the atmosphere of Zinderneuf changed from bad to worse and rapidly from worse to the worst possible.
Unable to take it anymore, one of the men, Schwartz, endowed with a magnetic personality and power of command, is planning an uprising where he will kill the sadistic Sergeant-Major, Lejaune, and the two non-commissioned officers. He has given Michael and John an ultimatum to join his group… or die.
With David Lumsden [Michael (Beau) Geste], Michael Lumsden [John Geste], Kenneth Cranham [Sergeant-Major Lejaune], David Richard Fox [Guantaio, an Italian Soldier in the Foreign Legion], Barry J. Gordon [Maris, Soldier in the Foreign Legion], Clive Hill [Marigny, Soldier in the Foreign Legion], David Thorpe [Blanc, Soldier in the Foreign Legion], Malcolm Ward [Brandt, Soldier in the Foreign Legion], Tom Bevan [Jean St. André, Soldier in the Foreign Legion], John Baddeley [Cordier, Soldier in the Foreign Legion], John Evitts [Bolidar, a Portuguese Soldier in the Foreign Legion], Lyndam Gregory [Glock, a German Soldier in the Foreign Legion], and James Telfer [Schwartz, a German Soldier in the Foreign Legion].

Part 6 – Fort Zinderneuf, the Sahara, 1920. Sergeant-Major Lejaune has discovered the plot against him and plans to kill the mutineers before they can kill him. Lejaune has given Michael and John an ultimatum: if they want to live, they will hand over the ‘Blue Water’ to him for safe-keeping and he will keep them alive. But before Lejaune can deal with the mutineers, there is a surprise attack on the fort.
Out-numbered 10 to 1, the légionnaires have thwarted an attack by Tuareg rebels on the fort. Help is on its way from Tokotu but will it arrive in time? Can the remaining members of the half-company withstand another attack? Will any of the Geste brothers be able to survive and return home to their aunt with the truth about the disappearance of the ‘Blue Water’ sapphire?
With David Lumsden [Michael (Beau) Geste], Michael Lumsden [John Geste], Scott Cherry [Digby Geste], Kenneth Cranham [Sergeant-Major Lejaune], Nigel Anthony [Francesco Boldini, Soldier in the Foreign Legion], Christopher Godwin [Captain Henri de Beaujolais of the French Foreign Legion], Christopher Good [George Lawrence, a Nigerian Official], Avril Clark [Lady Patricia Brandon, the Geste’s Aunt], Lyndam Gregory [Sergeant-Major Dufour], James Telfer [Schwartz, a German Soldier in the Foreign Legion], John Baddeley [Cordier, Soldier in the Foreign Legion], Tom Bevan [Sergeant Dupré], Malcolm Ward [Rastignac, Soldier of the Foreign Legion], and Vivien Rochester [The Nurse].