ORBzine - Secret of the Sahara (1988) TV Review

Secret of the Sahara (1988)

Season 1


Secret of the Sahara (1988) Secret of the Sahara (1988) [Season 1, Episode 1]
Shown 3rd January 1988

This is a mini-series, shot on location in Morocco and in the Cinnecitta studio in Rome. It has a score by Ennio Morricone of all people! In modern showings it has a preceding title card that explains it has outdated stereotypes. Well, they could hardly say that Italians had negative views of Arabs ever since the Libyans got their independence. Perhaps a better warning would be that some versions have the Mathilda May character, Myriam, completely edited out.

We are introduced to the main characters. Desmond Jordan (Michael York - Logan's Run (1976) ) is an archaeologist who is searching for a lost historical site in the Sahara desert. He runs into Lieutenant Riker (David Soul - Starsky and Hutch), an old rival of his who is not an officer in the French Foreign Legion.

Secret of the Sahara (1988) Secret of the Sahara (1988) [Season 1, Episode 2]
Shown 3rd January 1988

Desmond Jordan (Michael York - Logan's Run (1976) ) has escaped from Lieutenant Riker (David Soul - Starsky and Hutch). However, as he makes his way across the desert he is ambushed. Yes, somehow Riker got ahead of him.

Anthea ( Andie MacDowell ) and her men fight the legionaires. This leads to an unexpected confrontation.

Jordan gets away again, and hides out with his old Arab friend Sholomon (Ben Kingsley - Prince of Persia ). Unfortunately there are also some bad Arabs after him.

Secret of the Sahara (1988) Secret of the Sahara (1988) [Season 1, Episode 3]
Shown 10th January 1988

Desmond Jordan (Michael York - Logan's Run (1976) ) has found the ancient ruins he was looking for. The guardians are mean to murder all intruders, but Anthea ( Andie MacDowell ) owes him because of the time he protected her.

Lieutenant Riker (David Soul - Starsky and Hutch) gets demoted due to his actions in the previous episode. Someone must have ratted him out to his superior officer. It was not the turban-wearing sidekick, who is murderously loyal to him. In fact, all the legionaires in his unit are keen to desert and follow Riker.

Secret of the Sahara (1988) Secret of the Sahara (1988) [Season 1, Episode 4]
Shown 10th January 1988

Desmond Jordan (Michael York - Logan's Run (1976) ) is released from the secret mountain. However, the tribe drug him and leave him somewhere in the desert so he cannot lead anyone back to the mountain. This means he ends up lost and blinded.

Meanwhile, Desmond's tweenage son arrives in search of him. The boy meets up with some carnies - a strongman, a belly dancer, and a fortune-teller named Myriam ( Mathilda May ). Yes, this is the mysterious sub-plot that was deleted from certain versions of the story.

Desmond manages to get to the tents of his old Arab friend Sholomon (Ben Kingsley - Prince of Persia ). The Caliph's men come looking for the Englishman, so the Caliph can torture the mountain's location out of him.

Lieutenant Riker (David Soul - Starsky and Hutch) and his platoon of deserters try to back-track Desmond's movements. For some reason, Riker keeps calling Sholomon a Jew. All quite confusing.

Secret of the Sahara (1988) Secret of the Sahara (1988) [Season 1, Episode 5]
Shown 17th January 1988

Secret of the Sahara (1988) Secret of the Sahara (1988) [Season 1, Episode 6]
Shown 17th January 1988

Secret of the Sahara (1988) Secret of the Sahara (1988) [Season 1, Episode 7]
Shown 24th January 1988

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Secret of the Sahara (1988)

Secret of the Sahara (1988) Secret of the Sahara (1988) [Season 1 , Episode 1 ]
Shown th January 1988

Reviewed in our special supplement Secret of the Sahara (1988)

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