For weeks the monsoon has raged over the island. Most of the crops has been destroyed by the rains. The animals enclosures have been breached and many animals have fled into the forest. The family's morale is low. When the rain stops for a short while they try to save what is left from the crops and repair as many damages as possible.

Ernst is in an especially bad mood. He is frustrated, feels trapped on the island and wants to do something. So he spends as much time as possible lighting the beacon and hoping for a ship. David is unhappy about this, especially since he could use some help with repairing the damages. He tries to talk to his son but Ernst is unwilling to listen. Ernst would like to take the raft out to sea and try his luck there but David flatly refuses that because of the high risk.

In the treehouse Elisabeth discovers that the fish Billy had caught is suddenly missing. Everyone wonders what may have happened to it.

Ernst talks to Billy about his plans for the future once they have been rescued and returned to Boston. He is surprised to learn that Billy would prefer to stay on the island, because only there he can truly be free.

At night Christina brings her pet pig which she has named Barnabas secretly into the treehouse and hides him in her bed. Emily discovers this but promises to keep Christina's secret. Christina can also talk Emily into building her a kite. They paint a face on it and Emily tells ghost stories.

Ernst and Billy and David and Joanna go hunting in two groups. Ernst spots a splendid boar. But as it turns out it was not his arrow that brought it down but Emily's who had suddenly appeared behind them. This incident frustrates Ernst further. Suddenly sinister laughter echoes through the forest and startles them. Ernst and Billy pick up the body of the boar and with Emily quickly leave the forest.

In the evening, after dinner, they tell stories. Emily starts with a ghost story about a lady without a head. Then Ernst tells the legend of Raven Jones, a notorious pirate who had been a navy man before he became outlawed and was famous for his raven tattoo, symbol of his free spirit, and his spectacular escape from the Tower of London.

During the night Joanna catches Ben trying to secretly climb into the treehouse. He is startled, when he sees her at her window and falls back to the ground. Joanna watches him leave but does not raise the alarm.

Joanna also finds out about Barnabas. She starts an argument with Christina who lets go of the kite she had been flying. The kite catches a breeze and flies away. Parsons and Ben spot the kite flying high above their heads and Parsons believes it to be a sign from beyond.

Later that day Christina is frightened by an old man while she is collecting eggs. Her father does not believe that it was a real man but rather an optical illusion. Ernst and Billy tell him about the laughter in the forest. Emily thinks both times ghosts were at work. But David dismisses that idea as nonsense. When Joanna tells her father about Ben he believes the ghost to have been Parsons.

Out of the blue Elisabeth faints at the bottom of the stairs of the treehouse. She tells David that it is only exhaustion. She pleads with him to once again talk to Ernst whose mood is still bad. After Emily once again teased him he has had quite enough. The young Robinson is determined to leave the island on the raft and bring back help. He tells Billy he will loose his mind if he stays and asks the boy to keep his secret.

David is looking for Ernst when he sees the raft quite a distance away in the bay. He believes it to be his son and calls out his name. Ernst answers from behind him, coming out of the forest. The person on the raft is Billy! A strong current is taking the raft towards the shore and Billy is not strong enough to steer clear. As if that is not enough a shark is circling near him. Ernst and David manage to pull Billy onto the safe shore. David is telling Billy how foolish he has been when they hear Emily scream. Again she has heard the terrible laughter and also seen a skeleton. She believes this to be a warning from the ghosts to leave the island.

Meanwhile Parsons and Ben have sneaked up to the treehouse and stolen Barnabas. On their way back they also discover the skeleton. Ben is so startled that he drops Barnabas who quickly runs away. Near the skeleton they discover a large boulder on which the words "Leave or Die" are written. Parsons and Ben hide nearby and watch how a ragged skinny old man collecting the skeleton and talking to it as if it were alive.

Barnabas finds his way back to the treehouse and startles everyone by making strange noises in front of the door just when David and Ernst are about to go looking for the cause of Emily's fright. On the way David once again attempts to talk to his son. But Ernst is stubborn and tells his father to no longer consider him part of the family.

The monsoon starts again. Ernst is standing watch at the beacon when Joanna joins him. He tells her that he does not believe their father truly wishes to leave the island. Joanna accuses her brother of being unfair and reminds him that he would be dead if he had gone out on the raft. Reluctantly Ernst admits that she is right. Joanna discovers that they are watched by an old man that matches Christina's description. The old man runs away and they follow him. Ernst is ahead of Joanna and follows the old man to his cave. Joanna watches by the light of lightning bolts how her brother is struck down by the old man. She runs back to the treehouse and tells her parents what has happened.

Early next morning David, Billy and Joanna start looking for Ernst. The discover another boulder with writing. This one says "Leave or boy dies". The Robinsons take this threat serious. They prepare the raft with dummies and send it out to see to make the old man believe that they are leaving the island.

The old man has taken Ernst prisoner and has tied him up. He accuses Ernst of wanting his treasure and aims a pistol at the young man while conferring with the skeleton. As he has told Ernst, the skeleton is that of his ship mate Daniels. Unnoticed, Parsons has crept up next to the cave's entranced and is eavesdropping. Ernst quickly realises that his adversary is himself still looking for the treasure as all he has to show is a map. The old man spots the raft heading out to sea and triumphs. Ernst does not believe his eyes when he sees it too. The old man forces Ernst out on a ledge by pointing his gun at him. Suddenly Ernst realises from a remark the old man makes that this is, in fact, the legendary Raven Jones. Raven is flattered when Ernst tells him he is considered a legend. Ernst finds out that Daniels tried to leave the island by boat. The tide brought the boat back with his body. While they are talking Parsons sneaks up behind them, as well as David, Billy and Joanna, and, separately, Emily. Raven changed his mind and cuts Ernst's bonds. When Ernst looks at the treasure map Parsons steps forward. Ernst retreats and looses his footing. He precariously hangs over the crevice. Parsons strikes Raven viciously down. Emily shoots an arrow into Parsons arm when the old sea dog points a gun at Ernst. Startled, Parsons falls down the ravine and Ernst is pulled up by his father. Raven is dying. Before he draws his last breath he tells Ernst and the others how he had escaped his prison. While everyone had been dazzled by the golden cage that had been built Raven had slipped away unnoticed.

The Robinsons bury Daniels and Raven Jones. And they find Raven's rice field which turns out to be his real treasure. David and Ernst talk their differences over and reconcile. Parsons has survived his fall and returns with Ben to their outer island.

Ernst's Journal

For weeks now the monsoon has raged without letting up. And our morale is at it's lowest end. The rain stopped momentarily. Only to be replaced by howling winds heralding even more rain. All that we had built with the merciful exception of the treehouse lies in ruin. Our enclosures have been breached and most of the animals have fled. We had tried, somehow, to protect our crops which have mostly been destroyed. And I fear the monsoon is taking its toll on our health and well being as well as our morale.
Christina was more concerned, however, for the well being of her beloved pet pig Barnabas.

All my thoughts of Boston now seem irrelevant when I consider what actually lay ahead. And which Bruno was the first to sense.

The Legend of Raven Jones
Raven Jones was an adventurer. He was once an officer, a Navy Man. But he led a mutiny. They called him Raven because of a tattoo he wore - the symbol of his free spirit. It was said that no jail could hold him. He was captured. High treason. They held him in the tower awaiting execution. But Raven taunted his jailers saying they wouldn't kill him. That he'd escape from the axe, rise into the air like a bird. Like a raven. Soon everybody heard about his claim. People came from all over the land to see this miracle occur. Convinced that a man would fly. Even the king got caught up in the excitement. He had a golden cage erected around the executioner's block. It was even rumoured that Raven Jones himself had helped to design it. So, at the appointed hour with thousands watching the guards were dispatched to the deepest dungeon in the tower. When they flung back the doors to his cell he was nowhere to be seen. He had fooled them all and disappeared into thin air.

With our tales of spirits and ghosts it is surprising that anyone was able to sleep that night. My sister Joanna was woken when Bruno heard something. But rather than a spirit or ghost it was Parsons reluctant accomplice Ben.

Christina wasn't the only one who's imagination was coloured and distorted by the recent unexplained events. We were all tense and on edge. Until Joanna made a surprising announcement to father.

For all of our relief from the unexpected entry of Barnabas another unknown inhabitant was also making his presence felt. Parsons and Ben were the first to notice. Which caused them a degree of confusion and concern.

I wonder who mother was trying to reassure the rest of the family or herself. I was the one held prisoner. The only question was by whom.

Was this really the legendary Raven Jones we encountered? I believe it was. But I will leave that for you to ponder. Whoever he was, his life seemed a tragic tale which ironically drew the family - especially father and I - closer together. For the moment though our task was to hold a double funeral. For Daniels and his lifelong friend Raven Jones. Tough their bodies will never leave the island their souls are at peace and have moved on.

Out of respect for the tragic souls we had a meal to celebrate their lives from Raven's rice field. Which was his only form of sustenance and which ironically proved to be his real treasure.

© Cloud 9 Screen Entertainment & CLT-UFA International


Original US Airdate: 23, 26 + 27, September 1998
(each 75 minute episode was divided into 3 parts)

Screenplay by David Fox
Directed by Declan Eames

Guest Cast:
Martyn Sanderson (Raven Jones)


Swiss Family Robinson
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