Settling back in Boston is hard for all the Robinsons. They feel restricted by social constraint and the clothes. And Ben suffers from his inability to care for Joanna and that all her friends ignore her since their return because of of him. But Billy suffers most of all, especially with Christina's inability to understand that things in Boston are different to what they were on the island.

Oscar Wyss gives David a position as head clerk for which David is thankful, though he is not really happy about working in the offices that he had thought he left forever. Oscar Wyss also mentions that he feels that Ben is not suited as Joanna's husband and is surprised to find David utterly opposed to getting rid of Ben.

Kwang Sen is also still active. He contacted a lawyer named Lester and bribes him to have the case against David Robinson opened again.

One evening the police accompanied by Kwang Sen knocks at the Robinsons's door and arrests David. Kwang Sen claims the conduct of the judge in the past trial has been called to question and therefore a re trial is necessary. David is incarcerated. Kwang Sen visits him in his cell. It becomes clear that he wants revenge because in his opinion the Robinsons have corrupted Emily and taken her away from him.

Ernst is very upset. Not only about the arrest of his father but also because Emily keeps him guessing about her wanting to marry him or not and it is driving him mad. Oscar Wyss talks to Joanna about the subject of her marriage to Ben. Joanna makes it quite clear that she loves Ben and wishes to stay married to him. So her grandfather offers Ben a job. During the interview it quickly becomes obvious to Oscar Wyss that Ben is not qualified to be a clerk like he suspected. But gives him the job anyway. Wyss plans to convince Ben that he is no good so that Ben will leave Joanna, seemingly on his own accord..

David is despairing in his cell. The only thing to lift his spirits are the memories of their happy time on the island. One day, Elisabeth and baby Hope come to visit him. Meanwhile Ernst is writing optimistic letters to his father. But the truth is quite different. Billy's unhappiness has gone so far that he has left the family. Christina is inconsolable. Ben is hiding his troubles at work from Joanna. And things between Emily and Ernst are not going well.

The date for the trial is finally set. The presiding judge will be a man called Abraham Moss who is called the Hanging Judge. Elisabeth fears the worst. Kwang Sen further bribes Lester to ensure that David Robinson is found guilty of murder. Emily finally decides to also leave the family and begin a new life in China.

Ben's trouble at the office gets worse. Not only is he set up by Oscar Wyss to fail at taking a ship's inventory but one of his cousins, an unpleasant fellow by the name of Sidney, visits him there. Reluctantly, Ben invites Sidney to dinner, where his manners leave much to be desired. Ben knows very well what Sidney wants - money. But despite appearances Ben is not rich. He feels he is in way over his head.

At court Lester first questions Ben and then Elisabeth and makes them both look bad. Ben feels worthless. He confides in Oscar Wyss who has only waited for this moment. Wyss pretends to be understanding. He suggests that Ben should go back to sea and offers him some money so that he can leave Boston like a gentleman.

At the same time Emily contacts Kwang Sen. She will agree to marry him if he sees to it that David is acquitted. At the moment that does not seem likely. The trial does not go in David's favour and he is loosing hope.

One day Christina takes Bruno and begins looking for Billy who has been captured in the meantime and pressed into ship's sevice. When a thunder storm comes up Christina finds a hiding place and does not return home. Her family is very worried about her.

The following day David suddenly admits killing Seth even though it was unintentional. While Elisabeth and Joanna attend the trial, Ernst and a few men are searching for Christina and finally find her. Ernst brings her to the court house where Elisabeth is overjoyed to see her well. Ben takes this opportunity to leave Joanna, who has no notion of his plan. At the dock, Ben meets Billy. When Billy finds out what has happened he knows that it is not right for Ben to leave his wife like that. After they part Billy runs to the court house as quickly as he can.

The family waits for the jury's decision in the hall of the court house. Emily and Kwang Sen have also entered the building. Emily waits in the hall while Kwang Sen talks to Lester. The lawyer is surprised when Kwang Sen suddenly insists that David Robinson must be acquitted. Ernst walks over to Emily. She tells him that she will marry Kwang Sen. Ernst is crushed. Then Billy arrives and tells the family about Ben. Joanna and Ernst hurriedly follow Billy back to the dock. Elisabeth is quite upset with her father.

They reach the dock just as the ship is about to set sail. Joanna calls out to Ben and tells him he has been tricked by her grandfather. Ben jumps from the ship and embraces his wife. Billy is caught again, without Ernst being able to prevent it.

When the jury has reached their decision Lester tries to bribe Judge Moss before the verdict is read. The judge does not take kindly to that. Despite everything David is found not guilty, much to the relief of the entire family.

Later, when they celebrate the fortunate outcome, a Mr Edmunds appears. He tells David that their island will be made a colony. David tells this all the guests and invites everyone to come and settle with them on the island. Kwang Sen has set Emily free at last and she returns to Ernst with whom she is in love after all.

The Robinsons - except for Ernst and Emily - sail back to the island. They are joined by settlers that have followed their invitation. On the ship hey are reunited with Billy who works there as a cabin boy. When they reach their destination the Robinsons smuggle Billy ashore in one of their many trunks. So, at last, all has come to a happy end.

Ernst's Journal

I have written of my family. Father and mother. My sisters, Joanna and Christina. Of Billy, the cabin boy. And Ben, who started as our enemy and became our friend. And then, of course, there is Emily. Dear Emily. About whom I fear I have written far too much. I have told of our adventures. Of being shipwrecked and marooned. And of our eventual rescue after nearly two years. But now begins perhaps the strangest chapter of them all. Although we had faced mortal peril many times over, nothing in our experience had prepared us for the ordeal which lay ahead. We had survived the ravages of mother nature. Could we survive in civilised society?

Joanna and Ben weren't the only members of the family struggling to readjust to life. We were all finding it difficult. We couldn't seem to settle back into society. And missed the island. Especially Billy, who for some unknown reason appeared to have found refuge living in the stables.

Sadly, the arrest wasn't a mistake. And I wondered if someone was intent on settling a score with my father. But who? The following morning the family were desperate for news when my grandfather arrived after visiting father in prison.

Ernst's letter to David in prison:
"It would seem my family is being tested by some higher power. Forever pushing us beyond the limits of endurance. But although our trials and tribulations never seize we are not downhearted. Each new calamity only serve to strengthen our resolve. Take Ben, for example. He has found work and it has transformed him. He is now quite the gentleman. Billy too has left the fold for new adventures. And though Christina is upset to see him gone she will in time come round to the idea. As for me, my work continues apace. Of course, I worry about you, father, sitting alone in your cell. But I am confident that these accusations against you will once again be proved worthless. They have no case against you. Emily sends her love too. Our ongoing courtship is a consolation and a source of never ending joy."

For all my letters reassuring my father, in reality our family seems to be tearing apart at the seams.

My father was devastated and lost all hope during the early stage of the trial. Could it really be that Kwang-Sen had enough power - or wealth - to pervert the course of justice?

We could hardly believe that at long last father had cleared his name. With the unexpected assistance of Kwang-Sen and Emily. There was to be yet another surprise in store from a Mr Edmunds who was destined to change the course of our lives as celebrations finally got underway.

David's letter from the island home to Ernst in Boston:
"My dear Ernst, I have so much to tell you. The Hawk is a fine ship. And we made good headway. The long journey passed almost without incident Almost, but not quite. When land eventually hauled into view I don't mind telling you that our hearts were in our mouths. We needed no chart to recognise our island. It was a proper homecoming. Our joy at seeing Billy onboard soon turned to heartache when we realised that he would not be allowed to disembark with us. There is so much to do here, Ernst. We miss your strong back and your ready smile. We miss dear Emily's quiet determination. And wish you both great happiness in all that you aspire to."

With Billy reunited with the family and settlers on our island home there was hope for the future. I often long to return with Emily and settle permanently. But no matter what transpires, I will always fondly remember the period in our family's lives that was an extraordinary adventure. And I leave it to the reader to determine if the adventure of Swiss Family Robinson was perhaps the greatest adventure of all.

© Cloud 9 Screen Entertainment & CLT-UFA International


Original US Airdate: 11 - 15 October, 1998
(each 75 minute episode was divided into 3 parts)

Screenplay by David Fox
Directed by John Laing

Guest Cast:
Ken Blackburn (Oscar Wyss)
Charles Lum (Kwang Sen)
Chris Hampson (William Lester)
Des Kelly (Judge Moss)
Jed Brophy (Seth Parsons)
Brian Sergent (Sidney Thomas)
William Kircher (Sneed)
Matthew Chamberlain (Collins)
Bernard Kearns (Edmonds)
Dale Corlett (Sergeant)
Des Morgan (Prison Guard)
Roger Page (James Cotterill)


Swiss Family Robinson
German Site
Kieren Hutchison