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Masterpiece Classic: The 39 Steps

Airs Sunday, March 27, 2011 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: This adaptation of the popular John Buchan adventure novel, set on the eve of World War I, stars Rupert Penry-Jones (pictured) as Richard Hannay, a mining engineer caught up in a conspiracy following the death of a British spy found in his apartment.

Meet the Characters

Step into the frenetic and shadowy world of "The 39 Steps" and meet the major characters and the actors who portray them.

Newly returned to England on the eve of World War I, Richard Hannay's (Rupert Penry-Jones, "Persuasion") listless London life is about to spiral out of control. When a neighbor bursts in with a top-secret notebook full of cryptic codes and a frantic story of an impending assassination, unlikely patriot Hannay is soon on the run to save himself and his country. He bumps into feisty suffragette Victoria Sinclair (Lydia Leonard), and while their fates may be intertwined, their personalities aren't. But like it or not, they'll together navigate murder, betrayal and near death in order to untangle a plot of national importance, and understand the charms and challenges of human nature.

A bracing and romantic thriller, "The 39 Steps" is based on the novel by John Buchan.

"The 39 Steps" will be available for online viewing March 28 - April 26, 2011.

Video

Preview: Masterpiece Classic: The 39 Steps

Above: "The 39 Steps," an adaptation of the popular John Buchan adventure novel originally popularized by Alfred Hitchcock, set on the eve of World War I. Filled with romance and humor, this 90-minute drama stars MASTERPIECE favorite Rupert Penry-Jones ("Persuasion") as mining engineer Richard Hannay caught up in a conspiracy following the death of a British spy found in his apartment.

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