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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: DVD|Change
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on 4 January 2011
I watched this series of 4 episodes (each featuring a story from Richmal Crompton's Just William books) and thought it one of the best things on TV over this Christmas period (2010), so I have preordered the DVD.
I read the books avidly when I was a schoolboy (many years ago) and this is a very true adaptation of the stories, including William's long suffering parents, and of course Violet Elizabeth Bott (Isabella Blake Thomas who is brilliant). William is played by David Roche (Ben in Outnumbered) and gives a perfect portayal of the irrepressible scruffy schoolboy battling against older sister and brother and teachers and gamekeepers (and of course always winning).
In real life in 2010 he would be classed as an antisocial adolescent, charged with trespassing, stealing, lying, blackmail, etc, and given an ASBO. But the programs are set in the 1930s (ooops, I mean 1950s - The original books were 1920s) when life was gentler and this behaviour was casually tolerated by everyone (and of course everything works out well in the end).
The high production values give a very realistic image of middle class life in the 30s, and all actors are excellent.
I have purchased the DVD because the programs bear watching more than once. For example, each time William dons some fancy dress outfit (eg shrubbery or newspaper) in the background you can catch a glimpse of his dog Jumble similarly attired. Jumble's performance is also top class though he doesn't have many lines.
I nearly forgot to say the series are laugh-out-loud funny, and are intended for adults (despite the BBC misleadingly describing them as children's programs. But children are likely to be delighted as well. Highly recommended for all the family.
Please BBC make some more of these.
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on 2 March 2011
This was by far the best thing on the old telebox over Christmas. Daniel Roche was born to play William and all the casting in this superior BBC production was spot on. What puzzles me is that the BBC have failed to recommission this series. It beggars belief to be honest. This is what the BBC does best and I for one could forgo yet another series of Waterloo Road or Casualty for just a mere glimpse of William and his friends causing havoc.

If you're looking for something for all the family to sit down and enjoy then buy this DVD. You will all laugh in equal measure because some things are just that good.
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on 7 July 2014
NOT the William Brown as we know and love. William was never a moody rude child. Irritating. Hate this version. Much preferred the 1970's series with Adrian Dannart, and the 1990's episodes with Oliver Rokison - when are they going to bring that one out on DVD? Those 2 boys really captured the essence of William - innocent yet indignant! Not hateful and angry. No, these new series have too much of a modern feel to them.
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on 5 January 2011
A wonderful evocation of the 1950's ( With all due respect to the reviewer who thought it was the 1930s but older brother, Robert, has seen `The Wild One' made in 1953 but banned in the UK until much later). Anyway, I was afraid they would make William PC for the modern viewer but it fits the hero of the books perfectly. William cannot be compared with today's ASBO yobs as he never means any harm. I love the innocence, the boys play games I used to (I'm 58) and `playing in the woods' did not have today's fears of paedophiles etc. A perfect adaptation and the star really fits the bill.
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on 3 March 2011
Just William was a fantastic watch over Christmas 2010. It was the one programme over this period that made my husband and I stop and sit down with the children and we watched with just as much enjoyment as my 3 and 7 year old. We loved every minute of if and so did my children, so much so my two chidren have driven me mad asking when will Just William be back on TV! In order to water-down their insatiable appetite for this programme, I decided to pre-order the Just William, series one dvd. It does sadden me to read that the BBC will not be commissioning another series. I say get rid of the numerous episodes of Holby City, which quite frankly are as dull as dishwater and replace it with the fun, family entertainment programme, Just William. Maybe the BBC should listen to what the TV licence payers actually want to watch, rather than churning out the same old stuff, which is hardly value for money. If you loved the series over Christmas or didn't get a chance to watch it this DVD will make excellent watching either way.
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on 4 January 2011
this BBC adaption to the famous books by Richmal Crompton is amazing! funny and intellegant, with the spectacula Martin Jarvis narratng. It stars Daniel Roche (Ben from the hilarious OUTNUMBERED) as william. He is perfect for the role! he is exactly like william in every way! the girl who plays Violet Elizabeth Bott is outstanding too, because she is hilarious and brilliant actress! not much more to say! this was on at christmas, if you missed it then pre-order now! if you did watch it then you already know what to do!
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on 5 January 2011
My family absolutely loved this series over Christmas 2010 and I agree it was one of the best things on TV.

My 8 year old daughter has asked for this DVD for her birthday and my 3 year old keeps asking 'When can we watch William?'

Would love to see more episodes of this wonderful series. 4 was just not enough.
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on 10 September 2011
I loved this series, originally shown over Christmas 2010 but I missed them the first time round - I just happened to notice it on the CBBC channel in January. The scripts and acting are just wonderful; Daniel Roche is a very talented actor and brings William's earnest naughtiness to life, and the supporting actors are all excellent. And it is laugh-out-loud funny! Unfortunately, I don't think the BBC are going to be making any more - apparently the series failed to reach 2 million viewers and CBBC have a resticted budget for dramas. I'm sure the reason for the lack of viewers is only that people missed the programmes as they weren't sufficiently advertised, rather than a lack of interest in Just Wiliam. Please, please, please make some more BBC - it's not often that programmes suitable for all the family are this funny!
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on 20 February 2012
I never thought William Brown could be satisfactorily translated from the written page but I was wrong.

Perfect idea to set it in the 1950's and the casting is impeccable. Maybe Mr. Brown could have been a little more sardonic - his asides are wonderful in the books but Rebecca Front (make that woman a Dame, I say) is perfect and lots of praise for Ethel & Robert.

Everyone is good and I'm baffled as to why the BBC didn't follow it up straightaway. Too late now - the children have 'growed up.'
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on 13 February 2011
My family also enjoyed these few episodes over Christmas 2010 and found them all highly entertaining. The cast is brilliant. William himself is spot on. The acting was great. The entire village is evocative with fab sets that looked pretty authentic to me (not having been around in the 1950s). My 10 year old think they are the best thing since ... well ... since Outnumbered!
There is definite appeal for adults and children alike.
It's great to spread the appeal of the affable William to a new generation of children.
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