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5.0 out of 5 stars Catweazle weaves his own brand of magic well, 14 April 2009
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This review is from: Catweazle - Series 1 [DVD][1970] (DVD)
Despite the praise heaped on this old TV series, I decided to buy series 1 on it's own first to see if it had really stood the test of time. I shouldn't have worried. Richard Carpenter can do no wrong. His tale of an ageing wizard accidentally transporting himself from norman England to modern day, is in turns funny and slightly sad. Catweazle was trying to cast a flying spell to escape norman soldiers and had no intention of time travelling. He finds himself in the modern world, befriended by the son of a local farmer, and discovers he is surrounded by unimaginable magics such as the sun in a bottle (lightbulb), the telling bone (telephone) and electrickery(electricity)to name but a few. He is frequently amazed, confounded and terrified. In the great tradition of the Wizard of Oz,all he really wants to do is to get home. Catweazle is so much more than what I remember from childhood, in that now I understand exactly why I love these stories,and the characters so much. Way back then, I thought Catweazle was funny and good fun, and he is still all that, but what I had largely forgotten is the great interaction between Carrot and Catweazle. Carrot is the kind of boy you would have loved to have had as a schoolfriend, and somebody you wouldn't mind your own kids being mates with now. He is friendly and kind to the raggedy old man who mysteriously appears around the farmyard one night (a reaction one would no longer expect in todays world of stranger danger). Catweazle himself is no fraud either. His magic works for the most part and his presence around Hexwood farm generates as much good fortune for Carrot and his Dad as it does chaos. This series is perfectly cast. Geoffrey Bayldon is exactly right in the title role making our magician believable, and more importantly, likeable. To be honest, I'm not sure how modern day children will relate to this, as in my experience, they seem to thrive largely on computer games and animation, and the good old adventure story seems to be a thing of the past - much like Catweazle himself - but I am willing to stand by this particular childrens series as being a 'stand-out' in all respects. If you have any doubts, get this DVD. I don't think you'll be disappointed. If you really love Catweazle, get the books too. They are excellent and easy reading and young kids will love the stories in written form. The humour translates very well from one media to the other.

Salmay, dalmay, adonay! Everything works!
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