The Borrowers is a TV version of the books by Mary Norton. This wonderful visualisation originally made in 1992 for series one, and 1993 for series two for the BBC is very good. The first series is based on the first two books The Borrowers and The Borrowers Afield and the second series is based on third and fourth books The Borrowers Afloat and The Borrowers Aloft published in the 1950s. This is a really good adaptation with some clever camera tricks and special effects that make it believable. The series was written and adapted by Richard Carpenter who had been very successful previously with shows like The adventures of Black Beauty, Dick Turpin and Robin of Sherwood. The production is excellent and there is solid acting from Ian Holm and Penelope Wilton. All of series one and two is here in this glorious DVD set.
Life is difficult for the Borrowers who are actually only 15cm tall. They can live behind skirting boards or under the floor in the houses of "human beans". The Borrowers venture out sometimes to get domestic supplies. The Borrowers are a family called "Clock" who live in a house owned by regular sized people. The family are a teenage borrower girl named Arriety and her parents, Pod and Homily. During a borrowing expedition with her father, Arriety befriends a human boy named George who lives in the home and develops a friendship with him. This is contrary to borrower nature, The tiny family, who live under the kitchen floorboards of an old manor, are eventually discovered by the other humans who occupy the home and are forced to flee into the English countryside. After finding an old boot to live in the family befriends a fellow Borrower - a young man called " Spiller" who then helps them find a more permanent home by reuniting them with relations who had formerly ran away from the same manor after one of them was seen and eventually relocated in the caretaker's cabin on the manor's grounds.
In series two, Once again the Clock family are forced to find a new place to live when they learn of the upcoming departure of the humans in whose house they reside. With the help of their friend Spiller, they escape through the house drain system and move to the model village of Little Fordham where they try to live in secret. They are eventually discovered by a couple who own a rival model village and are kidnapped with the intention of being put on attraction when that model village opens for tourist season. Imprisoned in the couple's attic, the Clocks are able to use materials they find to create a balloon and basket which lifts them out of a window and to freedom moments before they are to be put on display. Knowing they cannot risk moving back into Little Fordham the family again take to the great outdoors, in search of a new place to call home.
The show is great fun and is entertaining to children and adults alike. This DVD set is first class and can easily be watched again and again.
Faithfully based on Mary Norton's books from the 50's, my son (9) and daughter (11) loved the two BBC 'borrowers' series, first screened in 1993 and 1994 - this twin DVD has both series (6 separate half hour episodes per season, 12 in all). Picture quality is quite good (better than the older BBC Narnia sets). If you don't want to buy, the DVDs are ideal for renting.
My kids really enjoyed the 1997 film version, but to be honest this BBC series is far darker, being played straight with no slapstick. Despite the Borrower's amusing antics and the witty script, it's got many quite tense moments and is all the better for it. The special effects in The Borrowers are actually very good - certainly more than adequate - although a lot of the atmosphere is derived from the superb 'miniature' sets. It's also set in the original isolated 1920'ish shires countryside, about the time of Norton's childhood, in a period when children were more strictly brought up and would think nothing of keeping big secrets from the adults.
The 'Borrowers' are a family of tiny people, just a few inches high, who live in a miniature world under the floorboards of an old country house in England. Pod, Homily and their thirteen-year-old daughter Arrietty collect things for their miniature home by "borrowing" food scraps and oddments which are no longer missed by the humans in the house. There are many famous faces in the cast, including Ian Holm (simply great as the sensitive and secretive Pod), Penelope Wilton (the house proud Homily), Sian Philips (the sinister and strict 'human' Mrs Driver, scourge of the human boy George unfortunate enough to be left in her care) and Gemma Jones ('human' Muriel Menzies). The principal child actors who play Anrietty, George and Spillar are also top notch, interacting completely convincingly with humans and borrower alike. These adaptations are a real delight both for any new audience, adult or child, and for those revisiting the series ten years on. Personally I slightly preferred the first seasons (DVD 1) storyline, although season two (DVD 2) follows on straight from the end of the first one (from memory the same as the books).
Being presented in serial form as screened, the Borrowers DVD is ideal for one or two episodes a night before bedtime. The pretty beginning and end credits and catchy theme tune really set the pace as the serials are always scripted to the cliffhanger. Plus there's no adverts, previews giving away the main plot elements from next week's episode or anyone prattling over the credits and music. The original 'Borrowers' books are a good fairly easy read as well for later preteens. Just a shame the BBC didn't continue with a few more of the Borrower's books with this superb cast.
This highly imaginative story really entranced my 5 year old, he couldn't wait to get the second series. Quite dramatic stories about the struggles of being 6 inches tall. Well acted and highly recommended.
Just rewatching these on Sky On Demand now. They are from Watch Channel saw episode 5 last night and think these are really good. Better than the film which is on ITV2 but the 2011 version was OK as well.