Top positive review
72 people found this helpful
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.