Top positive review
6 people found this helpful
True to the spirit of the original stories
on 4 August 2017
I'm a bit of a purist when it comes to literary adaptations, and I was hesitant about this dvd set with the Famous Five set in the 1970s. I bought it more out of curiosity than anything else, but as soon as I watched it I loved it. Although the Five have been plucked from their 1950s milieu and deposited in the then contemporary 70s, it works incredibly well and the spirit of the original stories remains intact. I remember watching the 1990s adaptation and feeling that the dialogue seemed stilted, and that it often felt like a parody if the 1950s. Moving the Five into contemporary times allowed the dialogue to be more natural, and this makes the series feel more authentic in my opinion. Most of the stories are here although book one, Five on a Treasure Island, couldn't be filmed due to rights issues. So episode one is Five on Kirrin Island, where the Five meet for the first time. Each episode is full of drama and humour, and the four child actors do a great job of capturing the characters of Julian, Dick, Anne and George. German actor Michael Hinz is a very good Uncle Quentin, temperamental and impatient at times but warm and kind at others. There are lots of well known actors throughout; Brian Glover, Patrick Troughton, Ronald Fraser and a very young Rupert Graves, to name a few. The whole series exudes the warmth and fun of the original books and I wish I'd bought it years ago.