A Guide to Blyton on TV and in film


This is a (roughly) chronological list of Enid Blyton’s works adapted for TV and film. I haven’t included stage or theatre productions unless they were filmed. I have tried to include information about who made the work, the cast, episode titles and if it’s available to be bought or watched. Some titles have very little information online, however, so I haven’t been able to include all those things for every entry.

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Episode titles which are links will take you to our reviews of those episodes unless otherwise stated.


PERSONALITY MEET: ENID BLYTON, 1946

This is a one minute TV-movie starring Enid Blyton, Kenneth Waters, Imogen Smallwood and Gillian Baverstock as themselves. It can be watched online.

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ADVENTURES OF NODDY, 1955-1963 & FURTHER ADVENTURES 1963-1975

There are just nine episodes of this early programme listed on IMDB, but judging by the dates given elsewhere there are many episodes missing.

Of the episodes that are listed, eight comprise a first series, and the one further episode is from an unknown series.

  • Hello, Little Noddy
  • When Noddy Came to Toyland
  • Noddy’s New Car
  • Noddy’s Taxi
  • Noddy Does Some Gardening
  • Big Ears’ Smokey Chimney
  • Noddy’s Burglar
  • The Big Balloon

From what I can gather this was a puppet-show and the episodes were just 15 minutes long. None of it has ever been seen online, though you can view some archived images here.

Further Adventures is not even listed on IMDB but there are references to it elsewhere on the web. I did find one episode, The Great Car Race, on Youtube.


 FIVE ON A TREASURE ISLAND, 1957

An eight-part serial made by the Children’s Film Foundation. Blyton herself was involved in the production, and had a say in the casting. She was apparently very happy with the finished product.

The Five were played by:

  • Richard Palmer – Julian
  • John Bailey – Dick
  • Gillian Harrison – ‘Ann’
  • Rel Grainer – George
  • Daga – Tim

You can get it for under a tenner on Amazon.

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NODDY IN TOYLAND, 1957

I can’t find much information on this adaptation, other than the cast.

  • Colin Spaull – Noddy
  • Gloria Johnson – Silky
  • Leslie Sarony – Mr. Pinkwhistle
  • Peter Elliott – PC Plod
  • David Brierly – Jinky
  • Graeme Harper – Moonface
  • Richard Huggett – Mr. Noah
  • Bobby Kerrigan – Big Ears

All I can surmise from that scant information is that it crosses over with The Magic Faraway Tree!


FIVE HAVE A MYSTERY TO SOLVE, 1964

Another CFF production, this time in six parts. As this was made seven years after the previous one, it’s hardly surprising that there is a new cast.

  • David Palmer – Julian
  • Darryl Read – Dick
  • Mandy Harper – George (as Amanda Coxell)
  • Paula Boyd – Anne
  • Uncredited – Timmy

This is also available on Amazon at less than £10.

mysterytosolve


DE 5 OG SPIONERNE (FIVE AND THE SPIES), 1969

A Danish adaptation of Five Go Adventuring Again. 

  • Mads Rahbek – Julius (Julian)
  • Niels Kibenich: Richard (Dick)
  • Sanne Knudsen- Anne
  • Lone Thielke – Georg (Georgina)
  • Ove Sprogøe: Onkel Quentin
  • Astrid Villaume: Tante Fanny

I can’t spot this for sale at the moment but the full thing is available on Youtube.


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GONIN TO IPPIKI (FIVE CHILDREN AND DOG) 1969-1971

This is one I had never heard of before. It is a Japanese adaptation of The Five-Find Outers. Created by NHK – Japan’s national broadcaster – it ran for 113 episodes, over two-and-a-half years. The children were given different names and identities, and Buster became a black poodle. The early episodes were based (loosely) on the books but after that they used newly written stories. Unfortunately the tapes were deleted by NHK and very little survives now.

There is some information here about the show, but most pages are in Japanese.

8-ippiki

(P.S. This is an initiation ceremony to the FFOs, not a Nazi salute!)


DE 5 I FEDTEFADET, 1970

A Danish version of Five Get Into Trouble with the same cast as Five and the Spies.

It can be found on DVD on Amazon, but it’s not clear if there are subtitles or dubbing into English.

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NODDY, 1975

This one was a stop-motion series, in colour, and narrated by Richard Briers. Episodes had been added to youtube at some point but have since been deleted, though one or two videos were released in the 80s. This is the best site I could find about the series, and there is one site which claims this was the episode list:

Series 1

  • Hurrah for Noddy
  • Noddy and His Car
  • Noddy Goes to School
  • Noddy and the Bumpy Dog
  • Well Done, Noddy
  • Noddy at the Seaside
  • Noddy Gets into Trouble
  • Noddy and the Magic Rubber
  • Noddy and Tessie Bear
  • Noddy and the Thief
  • Noddy Be Brave

Series 2

  • You’re a Good Friend, Noddy
  • Here Comes Noddy Again
  • You Funny Little Noddy
  • Look Out, Noddy
  • Noddy Goes to Sea
  • Noddy and the Bunkey
  • Cheer Up, Little Noddy
  • Noddy Goes to the Fair
  • Mr. Plod and Noddy
  • Noddy and the Clockwork Clown
  • Noddy and the Tootles
  • Noddy and the Aeroplane
  • Noddy Builds a House
  • Noddy Meets Father Christmas

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THE FAMOUS FIVE, 1978-1979

Produced by Southern Television this is probably the most famous TV adaptation of any of Blyton’s works. It ran for 26 episodes, over two series (though IMDB has them split into three for some reason).

Episode Listing:

Series one

Series two

Five Go to Kirren Island is a mixture of Five on a Treasure Island and Five on Kirrin Island Again, because the rights to Five on a Treasure Island were still owned by the BFC. Likewise this is why there is no Five Have a Mystery to Solve. I’m not sure there is such a convincing reason why Kirrin has become Kirren, however.

In this adaptation the main cast were played by

  • Marcus Harris – Julian
  • Gary Russell – Dick
  • Jennifer Thanisch – Anne
  • Michele Gallagher – George
  • Toddy – Timmy
  • Michael Hinz – Uncle Quentin
  • Sue Best – Aunt Fanny

This series is available in a couple of DVD sets, including a collectors’ edition.

Five Go Adventuring Again 70s


THE ISLAND OF ADVENTURE, 1982

This was made by EbeFilms and runs for 85 minutes. The IMDB blurb reads:

Four British teens on vacation visit an island and discover that a terrorist group is using it as their headquarters.

From what I’ve read elsewhere the cast were all in their late teens, so much older than in the book. There are credits for Mr Roy, Aunt Polly, Uncle Jocelyn, Jo and Jake so it sounds as if it could be reasonably close to the original.

  • Perry Benson – Jack
  • Patrick Field – Philip
  • Chloe Franks – Dinah
  • Daryl Back – Lucy-Ann
  • Percy Edwards – Kiki
  • Catherine Schell – Aunt Allie
  • Norman Bowler – Bill
  • John Rhys-Davies – Smith

It looks like this was released on VHS but not on DVD.

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THE COMIC STRIP PRESENTS, 1982-2012

This comedy show has run for thirty years and in that time they made three episodes based on the Famous Five.

The main cast has been the same throughout (apart from Timmy, naturally)

  • Peter Richardson – Julian
  • Adrian Edmondson – Dick
  • Jennifer Saunders – Anne
  • Dawn French – George
  • Sandra Dorne – Aunt Fanny
  • Ronald Allen – Uncle Quentin
  • Robbie Coltrane – Various

Five Go Mad in Dorset can be watched online with Channel 4, as can Five Go Mad on Mescalin.


THE CASTLE OF ADVENTURE, 1990

An ITV production, this had eight 25 minute episodes. It also had a rather starry cast!

  • Hugo Guthrie – Jack
  • Richard Hanson – Phillip
  • Rosie Marcel (now in Holby City) – Dinah
  • Bethany Greenwood – Lucy-Ann
  • Susan George – Aunt Allie
  • Gareth Hunt – Bill Cunningham
  • Brian Blessed – Sam (a character who isn’t in the books)

This has never been released on DVD (rights issues, apparently) but it can be bought on video, or, even easier, it’s all available on YouTube. I will hopefully watch and review this at some point.

Reviews of the episodes can be found here

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NODDY’S TOYLAND ADVENTURES, 1992-1999

This is another stop-motion animation, this time by Cosgrove Hall Films for the BBC. There were 53 episodes altogether, over four series.

Series 1 (1992)

  • Noddy Loses Sixpence
  • Noddy and the Goblins
  • Noddy and the Naughty Tail
  • Noddy and the Pouring Rain
  • Noddy and Martha Monkey
  • Noddy and the Kite
  • Noddy’s New Friend
  • Noddy and his Bell
  • Noddy and the Milkman
  • Noddy Gets a New Job
  • Noddy and the Broken Bicycle
  • Noddy and the Special Key
  • Noddy Delivers Some Parcels

Series 2 (1993–94)

  • Noddy and the Missing Hats
  • Noddy and the Useful Rope
  • Noddy Loses his Bell
  • Noddy Cheers up Big Ears
  • Noddy Goes Shopping
  • Noddy Borrows an Umbrella
  • Noddy Meets some Silly Hens
  • Noddy Lends a Hand
  • Noddy Finds a Furry Tail
  • Noddy to the Rescue
  • Noddy Sets a Trap
  • Noddy Has a Bad Day
  • Noddy and the Fishing Rod
  • Noddy and the Magic Night

Series 3 (1994)

  • Noddy the Champion
  • Noddy and the Warm Scarf
  • Noddy and the Golden Tree
  • Noddy and his Unhappy Car
  • Noddy has an Afternoon Off
  • Noddy the Magician
  • Noddy and his Money
  • Noddy Borrows some Trousers
  • Noddy and his Alarm Clock
  • Noddy Buys a Parasol
  • Noddy Tastes some Cakes
  • Noddy the Dancer
  • Noddy and Father Christmas

Series 4 (1999)

  • Noddy and the Driving Lesson
  • Noddy and the Bouncing Ball
  • Noddy Tidies Toyland
  • Noddy and the Goblins
  • Noddy and the Magic Watch
  • Noddy Gets Caught in a Storm
  • Noddy and the Noisy Drum
  • Noddy is Far Too Busy
  • Noddy and the Artist
  • Noddy and the Singing Bush
  • Noddy Tells a Story
  • Noddy and the Nurse
  • Noddy and the Treasure Map

Several videos were released by the BBC during the 90s, but there has been no DVD release yet.


THE FAMOUS FIVE MUSICAL – SMUGGLER’S GOLD, 1995

This is not technically a TV show or a film, but as it comes on DVD I thought I should include it anyway. It is a filmed performance from during the musical’s run.

There were four sets of children playing the character throughout the musical’s run but only one set feature on the DVD.

  • Jon Lee (of S Club 7 fame) – Julian
  • Ben McCosker – Dick
  • Clare Fritton – Anne
  • Alison Hughes – George

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FAMOUS FIVE, 1995-1997

The favoured adaptation on this blog, this ran for two series and 26 episodes. It was made by Zenith North and shown on CITV.

The main cast:

  • Marco Williamson – Julian
  • Paul Child – Dick
  • Laura Petela – Anne
  • Jemima Rooper – George
  • Connal – Timmy
  • Christopher Good – Uncle Quentin
  • Mary Waterhouse – Aunt Frances

The episodes:

Series 1

Series 2

Although it was available on video in the UK there has never been a DVD release here. It is available on DVD in Dutch ( De Vijf) and German (De Fem), and there has been talk of an Australian release lately too. They seem quite hard to come by, however. Most are sold out on Amazon or are editions with only half the episodes.

Happily, all episodes but Five Go to Smuggler’s Top (the episode which is also not on the Dutch DVD either) are available on YoutTube.


THE ADVENTURE SERIES, 1996

This is the series that I started reviewing recently. It was made by Cloud Nine Productions and filmed in New Zealand. It has eight episodes though the second is a new adventure in place of Castle which was still under copyright from the previous adaptation.

The main cast were played by:

  • David Taylor – Jack
  • Peter Malloch – Philip
  • Alexis Jackson – Dinah
  • Jennyfer Jewell – Lucy-Ann
  • Kirsten Hughes – Aunt Allie
  • Malcolm Jamieson – Bill

adventure series dvd


THE SECRET SERIES, 1997

Another Cloud Nine Production from New Zealand, just a year after the Adventure Series. Jennyfer Jewell (Lucy-Ann) returns as Peggy. This ran for five episodes, the full book series.

The main cast (padded out with new characters) were played by:

  • Daniel James – Jack
  • Jennyfer Jewell – Peggy
  • Tom Pizey – Mike
  • Tineke Van Der Walle – Laura (Nora)
  • Jeremy Brudenell – Thaddeus Arnold
  • Jane Waddell – Charlotte
  • Michele Amas – Ruby
  • Drew Neemia – Tom the Gypsy

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ENID BLYTON’S ENCHANTED LANDS, 1997-1998

I have never heard of this, but it ran for two series and 26 episodes. IMDB informs me that it was an animated show with only ten minutes per episode. There is only cast listed for 7 episodes, however, so a lot of information must be missing.

It seems that three DVDs/videos were released under the ‘Enchanted Lands’ title, but they don’t look like they match up in terms of a series so some of that information might be incorrect.


THE NODDY SHOP, 1998-2000

This was a rather odd-sounding Canadian/American programme.

It was set in an antique shopped called The Noddy Shop – standing for Notions, Oddities, Doodads and Delights of Yesterday. The grand-children of the owner would play with some Noddy toys at the shop in each episode and a story would be told through use of animations taken from Noddy’s Toyland Adventures.

It ran from 1998 to 2000 with 56 episodes in total, airing on PBS. A couple of them are on Youtube.

Episode List

noddyshop


LILAU IM SCHEPPERLAND, 2001-2002

This is a German show, apparently based on Browny Tales, or as it is more commonly known The Enid Blyton Book of Brownies,  though I don’t know how ‘official’ the adaptation is.

It only had thirteen half-hour episodes, though these do all seem to have been put on a DVD.

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MAKE WAY FOR NODDY, 2002-2007

This was a British-American production using CGI animation. It had 100 twelve minute episodes which were shown during Milkshake on channel 5 from 2002-2007, and released on various DVDs.

Episode list

  • David Kaye – Noddy
  • Michael Dobson – Big Ears
  • Britt McKillip – Tessie Bear
  • Lee Tockar – Bumpy Dog
  • Don Brown and Doug Parker – Gobbo and Sly
  • Richard Newman – Mr Plod

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SAY IT WITH NODDY, 2005

From Chorion there were a set of 100 new 2-minute TV interstitials and feature Noddy learning words in a variety of foreign languages. They also featured Noddy’s new robot friend Whizz, who pressed a button on his chest to say whichever new word or phrase Noddy needed to learn.

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FAMOUS 5: ON THE CASE, 2008

An animation made with input from Disney, this features the children of the Famous Five.

Max (the son of Julian and Brandine), Dylan (son of Dick and Michelle), Jo (daughter of George and Ravi – a tomboy who, like her mother, prefers a shorter name to her given name Jyoti) and Allie (daughter of Anne and John)

Wikipedia states there are 130 22 minute episodes but only 28 have been listed on IMDB, so I’m not sure what the true total is.

Thankfully it seems these have not been released on DVD.

famous_five


ENID, 2009

This drama/documentary, or dramamentary if you will, was produced by the BBC in conjunction with Carnival Film and Television. According to the trivia on IMDb it was filmed in just 16 days, and the role of Enid wasn’t cast until ten days before filming started!

It starred:

  • Helena Bonham Carter – Enid
  • Mathew Macfadyen – Hugh Pollock
  • Denis Lawson – Kenneth Waters
  • Claire Rushbrook – Dorothy Richards
  • Joseph Millson – Hanly Blyton
  • Ramona Marquez – Imogen
  • Sinead Michael – Gillian

I have to admit here that I’ve had this on DVD for absolutely ages and I’ve never watched it. I believe that it is not a particularly kind look at Enid’s life.

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NODDY IN TOYLAND 2009-2014

Information on this series is rather lacking too. IMDB suggests it ran for 53 episodes, which roughly tallies with what Channel 5 have on their site. (Other sites show lists of episodes under this title but having aired in 2001. I think there are so many Noddy programmes that people have gotten them confused!)

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HANNI AND NANNI (ST CLARE’S), 2010

A German adaptation of the St Clare’s Series which was published as Hanni and Nanni.

Hanni and Nanni have gone one step too far this time. It all began as a bet, but culminated in a wild chase through a luxury department store. As a final straw, the two girls were even accused of theft. The twins are expelled from school and their parents send them off to a boarding school called “Lindenhof”. While good-natured Nanni soon makes her first friends, hot-headed Hanni has much more trouble settling in. The first crucial test comes when the “Lindenhof” hockey team is due to play against the JoCats, the much-loved team from their old school – Hanni and Nanni have to decide where their loyalties lie. An unexpected discovery helps the two of them to choose. When “Lindenhof” also faces danger, it finally becomes clear to Hanni and Nanni that this is where they belong. They cook up a bold plan to save the school…

  • Sophia Munster – Hanni
  • Jana Munster – Nanni
  • Hannelore Elsner – Frau Theobald

The rest of the characters are named differently from the books.

The DVD is available on Amazon, but only with German speech and subtitles. One reviewer hsa said you can still follow what’s going on even if you don’t speak German, though.

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FUNF FREUNDE (FAMOUS FIVE), 2012

This is a German film about the Famous Five.

The Famous Five Julian, Dick, Anne, George and Timmy (the dog) spend their vacation together, while George’s dad (Professor Quentin ) is staying on a nearby island where he works on a project which might bring forward new methods of using alternative energies. But one day, he disappears and the five friends are soon convinced that he was kidnapped. Determined to rescue Professor Quentin, they not only have to deal with thugs and gangsters, but also uncover a huge conspiracy.

Set firmly in the 21st century they use computers and mobile phones in their efforts.

It starred:

  • Quirin Oettl – Julian
  • Justus Schlingensiepen – Dick
  • Neele-Marie Nickel – Anne
  • Valeria Eisenbart – George
  • Coffey – Timmy
  • Michael Fitz – Uncle Quentin
  • Anja Kling – Aunt Fanny

It also features a cameo from Marcus Harris!

It is available on Amazon, with English subtitles.

pic_1636596


HANNI AND NANNI 2, 2012

After returning from summer vacation, Hanni and Nanni must fight with their intolerable cousin and unmask a false princess.

This has the same main cast as the first film. It’s available on Amazon too, but only in German again.

hanni-und-nanni-2-072198467


FUNF FREUNDE 2 (FAMOUS FIVE), 2013

A sequel just one year later, this one sounds rather like Five Get Into Trouble.

The Famous Five set out on their first journey by bike on their own – unaccompanied by parents. On camping the kids encounter a strange boy named Hardy. They try to get rid of this annoying kid, but then Dick is kidnapped! He is a victim of confusion, as our Famous Five discover promptly. The hijackers have it rather in for Hardy, who is the son of business tycoon Kent. Do they want a ransom? With their good deal of detective instinct the kids are able to find the place where Dick has been abducted to: a medieval castle, called ‘Owl Nest’. George, Julian, Anne and Timmy get support from Hardy who is gradually proving to be a real help.

The main cast remains the same, even the same actor appears as the police detective. (But there’s no Marcus Harris this time.)

This is also available on Amazon, again with subtitles.

pic_1762922


HANNI AND NANNI 3

Clearly when German filmmakers are onto a good thing they just keep going!

I can’t find any descriptions of this film in English so I’ve had to rely on (an edited) Google translate from German Wikipedia.

The girls are rehearsing for Romeo and Juliet, which is to be played to the parents. After a casting Mademoiselle Bertoux chooses Nanni as Julia, however, she has mistaken Nanni for Hanni, and Nanni does not want to accept the role.

Also, Hanni falls in love with Clyde, one of the English boys involved in the play.But Daniela has also taken an interest in Clyde. Clyde doesn’t t know that Hanni has a twin sister and so thinks that Nanni is Hanni when he meets her. Nanni also ends up in love with Clyde who finds out after some time that he is dealing with twin sisters.

Not a very Blytonian plot over-all, though perhaps it does have shades of Guy and Harry Lawdler from Five On a Secret Trail.

The main cast appear to have returned again for this sequel. and again it can be bought on Amazon in the original German.

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FUNF FREUNDE 3 (FAMOUS FIVE), 2014

In what now feels like deja vu, there was a third German film the next year too.

In an old shipwreck, drifted ashore from a storm, the kids discover a mysterious brass locket. The local fisher girl Joe believes that this is the key to a long lost pirate treasure. Having befriended The Famous Five, she confesses, that an investor wants to banish her tribe from their bay, using it to build a tourist resort on their cherished land instead. This treasure is her last chance to save her home. Together the friends embark on a treasure hunt, through the dangerous jungle Noteka. With the gangster couple Nick and Cassi right on their heels, they rush through the jungle until Julian collapses. He was bitten by a toxic bug. The antidote, a rare herb, grows only miles away on a remote peak. As the friends finally arrive at the mountaintop, they are ambushed by Nick and Cassi. Only with the help of their loyal dog Timmy, they can escape and save Julian’s life. However by then, the gangsters have run off with the treasure. A race against time begins, as the investor has already arrived at Joe’s village with a bulldozer ready to go.

Again, this features the same cast – the benefit of doing films back to back I suppose!

It is down to its last copy on Amazon at the moment! I have read that each installment has been more succesful then the previous, which is unusual for films. Usually the law of diminishing returns applies there.

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FUNF FREUNDE 4 (FAMOUS FIVE), 2015

And we are firmly stuck in a time loop, with a fourth film to the series.

Bernhard, the father of Julian, Dick and Anne organized an exhibition to Egypt. There, they discover attempted burglary of an old gold amulet. So they fly with Elena, a colleague of his father, to Cairo. In Cairo Julian’s father falls into a trap and is then accused of theft. Until the trial, he goes to jail. The five are trying to prove the innocence of Bernard and take Auni, a young pickpocket to help. This raises the question of whether they can liberate Bernhard.

The main cast is the same again, with the exception of Timmy who is now played by Bobby.

You can get this on Amazon, too, but only through third-party sellers.

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NODDY, TOYLAND DETECTIVE, 2016

This is listed as a British/French/American production, created by Dreamworks.

Noddy turns detective. Accompanied by his dog Bumpy and car Revs, Noddy travels to the four corners of Toyland to investigate mysteries. Big Ears and Clockwork Mouse appear alongside new toys Deltoid, Smartysaurus and Pat-Pat the Panda.

As the description suggests it’s a very modern take on Noddy, he has a smartphone and his car sometimes transforms into a helicopter.

So far there have been 29 episodes shown – on Channel 5 in the UK, and all are available to watch online.

I have watched and reviewed the first episode – The Case of the Broken Crystal Memory Game.

Noddy is voiced by the son of Andy Serkis (Gollum from Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit).

noddy


So, how many of these have you seen?


There is also a Hanni and Nanni 4 currently in post-production, to be released some time in 2017.

I hope to update this with as and when any new information comes to light. If you have any of the more obscure items on this list we’d love to hear from you! Reviews, pictures, even just more accurate episode lists would be wonderful.

Latest update: 22/06/2017

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This entry was posted in 70s Famous Five Series, 90s Famous Five Series, Blyton on TV, Children's Film Foundation, Comic Strip Presents, The Adventure Series DVD, The Secret Series DVD and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to A Guide to Blyton on TV and in film

  1. Francis says:

    What a wonderful comprehensive list – I will be keeping it as a reference.
    Thank you so much, Fiona.
    All the best.
    Francis

    Like

  2. chrissie777 says:

    Thank you, Fiona! That was quite a labour of love!

    Like

  3. chrissie777 says:

    Here’s a link for the 1957 “Five on a Treasure Island” movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnoSboRyPJQ

    Like

  4. Pingback: Monday #183 | World of Blyton

  5. jillslawitJ says:

    I’ve got the 2 CFF Famous Fives, and the 70’s series Famous Fives, and I have seen the Film where Helena Bonham Carter plays Enid, and I agree none too sympathetically.

    Like

    • Francis says:

      Helena Bonham Carter portrays her as a very cold character – you could not imagine her captivating children as Enid Blyton did when she was a charismatic and innovative teacher. Her refusal to allow access to the children by her husband was wrong but the program as a whole set out to find fault with her to make it more interesting.
      Francis

      Like

  6. chrissie777 says:

    Hi Jill,

    EB might not have been a very devoted mother (like many full-time working moms), but I think she was a good wife to her second husband and created the most wonderful and suspenseful children’s books imaginable for me. She will always have a special place in my heart.

    Cheers,

    Chrissie

    Like

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