Famous Five 1978: Season 1

Monday, 21 May 2012 16:52

Enid Blyton's The Famous Five - Season One comes to DVDEnid Blyton’s Famous Five Series 1 is out now on DVD, and the release includes the first 13 episodes of the 1970s TV variant on the popular book series.  This series was originally broadcast on ITV in 1978, but it is significant that 2012 is the year which marks the 70th anniversary of the first release of the “Famous Five” series of books. Thanks to our friends at Koch Media, you had a chance to win one of three copies of this DVD set we had up-for-grabs.

The five stars were, as was the case in the books, Dick Kirrin (Gary Russell – now a big wheel in the Doctor Who universe), Julian Kirrin (Marcus Harris – once Deputy Mayor of Wallingford), Anne Kirrin (Jennifer Thanisch - Jack Regan's daughter, Susie, in The Sweeney), their cousin George (Michele Gallagher, who tragically died in 2000) and her dog Timmy (played by Toddy). Supporting the adventures were Uncle Quentin (German actor Michael Hinz) and Aunt Fanny (Sue Best) who were always around to offer unwitting assistance and lashings of ginger beer.

An Anglo-German co-production, the stories had everything its audience could want - ruined castles, rolling moors, mysterious islands, and hidden caves. The Five could find adventure wherever they were. Whether using Kirrin Cottage as a base, or away on holiday, they always encountered various never-do-wells, including smugglers, scoundrels and spies.

This first series also features the talent of classic British actors, including Michael Sheard (Mr Bronson in Grange Hill), Shane Rimmer (voice of Scott Tracy in Thunderbirds), Prentis Hancock (Paul Morrow in Space: 1999), Ingrid Hafner (Carol Wilson in The Avengers), Ronald Fraser (Sid Dawes in Follow Me), Brian Glover (Magersfontein Lugg in Campion), James Villiers (Tanner in “For Your Eyes Only”), John Carson (Dr Marcus in “Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter”), Norman Mitchell (PC Parsons in Worzel Gummidge), Willoughby Goddard (Taybor in Space: 1999), Gretchen Franklin (Ethel in Eastenders), Ron Pember (Alain Muny in Secret Army), Peter Cartwright (Bishop George Postlethwaite in Emmerdale), Cyril Luckham (White Guardian in Doctor Who), Charlotte Avery (Tina in a run of Eastenders episodes in 2005) and Geoffrey Bayldon (Catweazle).

The recently-released second season boasts the likes of Patrick Troughton, Kenneth Cope, and an early appearance from Rupert Graves as guest stars. DVD extras on this first season set include a video interview with Marcus Harris, Jennifer Thanisch, Gary Russell and Gail Renard and an Original Trailer (both on Disc 3).

Enid Blyton’s Famous Five - Season 1 is out now on DVD from Koch Media.  The three-disc set has a ‘U’ certificate, a running time of 350 minutes approx, and an RRP of £29.99, or get it for less at www.culttvstore.com

Thanks to Koch Media and Cult TV, you had a chance to win one of three copies of the box set we had up for grabs in our prize competition. To enter the competition, you had to answer the following simple question about the series: Series star Gary Russell has gone on to become a Script Editor, Writer, and Producer connected with which classic BBC series?  The answer was Doctor Who, and the winners were Lisa Hutchinson of Brampton, Simon Maisey of Swindon, and Valerie Hartley of Wakefield.  Well done all.

 

 

Enid Blyton’s Famous Five Episode Guide – Series One

 

Michele Galagher as George

 

Marcus Harris as Julian

 

Jennifer Thanisch as Anne

 

Gary Russell as Dick

 

Toddy as Timmy the Dog

 

 

 

Music by Rob Andrews

 

Lyrics by Les Spurr

 

Arranged & Conducted by Tony King

 

Production Manager: Dickie Bamber

 

Production Designer: Bob Cartwright

 

Executive Producer: James Gatward

 

Producer: Don Leaver

 

Filmed on location at Exbury

 

 

 

01. “Five Go To Kirren Island (Episode One)”

 

Anne, Julian and Dick are going on holiday! For the first time, they are going to visit their Aunt Fanny, Uncle Quentin and Cousin George on Kirrin Island. But Uncle Quentin is busy working on a secret project and George, unable to go off on her own as she usually does, is not happy about playing with her cousins. ]However, a stranger by the name of Mr. Curton shows up – and seems a little TOO interested in Uncle Quentin’s project - and the kids become suspicious. Then when Uncle Quentin goes missing, George must get together her cousins to try to save her father. The spelling of “Kirren” is as it appears on the credits board at the start of the episode.

 

Guest starring: Michael Hinz (Quentin Kirrin), Sue Best (Fanny Kirrin), James Villiers (Johnson), Oscar Quitak (Curton), Friedrich Von Thun (Rogers)

 

Sequences shot in the New Forest with the assistance of the Forestry Commission

 

Adapted by Richard Sparks

 

Director: Peter Duffell

 

Original ITV transmission: 3 July 1978

 

 

 

02. “Five Go To Kirren Island (Episode Two)”

 

Uncle Quentin is kidnapped once again, by a rival of Mr Curton, who also wants to know Uncle Quentin’s secret.  Julian, Dick, George and Anne – with the help of George’s dog Timmy, must once again leap into action to save Uncle Quentin – and the Famous Five are born.

 

Guest starring: Michael Hinz (Quentin Kirrin), Sue Best (Fanny Kirrin), James Villiers (Johnson), Oscar Quitak (Curton), Friedrich Von Thun (Rogers), Donald Morley (Police Inspector)

 

Sequences shot in the New Forest with the assistance of the Forestry Commission

 

Adapted by Richard Sparks

 

Director: Peter Duffell

 

Original ITV transmission: 10 July 1978

 

 

 

03. “Five Go Adventuring Again”

 

The Famous Five have a new tutor, Mr. Roland, who will teach them during the Christmas holidays. But one day, Timmy interrupts the tutor searching through Uncle Quentin’s workroom. What could he want? He seems to be acting suspiciously and Julian, Anne and George begin to shadow him. On the nearby farm the kids discover an old map of a secret pathway. Shortly after George observes Mr Roland talking to the farms guests, Mr Wilton and Mr Thomas. It seems that the three men know each other and the Famous Five are sure that they are plotting to break into Uncle Quentin’s workroom to steal his secrets. It’s the Famous Five to the rescue once again.

 

Guest starring: Michael Hinz (Quentin Kirrin), Sue Best (Fanny Kirrin), Pearl Hackney (Mrs Sanders), Friedrich Von Thun (Rogers), Peter Dennis (Roland), Alec Bregonzi (Wilton), Johnny Wade (Thomas)

 

Sequences shot in the New Forest with the assistance of the Forestry Commission

 

Adapted by Richard Carpenter

 

Director: Don Leaver

 

Original ITV transmission: 17 July 1978

 

 

 

04. “Five Go to Smuggler’s Top (Episode One)”

 

During a heavy storm, a tree fell on Kirrin Cottage – meaning with the cottage out of action, the Famous Five travel to stay with Mr Lenoir – an acclaimed scientist and colleague of Uncle Quentin, who lives in Smugglers Top. However, Mr Lenoir hates dogs, so George devises a plan to smuggle in Timmy - through a secret network of tunnels under the house that the children learn were once used by smugglers! Mr Lenoir has developed a plan to drain the surrounding swamps - but Mr Barling, a nearby rival, wants to stop the project, so he kidnaps Uncle Quentin and Sooty, Mr Lenoir’s son. IT’s up to the Famous Five to get them back!

 

Guest starring: Michael Hinz (Quentin Kirrin), Ronald Fraser (Mr Barling), John Carson (Mr Lenoir), Ron Pember (Block), Ingrid Hafner (Mrs Lenoir), Jonathan Wilmot (Sooty Lenoir), Charlotte Avery (Marybelle Lenoir)

 

Sequences shot in the New Forest with the assistance of the Forestry Commission

 

Adapted by Gloria Tors

 

Director: Peter Duffell

 

Original ITV transmission: 24 July 1978

 

 

 

05. “Five Go to Smuggler’s Top (Episode Two)”

 

The four children and Marybelle, Sooty’s sister, suspect Block, the deaf butler, to be involved in the kidnappings. George, Anne, Julian and Dick begin their search for Sooty and Uncle Quentin in the caves under the house - and of course find adventure along the way!

 

Guest starring: Michael Hinz (Quentin Kirrin), Ronald Fraser (Mr Barling), John Carson (Mr Lenoir), Ron Pember (Block), Ingrid Hafner (Mrs Lenoir), Richard Shaw (Police Inspector), Mandy More (Sarah), Jonathan Wilmot (Sooty Lenoir), Charlotte Avery (Marybelle Lenoir)

 

Sequences shot in the New Forest with the assistance of the Forestry Commission

 

Adapted by Gloria Tors

 

Director: Peter Duffell

 

Original ITV transmission: 31 July 1978

 

 

 

06. “Five Go Off in a Caravan”

 

George & Timmy are at Julian, Dick and Anne’s house for the holidays, as Uncle Quentin is embarking on another secret project and needs silence at Kirrin Cottage. The children are spending their time, adventure free and lazing in the garden wondering what to do, when suddenly a circus arrives in town.  Nobby, who belongs to a circus befriends the Famous Five, and the children decide to follow the circus in Daddy’s caravan.  However, Nobby’s Uncle - Tiger Dan and Acrobat Lou don’t want the famous five around, as their caravans are standing in front of a cave, where the circus acts hide stolen goods. And when Tiger Dan and Lou try to poison Timmy to get rid of the children, the Famous Five vow to stop the circus folk any way they can.

 

Guest starring: Micahel Hinz (Quentin Kirrin), Brian Glover (Tiger Dan), Sean Lynch (Lou), Peter Cartwright (Police Inspector), Gary Dundaven (Nobby)

 

Circus animals and technical advice: Gerry Cottle’s Cricus

 

Adapted by Richard Sparks

 

Director: Peter Duffell

 

Original ITV transmission: 7 August 1978

 

 

 

7. “Five Go Off to Camp (Episode One)”

 

The Famous Five, escorted by a teacher from Dick and Julian’s’ school, Mr. Luffy, are going off on a camping holiday for the summer. Nearby the camp the Anne discovers an underground network of trains. But when the five go to investigate, the grumpy, old guard s warns them off, telling them tales of “spook-trains” running at night, before throwing a cinder at Dick! Of course, the Famous Five, curiosity piqued, want to find out about the secret of the “spook-trains”, so the boys, accompanied by Jock, a local farmer’s son, set off in the night to investigate.

 

Guest starring: Michael Hinz (Quentin Kirrin), Sue Best (Fanny Kirrin), Cyril Luckham (Mr Luffy), Joe Brady (Mr Andrews), George Moon (Old Porter), Friedrich Von Thun (Rogers), John Bardon (Peters), John Barrett (Wooden-leg Sam), Chris Wilkinson (Jock), Christine Akehurst (Mrs Andrews)

 

Sequences shot at Marchwood with the assistance of the Royal Engineers

 

Adapted by Gail Renard

 

Director: James Gatward

 

Original ITV transmission: 14 August 1978

 

 

 

8. “Five Go Off to Camp (Episode Two)”

 

Despite warnings from Jock’s dad, Mr. Andrews, Julian, Dick and Jock sneak back to the old goods station at night – but this time they manage to get a glimpse of a spook-train. Convinced something sinister is behind the trains, they plan to re-visit the station in the daytime – but when they do they bump into Mr. Andrews and his men – and they look like they’re up to no good…

 

Guest starring: Michael Hinz (Quentin Kirrin), Cyril Luckham (Mr Luffy), Joe Brady (Mr Andrews), John Bardon (Peters), John Barrett (Wooden-leg Sam), Chris Wilkinson (Jock)

 

Sequences shot at Marchwood with the assistance of the Royal Engineers

 

Adapted by Gail Renard

 

Director: James Gatward

 

Original ITV transmission: 21 August 1978

 

 

 

09. “Five on a Hike Together” 

 

The Famous Five have the weekend off from boarding school and, led by Julian, decide to go on a hike in the moors. But the five split up when Timmy has an accident and George and Julian take him to the nearby vets, whilst Dick and Anne head off to the next stopping point. However, Dick and Anne take the wrong path, and as night draws in, they persuade an old woman to take them in for the night.  Dick is woken in the middle of the night, when a man appears at his window, shouting his name and a mysterious message. When the stranger disappears, he leaves behind a map – which the five, once reunited naturally follow to find out what lies at the end of the trail!

 

Guest starring: Michael Hinz (Quentin Kirren), Daniel Moynihan (Police Inspector), Prentis Hancock (Dirty Dick), Lally Percy (Maggie), Frank Ellis (Williams)

 

Sequences shot in the New Forest with the assistance of the Forestry Commission

 

Adapted by Richard Carpenter

 

Director: Mike Connor

 

Original ITV transmission: 4 September 1978

 

 

 

10. “Five Go to Mystery Moor”

 

The Famous Five are on holiday at a riding school, when a band of gypsies travelling by turn up with an injured horse. Talking to Sniffer, the boy whose horse has a bad leg, they hear the gypsies are travelling to Mystery Moor. The gypsies seem in a hurry to leave, and when the five try to follow, they are told to “clear off and leave us alone”. What can possibly be the secret of Mystery Moor? It’s up to the Famous Five to find out!

 

Guest starring: Michael Hinz (Quentin Kirrin), Willoughby Goddard (The Man), Michael Sheard (Police Inspector), John Flint (Captain Johnson), Norman Mitchell (Ben), Frank Jarvis (Heavy), Alexis Hurst (Henrietta), Kevin Hudson (Sniffy), Adam Stafford (William)

 

Sequences shot in the New Forest with the assistance of the Forestry Commission

 

Adapted by Gloria Tors

 

Director: James Gatward

 

Original ITV transmission: 11 September 1978

 

 

 

11. “Five on a Secret Trail”

 

The five are camping, when a storm hits, driving them to stay in an abandoned cottage nearby. But in the night, Anne hears noises and in the morning the Five realise that someone has been sneaking around in the night, lifting the paving stones outside the cottage.  The children all pretend to leave the next morning, however Dick and Julian sneak back and that night hear the strangers return, talking about a hidden treasure in the cottage. Will the Five manage to get there before these mysterious strangers?   

 

Guest starring: Michael Hinz (Quentin Kirrin), Sue Best (Fanny Kirrin), Ray Armstrong (Inspector), Gertan Klauber (Brian), Peter Wilson (Mack), Diana Lambert (Jess), Paul Stacey (Harry Lawdler), Jeremy Stacey (Guy Lawdler)

 

Sequences shot in the New Forest with the assistance of the Forestry Commission

 

Adapted by Richard Sparks

 

Director: Don Leaver

 

Original ITV transmission: 18 September 1978

 

 

 

12. “Five Go to Billycock Hill”

 

Nearby Billycock Hill, home to a secret airfield, is the scene of the Famous Five’s latest adventure. The Five are camping, when they meet Jeff, an RAF pilot from the nearby base! Everyone likes Jeff, so when two planes are stolen from the base, and Jeff is suspected of being one of the pilots, the Five are determined to solve the mystery and prove his innocence.

 

Guest starring: Michael Hinz (Quentin Kirren), Geoffrey Bayldon (Mr Gringle), George Innes (MP), Gretchen Franklin (Mrs Janes), Barry Andrews (Flt Lt Jeff Thomas), Kenneth Waller (Enemy Agent), Ray Barron (Will Janes), Andrew Bagley (Toby), Rowland Guinnane (Benny) 

 

Sequences shot in the New Forest with the assistance of the Forestry Commission

 

Adapted by Gail Renard

 

Director: Don Leaver

 

Original ITV transmission: 25 September 1978

 

 

 

13. “Five on Finniston Farm”

 

The Five are on Finniston Farm – where they learn the story of the ruined castle that used to stand on the site. They hear tell that only the dungeons remain of the castle – and nobody knows where they are! The Five set off to find the dungeons – and whatever may still lie inside them – but they are not the only ones on the trail.

 

Guest starring: Leslie Dwyer (Grandad), Thelma Whiteley (Mrs Philpot), Ben Aris (Mr Durleston), Shane Rimmer (Mr Henning), Peter Coply (Mr Finniston), Julia Silk (Harriet Philpot), Simon Adams (Harry Philpot), Andy Campbell (Junior Henning)

 

Sequences shot in the New Forest with the assistance of the Forestry Commission

 

Adapted by Gloria Tors

 

Director: Peter Duffell

 

Original ITV transmission: 2 October 1978

 

Last modified on Wednesday, 27 June 2012 15:48

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