Thursday, March 20, 2008

Enid Blyton's Famous Five return to television

Or so the BBC reports.

Enid Blyton has long been a brand name rather than an author - the books in print under her name bear increasingly little relation to what she originally wrote. So it's no surprise when the BBC says:
the Famous Five's offspring are now multicultural; their enemies include a DVD bootlegger and they sport modern gadgets like iPods and mobile phones.
One of the new characters is a:
12-year-old Anglo-Indian Jo, short for Jyoti - a Hindu world meaning light - who, like her mother George, is a tomboy and the group's team leader ...

"We tried to imagine where the original Famous Five would go in their lives," Jeff Norton from Chorion, which owns the rights to Blyton's books, told the Press Association.
"Because George was such an intrepid explorer in the original novels we thought it would be only natural that she travelled to India, to the Himalayas, where she fell in love with Ravvi. That's the back story (to Jo).
Hold on a minute. I know that it is a law of the modern British media that any group of three has to contain one person from a visible ethnic minority. And I am quite prepared to believe that George reached the Himalayas.

But if she did so it was in the company of a blonde Swedish gym instructress. George, I fear, was simply not the marrying kind.

This does raise the question of what became of the others.

Timmy was stuffed after he died and can currently be found in a glass case at the National Centre for Research in Children's Literature.

Anne married a stockbroker and is steadily drinking herself to death in a large house in Surrey.

Dick lost his life through a useless act of bravery in some late colonial war.

Julian was elected to Parliament as a Conservative MP, became a thorough-going Thatcherite minister, but was forced to flee the country after one of the more entertaining scandals of the Major years.

I continue to prefer the work of Malcolm Saville. You get more believable plots, real English locations and no protofascist subtext.

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