Famous Five to ape Doctor Who (or is that Timeslip?)

The cast of The Famous Five
1978 production, scripted by
Richard Carpenter

London-based Kindle Entertainment, makers of the critically acclaimed CBBC show Leonardo are to turn Enid Blyton’s The Famous Five into a time travel show.

The company recently announced it has has entered into a co-production pact with Hachette UK, which recently acquired a majority of the estate of author Enid Blyton from Chorion, to create a new TV series based on Blyton’s beloved kid’s book series.

Kindle Entertainment will pitch the TV series to broadcasters and distributors to secure funding to produce the series and says it plans to maintain the core values of the original stories (first published in 1942), while designing a programme that is appealing to kid’s today.

The new series will include an element of time travel that follows the protagonist George, a modern girl, and her dog Timmy as they are transported back through the decades to Kirrin Bay in 1954.

There, she meets characters Julian, Dick and Anne, who are spending the summer with Uncle Quentin and Aunt Fanny. The ‘Famous Five’ will embark on numerous adventures based on Blyton ‘s original plots.

Through each episode George will gradually learn more about Uncle Quentin’s mysterious experiments before all is revealed in a final twist.

The concept would seem to echo, albeit slightly, the 1970s time travel series Timeslip, which was also a popular strip in Look-In, drawn by Mike Noble; while appealing, perhaps to fans of Doctor Who.

There have of course been several TV adaptations of The Famous Five, one of which starred Doctor Who and Sarah Jane Adventures Gary Russell in his earlier career as a child actor. Produced in 1978, it was scripted by Richard Carpenter, who also created Catweazle, Black Beauty, Dick Turpin and Robin of Sherwood.

Kindle Entertainment’s shows include Leonardo, a 13-part series following the awesome and audacious adventures of a teenage Leonardo da Vinci, which was shot in South Africa where an incredible set of Renaissance Florence was built. The series airs on CBBC in the UK.

Owned by Hatchette Livre, Hachette UK is the most diversified book publishing group in the UK, with a unique policy of encouraging its publishing houses to operate autonomously. Among its houses and imprints are Hachette Children’s Books, Headline Publishing Group, Hodder & Stoughton, Hodder Education, John Murray, Little, Brown Book Group, Octopus Publishing Group and Orion Publishing.

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John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

One thought on “Famous Five to ape Doctor Who (or is that Timeslip?)

  1. Intriguing. Sounds an ideal format for winning over a new and contemporary audience that leaves the flavour of the originals and the period largely intact. Always thought there was more to Uncle Quentin than meets the eye (post Comic Strip Presents)!

    I’d heard somewhere that there had also been a treatment knocking about that dealt with the Five in their adult lives (presumably the original Timmy would be dead, stuffed and kept by the umbrella stand by then) but this seems like the perfect pitch.

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