Last week I previewed the BBC’s adaptation of The Incredible Adventures of Professor Branestawn which was shown on Christmas Eve.
Then on Boxing Day the BBC transmitted a version of David Walliams’ book The Boy in the Dress. Now on New Year’s Day BBC1 will be transmitting their version of another children’s book – Esio Trot – at half past six.
The original book upon which this telefilm was based, was published in 1990 by prolific children’s writer Roald Dahl. While the book is quite short, this is a ninety minute film. It boasts two distinguished film actors in the leading roles – Dustin Hoffman and Judi Dench. James Corden also puts in an appearance. It is a romantic comedy and tells of a very timid bachelor, Mr. Hoppy who is in love with his neighbour – the widow Mrs. Silver – who lives in the downstairs flat. However he discovers that the only being that she loves is her pet tortoise. But she is worried that the tortoise is failing to put on weight. Mr. Hoppy therefore hatches a plan to help and to hopefully get her to like him as well.
The screenplay of this romantic comedy drama was partly written by Richard Curtis who was behind the famous films - Love Actually and Four Weddings and a Funeral.
The title may seem strange until you discover what it reads backwards. Therein lies a clue as to how things turn out. It is interesting to note that back in the 1960s and 1970s the BBC used to make a number of serials for a family audience based upon classic books.
Now it seems as if the BBC prefer to dramatize popular children’s literature as one off specials. Hopefully after watching these specials, people will seek out the original books.