The BBC has ordered a new TV adaptation of The Famous Five!
The series will be based on the classic children’s adventure novels by English author Enid Blyton.
Her 21 stories tell the adventures of a group of young children – Julian, Dick, Anne, and George – with their dog Timmy.
Over 80 years since the first book was published in 1942, more than two million copies of the books are still sold every year.
Filming is already underway across the UK’s South West on three feature-length episodes.
The Famous Five was previously adapted by ITV in a series which ran for two seasons in the late 1970s.
Two movies – Five on a Treasure Island and Five Have a Mystery to Solve – were also made in 1957 and 1964.
“Bringing these books to life with a new reimagining of The Famous Five is a real treat for BBC audiences and a celebration of British heritage,” said Patricia Hidalgo, Director BBC Children’s and Education.
“These stories are loved around the world and bringing families together is a key part of our strategy so we hope it introduces a new generation of viewers to these wonderful adventures.”
The trio of 90-minute films is being made by the BBC as a co-production with German public broadcaster ZDF.
We’re told that the series will retain “all the thrills, charm and warmth” of the novels.
Among the project’s writers is Matthew Bouch, who previously worked on several seasons of children’s Doctor Who spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures, as well as episodes of Being Human and My Mad Fat Diary.
With the success of Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers series on CBBC in recent years, it’s surprising that it’s taken this long to bring the Famous Five back to our screens!
Executive producer Will Gould has called the new series “a modern, timely and irreverent action series with adventure at its heart.”
It’ll follow our five daring young explorers as they encounter “treacherous, action-packed adventures, remarkable mysteries, unparalleled danger, and astounding secrets in an unforgettable odyssey that evokes the power of camaraderie between the fearless young heroes.”
“All my life I’ve fought vigorously to remain a child with a lust for adventure,” said series creator Nicolas Winding Refn.
“By reimagining The Famous Five, I am preserving that notion by bringing these iconic stories to life for a progressive new audience, instilling the undefinable allure and enchantment of childhood for current and future generations to come,” the Danish filmmaker added.
The Famous Five is expected to premiere in 2024 on the CBBC channel and streaming on BBC iPlayer in the UK, on ZDF in Germany, and on TF1 in France.
The actors playing the main characters have not yet been announced, but we expect the cast to be revealed soon.
The complete collection of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books is available on Amazon.