Re: New S & A Film (Again)

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Posted by Peter Hyland on May 29, 2016 at 00:53:07 user Peter_H.

In Reply to: New S & A Film (Again) posted by Mike Dennis on May 29, 2016 at 00:44:20:

The Sunday Times article is titled “Swallows and Airbrushes”. As Mike says, it’s behind the Murdoch paywall, so here are some extracts:

For older generations S&A isn’t just a children’s book, it is a religion. Its characters might as well be part of their own family . . . .Christine Langan, the BBC producer . .promised that the film . . .would remain faithful to the spirit of the book. She was being economical with the truth. My family are furious.”

Barbara Altounyan then sums up the Titty/Tatty dispute, but then she adds “In the latest BBC version all the characters are cast as blue-eyed, red-cheeked and blond. Is this true? Not a bit. The real-life children were dark-haired with Middle Eastern complexions. The Altounyan children were in fact Anglo-Syrians . . .”

(I personally don’t agree with Barbara on that last point – AR surely had a right to create his child characters as he wished, and it is clear from the books that the S, A & Ds are English – no mention is made in the books of an Asian ancestry, so I think the BBC has got that one right.)

But Barbara’s last point makes me rather angry, if it’s true. “We have just learnt that poor Titty has come in for yet another hammering . . .In Ransome’s book her role ends victoriously. In the film we are told that her sailing adventures come to a sticky end.”

When I hear of people messing around with Titty’s character, I reach for my revolver . . .

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