‘The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ (TV)

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‘THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE’

Please feel free to comment on my review.

Only the Beginning of the Adventure

This is a great BBC TV version of ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ by C.S. Lewis!

It was while I was into ‘The Lord of the Rings’ film trilogy, that my parents introduced me to ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ through this BBC children’s drama series. In Christmas 2003, I’d seen ‘The Return of the King’ at the cinemas.  I also watched ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ on DVD.

I did know about the classic book by C.S. Lewis from ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ series. I also read the book when I was at school and saw a cartoon version of the tale when I was a kid. But I hadn’t seen a proper dramatised version of ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ until I saw this version in 2003.

I enjoyed the BBC TV version of ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ so much that I wanted to see more of ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’. Luckily there were three more stories to see as my parents purchased the complete ‘Collector’s Edition’ on DVD afterwards in 2004 when I was enjoying ‘LLW’.

‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ Collector’s Edition is a 4-disc DVD set with four stories on it. On Disc 1, there’s ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’; on Disc 2, there’s ‘Prince Caspian’ and ‘The Voyage of the Dawn Treader’ and on Disc 3, there’s ‘The Silver Chair’. On Disc 4, there are special features.

‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ is a six-part adventure based on the novel by C.S. Lewis.

I loved every minute of this version of ‘LWW’. It put me in mind of what I knew about ‘LLW’ from reading the book and I loved the performances of each of the cast members featured in this drama.

The story is about four children, Peter; Susan; Edmund and Lucy. They get sent to the country during the war in 1940 to live with an old professor. There they find a wardrobe and enter in a magical land.

The land is called Narnia and is ruled by the evil White Witch, who has a cast an eternal winter for a hundred years. The four children are chosen to save Narnia and are helped by Aslan the Great Lion.

The performances of the four actors playing the Pevensie children are brilliant. They were interesting interpretations of the characters, but I liked how each drove the story in so many ways.

I liked Richard Dempsey’s performance as Peter. It seems old fashioned, but it’s true to the character as Peter was in the books. I like how heroic; brave and honest Peter is when saving Narnia from peril.

I equally liked Sophie Cook who’s lovely; sweet and gentle as Susan. Susan is also true to her character as written from the book, and I like it when she sides with Peter at times during the story.

I enjoyed Jonathan R. Scott’s performance as Edmund. He’s so spiteful to his brother and sisters in the story and is easily seduced by the White Witch. I liked it when he wanted more Turkish Delight.

I liked Sophie Wilcox’s performance as Lucy, although I felt she seemed chubby to play her in this production. But I liked how honest she is in her performance as Lucy is in awe of the world of Narnia.

Barbara Kellerman delivers a terrifying performance as the White Witch. I did feel at times she was over-the-top. But she truly relishes the part and I loved her costume and look that’s from the book.

I cherish the performances of Kerry Shale and Lesley Nicol as Mr. and Mrs. Beavers. They’re clearly people dressed up in suits, but I loved how they did their performances in being a married couple.

I can’t go without mentioning Jeffrey S. Perry’s performance as Mr. Tumnus. I liked the scenes he has at the beginning when he meets Lucy and how he saves her by not taking her to the White Witch.

And there’s ‘Big Mick’ who played the White Witch’s dwarf (who we must call Ginnarbrik). I liked it when he and the White Witch seem to share the same mind. He has a voice throughout the story.

But the highlight of this production of ‘LLW’ is Aslan himself. I’m very impressed how the production team built a life-life lion to make Aslan real. It must have been very sophisticated for its time then.

Ronald Pickup provides the voice of Aslan in ‘LLW’. Although it’s not a convincing lion talking to the children, it’s easy to suspense your disbelief and you believe he’s there when he talks and growls.

I wasn’t impressed by the battle scenes in this version of the ‘LWW’ as the visual effects weren’t as sophisticated as in the movie version of ‘LLW’. I did like Peter’s fight with Maugrim the Wolf though.

This is a wonderful version of ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ by the BBC. I have happy memories seeing this when I saw this on DVD in 2003 and when I saw it again for the movie in 2005.

‘The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ (BBC) rating – 9/10


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2 thoughts on “‘The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ (TV)

  1. I remember watching this upon transmission & was astonished how real Aslan looked.

    I think this is quite possibly my favourite adaption of the story, i loved reading your review it took me on a nostalgia trip back in time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Timelord Simon!

    Yes this is a very good adaptation of ‘LLW’ by the BBC. I have fond memories watching this on DVD back in 2003 when I was in ‘LOTR’ mode.

    Yes, Aslan does look very real, doesn’t he? I find that the BBC TV Aslan of the 80s is superb compared to the CGI one in the movies (not to say the CGI version of Aslan is terrible by any means). It’s very impressive for its time and I was convinced it was a real lion when I first saw Aslan in this version of ‘Narnia’.

    As I understand, this version of ‘LLW’ was shown at the same time ‘Silver Nemesis’ was shown, wasn’t it?

    I’m pleased my review took you back on a nostalgia trip through time, Simon. Pleased to hear this is your favourite adaptation of the story.

    Thanks for your kind comments, Simon.

    Tim. 🙂

    Like

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