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TVMucho Show of the week

Watership Down

Mon, December 17th, 2018

Saturday 7pm – 8.40pm and Sunday 7.20 – 9pm, BBC1

Released in 1972, Richard Adams classic children’s novel has sold an incredible 50 million copies. Such was the popularity of the story it was turned into a film and released in 1978, yet many children who watched that film first learned the harsh realities of the natural world and it was commonplace for swaithes of viewers to cry. Despite this, it captivated viewers and you’ll be hard struck to find a child from the 80’s who doesn’t remember it or talk of its impact on them.

This Christmas, BBC airs a two part remake of the classic, utilising modern technology to bring an updated version, graphically detailing all parts of the story, including the horrific scenes which traumatised so many.

For those not aware of the story, a colony of rabbits must flee as the humans move in a destroy their warren, embarking on a treacherous journey in search of a new home. Along the way they meet an array of difficulties, from predators to lethal threats to fellow rabbits determined to stop them. The new cast for 2018 is star studded – James McAvoy heads up the celebrities as the rabbits’ leader Hazel, with younger brother Fiver voiced by Nicholas Hoult. Rosamund Pike provides the mystere as the Black Rabbit of Inle and the ever helpful seagull Keehar is played by Peter Capaldi. Star Wars actor John Boyega plays the large and strong rabbit Bigwig, BAFTA award winner Olivia Colman plays Strawberry, Gemma Arterton voices the active Clover and Ben Kingsley voices the evil General Woundwort. Other voices are provided by Daniel Kaluuya, Tom Wilkinson, Miles Jupp, Craig Parkinson and Ben Kingsley.

The second part in the series on Sunday may have you reaching for the tissues, the rabbits reach the home foretold by Fiver but must use all their wits to defend it against the tyrannical and dangerous General Woundwort. The actors reveal that filming these scenes was particularly hard, many memories of the original brought back to the fore, Gemma Arterton states to The Telegraph “I remember seeing the 1978 animation when I was very young – and being petrified by it. Having revisited the story as an adult, it’s so pertinent, especially for these days and these times.”

An enthralling and skilled remake worth watching that will captivate a new generation, but be warned that young children may get upset!


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