This episode is probably one of the furthest from the book you can get. It in the second series and it’s just a shame that the budget perhaps wasn’t big enough to provide the sort of snowy back drop that makes this book one of my favourite and most atmospheric.
The idea that the Five are going on holiday to the snowy mountains of Wales to recover from a miserable Christmas with coughs and colds, but there doesn’t seem to be much of this in the episode. The episode lacks the atmosphere, as I said, of the book, the lack of snow makes it hard for some of the story line to be adapted, such as the accidental skiing onto the opposite slope where Old Towers, the centre of the story and the strange goings on.
The acting from Marco Williamson in this episode is somewhat wooden and overplayed. He is obviously still getting over his broken leg from previous episodes, but it is more about going through the motions. Jemima Rooper is as energetic as ever in her acting, and shines through as the truly professional actress she is.
The story still revolves around the mysterious Morgan, and the wild child Aily, but there isn’t so much mystery about Old Towers, we only have one strange tremor from the Old Towers hill. Aily is another issue within the episode. No longer is she a small child who skips about the hills like a little lamb, but she’s a big gamboling lass, not much older or younger than Williamson who was by far the eldest of the group at the time. We lose some of that innocence and magic from this older Aily, and she’s also without her lamb. Dave the dog still stays by her side, but her lamb is no where to be found. I understand why the chose to cast someone older, purely for the sake of being able to film without worrying too much about the breaks as they would have to with an younger child, but still, its not as Blyton wrote it.
Morgan is another one who is less imposing. The tall, broad strong figure, that used to send terror into my bones at the thought of him getting angry and shouting at me, is gone and although well played, lacks the gravitas of the Morgan in the book, and there are only three dogs in his party, not the seven! A real disappointment.
Disappointingly this episode never catches my attention, and lacks that proper Blytonian feel. The storyline is disappointing and the scenery is nothing to write home about. Filmed in the West Country is all very well, but I don’t think even the gorgeous rolling fields of the West Country can compensate for the tall, snowy Welsh mountains. This episode for those reasons rates very low on my recommendation list, and does not deliver the magic at all.
What do you think of Five Get Into a Fix? Falls flat or a smashing adaption? Let me know!
Got to agree with you, Stef – a big disappointment. It never overcomes the lack of snow. The book was a welcome return to form for Enid following a slow slide in the quality of the stories. It is without doubt the strongest of the later stories.