Captain Wolcott is a widower with seven children. He marries again and his new wife takes on all the trials of bringing up seven spirited children. They have many adventures, especially one... See full summary »
Captain Wolcott is a widower with seven children. He marries again and his new wife takes on all the trials of bringing up seven spirited children. They have many adventures, especially one daughter Helen, commonly known as Judy. Written by
Small screen masterpiece from Auntie ABC in her prime.
Ethel Turner's best selling novel, 'Seven Little Australians', continuously in print for more than 105 years, was the subject of an ambitious made for TV series back in 1973. Co-produced by Ethel Turner's son Adrian Curlewis, this was always going to be close to the novel and such was the case. The series was much loved in its time, and regularly shown via 16mm prints to appreciative audiences in later years. Often the subject of "when will it become available on DVD?" queries, the ABC issued it this month as a twin disc set with a couple of extras.
In a nutshell, it's the story of the Woolcot Family of Sydney in 1894. Captain Woolcot having lost his wife had remarried a much younger girl, bringing to the marriage 6 children. Another had come from the new marriage, so that the Captain felt it necessary to run the family with army discipline. However his rules and regulations were no match for the fun loving children, led by the redoubtable Judy. It takes a tragedy to eventually bring the family together.
The second disc includes a segment from 'Weekend Magazine', the newsreel which used to follow the ABC news at 7.20pm on Sunday nights. This extremely interesting item has interviews with Ethel Turner's son, cast members, the scriptwriter and includes a nostalgic shot of the children's shelf in a Sydney bookshop. It also gives behind the scenes shots of the production. Plus a gallery of Ethel Turner family photos, backed by the lady herself reciting one of her favourite poems.
A 'must have' for any lover of the book which it so closely follows. This 10-episode mini-series, a masterpiece of its time, still stands up as a shining achievement of dear old Auntie in her prime. It's been given a restoration and probably looks better now than when it was first transmitted 30 years ago. The 'Weekend Magazine' segment of behind the scenes interviews was a treat in itself.
The family name, by the way, is 'Woolcot'. I mention this as the IMDb page has a couple of different spellings. Fortunately, I have the book which backs up the DVD packaging.
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