The sweet little girl in white (1/4), first broadcast 27.02.77: This is where the Botts arrive and it's immediately arranged that William and Violet Elizabeth shall be friends and go away and play. The Outlaws (William, Ginger, Douglas and Henry) try to play Red Indians but just can't cope with the irrepressible ever-lisping VE and try to run away from her with alarming results. An absolute classic, bettered only by the original story.
Two good turns (2/11), first broadcast 8.1.78: Rigidly boring Uncle Frederick comes to stay along with his endless memories, mainly of his stamp collection. One of the sub-plots involved William's glamorous sister Ethel being unintentionally slandered by him as a boozy thief all because she had a cold. Hilarious stuff, RC surely would have approved!
These 2 episodes were recorded only 9 months apart, but Dannatt had grown noticeably larger in the latter, and although he still looked and sounded like William he obviously couldn't continue much longer getting away as an 11 year old. All in all it was an amazing achievement, from a time when UK family TV was generally dire, depicting a time long gone on a minimal budget successfully and getting the stories over almost perfectly. The BBC had another go in the '90's, threw more money at it and got the period right but not the characters. Maybe they should have used Thomas Henry's original illustrations from the books as a guide instead of using their own more expensive ideas. Why on Earth isn't the whole series out on DVD (2006)?