Masterpiece Classic: Season 30, Episode 5

The Railway Children (12 Nov. 2000)
"Masterpiece Theatre" The Railway Children (original title)

TV Episode  |   |  Drama
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 721 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 2 critic

Dramatisation of E Nesbit's classic novel about three children whose lives change Dramatically after they move to a Yorkshire cottage near a railway line.

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Title: The Railway Children (12 Nov 2000)

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Blumenau ...
Peter
...
Phyllis
...
...
Mother
...
Father
Valerie Minifie ...
Cook
Melanie Clark Pullen ...
Ruth
Georgie Glen ...
...
Amanda Walker ...
Mrs. Ransome
...
Station Master
...
...
Jane Wood ...
Ian Gain ...
Bargee
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Storyline

Dramatisation of E Nesbit's classic novel about three children whose lives change Dramatically after they move to a Yorkshire cottage near a railway line.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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12 November 2000 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The eldest of the railway children, Roberta, is named after Berta Ruck, a close friend of E. Nesbit. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where the children are on the canal bridge they watch a horse drawn canal boat pass under the bridge, the boat however is a motor boat and not an unpowered boat, motor boats did not appear on the canals until the 1920s. See more »

Quotes

Phyllis: Open my present Peter! It's crayons. If you don't want them, I'll have them!
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Connections

References The Railway Children (1970) See more »

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User Reviews

 
superior TV adaptation of an old favourite
6 February 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This (perhaps superfluous) version of the Edith Nesbit novel was made for TV and, in an interesting piece of casting, had Jenny Agutter as the mother – she had been eldest daughter Bobbie thirty years earlier. Some changes to the fabric of the story were inevitable: more screen time is given to the events which cause the children's father to be arrested; the paper chase is no longer linked to the family of the old gentleman; and some of the characters are more sharply drawn than before.

As Bobbie, Jemima Rooper, is very good, but the other children Phyllis and Peter are just OK (played by Clare Thomas and Jack Blumenau). Agutter is perfect as their careworn mother, while Michael Kitchen makes an impact as their wronged father. Gregor Fisher plays Perks the railway-man with a good combination of jollity and righteous indignation; and Richard Attenborough is an inspired choice for the old gentleman (who is not as mysterious as he had been in the 1970s version; we guess he's a high-up in the civil service or the government in this one).

The great strength of the TV version is the attention to detail - we can feel the smoky fog from the 30s steam train as it rushes through the countryside.

An enjoyable TV film, but a complement to the classic one, not a replacement.


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