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De familie Knots 





4   3   2   1  
1984   1983   1982   1981   1980  




Series cast summary:
Hetty Heyting Hetty Heyting ...  Hansje / ... 21 episodes, 1980-1984
Jan Simon Minkema Jan Simon Minkema ...  Arend Vogel / ... 21 episodes, 1980-1984
Marnix Kappers Marnix Kappers ...  Neef Herbert / ... 21 episodes, 1980-1984


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Comedy | Family


Did You Know?


Each episode was filmed in two days. One day for the story and the second for the music video (usually shot on location). Because each of the three actors had to play multiple parts, they were on a strict time schedule the first day of shooting and there was hardly ever time to do a second take of each scene. See more »

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Knotsgaaf! Nota Bene.
30 August 2008 | by Chip_douglasSee all my reviews

Hetty Heyting's brilliant children's series De Familie Knots still works brilliantly because of the imaginative writing, the crazy characters and the way Heyting and her collaborators Jan Simon Minkema and Marnix Kappers threw themselves into dividing all the parts amongst the three of them. Hetty and Jan Simon, who had been working together for years portray the three different couples that make up the Knots household. First up are eccentric painter (and breadwinner) Tante Til and her unemployed husband Frederik who think's he's a private eye codenamed 'Onkel X'. Then there are Til's parents: grumpy Opa and clumsy Oma Knots. Looking after the comic book swap shop (formerly Opa's scrap metal shot) is first cousin Hansje, who's in love with schoolteacher Arend Vogel. When Vogel gets thrown out of his boarding house, he is invited to rent the Knot's attic.

Marnix Kappers rounds out the family is cousin Herbert, a tax collector by day, toy enthusiast in his spare time. Although Kappers only had one main character to play (not counting his job as narrator), he was also called upon to play every supporting character the plot might call for. The first series, broadcasts on weekday afternoons, was more oriented towards children then the later two as the episodes often revolved around visiting children (who were only credited by their first names in the end credits). In these early episodes the cast was obviously still finding their various character's voices. They also used to acknowledge the fact that they knew they were being watched on television a lot more (later on they only used to talk to the narrator). Most of the characters inventive catchphrases were already established at this time and soon found themselves being added to the Dutch lexicon.

The show quickly caught on and was moved to a later time slot, leading to more mature stories and better production values during the pink dream sequences. You see, in each episode a useful moral was taught to a character. This was done by Tante Til using the 'family secret': a hallucinatory pink paint that made people fall into a dream like state. Also, Hansje got to wear different outfits during the second series. Each episode featured a musical number styled as a music video, in which the multifaceted trio would portray even more different characters. These songs, written by Heyting and performed by her and Minkema always expanded upon that episode's moral dilemma. Strangely enough Marnix Kappers was never featured on any of the numbers, despite being an accomplished theme tune singer himself.

By the time the third (and regrettably last) season came along, the series had developed into a well rounded sit-com that in this humble reviewer's opinion overshadowed most 'adult' Dutch comedy series being broadcast at that time. The characters grew as the series progressed, with Onkel X finding a new purpose in life and Hansje breaking up with Arend. At this stage the budget could be stretched to allow an occasional extra actor now and then and Tante Til started using her pink paint less and less. Each episode was recorded in only two days: one for the story part in the studio and another to film the musical number (usually on location). During the former, the actors had to keep changing costumes and characters at break neck speed, meaning there was hardly ever time to do a second take. Luckilly the three of them knew how to play into each other like no other.

Despite the fact that a mere 21 episodes were shot, De Familie Knots is still regularly repeated and has as such never really gone away. Ones, during the nineties, the NCRV decided to cut out all the musical numbers for time constraints. Understandibly, Hetty Heyting was not amused to find her brainchild being butchered and on the next go-around the songs were happily re-instated. For the 2003 DVD release, Heyting opened up her archive full of scripts, fan-mail and anecdotes to be included as extra features. She even dressed up in her Tante Til costume for a press conference (after buying the dress for herself during an NCRV auction). Minkema and Kappers also attended and lent some audio support, but did not appear as any of their old characters. Tante Til however has since then made several appearances on television and as a guest star in a series 'Sinterklaas' adventures broadcast on several local Dutch stations. In other words, Knots-fever is still catching on amongst new generations of children all the time.

9 out of 10

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Release Date:

22 October 1980 (Netherlands) See more »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (2.0)


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