Malory Towers: Malory Towers (S1 entire, 2020)   Books Included 
March 25, 2020 10:58 PM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

Canadian/British adaptation of Enid Blyton's classic children's books. How will Darrell Rivers fare at her new boarding school and what friends will she make?

A period piece adaptation which handwaves time and location while adding an arc of sorts and still leaning on the original texts.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue (4 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This "upcoming" CBBC adaptation has been released early in its entirety on BBC iPlayer (presumably because of the Covid-19 lockdown). As kids, I used to always borrow my sister's Malory Towers books and she'd always borrow my Worst Witch books. It's really cool and unexpected to see an adaptation like this. The first thing I did was text her the news!

I'm only three episodes in so far, but didn't think the show could sustain separate episode threads. Surprisingly though, I haven't binged it yet. Ep 3 (item confiscated by Matron) in particular manages to fit a lot into 25 minutes. Have to say that so far I am loving seeing Ashley McGuire (Mandy from This Country) in that role, she is excellent. Similarly, Darrell and Gwen are very good. I really like how they've framed Gwen (Gwen!) as a much more sympathetic horrible person than in the books, through Darrell's Original Sin of befriending her, then going to the midnight feast without her. The actress really nails it, being just annoying and antagonistic enough to be believable rather than cartoonishly exaggerated.

It's a shame we don't get much early development of the other characters. Alicia's right up there which is great, plus we have Felicity and Sally seeded for later. I want more of Jean though, who thought that music and maths are related, plus more Bill with her colicky horse and undeniable self-declared nickname. The group stuff doesn't quite connect when the show hasn't spent time with everyone yet.

Not got kids nor nephews and nieces so can't speak to how it might play out to the nostalgia-absent young'uns. Think it's a worthwhile watch though, for reminiscent adults at the very minimum.

Like calls to like, dear MeFites!
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 11:23 PM on March 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

Oh, forgot to say, Mam'zelle Rogier is impossibly stylish, but I don't think I've seen the other Mam'zelle's pince-nez yet?
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 11:25 PM on March 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

I've just seen this in the Radio Times and pinged my sister, who was and is a big MT fan. The yellow uniforms in the picture look rather Summer Bay High ish. Do they do the appendicitis operation?
posted by paduasoy at 2:11 PM on April 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

I've watched around 5 episodes, and think this is a great adaptation. My memories of Malory Towers are a bit dim though as it's been at least 20 years since I last read the books. I also think they've done a great job making Gwen seem a little sympathetic. I'm watching with my 7 and 4 year old, who wouldn't choose to watch of their own accord but enjoy watching with me. I initially thought they might be bored but they like the fairly low-stakes conflict and the school setting. I now want more boarding school TV shows - time for a Chalet School adaptation!
posted by fever-trees at 8:10 PM on May 12, 2020 [1 favorite]

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