Malory Towers

Rating 8.1
Streamer BBC iPlayer
Seasons 1
Episodes 13 x 25 mins

Here at Must TV HQ, we are not sure anyone ever said Enid Blyton was too hot to handle, so if the Fifties is more your thing than the Flirties, a classic BBC adaptation of a much-loved children’s story could be for you and your kids.

Lucy Mangan in The Guardian thinks it’s hard not to love this: “They have kept the sense of joy and freedom Blyton’s characters always exude, and they tread as unerringly as she did the fine lines between jeopardy and real threat, moral dilemma and true conflict. The programme-makers are aided by a fine cast.” 

The Times’s (paywall) Victoria Segal loves it: “What a gift this is: released on the iPlayer when schools closed, this adaptation of Enid Blyton’s boarding-school stories debuts on CBBC in a tumble of lacrosse nets and pillow feathers… it’s a world away from online learning platforms — escapist, nostalgic and as glorious a treat as a midnight feast.” In Emily Baker feels that these 1950s books might “seem an odd choice for CBBC to adapt. There are no flashy animations, no dancing and certainly no TikTok.”

But the series is “a thoroughly modern take on the classic books, with an impressively diverse cast… the creators have not completely removed the Blyton-esque warmth: crisp uniforms, even crisper RP accents and scenes of a steam train rolling through the English countryside keep it recognisable to adults who read the books as children.”

We think this is definitely worth a go, if you have children or not, just to reassure you that some things really do stay the same.

First shown April 2020. You can watch the trailer by pressing play on the show image, or by clicking here.

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