Did a young Roald Dahl really meet his favourite author Beatrix Potter – played by nine-year-old Harry Tayler and Dawn French respectively? The tale (or tail here) is that young Roald’s father and sister have recently died and his mother is left bereft, so he seeks out comfort from the famous author of Peter Rabbit. Whilst there is limited screen time between Roald and Beatrix, this sweet Christmas special has a simple message that grief can be a force for healing rather than destruction.
Previewing the show in Spectator Life, Krish Kandiah thinks there is a “lightness of touch to the drama, no heavy exposition, no mawkish sentimentality and no Christmas miracles” and that there are “literary in-jokes, fun animations, and set pieces that had all the children in my house laughing.”
The Independent’s Adam White calls it “a pleasant bit of festive nostalgia decorated in snow and whimsy” and says that because it’s Christmas, “you’re likely to forgive its fanciful exaggeration of a brief real-life meeting”.
In The Telegraph Anita Singh thinks it “a clever touch to have Roald encounter characters along the way who would one day feature in his stories: that fantastic fox, a nasty twit of man with a beard full of food, a larger-than-life fellow with a BFG-esque command of language.”
It’s an unashamedly feel good show for the time of year.
First shown December 2020. You can watch the trailer by pressing play on the show image, or by clicking here: