This Christmas the BBC have a sure fire family favourite up their sleeves.The Borrowers, due to screen over the festive period is a modern adaptation of Mary Norton’s classic children’s books that brings the world of the tiny Borrowers who live under our floorboards into the twenty-first century. The cast alone is fantastic, and that’s before get a glimpse of the magical larger than life sets and the under the floorboard existence of the Tiny Borrowers.
Aisling Loftus (last seen in BBC2’s dive and the upcoming BBC1 drama Public Enemies) plays Arrietty Clock, a head-strong teenage Borrower who is desperate to explore life outside her hidden family home. Her parents, Pod and Homily Clock – played by Christopher Eccleston and Sharon Horgan – are terrified of the world of the ‘Human Beans’ and are fiercely protective of their daughter. Arrietty sneaks upstairs one night and befriends James, a lonely boy who lives above her in the house with his father, played by Shaun Dooley and Grandmother, played by Victoria Wood. This leads to a world of trouble when James unwittingly reveals the borrowers’ home to his formidable Grandmother, and the Clocks are forced to venture into the wide world…
Yes you read that right Victoria Wood, Christopher Eccleston and Pulling’s Sharon Horgan all in one place! A strange but perfect mix.
Other cast members include Misfits star Robert Sheehan and Stephen Fry as Professor Mildeye.
When asked about the book Christopher Eccleston recalled. “The Borrowers is one of the very first books I remember reading as a child, and I loved it. I would have read it around 1971 or 1972 I think at the primary school I went to. They formed a little book club and gave us a magazine where you had to choose your own book. The Borrowers was the first book I bought and I can picture seeing the brochure now, seeing the graphics on the front of The Borrowers novel – I went for that first and read the book two or three times. The sets are very simple and very classic, and the production design on this was beautiful and subtle. For me the most impressive set was a section of a room where you saw just the floor and the skirting board. Now that does not sound that dramatic, but when you see it built to scale it was remarkable. It reminded me a lot of the Fred Quimby produced Tom and Jerry cartoons, the very early ones, where you would never see the human beings, just their feet. When you do something like this it’s really important that production design and make-up and costume are all pulled together so there’s a unity, and I felt that particularly with the production design. Playing the role of Pod is unlike anything I’ve done before. There was a huge amount of green screen and I’ve done little bits of green screen in the past, but not that much. I would say it’s the most challenging role I’ve done physically, because one of the conditions for me playing the part was that I did all the stunts. My favourite stunt was where I ran along a gigantic bookcase and just threw myself into mid-air and onto a crash mat. I was very excited about doing that and they had to tell me to stop because I kept doing it for fun. I also flew out of a gigantic drain into 12ft of milkshake mix, but that was not as pleasant. “
This does sound like a real Christmas treat. Be sure to check back for further information when the Christmas listings are finalized in a few weeks!