- My old home that I haven't seen for so long!"
Martin Gates brings us a slice of the Riverbank
here, in this half-hour special,
adapted from Kenneth Grahame's classic tale
"The Wind in the Willows".
It's Christmas Eve, and as the human residents
of a little country village
settle themselves in for the night, so Ratty
and Mole are making their long
way home from Badger's House in the Wild Wood.
Ratty takes his friend
off on a shortcut through the village, in
a bid to hasty their journey, and to
allow himself a little musing about carriage
clocks and their ilk. But his
next shortcut leads them in to the path of
two hungry farm dogs, who drive
them off into the snow again. And that's when
Mole catches a whiff of his
old home, Mole End, blowing in on the night
wind. It's missing him and it
wants him back. Mole is keen to look in on the
place, but Ratty's keener
to move on, fearful of more snow, and snooping
weasels on the prowl.
As they pause for thought, so they inadvertently
thwart two such critters
who were close on the heels. The pause allows
Mole to pour out his heart,
and for Ratty to apologise to his good friend.
Why, he's been a pig. They
should seek out Mole End at once...
And there's very little else to add, storywise.
Within a minute, Mole has
unearthed his compact abode, and the two are
soon busying themselves
with a warm fire and a tot of blackcurrent
cordial. A group of young field mice
stop by to sing a song, and are swiftly ushered
in to imbibe of the Christmas
spirit. Ratty persuades the eldest soul to
purchase a suitable basket of
provisions and our duo welcome in Christmas
Day with a raised glass
and very wide smiles.
"The Wind in the Willows" has, of
course, been visited a great many times,
in a great many ways. In 1995, Martin Gates
brought us a second slice of
Riverbank life, with "The Adventures of Mole",
to sit alongside this half-hour.
The film features the same cast on the soundtrack,
and actually, Richard
and Peter Davison (Dr Who)
work very well together...
"Mole's Christmas" premiered on
ITV, at 12.40pm, on Christmas Day 1994.
he's still "Ratty" in the script, Richard Briers is billed
the voice of "Rat".
Beaven and Imelda Staunton both lend their voices to Martin Gates'
Martin Gates Production
in association with Central Television
produced and directed by Martin
Marion Edwards, Sue Radley
& key design:
line producer: Marion
character des: Richard
timing director: Chris
prod facility: Moving
managing dir: James
track reading: David
sound editing: Kevin
dubbing mixer: David
telecine grading: Alan
video editing: Neville
assoc producer: Tom
prod secretary: Sarah
prod manager: Stuart
Staunton (Village Mother)
Beaven (Village Child / lead field mouse)
mice carol singers:
Britten, Benjo Fraser,
Howard, Amanda Lake,
Lake, Sophie Mullen