Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be. Jam scones, Granddad napping in the corner, Sunday teatimes snug by the family fire watching the BBC’s adaptations of CS Lewis’ fantasy adventure... But even then, in short trousers and nascent taste, you might have suspected that Auntie Beeb’s take on Narnia was a bit, well, crap.
Collated here into a Collector’s Edition box set are the four books they filmed before, presumably, budget restraints/indifference stymied versions of the remaining three novels in the series. Faithful, largely, they are. Exciting, they are not. Lewis’ writing left lots to young imaginations, but the camera demands blanks be filled in and the makers don’t have the ambition for it. The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, in particular, is a thuddingly literal translation (of the same ilk as Chris Columbus’ lumbering take on The Philosopher’s Stone). Director Marilyn Fox was replaced by Alex Kirby for subsequent outings and the pace picks up in Prince Caspian And The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader (two books condensed into one series) and The Silver Chair, but they still suffer from dodgy sprog acting and shoddy special effects.