Launch of the newly restored DVD of ‘Coot Club’ and ‘The Big Six’

Coot Club new DVD

To mark the 30th anniversary of its original broadcast on BBC One, Revelation Films have just re-released the DVD of Swallows And Amazons Forever!  It has been one of their Top Ten bestselling DVDs. 

Swallows and Amazons Forever! is the television adaptation of Arthur Ransome’s classic books Coot Club and The Big Six, an eight part drama serial that I worked on, behind-the-scenes, over a period of nine months back in 1983 when it was filmed on location on the Norfolk Broads.

Norfolk County Sailing Base, Ludham

The Titmouse

As Revelation films say, ‘Set on the Norfolk Broads in the 1930s, the BAFTA-nominated BBC production is packed full of lively characters, beautifully authentic scenery and plenty of adventure.’

William

Weighing Pete’s big fish at the Roaring Donkey

Jake, Mark and Nic with Sam Kelly playing Captain of the Catchalot

The new version of the DVD includes subtitles for the first time. The packaging and menus have been completely redesigned, and if you take a look at the DVD extras package you can see photographs that I took at the time  that give an insight into the production.

Julian Fellowes in 'Coot Club'

Julian Fellowes in ‘Coot Club’

The big thing is that the picture quality has been digitally restored, with amazing results. This short Youtube clip shows the amazing difference in the quality.

 

Release Date: 19 May 2014 | RRP: £15.99 | Certificate: U | Discs: 1 | Run Time: 202 Minutes

Coot Club

To read about making the BBC drama series please click here

To purchase a copy of the new DVD on Amazon.co.uk for £11 please click here

 I’m told  DVDs can be viewed on a multi-region or region-free DVD player

I will be giving a talk on how the serial was made at Horning Village Hall on 6th September and at

 The Arthur Ransome Society IAGM in East Anglia in May 2015

For those who don’t know the stories~

‘Coot Club’

Whilst travelling to Norfolk to stay on a boat with family friend Mrs Barrable, Dick and Dot Callum meet Tom Dudgeon and the members of Coot Club. After being told that they won’t be learning to sail, their disappointment quickly turns to excitement as an adventure begins to unfold. Will they be able to protect a precious coot’s nest whilst hiding Tom from the awful Hullabaloos, who are hell bent on ruining everyone’s holiday? Creator of Downton Abbey, Julian Fellowes, stars as Jerry the Hullabaloo in this delightful film.

Coot Club - book cover

The Big Six

When Dick and Dot return to Norfolk to stay with Tom, they find themselves caught up in a brand new adventure. The Death And Glories are being accused of setting moored boats adrift but the three boys maintain their innocence. With the whole town against them, it’s up to Coot Club to gather evidence and prove that someone else is responsible for these crimes. The Big Six is born. Dr Who’s Colin Baker and Patrick Troughton star in this fitting adaptation of the classic story.

Coot Club - Teasel and Titmouse - photo Jill Searle

The yacht Lullaby playing the Teasel in ‘Coot Club’, seen here being delivered to location on South Walsham Broad

 

 

 

 

 

14 Comments

Filed under 1983, Acting, Arthur Ransome, Bestseller, Dinghy sailing, Film Cast, Film History, Filmaking, Movie stories, News, Sophie Neville, Swallows and Amazons, Uncategorized

14 responses to “Launch of the newly restored DVD of ‘Coot Club’ and ‘The Big Six’

  1. Wonderful! I would love to get hold of a copy, but Amazon won’t deliver to Aus, it seems.

  2. Roger Wardale

    There really is a worthwhile improvement in picture quality. I shall have to send for a copy!

  3. Jon Oliver

    Sophie, I have just noticed on Amazon that Swallows and Amazons is being released on Blu-ray on July 14th!

    • Thanks so much for telling me! We were invited up to Convent Garden to record interviews for the extras package but I was sworn to secrecy, so haven’t announced anything yet. They have a restored cinema version. Do you want to request a cinema screening near you?

      • Jon Oliver

        I would love to see it at the cinema.

        Zavvi.com lists the extras:

        Interviews with Sophie Neville, Suzanna Hamilton and Virginia McKenna
        Locations Featurette
        Behind the Scenes Footage with Commentary from sophie neville
        Stills Gallery
        Trailer

  4. SteveM

    Great news about the upcoming S&A release! Looks like they have made an effort with the extras after all. I’m also tempted to acquire the new Coot Club/Big Six DVD, even though I already have the first release!

    • StudioCanal made a huge effort. The technicians drove up Bank Ground Farm to take some location shots and ended up going to Peel Island in a small boat in somewhat challenging conditions. They admitted to having a real S&A experience. I am longing to see the result!

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