One of the most successful childrens serials of the early 1990s, The Borrowers is pure delight. Made in 1992 and with super high production values (walking off with two BAFTAs for best childrens series and for best photography and also a major award from the Royal Television Society) The Borrowers follows the fortunes of the Clock family.
Set in Edwardian England, the Clock family are no more than a few inches high, existing by borrowing things humans have no further use for. The family are father Pod (the lovely Ian Holm), his wife Homily (Holms real life wife Penelope Wilton) and daughter Arietty (Rebecca Callard).
The family are happily going about their existence living in a rambling old house until one day they are discovered by the evil housekeeper Mrs Driver. Forced to go in search of a new home the Clocks find themselves Outside, of course the outside is full of danger but helped by another young Borrower called Spiller (Daniel Newman) who relishes being outside the Clocks are able to find a new home. For the second serial the Clock family had pitched up in a model village.
Obviously with the Borrowers being only a few inches high and mixing with normal sized human beans there a huge amount of special effects present in the series, not just of the making things look small by building big props variety either but also some early CGI and plenty of green screen work.
Based on the novel by Mary Norton (who died just before the series aired and without question she would have loved it) and with a script by Richard “Catweazle” Carpenter the TV version of The Borrowers knoks spots off the John Goodman starring big screen outing.
UK / BBC One – Working Title / 12×25 minute episodes / Broadcast 8 November 1992 – 19 December 1993
Season 1: 8 Nov – 13 Dec 1992 / Season 2: 14 Nov – 19 Dec 1993
Writer: Richard Carpenter / Novels: Mary Norton / Producer: Graeme Marmion / Director: John Henderson
IAN HOLM as Pod
PENELOPE WILTON as Homily
REBECCA CALLARD as Arietty
SIAN PHILLIPS as Mrs Driver
TONY HAYGARTH as Mildeye
STANLEY LEBOR as Uncle Hendreary