The Animals of Farthing Wood is an animated series based on the series of books written by Colin Dann. It was created by the European Broadcasting Union and was first broadcast in various European countries between 1992 and 1995. It was produced by Telemagination, based in London, and La Fabrique, based in Montpellier in France. The first countries to air the series were Germany and the United Kingdom, in January 1993.
The television series followed the basic plots of books, although certain elements were changed. The first series follows the animals of Farthing Wood, who are forced to flee their homes after humans begin destroying the wood in order to build houses. Led by Fox, and guided by Toad, the animals leave Farthing Wood on a journey to White Deer Park, a nature reserve where they would be protected.
The second series takes place in White Deer Park and chronicles the animals struggles to survive through their first winter, their feud with a group of aggressive blue foxes, and Fox and Vixen's son Bold's adventures outside the park.
The third series chronicles the animals' attempts to stop the invasion of a horde of vicious rats intent on taking over the park. It also follows the animals' struggles against the new hostile leader of the deer herd, the mysterious disappearance of many animals from the park, Owl's search to find herself a mate, and the weasels' quest to find a suitable home for their new children.
Three series of the show were produced, each featuring 13 episodes. Each series was based on one or more of the books, with new storylines also created specifically for the TV series.
Series 2 was first broadcast in 1994 and was based on In the Grip of Winter, Fox's Feud and The Fox Cub Bold, but also included a sub-plot from The Siege of White Deer Park, in which Badger mistakes Mossy for his old friend Mole.
Series 3 was first broadcast in 1995 and was based on In the Path of the Storm and Battle for the Park, but also included another sub-plot from The Siege of White Deer Park, in which Adder meets her mate, Sinuous, and a brand new storyline following the weasels' quest to find a suitable home for their new children.
The main plot from The Siege of White Deer Park, was never adapted or intended for the series, as the storyline was considered too dark, frightening, jarring, and unsuitable for younger viewers. Other reasons it was not included could be due to it being the most poorly received volume in the book series and the fact that several key characters in the book were omitted from the TV series. Similarly Farthing Wood: The Adventure Begins was never adapted for the series, as it was a prequel with new characters, but contained a lot of violence and tragedy for certain characters in the book. Although there were rumours that a fourth series was to be broadcast, based on this book, it never came to fruition.
- Main article: List of Characters (TV series)
Changes from the booksEdit
There were many changes made from the books for the TV series, both to the characters and to the storyline. Four of the original characters from the books were changed from male to female. These characters were Weasel, Adder, Kestrel and Owl, who was known as Tawny Owl in the books. The family of lizards from the books were changed into a family of newts for the TV series, and a pair of shrews were added to the group. The original group of animals was much smaller in the TV series than in the books, with most species limited to two animals each; the groups having been much larger in the books.
Scarface and his family were changed from red foxes to blue foxes in the TV series, as too many red foxes would have caused massive complication for the viewers. For the same reason, many of Fox's descendants born within the park (such as Husky, Rusty, Pace and various unnamed foxes) did not appear in the TV series; Plucky was the only new fox introduced in the third series, and was changed from being Bold's grandson to his son. Scarface's feud with the Farthing Wood animals spans longer in the TV series compared to the books, and three of his relatives (Blaze, Trip and Russet) are completely absent. Friendly's personality is different in contrast to the books, taking on Bold's hostile attitude towards Ranger while in the books he is more caring.
The plot of the first series stayed very close to the book, but many changes were made for the second and third series. The sequence of events in these series were changed to have the plots of each book overlapping; for example, Bold left the park before the feud with Scarface was over, having stayed until his death in the book. New characters were created, such as Measley, Hurkel and Laird and one-time characters from the books, Shadow and Rollo, were brought back and given new storylines. Many deaths in the series were also changed, such as Badger dying from old age in the second series, having survived to the end of the books' storyline. Conversely, many characters who died in Battle for the Park, such as Toad, Mossy, Bully, Spike and Brat, survived to the end of the third series.
|Series and Episodes|
|Series 1 (1993) • Series 2 (1994) • Series 3 (1995)|
|Series 1 episodes (1993)|
|The Wood in Danger • The Journey Begins • Through Fire and Through Water • False Haven • Snare for the Unwary • Who Shall Wear the Crown? • New Friends, Old Enemies • Friends in Need • Whistler's Quarry • Between Two Evils • A Deathly Calm • Pandemonium • So near and yet so far...|
|Series 2 episodes (1994)|
|A Heroes' Welcome • Winter • Survival • New Enemies • A Joke Backfires • Home Is Where the Heart Is • The Feud Begins • Like Father, Like Son • Narrow Escapes • Shadows • A Time of Reckoning • Blood Is Thicker Than Water • Reconciliation|
|Series 3 episodes (1995)|
|Comings and Goings • Out and About • Water, Water • The Missing Fox's Friend • Tiffs and Tempers • Adventure for the Birds • The Long-Tailed Visitor • Scared Silly by Snakes • A Bigger Oink • The Mole Game • The Worst Kind of Hurricane • Homeward Bound • Bully-Bully-Bully|