The BBC is bringing back Worzel Gummidge. BBC One has ordered a new adaptation of the classic books by Barbara Euphan, with Pirates Of The Caribbean‘s Mackenzie Crook attached to star in the titular role. This new adaptation has received an order for two episodes.
Worzel Gummidge follows the titular character, who is the Scarecrow of Ten Acre Field. The series is being produced by Leopard Pictures, Treasure Trove Productions and Lola Entertainment. In addition to starring Crook, penned the scripts and is directing. Georgie Fallon is the series producer. Alex Moody is the Commissioning Editor for the BBC.
The first episode sees two young strangers arrive in the village of Scatterbrook. It’s not long before Susan and John encounter Worzel Gummidge. Their world is sent spinning into confusion when they realise Gummidge comes to life. The only person more shocked is Worzel, when he discovers that the children are not in fact fellow scarecrows, but humans. Their worlds should never commune but fate has conspired to create an extraordinary union. The seasons have stopped and the harvest hasn’t arrived. The rhythm of the natural world is out of kilter and this unlikely trio must try to put it right. Magic, mystery and mayhem unfurl.
The second episode welcomes another mysterious arrival to Scatterbrook. The Green Man is the creator of scarecrows and keeper of scarecrow lore. He isn’t at all happy that Worzel is consorting with humans. Elsewhere, local aristocrat Lady Bloomsbury Barton is holding a fete, with a Scarecrow competition that Worzel is determined to win. What will Worzel’s most competitive rival, Soggy Bogart, and The Green Man make of it all?
“I’m thrilled to be back working with the BBC and many members of the Detectorists team to bring Worzel Gummidge to a new generation of viewers and reintroduce him to old friends”, said Mackenize Crook. “Adapting Barbara Euphan Todd’s books into these two films has been a joy and I’ve completely fallen for her charming, irreverent scarecrow. Fingers crossed for a glorious English summer as we head out to Scatterbrook Farm and Worzel’s Ten Acre Field.”
“Mackenzie’s widely adored and multi-BAFTA award-winning Detectorists was a grown up love letter to bucolic England and with Worzel he takes a similar approach to English folklore, rural rites and the magic of childhood”, commented the BBC’s Controller of Comedy Commissioning Shane Allen, who commissioned the series alongside the BBC’s Director of Content Charlotte Moore. “His visionary and fundamental reinterpretation of this classic is that rare and special achievement – a BBC One family friendly comedy.”
While Leopard Pictures’ Kristian Smith – who serves as an executive producer alongside Lisa Thomas and Mackenzie Crook – added: “These two specials are real treat pieces for a family audience. There was nobody other than Mackenzie that I wanted to work with on this. The vision and creativity of this man is awesome. He has written two beautiful scripts that are clever, warm and funny. And once again he has attracted a formidable cast of tremendous actors. We are so excited to be able to bring these new Worzel Gummidge stories to everybody.”