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The Worst Witch (BBC’s 2017 version)

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Hang on BBC! What on earth have you done to this classic Jill Murray book? You’ve turned it into Harry Potter?!

The plot and some of the lines were directly out of Potter, they even copied the broken glasses scene. Mildred Hubble is not a MUGGLE! In the book she has already started at Miss Cackle’s Witch Academy but this series starts off with her meeting a witch, not knowing that magic even exists but then discovering her magical powers. Sound familiar?!

My personal favourite character is Miss Hardbroom and I remember fondly Diana Rigg in the TV film from the 80s that I grew up with. Raquel Cassidy was excellent but I did wonder if she was Snape-ing it up a bit.

Kids that watch this may not have seen or read any Harry Potter so let’s forget about him for a minute. It is good that the BBC are releasing a new version of this and I hope it inspires children to go out and read the books. I received the first one aged 5 for Christmas in 1986 from my parents. I appreciate that the series and books are focussed on girls and women and there are strong personalities and relationships. Sibling rivalry is prominent and I assume Agatha Cackle will reappear later in the series to try to take over the school or beat her sister in other ways. It focusses on important things for young girls: school work, friendship, personal development and negotiation of more negative relationships (Ethel Hallow, Miss Hardbroom).

I like that the BBC has chosen positive female role models by commissioning this series. I do wonder if it were to be truly up to date whether boys would be allowed into the school, but then Rainbows/Girl Guides remains distinctly female in contrast to Beavers/Scouts which allow both sexes to join. So this leaves me with a quandary: does girl only TV/groups etc empower girls and women or emphasise the difference and separation from boys?

Oh dear, I seem to have gone off on a tangent. Suffice it to say that I will watch the next few episodes to see how it settles into the story but I can’t guarantee that I will watch the entire series. Matthew will refuse to watch any because he doesn’t like confrontation plus it is too girly. Anya is a bit young and I’d like her to read the book first. But for me, LONG LIVE MILDRED HUBBLE! 🙂

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