As well as the sublime A Monster in Paris, we were also lent the TV epic Neverland for our delectation. Right from the start you can tell this TV adaptation isn’t a BBC or ITV funded affair. It appears to have a budget and notable actors, and hasn’t had to chose between special effects or nice locations.
Nobody really does a straight take on Peter Pan any more and Neverland is no exception. It’s a sort of prequel to the book or an origin story for Peter Pan, the Lost Boys and Captain Hook. Wendy doesn’t appear, which means it’s harder for me to shoehorn the fact that Peter Pan saw the first use of the name Wendy.
The kids obviously didn’t recognise Rhys Ifans, Anna Friel or Bob Hoskins but I at least appreciated their presence, even if the fairies were a bit scary for Fifi, bought up on a diet of Disney’s Tinkerbell.
Neverland isn’t short, it’s 4 hours in fact, spread across two DVD’s. This allows it to be paced at a reasonable rate, rather than going hell for leather for a shorter running time. As I’ve said, the sets are never less than sumptuous, as are the costumes. It’s great to see TV made this well, it looks even better than (the wildly not safe for kids) adaptation of A Game of Thrones that HBO are doing.
I wouldn’t particularly recommend it for the very young though, there is a bit of violence and it does get a tad scary in places. If you’ve age suitable kids though, they will love it. I certainly did and whilst not eternally young like Peter Pan, I am still young at heart.
Neverland is available to buy now on DVD and BR from all good (and presumably quite a few rubbish) retailers.