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Famous Five

DVD Special

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The Complicated Search for Distribution Rights Processing the "1978/79 Famous Five" Footage
Readers' Survey Booklet
Bonus Material  


"The Original Classic TV Series from 1978/79 on DVD and Blu-Ray"

The Complicated Search for Distribution Rights

Dear Famous Five Fans

We are delighted to announce that the fantastic classic TV series from 1978/79, "The Famous Five", is now out on DVD, Blu-ray and VOD.

It was a real adventure! We spent five long years researching the rights. Since 2005, we have gone around the world and back again as we contacted all the relevant companies, licence distributors, producers, TV stations, studios, legal successors and communities of heirs. We did not shy away from writing to the CEO of one of these companies, a certain lord or politicians in the British House of Commons, and also contacted Enid Blyton's daughter Gillian Baverstock (who has now sadly died), and so on, and so forth ...

In all these years, we were in frequent contact with Karli Kolar. Even though we were often frustrated by rejections, setbacks and negative responses, we always came to the same conclusion with Karli - motivated in no small way by the countless requests from fans: "We're not giving up!"
Karli supported us tirelessly and immeasurably, writing to and phoning people all over the world, sticking to his guns, persevering when others had long since given up and always believing in seeing "The Famous Five" again.

This had not happened since the series first aired on English and German television and Famous Five hysteria erupted in the truest sense of the word.

An entire German generation grew up with this TV series. Private channels arrived, Boris Becker and Steffi Graf won at Wimbledon, reunification occurred, there were the terror attacks of September 11, the Euro was introduced and the Internet and World Wide Web became established - but to this day, "The Famous Five" remains in our memories ... and our hearts.

Many of us had a crush on George, emulated Julian and trembled with excitement at the adventures taking place in the secret passages of old castles, at abandoned railway stations or on misty moors. Our "Famous Five" are "strong" children characterised by friendship, solidarity, trust and courage.

Who doesn't know the series' theme song:
Wherever there's adventure to be found
Just a clue or a secret message
bring the Famous Five around.
Whenever there's a mystery to be solved
Up in the ruined castle
or down in smugglers' hold.
We are the Famous Five
Julian, Dick and Anne,
George and Timmy the dog.
We are the Famous Five
Coming back to you,
time after time,
after time.

Reuniting with "The Famous Five" is more than a DVD!

Coming soon ...

Best Wishes
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Processing the "1978/79 Famous Five" Footage

21 May 2010

Now for the next step

The footage is currently being checked and the 16mm film copies scanned at the same time. This is the original English version of the series.

The master tapes of the German version are also available to us - these are video tapes in Digital Betacam (DigiBeta) format - which is currently still the most widely used storage medium in television. There are also ZDF's 16mm film copies and the German audio on 16mm magnetic sound. We can therefore determine the exact points where ZDF cut some episodes. Of course, the original opening and closing credits of the German version broadcast by ZDF are preserved.

Screenshots of this work and other information will be put up here on the Fan Page within the next few weeks!

Some other pictures are below:
Original "Famous Five" film canisters from 1978/79
Famous Five film canisters from 1978/79 Famous Five film canisters from 1978/79

Two pictures of the digital material processing
Digital material processing Digital material processing

An initial test with the scanner
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A visit to DVD label "moviemax GmbH movies & more" and "AVP Video-Transfer GmbH" by Karli.

Fan Page Readers' Survey

3 August 2010


Are you also interested in a Blu-Ray edition of the series that contains substantial extra bonus material?
Yes 80.37 %
No 13.08 %
Don't know 6.54 %
Would you like the Blu-ray edition to be issued in autumn this year with Seasons 1 & 2 at the same time as the Collectors' Box ?
Yes 86.25 %
No 5 %
Don't know 8.75 %
I want to buy the Blu-ray edition 3 or 4 months later, after the Collectors' Box has come out.
Yes 32.47 %
No 40.26 %
Don't know 27.27 %
Would you be prepared to pay € 60-80 for a Blu-Ray edition with all 26 Famous Five adventures in 650 minutes of top HD quality and fantastic bonus material?
Yes 50.67 %
No 33.33 %
Don't know 16 %

Proposed Covers

Which of the 4 DVD cover versions for "The Famous Five" Box 1 (Episodes 1-13) and Box 2 (Episodes 14-26) do you like best?
Version 1: Proposed Proposed 20.49 % As with Version 1, the Famous Five are shown in black and white on the cover.
Adventurous depiction with the black and white picture below.
Choice of pictures and layout.
Is the most modern type of the 4 versions with the adventurous black and white picture below.
B/w design displayed below, colour picture may be larger.
The lesser evil.
Version 2: Proposed Proposed 48.93 % Modern design
"Do-it-yourself look"
Unlike the first alternative, there are not two group pictures on one cover.
You can see scene photos!
Beautiful photos, beautiful colours!!!!
Somehow fits the time in which the series is set.
Attractive design, but rather than red and green, use colours matching the group picture.
Attractive design.
I preferred the group photo with Timmy in the first version though. :)
Simple, clear and not so playful.
Is the simplest of all the options and doesn't look so homemade.
The skin colour in Version 2, which I chose, is not natural enough. Please improve it.
Is the most eye-catching, promises maximum attention / recognition value.
Authentic design from the '70s - please nothing hip at the time! Typography and PR phrases included.
The best of a bad bunch.
Version 3: Proposed Proposed 19.88 % Clear lines
Many photos
Clear lines and many photos :0) Doesn't resemble the covers of the '96 series.
Large photo that is not chopped up by small ones.
Every detail stands out! Caption, several photos, good lettering, number of episodes.
The choice of photos.
Spontaneously reminds me of the blue opening credits design of our favourite series.
Version 4: Proposed Proposed 4.28 % Images
Background graphics.
Inclusion of the stylised "freeze frame" from the opening credits.
None 6.42 % I dig traditional.
Has nothing to do with the flair of the '70s series! Sorry, I'm a nostalgist, not a six-year-old!!!
The background colours aren't right at all!
Better to keep it simple, like opening credits, without extra pictures, maybe a "treasure map" appearance.
If you're going to all this trouble, the covers shouldn't look like an 08/15 release. A bit more creativity.
Combination of Versions 1 and 2, and more suitable background colours.
Which of the 4 DVD "Collector's Edition" (Episodes 1-26) cover versions do you like best?
Version 1: Proposed 19.91 % Adventurous depiction of the B/W picture below with white lettering & overall bright green colour.
Similarity to the appearance of the original series design.
Mixture of Versions 1 and 2 would be ideal.
Overall appearance--> colour could be more decent (semi gloss, pastel tone, darker).
Black & white picture below great, but colour picture could be bigger.
Version 2: Proposed 52.49 % Presentation
Good: Doesn't have 2 group pictures. Bad: Not right for the age of the series (0815 design, gaudy colours).
Colour selection
Clear design, in spite of attractive Famous Five logo, a beautiful picture of the Five!
Very attractive design (paper + sticky tape), good lettering and only 1 group picture.
This is my favourite picture of the Five :) .... I absolutely love it.
Good in principle, but background colour doesn't go with the rest!
The normal "Famous Five" lettering and picture with the Five on the cliff would be better.
Version 3: Proposed 14.48 % Photos
Straightforward, lots of photos, looks orderly, doesn't resemble the covers for the '96 series.
Very good overall impression!!!! Everything fits and is in harmony.
Version 4: Proposed 3.62 % Anniversary appearance
None 9.5 % I dig traditional
Has nothing to do with the flair of the '70s series! Sorry, I'm a nostalgist, not a six-year-old!!!
Colours are much too garish.
I like Version 3 best. The background just has to have the colour of Version 2.
Looks badly photoshopped - less garish and less crammed would be better.
Version 4 against a blue background, or Version 1 without the middle picture and with a grey-blue background.
Combination of Versions 1 and 2, and more suitable background colours.

The Booklet

15 September 2010

Moviemax has given us an exclusive sneak peek at the booklet: Pages 4, 5, 12, 13 and 16.
Moviemax has also created a little Facebook page www.facebook.de/FuenfFreundeDVD and posted a Making Of the HD Scan on the Net http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuXqKOhN4CM.
Cover Pack Exterior
Cover Pack Exterior
Page 4
Page 4
Page 5
Page 5
Page 11
Page 12
Page 13
Page 13
Page 16
Page 16


Our childhood heroes – Julian, Dick, Anne, George and Timmy the dog – are back. At last, the original TV series is available on DVD and Blu-Ray!
The entire footage from 1978/79 has been digitally remastered. See the world’s first uncut version in German and English along with lots of extras on the bonus disc.
We hope you have many thrilling adventures with the Famous Five (based on the books by bestselling British author Enid Blyton).
The Famous Five – A Tribute to Childhood!


The Story of Her Life
Enid Mary Blyton first entered the world on 11 August 1897 in Dulwich, South London.
She is one of the world’s most successful authors. Enid Blyton wrote more than 700 books and over 10,000 short stories, which have sold more than 600 million copies in 100 countries.
Enid loved to read. She had this to say about Little Women by Louisa M. Alcott, one of her favourite books: “Those were real children. When I grow up, I will write books about real children. That’s the kind of book I like best. That’s the kind of book I would know how to write.”
Enid Blyton started writing at the age of 14. She won a poetry competition and from then on, doggedly sent her poems and stories to publishers in the hope of getting them into print. No one published any of her works, but Enid Blyton kept writing. On her parents’ wishes, she did teacher training.
In 1917, a poem by Enid Blyton appeared for the first time in Nash’s Magazine. Her first book, Child Whispers, followed in 1922. After her marriage in 1924 to publishing editor Hugh Alexander Pollock, she gave up teaching in order to devote herself completely to writing. With her discipline and extraordinary powers of concentration, she was able to write several books at the same time.
Her daughters Gillian Mary and Imogen were born in 1931 and 1935 respectively. After Enid Blyton’s first marriage failed in 1942, she married surgeon Kenneth Darrell Waters just a year later.
Blyton wrote most of her books and stories featuring children as the main characters between 1940 and 1960. These included series like the Famous Five, Secret Seven, Adventurous Four, Secret Series, Mystery Series, St. Clare’s and Noddy, among many others, which became international bestsellers.

She worked at an incredible pace. It took her four days to write one Famous Five volume. Her most beloved literary figure was George Kirrin. She once said that she was just like George as a child.
Enid Blyton’s books have unchanging values. She did not write just to entertain children, as much as she loved doing that. But she was also passionate about educating children of all ages with her writing, and taught them about loyalty, fairness, trust, helping others and courage. She had a ready answer for critics too: “I take no note of critics who are over twelve years of age.”
Enid Blyton’s health began to deteriorate at the end of the 1950s, and a shattering diagnosis was made in the years that followed. She had dementia. It was agonising for such a wonderful writer to no longer be able to think clearly. Her last books were published in 1965. They were Noddy and the Aeroplane and a retelling of Bible stories, The Man Who Stopped to Help and The Boy Who Came Back.
Enid Blyton died peacefully in her sleep on 28 November 1968 in a rest home in Hampstead, London. She was 71.
But she has never been forgotten, even several decades after her death. Her books, along with TV and radio adaptations of them, are still enjoyed by children and grown-ups throughout the world today. Since 1995, the Enid Blyton Day has been held in Twyford, Berkshire, England. Hundreds of people from all over the world come together each year in the spring to remember the works of their favourite author.
This childlike curiosity and wonder at always seeing the world afresh in order to discover and learn are Enid Blyton's legacy. Long may it continue.
Quotation from The Poet (Enid Blyton, 1919):
“Dear heart and soul of a child, Sing on!”

The ENID BLYTON signature and FAMOUS FIVE are trademarks of Chorion Rights Limited. All rights reserved.


In the summer months of 1977 and 1978, the Famous Five books were adapted for TV in Great Britain by Portman Productions Ltd. in a co-production with Metropolitan GmbH & Co KG, with 26 episodes altogether spread across two seasons.
Southern Television and Germany’s ZDF thereupon bought the TV rights, and so the series was broadcast on English and German television for the first time in the summer of 1978.
Cast in the roles of the main characters were Marcus Harris (Julian), Gary Russell (Dick), Jennifer Thanisch (Anne) and Michele Gallagher (George). These children were virtual unknowns, but their acting was very natural and they were also likable.
Metropolitan GmbH & Co KG managed to get two German-speaking actors cast as well - Michael Hinz and Friedrich von Thun.
Original Titles of the TV Series:
English: “Enid Blyton's Famous Five”
German: “Enid Blyton's Fünf Freunde”
French: “Le Club des Cinq de Enid Blyton”
Italian: “La Banda dei Cinque di Enid Blyton”
Spanish: “Los Cinco de Enid Blyton”
Portuguese: “Os Cinco de Enid Blyton”
Dutch: “De Vijf van Enid Blyton”

It is not only the actors and spectacular filming locations in Great Britain, such as New Forest in Hampshire, Christchurch and Swanage in Dorset, but in particular the late 1970s action, contemporary for its day, that made this TV series an international classic within an extremely short time and a nostalgic favourite today.
Also crucial for the series’ great success was the exciting and resonant incidental music by Brian Bennett, Leslie George, William Hurdle and Keith Mansfield, which Bruton Music Ltd. released on various LPs.
In German-speaking countries, a series of Famous Five audio plays by Label Poly, which were based on German dubbing from the TV series, also helped increase the series’ profile and popularity.
In 1978, EUROPA released another series of Famous Five audio plays on LP and cassette. All episodes featured the four dubbing artists for the German version of the TV series: Oliver Rohrbeck (Julian), Oliver Mink (Dick), Ute Rohrbeck (Anne) and Maud Ackermann (George).
In the early 1980s, a great deal of fan merchandise was marketed, including postcards, badges, View-Master reels, Panini sticker albums, games and puzzles, which are highly sought after in online auctions today.

The series was repeated several times on television throughout Europe in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Moreover, there were numerous VHS video releases around the world. 2005 also saw a DVD release in Australia by Reel Corporation Australia Pty Ltd. However, this turned out to be have been done in error and had to be withdrawn from the market.
English producer and presenter Wesley Smith dug up one of the largest treasure troves of old footage from the ITV archives.
For Southern Television’s 50th anniversary in August 2008, ITV Meridian North broadcast an item on Thames Valley Tonight called “Famous Five Reunion”, which featured Marcus Harris and Jennifer Thanisch. This report also included some behind-the-scenes footage from the episode, “Five Go Off to Camp”. These clips are probably the only ones concerning the making of the TV series that survive. They come from the news programme Day by Day, broadcast by Southern Television in 1978.
Now at last, 30 years after it was originally broadcast on television, the series is being released for the first time in German-speaking countries on DVD and Blu-Ray.
This DVD edition includes all 26 episodes uncut. For some scenes in the episodes, “Five Get into a Fix”, “Five Fall into Adventure”, “Five Go to Demon’s Rocks” and “Five Go Down to the Sea”, the German version was cut or not dubbed at the time. Footage that was either missing or not dubbed has now been included with the original English-language audio and German subtitles.

THE CAST – Then and Now

Julian – Marcus Harris
Julian is the eldest and feels responsible for his siblings, Anne and Dick, as well as his cousin George. With his confident and superior manner, he seems very grown-up and keeps a cool head even in dangerous situations.
Marcus Harris (1964) started doing stage work from a young age. His goal was to carve out a career in film and television. He was self-employed in various industries before deciding at the end of 2009 to devote himself entirely to acting once again. These days, Marcus lives with his family in Wallingford, Oxfordshire.

Dick – Gary Russell
Dick often acts first and thinks later, which sometimes gets him in trouble. But his favourite pastime is teasing his younger sister Anne. Dick is hungry most of the time, which is probably due to the exciting adventures he has with Julian, Anne, George and Timmy.
Gary Russell (1963) already had some acting experience when he was chosen to be in The Famous Five. Among other things, he has worked as an editor for the English cult series Doctor Who, written various novels and produced radio plays. Gary Russell is especially active as a dramatic adviser and now lives in Cardiff, Wales. Spies, Smugglers and Spook Trains, his book about the Famous Five series, will be published in December 2010.

Anne – Jennifer Thanisch
Anne, the youngest of the group and somewhat timid, finds Julian, Dick and George’s enthusiasm for adventure rather hard to understand, so she doesn’t mind if the other three sometimes leave her by herself. But when her friends are in a tight spot, Anne will not desert them.
Jennifer Thanisch (1964) had already worked in a few TV productions before The Famous Five, including Lorna Doone and The Sweeney. These days, Jennifer lives a quiet life in Sussex, works as a teacher and has two grown children.

George – Michele Gallagher
George’s real name is Georgina, but she would rather be a boy, and so only answers to the name of George. She lives at Kirrin Cottage with her parents, Fanny and Quentin. George thinks she can do anything just as well as a boy and loves taking Julian, Dick, Anne and Timmy to her island, Kirrin Island, in her rowboat.
Much mystery surrounds the whereabouts of Michele Gallagher. She died about 10 years ago.

Timmy the Dog – Toddy Woodgate
Timmy, a stray, is George’s pride and joy. When George found Timmy, her father Quentin would not let her keep him and George got a village boy to look after Timmy. But when Timmy helped the four children free Uncle Quentin from a spy’s clutches, George was then allowed to keep him.
Toddy had already learned how to work in front of a camera in the film, The Railway Children before being chosen to play Timmy in The Famous Five. With his obvious love of acting, adorable Border collie Toddy quickly won viewers’ hearts. Toddy lived with his owner and trainer, Ben Woodgate, and died at the age of 10 soon after filming of the second season had been completed.

Uncle Quentin – Michael Hinz
Uncle Quentin is a scientist and often busy with top-secret projects, usually for the government. So he is constantly being targeted by criminals who are after the secret plans.
Michael Hinz trained as an actor in Hamburg, was involved in theatre, film and television and won various awards for his work.
He died of a stroke in November 2008 at the age of 68.

Aunt Fanny – Sue Best
Aunt Fanny, the Kirrin family’s calming influence, doesn’t always have it easy with her moody daughter George and very busy husband Quentin. For the sake of family harmony, she’s always mediating between the lively children and Uncle Quentin, who just wants some peace and quiet.
Sue Best is not known to have played any other roles. She died in 2002 after a serious illness.

Rogers – Friedrich von Thun
Rogers, the Kirrin family gardener, needs nerves of steel, because four children and a dog can be a real handful, especially when the children and dog chase each other across his flowerbeds. Sometimes he also gets caught up in an adventure.
Friedrich von Thun (1942) has played in numerous theatre, film and international TV productions. The versatile actor, who has won several film awards, lives in Munich and regularly appears in front of the camera.


Julian – Oliver Rohrbeck
Oliver Rohrbeck (*1965) was born in Berlin and had his first acting experience on Sesamstraße (the German version of Sesame Street). After numerous other TV and theatre roles, he went to acting school at the age of 18 and was involved with the Schiller Theatre, Vaganten Bühne and Tribüne Theatre in Berlin for many years. He has also been a successful dubbing artist since childhood. Films in which he has dubbed a central character include Pinocchio, Outsiders, E.T., Wayne’s World and There’s Something About Mary, and he also does regular German voice work for Ben Stiller, Chris Rock und Mike Myers. He has moreover been a dialogue director in films like Green Mile with Tom Hanks, Notting Hill with Julia Roberts and Ray with Jamie Foxx, to name just a few.
From the earliest days of his childhood, Oliver Rohrbeck has been involved in many audio plays. His best-known role is that of Jupiter Jones in Die drei ??? (German version of The Three Investigators), whom he has played in 143 episodes since 1979 with more than 40 million recordings sold, several of which have gone gold. In 2009, he did a live tour with both his fellow-German Three Investigators actors, Andreas Fröhlich and Jens Wawrczeck, through large halls across Germany, and was entered in the Guinness Book of Records for the world’s largest live radio broadcast before an audience of about 15,000 at the Forest Theatre in Berlin.

Dick – Oliver Mink
Oliver Mink (*1963) started his acting career early with theatre work in Berlin. Along with various TV appearances, he also works as a dubbing artist and has done dubbing for actors like Mark Wahlberg, Vincent D’Onofrio, Evan Handler, Kevin Rahm, Luke Perry and Damon Wayans. In addition, Oliver Mink has done voiceovers in commercials and documentaries, and his voice his also well-known from many Disney Channel trailers.

Anne – Ute Rohrbeck
Ute Rohrbeck (*1962) began her career as a dubbing artist and radio and TV actress. She later completed training as a set decorator. Since 1994, Ute Rohrbeck has been living in a Rögnitz farm house in the middle of the Schaalsee Biosphere Reserve in Northwest Mecklenburg, where she manufactures high-quality goat’s cheese and handmade soaps. Exhibitions by the region’s artists are regularly held on the Rögnitz farm.
Oliver Rohrbeck runs the XBerg audio drama studio, where audio books and plays are produced for many publishers. He also established “lauscherlounge” in 2003 and has been publishing his own audio books and plays under this label as well as organising regular national live radio plays and readings. www.lauscherlounge.de

George – Maud Ackermann
Maud Ackermann (*1965) also started out as a child dubbing artist and radio play actress. Nowadays she lives in Berlin and lends her warm and mellow but distinctive voice to well-known actresses, dubbing the likes of Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Beals, Heather Locklear, Demi Moore, Juliette Binoche, Ashley Judd and Brooke Shields.
The legendary dubbing voices are identical to the voices in EUROPA’s series of Famous Five audio plays. The audio actors really enjoy reminiscing about their work together, which they did at the Arena dubbing studios in Berlin with Bernd Liebner as dialogue director. In May 2007, a Famous Five evening was held in Berlin’s Deutsche Kinemathek theatre, with all the dubbing artists present, live scenes being reinterpreted from the Enid Blyton classic, and much more besides.


(Text in Picture)
Announcement / Proviso yes no
Hey boys and girls! No doubt many of you know about the exciting stories by English author Enid Blyton. ZDF is starting the new FAMOUS FIVE series based on her books of the same name. The first episode screens today.

From the ZDF transmission label for the broadcast of the first episode, “Five on Kirrin Island”, on 30 September 1978

1. Five on Kirrin Island (1)
Anne, Julian and Dick come to Kirrin for the first time to spend their holidays with Aunt Fanny, Uncle Quentin and cousin George. Uncle Quentin is working on a top-secret project on Kirrin Island. George is furious, because this means she can’t go to her island, and she is very hostile to her cousins. But when the four children discover that strange Mr Curton is interested in the secret project and Uncle Quentin is kidnapped soon afterwards, they join forces to help George’s father.

2. Five on Kirrin Island (2)
Uncle Quentin is kept prisoner by Mr Johnson, a dangerous spy working against Mr Curton, to force his secret out of him. Julian, Dick, George and Anne want to get Uncle Quentin free. George’s dog Timmy, a stray, whom George had not been allowed to keep and so had been giving him to a village boy to look after, helps them out.

3. Five Go Adventuring Again
New tutor Mr Roland, who is to give the four children lessons during their holidays, is caught snooping in Uncle Quentin’s study by Timmy. Julian, Dick, Anne and George are suspicious of Mr Roland and shadow him. At a neighbouring farm belonging to Mrs Sanders, the children find an old map that mentions a “secret way”. Soon after that, George sees Mr Roland talking with the two men staying at the farm, Mr Wilton and Mr Thomas. The three men appear to know each other and the Famous Five are sure that they are interested in Uncle Quentin's top-secret research work.

4. Five Go to Smuggler’s Top (1)
A tree has fallen on Kirrin Cottage during a bad storm, so Dick, George, Julian and Anne are to spend their holidays with the Lenoir family. Even though Mr Lenoir hates dogs, George takes Timmy with her, but has to hide him. Mr Lenoir and Uncle Quentin have developed a plan to drain the surrounding marshes. Mr Barling, who opposes the project, wants to thwart this plan. So he kidnaps Uncle Quentin just as the latter is arriving at the Lenoirs a bit later. Sooty, the Lenoirs’ son, witnesses the kidnapping and is also captured.

5. Five Go to Smuggler's Top (2)
The four children and Marybelle, Sooty’s sister, think that Block, the deaf butler, has something to do with the abduction of Uncle Quentin and Sooty and that he is involved in smuggling. George, Anne, Julian and Dick search the caves under the house and wind up in danger themselves.

6. Five Go Off in a Caravan
Dick, George, Julian, Anne and Timmy the dog are travelling in their horse-drawn caravan when they meet a circus boy called Nobby and make friends with him. The Famous Five set up camp nearby to the circus. Nobby’s uncle, Tiger Dan and Lou the acrobat are not at all pleased, because the caravan is right on top of the entrance to the cave where they have hidden their stolen goods. So Tiger Dan and Lou try every trick they can think of to drive the Famous Five away.

7. Five Go Off to Camp (1)
Anne, Dick, George, Julian and Timmy the dog are camping with their old tutor, Mr Luffy. Near the campsite, the children discover an old abandoned freight yard and a railway tunnel. The sullen old guard shoos the children away and mentions ghost trains. This makes the Famous Five curious and they want to find out more about the ghost trains. They meet Jock at a railway station. His unfriendly stepfather, Mr Andrews, also orders the children to stay away from the old freight yard.

8. Five Go Off to Camp (2)
Despite Mr Andrews’ warning, Julian, Dick and Jock creep down to the old freight yard at night and actually see a ghost train! They want to get to the bottom of it, so explore the tunnel again during the day. In doing so, they run into Mr Andrews and his men.

9. Five on a Hike Together
The Famous Five are on a hike and spend the night in a barn after they got lost when it was already getting dark. Dick is woken up in the middle of the night by someone calling his name. It's an escaped prisoner, who wants to give a message to his accomplice, whose name is also Dick. A lake with a buried treasure is marked on the bit of paper. Dick, Julian, Anne, George and Timmy want to find the treasure and bring it up. In doing so, they cross the path of the crooks.

10. Five Go to Mystery Moor
The Famous Five are spending their holidays at a riding stable. But they decide to spend a night on the moor. During the night, packages with counterfeit money are thrown out of an aeroplane. George, Dick, Julian and Anne quickly collect the packages and hide them. All of a sudden, a thick fog descends. The children get separated. George and Anne are surprised by the men who are after the money and captured. Julian and Dick try to find their way back to the riding stable as quickly as possible despite the fog so they can fetch help.

11. Five on a Secret Trail
The Famous Five are staying in an old hut. Spooky and unexplained things happen over the next two nights. It seems that someone wants to scare the children away from the hut. Anne, Julian, Dick, George and Timmy pretend to be leaving. But Julian and Dick sneak back to watch what happens. The next night, they overhear a conversation between two men and a woman who are obviously looking for treasure.

12. Five Go to Billycock Hill
The Famous Five set up camp near to Billycock Hill, where the Air Force’s newest planes are being tested. They soon meet Jeff, a test pilot and uncle of their friend Toby. When one of the new planes is stolen and Jeff disappears, suspicion falls on him. Dick, Julian, Anne, George and her dog Timmy want to prove Jeff’s innocence.

13. Five on Finniston Farm
When the Famous Five visit Finniston Farm, they encounter devious antique dealer Henning and his spoilt son Junior, who are searching for the cellars of a castle that may have once stood on the same property as the farm, because they think there’s a treasure to be found. When Timmy the dog digs up something unusual, Julian, Dick, Anne and George don’t yet realise that they are hot on the trail of the dungeon’s secret.

14. Five Get into Trouble (1): Prisoners
Richard, whose father is rich, joins the Famous Five while they’re on a cycling tour. When Richard continues on to his aunt, he encounters Rooky, his father’s former bodyguard, who wants to kidnap Richard to help him break into his parents’ house. But due to a mix-up, it is not Richard who is kidnapped, but Dick. Anne has to watch helplessly while her brother is kidnapped, but overhears where he is being taken to. With Richard’s help, Julian, Anne, George and Timmy make their way to Owl’s Dene to set Dick free.

15. Five Get into Trouble (2): Conspiracies
When the children enter the house where Dick is being kept prisoner, they are caught by the kidnappers. Things get hairy for the Famous Five and Richard the next day when Rooky realises that the wrong boy has been kidnapped.

16. Five Get into a Fix
A note with an appeal for help arouses the Famous Five’s curiosity during their holiday on Mrs Jones’ farm. Old Mrs Thomas is obviously being held prisoner by her son in a nearby house. Julian, Dick, George, Anne and Timmy the dog want to help Mrs Thomas. But the house is surrounded by a high fence and guarded by vicious dogs. Then the children learn that the house may have a secret entrance.
The original German version was cut. Scenes that were not dubbed are included with original English audio and German subtitles.

17. Five Are Together Again (1)
Dick, George, Julian and Anne have to stay with Professor Hayling and his son Tinker for a little while, because scarlet fever has broken out at Kirrin Cottage. A circus has been set up in the field behind the Hayling house. The children meet Sam and his chimpanzee Charlie there, along with the mysterious magician Wu. Important papers are stolen from Professor Hayling’s research tower one night and Charlie is suspected of being the thief. But the Famous Five don’t believe that and want to find out who really did it.

18. Five Are Together Again (2)
The stolen papers have turned up again. Wu the magician personally returns them to Professor Hayling. This makes the Famous Five suspicious. They set a trap for Wu and his assistant.

19. Five Have a Wonderful Time
George finds out that a colleague of her father Quentin, scientist Terry Kane, has been kidnapped. When the Famous Five camp by an old castle, they accidentally find out that the professor is being held prisoner in one of the castle tower rooms. George, Anne, Julian, Dick and Timmy the dog immediately set about helping the professor escape. However, they are caught by the kidnapper. Anne manages to get away and tries to get help from a travelling circus that has set up camp nearby.

20. Five Fall into Adventure (1)
Jo, a girl the Famous Five meet on the beach, is behaving suspiciously. Only Timmy seems to like the tomboy. Shortly afterwards, Uncle Quentin’s study is broken into while he’s on holiday. Someone is obviously after important papers. Does Jo have something to do with it? Dick, Anne, Julian and George set a trap. When the trick goes wrong and the thieves still don’t have what they want, George and Timmy are kidnapped. Jo offers her help to Julian, Dick and Anne. The two boys decide to follow Jo to the crooks’ hideout to help their cousin and Timmy escape.

21. Five Fall into Adventure (2)
No sooner have Jo, Dick and Julian reached the kidnappers’ hideout when Julian and Dick are discovered and locked in a dungeon. They manage to escape with Jo’s help. But now they have to set George and Timmy free. Time is short, because the crooks are hot on their heels.
The original German version was cut. Scenes that were not dubbed are included with original English audio and German subtitles.

22. Five Run Away Together
Mrs Stick is hired as housekeeper when Aunt Fanny and Uncle Quentin have to go away urgently for a while. She brings her husband and insolent son Edgar with her. The Sticks make themselves more and more at home at Kirrin Cottage, which the Famous Five don’t like one bit. So they run away to Kirrin Island where they feel safe. But George and Dick suddenly disappear.

23. Five Go to Demon's Rocks (1)
Uncle Quentin and Professor Hayling have an important meeting. Hayling’s son Tinker and his little monkey Mischief are also visiting. Because the two scientists are bothered by the children’s noise, the Famous Five go off with Tinker
to his lighthouse to spend their holidays there. It’s not long before the lighthouse key disappears. Have the two sinister journeymen Jacob and Ebenezer got something to do with it?
The original German version was cut. Scenes that were not dubbed are included with original English audio and German subtitles.

24. Five Go to Demon's Rocks (2)
George, Dick, Julian, Anne and Tinker find a map in the lighthouse that shows the entrance to a secret passage there. Is the pirate treasure that old Mr Boogle told them about buried in the passage? The children waste no time in searching for the treasure. But they are not the only ones looking for it …
The original German version was cut. Scenes that were not dubbed are included with original English audio and German subtitles.

25. Five Go Down to the Sea (1)
The funny stuffed horse “Clopper” is the main attraction of a travelling circus that appears in the barn of the farm where Julian, Dick, George, Anne and Timmy are spending their holidays. When the children want to examine “Clopper” more closely, they are sternly told to leave him alone. This makes the Famous Five even more curious to find out what his secret is. Signals are flashing on the beach at night. Are there smugglers at work here?
The original German version was cut. Scenes that were not dubbed are included with original English audio and German subtitles.

26. Five Go Down to the Sea (2)
The Famous Five discover an underground passage that leads to the smuggler gang’s hideout. All of a sudden, the door shuts behind them. They are locked in! Fortunately, they are let out. When the circus people leave, Julian is struck by an idea and grabs Clopper’s head. A thrilling chase results.
The original German version was cut. Scenes that were not dubbed are included with original English audio and German subtitles.


Whether it was the books with their colourful and exciting covers or the tapes that I listened to over and over, I have always been a big fan of my childhood heroes – Julian, Dick, Anne, George and Timmy the dog.
Pub from “Five on Kirrin Island” (Exbury, 2009)
But I was particularly captivated by the 1978 TV series. When this was repeated in 1981 as part of ZDF’s holiday lineup, I had a regular appointment with my beloved Famous Five at just after three on summer afternoons. I didn’t want to miss a single second! Afterwards, I would go out in my garden or to a park and re-enact the adventures. I almost felt like I was experiencing them for real!
From “Five on a Hike Together” (Sowley Pond, 2004)
Many years later, when I was in my early 30s, I accidentally stumbled across the Famous Five Fan Site on the Internet and saw photos of filming locations once used in the series, which the “original discoverer”, Frank-Mike Georg, had taken and posted after exhaustive research. Childhood memories were awakened, I fell under the pictures’ spell and one thing was immediately clear to me: I had to go there!
Beach cottage from “Five on Kirrin Island” (Watchhouse at Lepe, 2009)
And so, in 2004, armed with a tent and bicycle just like my childhood heroes, I travelled to the region of Exbury in southern England to go on a tour of discovery. Every place I came to was associated with an exciting tingly feeling, a strange mixture of something familiar from the past and making a new discovery at the same time. It was a treasure hunt, a journey into past childhood, which almost let me breathe the air of the ‘70s for ten days. This holiday became an unforgettable experience.
“Five Have a Wonderful Time” (Rhinefield House, 2009)
But in New Forest, I not only found former filming locations but a dream destination. A peaceful bit of countryside with lush forests, wide moorlands, crooked pines, prickly gorse bushes and rugged beaches; an area with old cottages, free-roaming ponies and friendly people.
Felix Keil in New Forest
Thanks to the Famous Five series and several holidays, New Forest has become a home away from home that I now keep going back to. A valuable friendship has come about as a result, and we will certainly see each other again and continue the search for filming locations around Exbury …
(Felix Keil, Hanover)

Kirrin Railway Station (2006)


Introducing the Famous Five Fan Page Team

Thanks to Felix Böhm, the webmaster of our current fan page, the “Fünf Freunde Fanpage” (Famous Five Fan Page) project was created in October 1998.
Felix Böhm became a keen Famous Five fan early in his life. At the age of six, he was given his first EUROPA Famous Five audio play cassette and from then on, he was a big fan of the 1978/79 TV series.
He got the idea of creating a Famous Five fan page after being persuaded by his very good friend Meike. He also enjoyed experimenting on his PC.
Since October 1998, the fan page has kept changing and constantly growing thanks to the assistance of committed Famous Five fans who provide the fan page with reports, scans of newspaper clippings and video, cassette, LP and book covers, postcards and much more besides.
In 2002, Austrian Karl Kolar joined the Famous Five Fan Page team. At first he was involved with various cover scans, then stories on the fan page. Eventually, he became the designer and “head” of the entire fan page, along with Felix Böhm.
Karl Kolar has also been a keen Famous Five fan since childhood. He grew up with the TV series and in 1987, when there was still no Internet, established the “Detective Club” and “Famous Five Fan Community”.
With the help of Austrian fans, Karl Kolar succeeded in getting Austrian broadcaster ORF to repeat the 1978/79 series in 1988.

After the most recent broadcast on SUPER RTL, we received countless appeals from desperate Famous Five fans who asked us to help make production of a DVD of the 1978/79 cult TV series possible.
Karl Kolar began contacting major rights management firms around the world and doing research. He could not then have foreseen the adventure and seemingly endless odyssey he had got himself into.

In the meantime, we welcomed Andrea Blatter from Switzerland as another member of the Famous Five Fan Page team. Andrea Blatter has been involved with the cult series almost her entire life. Her enthusiasm was also awakened by the EUROPA audio play tapes. The exciting stories, speakers, actors and audio play covers captivated her. When the 1978/79 series then aired on TV, she was hooked for good.
Andrea Blatter looks after our online forum, is an excellent communicator, has a vast detailed knowledge of all the Famous Five episodes and actors and writes great reports.
The rest of the team includes Jörg Lüttgau from Germany. In four years of hard work, he created a complete “uncut” version of all 26 episodes in German and English and even added German subtitles to scenes that had not been dubbed previously. Felix Keil, also from Germany, writes reports and provides photos of filming locations in the 1978/79 cult TV series from then and now. Zoë Billings from Great Britain helps us with translations and proofreading texts in English, and probably has the world’s biggest collection of Famous Five memorabilia. Last but not least is Simone Lang from the Netherlands, who provides scans of various covers, postcards and magazine articles along with related information.

As the name “Fan Page” suggests, our Web site is made up of many keen Famous Five fans from around the world. Without these fans, the Famous Five Fan Page would not exist.
The “Famous Five Fan Page Team” works almost round the clock to answer questions from Famous Five fans and provide information about the Five.
Zoë Billings
We are non-profit and do our work out of the sheer pleasure we get from Enid Blyton’s original Famous Five.
Because we do a lot of advertising for Enid Blyton products such as DVDs, videos, books or radio plays, we are also much appreciated by big companies and publishers such as Random House GmbH and Universum Film GmbH. Yes, even the owner of the Enid Blyton brand, Chorion Ltd, is very pleased that we exist. Here’s what the CEO of Chorion Ltd had to say to the Famous Five Fan Page Team:
Simone Lang
“I want to sincerely thank you all for your continued interest in the “Famous Five” brand. It is heartening to see your loyalty and passion for the “Famous Five” and I only hope we can inspire a similar fan base for the new “Famous Five” show amongst children of today. Chorion are very aware of your desire to enjoy the 1970s series again on DVD and I want to assure you that we are doing all we can to make that happen.”
At peak times, such as when the cult series was repeated on SUPER RTL in August 2009, our Famous Five Fan Page recorded more than 20,000 hits every month.
The greatest interest is in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, France and Spain. We also receive many enquiries from Australia, the USA, Israel and many other countries.
Best wishes
“Famous Five Fan Page Team”
Andrea Blatter - Karl Kolar - Felix Böhm

Our most grateful thanks to Karl Kolar of the Famous Five Fan Page, who has become a friend to us over the past six years.
Together we have experienced many Famous Five adventures, which made it possible for this wonderful series to finally come out on DVD and Blu-ray.
A big Thank You also to the following people for their assistance:

Matthias Triebel
Josef Brandmaier
RA Dr. Robert Straßer

Anja Pallasch, Universum Film
Jutta Galland, RTL Television
Frank Dietz, SUPER RTL
Paul Johnson, itv Meridian

Christian Sandi, AVP
Michael Hosp, kdg
Haiko Herden, Herden Media
Arild Rafalzik, Filmproduktion
Andreas Thran, BOB Design
ludo vici
Marc Checkley
Gerald Jaxtheimer
Madeleine Potganski

Marcus Harris
Oliver Rohrbeck

Andrea Blatter
Felix Böhm
Felix Keil
Andre Weber
Jörg Lüttgau

moviemax GmbH movies & more

The Bonus Material

15 September 2010

Bonus Material Screenshot 1 Bonus Material Screenshot 2