1 9 5 3 (UK)
6 x 30 minute episodes
Young orphaned Heidi (Julia Lockwood) is taken to live high in the Swiss Alps with her cantankerous od grandfather (Roger Maxwell) who shuns the mountain community and lives a solitary existence in a remote bothy.
At first, Heidi has difficulty communicating with the old man and finds him gruff and lacking in affection. But in a short time, they become firm friends and Heidi even manages to get her grandfather to start talking to the villagers.
She also makes friends with a mountain boy called Goat Peter (Lance Secretan) and the two roam happily as Peter herds his goats.
Heidi’s happiness is curtailed when her Aunt Dete (Vari Falconer) decides that the girl should be taken to Frankfurt where she will be a companion to a crippled girl called Clara (Hilary Rennie).
Heidi finds Frankfurt a noisy, flat city and the household is governed intensely by the foreboding Fraulein Rottenmeier (Totti Truman Taylor). Heidi is made to stand on ceremony at all times and, regardless of her growing friendship with Clara, she cannot adjust to the strange customs of the house.
When Heidi’s health subsequently declines, it is felt that she should return to the Alps, where her delighted grandfather awaits.
Heidi was dramatised on three occasions by the BBC, a reflection of its popularity with the younger generation of the time. A sequel – Heidi Grows Up – was written by Charles Tritten and broadcast in 1954. The story follows Heidi through boarding school and her coming of age.
Totti Truman Taylor
Up the Mountain | Two Visitors | Away from Grandfather | Another Grandmother | Home Again | Happy Ending