1 9 5 0 – 1 9 5 1 (UK)
6 x 30 minute episodes
This version of the famous story of the March girls – Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy – in mid-nineteenth-century New England with their father away fighting in the American Civil War – was the first serialised work to be shown on British television, deviating from the standard single play format.
The fledgeling children’s department at the BBC had just recruited its first staff a few months earlier and this was the first drama to be made for children under its For The Children banner.
Little Women set the genre pattern for the first half of the 1950s at the BBC, before the advent of commercial television. The production was a straight retelling of a RADA stage adaptation, minimally reworked to fit the episodic serial format.
The book was adapted again by the BBC in 1958. One of Alcott’s sequels, Jo’s Boys, was also adapted soon after as a seven-episode serial in 1959.
Sheila Shand Gibbs
Mr James Laurence