1 9 8 2 (UK)
4 x 30 minute episodes
Andrew Burt starred as Lemuel Gulliver in this four-part BBC adaptation by dramatist-director Barry Letts from Jonathan Swift’s classic book.
The shipwrecked naval surgeon is stranded upon the diminutive island of Lilliput and attracts the affections of Lady Flimnap (Elisabeth Sladen), the coquettish wife of the Lord High Treasurer and First Minister, who tutors Gulliver in the ways of the Lilliputian royal court.
Lilliput’s Queen Smilinda (Linda Polan) also dotes on Gulliver (for a time) as the giant from Wapping attempts to prevent war between the tiny kingdom and its equally minuscule rival, Blefuscu.
This four-part serial was the most expensive (per programme minute) British children’s television production. The four programmes cost around £250,000 (the average cost of a BBC drama programme), which is roughly five times the cost of most children’s programmes in the early 80s.
With special effects (miniaturised villages and castles) some scenes required an hour’s filming to provide ten seconds of screen time. Overall, each programme took more than twice as long as a normal programme to record.