It’s easy to talk about nostalgia when it comes to Chigley, but is that all it has?
I’ve reviewed, for ThisIs, Trumpton and Camberwick Green in the past months and, to be honest, I think this was the straw that broke the proverbial dromedary. Don’t get me wrong, Chigley is a splendid nostalgic trip down memory lane for adults, even if it does look a midge dated, but what adult is going to spend 3 hours looking at a dated late 60s kids programme?
Yeah, okay, I did, but that’s not the point.
There’s some prime kids programming these days, quality stuff to be sure, and I’ve found myself wondering if young kids would want to see entertainment like this compared to what TV has to offer. Would it have any shelf life or just sit there gathering dust? Alas, my cash is on the dust...
Chigley, made two years after Trumpton, and was made to work seamlessly with its prequels and to expand the world of Trumptonshire. Life in an English market town or village may be unrecognisable now, but Chigley moves at much the same leisurely pace as both Trumpton and Camberwick and sits in that post-war middle England utopia that exits only in our imagination.
Classic childhood memories are rekindled when, come six o'clock, the whistle announces the end of biscuit production and everyone’s off to the factory dance, with the music provided by a Dutch organ turned by Lord Belborough and his butler, Brackett.
Look out for the episode ‘Apples Galore’, in which Lord Belboroughs apple crop is saved from the rot by Windy Miller and his cider press, then it’s drinkies all round at the evening dance. Even Trumpton Fire Brigade pop down to pick the apples.
It's charming, but it’s not the sort of thing that kids (on the whole) will want to watch (or will engage their attention) more than once. If you’re a avid fan or looking for nostalgia, go for it, you couldn’t do better and it’s a testament to the characters, places and stories created by Gordon Murray that it still works as well as it does.
Movie: 3.5 out of 5
Extras: 3 out of 5