The Famous Five adaptation divides viewers over this major update - but do you love it or loathe it?

The BBC's adaptation of iconic The Famous Five novels has been met with some criticism from fans

(Image credit: BBC/Moonage Pictures/James Pardon)

The new adaptation of The Famous Five novels into a TV series has received some criticism from fans over a major change that takes place within seconds of the first episode.

Following on from the two adaptations of classic kids' picture books, Mog's Christmas and Tabby McTat, there's a show that you might like to watch with the kids and it's filled with nostalgia. But not everyone is a fan of the new TV series that has aired on the BBC which turns a series of children's adventure novels and short stories written by English author Enid Blyton into a family show.

The series, which first aired last month on CBBC, was released on the BBC over the weekend and with even more fans tuning in to watch, it has been met with some criticism with fans complaining about the theme tune, saying it's not in keeping with the 1930s setting for the stories.

One fan commented, "Watching the BBC's new adaptation of The Famous Five and I'm already starting to side with the critics. The electronic music is so jarring and out of place. I loved Enid Blyton as a child and sometimes, modernising and reimagining classics to this extent sadly loses sight of the original."

Another fan said, "I love the music BUT it just doesn't work with the story or period."

A third viewer added, "I was looking forward to the new version of The Famous Five but the title sequence & music put me right off! Absolutely zero attempt to give a sense of time & place."

For anyone who hasn't heard the opening title sequence, imagine something you're likely to hear at a beach party in Ibiza, with its fast beats and electronic vibe, all that's missing is the glowsticks...

But why not judge it for yourself, you can hear the beat playing in the background of the official trailer below...

Meanwhile, other fans have criticised some of the show's scenes claiming some appear visually "distorted" while some viewers were unhappy that some elements of the book had been changed for the show. One fan wrote, "I understand the Famous Five has to modernise, but WHY DOES THE BADDIE HAVE A MULLET??!???! Not around in the 30s, not cool the first time around and not cool in 2023."

Patricia Hidalgo, director of BBC Children's and Education, told The Mirror, "Bringing these books to life with a new reimagining of The Famous Five is a real treat for BBC audiences and a celebration of British heritage. These stories are loved around the world and bringing families together is a key part of our strategy so we hope it introduces a new generation of viewers to these wonderful adventures."

And it appears to be doing that as one viewer wrote on X (formerly Twitter), "Really enjoyed the new Enid Blyton Famous Five adaptation. Good cast. Well shot. A nice classic feel to it. Looking forward to the rest."

The Famous Five is available to watch on the iPlayer and further episodes are set to air on the BBC and iPlayer in 2024.

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Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)