Dinah Glass moves in with a new foster family and begins to attend the same school as her new foster brothers. But there is something very strange going on at the school. BBC adaptation of the children's novels by Gillian Cross.
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A team of 6 contestants play a series of physical, mental, skill and mystery games across 4 themed zones gaining as many crystals as possible which determine how many seconds they get as they attempt to win a prize inside the Crystal Dome.
Dinah Glass is a young girl, nervous about joining her new foster family; The Hunters. Although the parents are welcoming, the two brothers (Harvey and Lloyd) are more cautious but that's the least of her problems once she starts at her new school. The headmaster is intent on order and the pupils are unusually willing to obey, except for a few. What is going on and just what is the headmaster up to? Dinah hopes to find out, if she can just win the trust of Harvey and Lloyd.
Even as a child I loved the books, they were well written, interesting and funny and the character of The Demon Headmaster stuck in my head for a long time. Apart from one or two underused secondary characters, this was very good. As an adaptation it sticks true to the books' spirit, and is just as well written and interesting. And yes, The Demon Headmaster is very memorable here.
The production values are pretty good, same with the music, while the script has a good balance of humour and intelligence and the story is interesting and doesn't meander. The characters are great, Dinah is smart and brave and Lloyd and Harvey bring a smart and light-hearted touch. But I have to say The Demon Headmaster is the best character of all. The acting I had little problem with, Terence Hardimann is especially excellent in the title role, very cold and terrifying.
In conclusion, a great series and a solid adaptation too. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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