The BBC has unveiled a sneak peek at this year’s Christmas animation, Zog and the Flying Doctors, set to star the likes of Sir Lenny Henry, Rob Brydon and Patsy Ferran.
Based on Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s book of the same name, the children’s story is being adapted for the small screen and will be shown on BBC One and BBC iPlayer on Christmas Day 2020.
Starring stand-up comedian Henry as the Narrator, Zog and the Flying Doctors follows flying doctor trio Zog (Fleabag’s Hugh Skinner), Princess Pearl (Olivier Award-winning actress Patsy Ferran) and Sir Gadabout (The Crown’s Daniel Ings), who are caring for various creatures when bad weather strikes, forcing them to land at the palace.
When Pearl is locked up by her uncle, the King (Gavin & Stacey’s Rob Brydon), Zog and Gadabout set out to rescue her.
The first-look image shows Zog, Pearl and Gadabout in action, on their way to heal various creatures throughout the land.
Mark Bonnar (Quiz, Catastophe), Lucian Msamati (Talking Heads) and Alexandra Roach (Utopia) will also star in the festive film, which acts as a sequel to BBC One’s 2018 adaptation of Donaldson’s book Zog.
Henry, who also narrated Zog in 2018, said in a statement: “These Donaldson and Scheffler productions are so magical, it’s a joy to be able to lend my voice to such fun and beautiful animations at Christmas.”
“Zog’s continued story is one of teamwork and empowerment, things we all need more of these days,” he added.
The first Zog special starred Henry, Ferran and Skinner in their current roles, as well as Game of Thrones’ Kit Harrington as Sir Gadabout, Tracey Ullman as Madam Dragon and Brydon in various roles.
Zog isn’t the first Donaldson book series to be adapted into Christmas Day television – a 27-minute film based on the author’s highly-successful book The Gruffalo aired on 25th December in 2009, starring Robbie Coltrane, James Corden, Helena Bonham Carter and Rob Brydon.