The BBC has given the formal go-ahead to its new adaptation of the much-loved story Watership Down, RadioTimes.com can confirm.
BBC1 will air the new four-part animation based on Richard Adams’s story of the plucky rabbits Fiver, Hazel, Thumper and co, probably next year. RadioTimes.com revealed in March that the project was in development.
The story has already been told in a 1978 animated film directed by Martin Rosen and featuring the voices of John Hurt, Ralph Richardson, Denholm Elliott and Richard Briers.
But the BBC is expecting that advances in CGI will give the story a new lease of life on the small screen.
BBC controller of drama commissioning Ben Stephenson told RadioTimes.com: “I’m really excited. I love the way the BBC can do family in a way nobody else does… The animation from the 1970s is completely different to what we will be doing which will be incredibly detailed. You will see the wind blowing through the fur of the rabbits.
“Our new version will have the charm and the brutality of that story which can be about many things… leaving home, finding your own community…”
The hero of the story is Fiver, a young buck rabbit who has a frightening vision of destruction. A group of rabbits led by the resourceful Hazel then steal away to find a safer home in an epic – and dangerous – journey.