The Wild House
UK, BBC, Children's sitcom, Colour, 1997
Starring: Ellie Beaven, Honeysuckle Weeks, Peter Kelly
A smart and cute serialised children's series, set in the home of the crazy Wild family: parents and three precocious children.
Taking centre-stage is Natalie, a clever and articulate 13-year-old making the transition from childish concerns to teenage woes - worrying about clothes, boyfriends and all that. With his obsession about wildlife, Natalie's ten-year-old brother Arthur (nicknamed 'Wart') seems intent on becoming the next David Attenborough; sister Serena, 16, just wants a boyfriend. Mum and Dad have (in the stories) less to do than their offspring but, at various times, all of the Wilds (even the dog) speak directly to the camera, commenting upon their lives while random dream-like images are projected behind them.
By the start of the second series Serena has left for Boston on a science scholarship, and several episodes later Mum and Dad join her in the USA, leaving the rest of the clan to be looked after by aunts, uncles and a granny. Cousin Georgina, a feisty 16-year-old, also moves in. In the finale, the rest of the Wild clan prepared to move Stateside.
*Notes. This actor was credited as Peter Kelly in the first series and Peter Kin Kelly thereafter.
Shortly after the last episode of The Wild House, principal writer Jean Buchanan unveiled Welcome to Orty-Fou, a similarly-themed ITV children's series - though this time more of a light-drama than a comedy - based around a slightly eccentric family and seen, again, from the viewpoint of a female child speaking directly to camera. There were two seven-episode series: 21 September-2 November 1999 and 12 September-24 October 2000.
Number of episodes: 37
Length: 25 mins