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British TV series
 

      Summerton Mill




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Summerton Mill     (2005, 2008)
  
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producers: Summerton Mill Ltd.
   animation: stop-motion animation

      
                          1 x 5min 50s pilot episode


                          2005 / 13 x 5mins
                          2008 / 13 x 5 mins

 

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     "Down at the bottom a very pretty valley, 
     there's a magical place called Summerton Mill.
     And when the waterwheel turns at Summerton Mill,
     a little bit of magic takes place. And, for a little while,
     everything goes back to how it used to be..."

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    Summerton Mill's inhabitants can be found somewhere between the turn
    of the old waterwheel and the call of the Oocock in the mill wall. There you'll
    find Dan and his dog Fluffa, Mousey-tongue the cat, Francoise the cow, and
    various chickens and Millfreaks. Yes, that's right, "Millfreaks". You see, this is
    a magical mill, and magical mills are entitled to a few magical friends. The
    Millfreaks resemble little grey/blue jacks, with fur on. Similarly, the chickens
    aren't real chickens at all, instead they're squeaky balls of yellow feathers with
    legs. Francoise has nuts and bolts on her hip joints, and Fluffa is akin to a
    furry hot water bottle cover.

    Every day is a lovely day at the mill - even the windy ones. And as sure as
    the turn of waterwheel, Dan will meet his good friend Dr Naybhur and his wife
    Mrs Naybhur, and Mousey-tongue will lie in the sun, flicking her tail whilst
    Something Happens. A hole might be found, a kite might be flown, a poem
    written, or a new song sung. Some small event will unfold and be neatly
    concluded, just in time for the Oocuck to appear. Then the waterwheel
    will turn on again, through the years, and the mill will revert to the attractive
    ramshackle building we see today...

     The Oocuck  Fluffa and chickens   

    "Summerton Mill" was created by Pete Bryden and Ed Cookson, working out
    of their studio in Banbury, in Oxfordshire. And it's a gem. The production
    harks back to the simple days of SmallFilms, of Gordon Murray and
    Bura & Hardwick. Everything looks handmade and crafted, and there's 
    genuine warmth and affection in every stop-frame of film.

    Oh yes, just when you thought they didn't make series like these any more,
    "Summerton Mill" emerges from sepia to charm the socks of you. There's
    no grand design here. No one's thinking about Tee-shirt sales, or target
    demographics. Dan, the Mill, Fluffa and their strange friends exist just
    because they can, just because they should. And we, in turn, can watch
    and treasure an instant classic.

      Mousey-tongue  A baby Millfreak

    "Summerton Mill" mixes its emotions beautifully. It may be steeped in sepia
     tones, but at times it's very funny, with a twist in the tail, or it's charming
     us with its music and songs. And there's detail too. The nostalgic breeze
     continually tussles the countryside around the mill. Dan's straw hair riffles
     on the wind, whilst the Millfreaks skitter back and forth across the scenery.
     If you didn't know any better, you'd say this place actually existed, just
     like Emily's Shop, the Clanger's moon, or those Trumptonshire villages.
     But in fact, Summerton Mill does exist. The production takes its cue from
     the real-life Somerton Mill (note spelling), nestled close to the River Cherwell,
     a few miles north of Oxford. The building dates back to 1655, and it's now
     let out as a holiday home by none other than Peter Bryden himself!...
     
    
» The series is narrated by Silas Hawkins. His father being the great Peter
        Hawkins, of Pugwash fame. Silas' voice also appears on that mysterious
        little movie "Rogue Farm" ( March 2005).

    
» The Summerton pilot episode featured slightly varied character designs,
        as well as a longer sepia-tone introduction. The story was subsequently
        re-filmed for the episode "Mrs Naybhur's Vegetables".

    
» "Summerton Mill" originally aired as part of the BBC show, "Tikkabilla"
        in September 2005, but the series proved immensly popular, and seven
        months later it was granted its very own standalone screening on
        CBeebies. That first little series has been so successful that Pete
        Bryden and Ed Coockson are now putting together a jolly second
        series of stories from Summerton valley...

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     In the news

     
The Hound: August 2006
     More Summerton Mill...

     The Hound: March 2006

     Summerton gets a standalone screening...

     
The Hound: September 2005
     Summerton Mill arrives...
     
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     Broadcast info

     "Summerton Mill" premiered on CBBC, as part of "Tikkabilla", on Monday
      5th September, 2005. Pedants will note that the series originally aired
      without credits, thus reducing the running time to 4mins per episode.
     
      The show received its first standalone screening on CBeebies,
      1st April 2006 at 8.10am. The additional credits bumped the running
      time up to 5mins per episode...

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    Dr Naybhur


     Dr Naybhur's
    Summerton Mill song

     Let's meet at the top of the hill
     And look down at Summerton Mill
     Fluffa and the chickens are having fun
     Mousey-tongue is asleep in the sun
     Francoise is grazing, the Millfreaks are lazing
     I can't think of anywhere quite so amazing...

     Summerton Mill, Summerton Mill
     Down in Summerton Valley, there's Summerton Mill
     Summerton Mill, Summerton Mill
     At the bottom of the valley, there's Summerton Mill

     Let's meet at the top of the hill
     And look down at Summerton Mill
     There's nothing that I'd rather do
     Than look down at Summerton Mill with you
     Where the grass is as green as you've ever seen
     It's the loveliest place that you've ever been...

     Summerton Mill, Summerton Mill
     Down in Summerton Valley, there's Summerton Mill
     Summerton Mill, Summerton Mill
     At the bottom of the valley, there's Summerton Mill

    
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     Summerton Mill episodes

      Pilot episode (with longer intro)
 
     Series One                               Series Two
    The Hole               
              The Bottle Organ
    Kite Flying                           Buried Treasure
    The Sock Thing                    Laughing
    Wing Nuts                           The Story
    Hiding                                 Statue
    Dr Naybhur's Song                 Dr Naybhur's Balloon
    Cheering Up                         Dan's Seeds
    The Baby Millfreak                 Counting the Stones
    Lost and Found                     Painting
    Mrs Naybhur's Vegetables       Dan's Amazing Magic Show
    Chinese Whispers                  Dan's Little Job
    The Picnic                           The Present
    Mrs Naybhur's Poem               The Lazy Day


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     Summerton Mill on DVD


     UK DVD
Summerton Mill - Series One
                Region 2 / all 13 episodes / April 2010

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     Produced by Summerton Mill Ltd


     directors:          Pete Bryden, Ed Cookson
     exec producer:  Kay Benbow
     writers:             Pete Bryden, Ed Cookson
                             based on an original idea by Pete Bryden

     music:              Pete Bryden, Ed Cookson

     animation:        Pete Bryden, Ed Cookson, James Cleland
     p
uppet
      construction:
    Scary Cat Studio
     set design &
      construction:
    Pete Bryden, Justin Hartree
     editing & post
      production:
       Ed Cookson, Pete Bryden
     sound:               Ed Cookson, Pete Bryden

     voices:              Silas Hawkins


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      On the web


      
Summerton Mill
      The official studio site, with all the info and clips from this
      marvellous show...

      VGI Entertainment
      The series' distributors...


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© Summerton Mill Ltd / F2010