PBOTD: 29th April, Richard Carpenter:
Following on from the Black Beauty theme is a book which takes up where the book leaves off: though it does turn Beauty into a Victorian version of Champion the Wonder Horse, full of amazing abilities. I didn't care when I watched the series. They could just have replayed the opening scenes with Beauty galloping up the hill a hundred times, and I'd still have watched.
I can't actually remember much about the series now. What I do remember is that I wanted to be Judi Bowker. I was quite some way off. I've got over wanting to be Judi now, but Beauty - I still want him.
The Adventures of Black Beauty stories were written by several scriptwriters. Richard Carpenter (who also wrote Catweazle, Robin of Sherwood and another favourite of mine, The Ghosts of Motley Hall) contributed 17 out of the 52 episodes. Some of them were turned into book form. and that's how The Best of Black Beauty came about. The stories see Ned learning to ride, Jonah the donkey (I have completely forgotten Jonah the donkey, sadly, which says much about my ability to be swayed by beauty), Kevin rescuing a damsel in distress, and here's what Black Beauty does: "....and through it all the reassuring figure of Black Beauty looked on - helping out where he could, defending the family who looked after him, and joining in the happy endings." What more could you want?
I can't resist it. Here's the theme music and the opening credits: