As youngsters, many sailors were inspired by Swallows and Amazons. Now, the classic book has been made into a new BBC film. Watch the trailer below!

Swallows and Amazons is a modern adaption of Arthur Ransome’s much loved novel about the adventures of John, Susan, Titty, now Tatty in the film version, and Roger.

It follows the four Walker children as they dream of escaping from the tedium of a summer holiday in the Lake District with their mother.

When finally given permission to camp on their own on a remote island in the middle of a vast lake, they are overjoyed.

But when they get there they discover they may not be alone…

As a desperate battle for ownership of the island ensues, the real dangers of an adult world on the brink of war encroach on their paradise in the form of a mysterious pair of Russian spies hot on the tail of the enigmatic Jim Turner.

Now the main trailer for Philippa Lowthorpe’s version of Swallows and Amazons has been released.

The film was shot in the Lake District, Scotland and Yorkshire last summer, and stars Rafe Spall, Kelly Macdonald, Harry Enfield, Andrew Scott and Dan Skinner.

Swallows and Amazons BBC film released Aug 19 2016

The poster advertising the new BBC film


It has taken the film’s producer, Nick Barton years to bring Swallows and Amazons back to the big screen.

He said reading Ransome’s novel at the age of 12 left “an indelible impression”.

“I always thought what fun it would be to camp on an island and have an adventure of my own,” said Barton.

Yet it was only in 1992 – when he bought a boat that resembled a larger version of Amazon – that he truly began to understand the thrill that sailing must have brought the author and his characters.

“I started sailing every weekend of the season on the coast in Norfolk… . Big waves, challenging conditions; it became, as I believe it does for all those who sail, a whole new dimension to life,” stated Barton.

And with each passing weekend on the water, the yearning to bring Ransome’s story to the big screen for the first time since Claude Whatham’s much-loved 1974 effort grew.

“I thought: ‘Now I’ve got to do it. Now I’ve got to find a way of making this film’,” said the producer.

As well as the name change for the character of Titty, there are several other shifts from the novel.

The film is set in 1935 rather than 1929. It also uses Ransome’s double life as an M16 agent spying on the Bolsheviks in Russia.

“In 1917 Ransome was over in Russia to cover the Russian Revolution for the Manchester Guardian and he was suspected by the Bolsheviks of being a spy for Britain, and he was strongly suspected by MI5 in Britain for being a spy for the Russians,” explained Barton.

Ransome had always presented the enigmatic character of Jim Turner as something of an alter-ego in the original novel.

In the film, the details of the author’s life act as a subplot, as well as the introduction of the shadowy Russian spies Lazlov and Zukin into proceedings to act as worthy adversaries.

Swallows and Amazons is released in cinemas nationwide from 19 August.