Boys Costumes Depicted in Television Shows: Just William

Figure 1.--The BBC produced a version of "Just William" in 1994-95 Oliver Rokison played William. Here William is shown with is school cap with the circular design.

One of the most beloved character to have graced the English television screen has to be William Brown, better known as "Our William". The William saga first appeared as a series of children's books which were also enjoyed by adults. Movies an a radio series followed an finally a number of television series. A critical p-art of the William story is his classic school boy outfit, incluing a peake hat with a circular design and falling down kneesocks.

1976 Production

Just William was produced for television in 1976. William was nicely played by Adrian Dannatt. The TV series was produced by John Davies and Stella Richman. They decided to set the TV series in the late 1920s when they felt Crompton had written his best William stories. Keith Dewhurst who scripted the series attempted to faithfully follow the Crompton atmosphere. A real effort was made to accuractely reproduce the dialog, location, and clothing. We have limited information on this series, but note that some editions of the William books used images from the TV program for the cover illustration.

1994/95 Production

The BBC produced a version of Just William in 1994/95 BBC television. Oliver Rokison, the boy actor in the title role, was excellent. The stories were very amusing. In this version of William, he was quite different from the books. William in the books was a real "monster" with a negative attitude to everything, and this was toned down in the TV series, where he was much more of a "lovable scamp". In fact I think the TV series (as was Crompton's intention for the original book) aimed at least as much at adults as at kids--it was done as quite a "camp" and "post-modern" take on popular stereotypes and clichés about 1930s English middle-class culture.


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Created: April 15, 2001
Last updated: March 26, 2003