The Sheep-Dalek

This addition to the Dalek Game is for Dick King-Smith‘s classic The Sheep-Pig, which was filmed as Babe. It is not my favourite King-Smith (that would be Saddlebottom), but it is a very good book and I am fond of the movie – although I saw it at the satellite cinema in Roma, and about half an hour into the movie a very small country boy in the front row piped up with “Why don’t they just SHOOT the PIG?”

Yet the charm of King-Smith’s books is that they aren’t terribly sentimental. Characters win through but sometimes the harshness of life is just (as the singing mice would have it) “the way things are” – to be struggled against, but not wished away. And both the book and the movie – with eccentric, inventive Farmer Hoggett, and the country women’s association and the dog trials – are beautifully accurate to country life (and have some gorgeous casting!). For all the quirky picture-book quality, the movie world is very closely observed and possibly the most good-hearted representation of that world that I have seen. (The automatic gate! The ducks!)

In other news:  I am going to be scanning a new batch of Daleks soon. In the meantime I have been making paper dolls, reading Tintenherz, experimenting with corn-and-buckwheat bread and sweet-chilli con carne and downloading theodolites and decibel meters onto phones over lunch with engineers.