Famous Names Flock to Zog and the Flying Doctors
Magic Light Pictures, the multi Oscar-nominated production company, has been providing festive family treats to BBC audiences for more than a decade. For Christmas 2020, they’re bringing the fabulous and timely Zog and the Flying Doctors to BBC One and BBC iPlayer, sequel to the great 2018 success Zog.
Sir Lenny Henry will lead the cast as the Narrator, joined by Rob Brydon (Gavin & Stacey) as King, Patsy Ferran (Laurence Olivier award winner) as Princess Pearl, Hugh Skinner (Mamma Mia: Here we go again) as Zog, as well as Daniel Ings (The Crown) as Sir Gadabout, Mark Bonnar (Quiz, Catastrophe) as Unicorn, Lucian Msamati (Talking Heads) as Lion and Alexandra Roach(Utopia) as Mermaid.
In Zog and the Flying Doctors, Zog, Pearl and Gadabout are now a flying doctor trio, caring for creatures including a mermaid, a unicorn and a sneezy lion. However, when bad weather forces them to land at the palace, Pearl is locked up by her uncle, the King. Zog and Gadabout try in vain to set her free. Pearl gets a chance to escape, but instead decides to stay and care for the ill King, in the process gaining his respect, regaining his love and with it her freedom.
The book is written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. Together Julia and Axel are the UK’s number one picture book creators. Zog and the Flying Doctors was first published by Scholastic in 2016 and is the eighth adaptation by Magic Light Pictures of a Donaldson/Scheffler title for BBC One.
The animated half hour is produced by Michael Rose and Martin Pope of Magic Light and directed by Sean Mullen. Animation services are being provided by Giant Animation in Dublin. The special has been acquired by Charlotte Moore, BBC Chief Content Officer and Tommy Bulfin, Commissioning Editor, BBC Drama.
Sir Lenny Henry, who also narrated the BBC One 2018 adaptation of Zog, said: “These Donaldson and Scheffler productions are so magical, it’s a joy to be able to lend my voice to such fun and beautiful animations at Christmas. Zog’s continued story is one of teamwork and empowerment, things we all need more of these days.”