The new Worzel Gummidge of Scatterbrook Farm had a mixed reaction when it made its debut on Boxing Day 2019.
At the start of the second episode, a farmer had a child ‘John’ trying to get fireworks out of a bag on a very high ledge, with a lighter that fell it was no wonder his wife came rushing in to tell him off yelling “What you doing up there it’s dangerous”
The scene where thousands of scarecrows were seen flying over a cornfield was impressive! although it looked like some CGI work which could also be seen elsewhere in the episode, the robin was CGI and so was the butterflies.
Worzel (Makenzie Crook) was first seen in the episode reading something near hedges, two children called Susan and John found him, they got along very well, they continued to chat about nothing much until he found Earthy Mangold (Francesca Mills) a small female scarecrow with a broad northern accent who seemed to care about Worzel.
In the next scene Worzel and the two kids find themselves at a scarecrow competition, ground, soon after they find they are a little bit early and all end up in Lady Bloomsbury’s (Zoe Wannamaker) very big house, Worzel declined a slice of cake which was a little odd, he just wanted some milk.
He was given the milk and seen enjoying it until John looked down and found all the milk on the floor! Worzel started to act a little odd, he claimed someone had farted and blamed the girl, it was obvious Worzel felt uneasy and wanted to leave.
If this was supposed to be for children, however, having a gang of five weirdos all in what looked like vegetable heads and pretending to be on bikes and acting in a borderline anti-social way was something more for a young adult and above.
The same gang was seen again who started to become upset after losing the scarecrow competition, suddenly and just at the right time Earthy Mangold came into the scene, well fell into it! she stopped Soggy Bogart from any further action and shamed him by revealing he used to have a pair of teddy bear PJ’s called ‘Teddy Bodkins’ she also shamed the others and all agreed to get the cows back that they had let go previously.
Earthy Mangold and everyone else was seen all together looking out towards a field with many cows that had odd names painted on them, at first they and Worzel thought it was bad, then suddenly they all started laughing, in the end, the gang ended up washing off the graffiti.
Worzel went back to his field and spoke to ‘The Green Man’ who was a little bit like ‘The Crow Man’ and played by Michael Palin who had a chat with him about the two kids who Worzel was not supposed to speak to.
Palin said something interesting to Worzel before he left for where he would stand “Go well then Worzel Gummidge, Guardian of the levels, Sentinel of the seasons, Scarecrow of Scatterbrook”
It was then the gang and Earthy Mangold was seen sitting down, Earthy at the end of what sounded like a bedtime story said: “Nanight toys, Nanight Teddy Bodkin” then to see the now shamed Soggy Bogart fall further to shame when he started to put a very small pair of PJ’s to his face sucking his thumb!
The final scene shows Worzel on his stand with his arms out as a scarecrow would be, then putting his head up and looking out towards the horizon with a forced smile on his face, the camera then shows Worzel again but this time from a fair distance behind him and ends.
We felt the ending scene would have been better for the camera to have gone all around him and then slowly moving backwards then ending to some atmospheric cinematic sounds.
The new Worzel Gummidge will grow on you the more you watch it however some scenes we felt was not for young children and so they would not understand it or even get scared! more so with the somewhat aggressive nature of Soggy Bogart and his weirdo gang of veg pretending to be on bikes.
We felt the interaction with ‘The Green Man’ could have been more sincere as his last part in the episode shows Michael Palin looking on with a confused look on his face if there was a winner for the best actress in that episode Earthy Mangold won by miles, she was very popular with many people on social media.
Some people did not like Worzel’s beard or his outfit, we agree as he did not resemble a Scarecrow.
Either way having seen the last episode and no Aunt Sally anywhere to be seen we thought it was rubbish in parts, only Earthy Mangold made up for it and the soundtrack was acceptable.
It is hoped that if Worzel is to come back again that he looks like a scarecrow, that he has his ‘Crow Man’ back and Aunt Sally looks like a fairground ride doll, and more importantly it lasts more than two episodes.