GB / US / FRA 2004 1hr 29mins Dir: John Stephenson Starring: Tara Fitzgerald and Kenneth Branagh
Five evacuated children make friends with a sand fairy
This popular adventure fantasy film based on E. Nesbit’s 1902 book of the same title features scenes at the start that were filmed on the Isle of Man Railway. There are some excellent shots of Beyer Peacock 2-4-0T No.11 Maitland departing Douglas station and then arriving at Castletown. Douglas masquerades as ‘Hampton Wick’ but Castletown station appears as itself. More interesting is the fact that the coaching stock carries spurious ‘Somerset & Dorset’ branding! Between these scenes there are some equally fine aerial shots of Beyer Peacock 2-4-0T No.10 G.H. Wood passing through the countryside. Although the book title has the number 5 along with the word ‘and’, the title appears on movie covers and on posters spelled in various formats, with or without an ampersand, and sometimes with the number written in full (5 Children & It or Five Children & It).