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The Railway Children Cast and Credits


Photo of Jenny AgutterMother
Jenny Agutter

Thirty years on from her memorable performance as Bobbie in Lionel Jeffries's film of the classic children's story The Railway Children, Jenny Agutter has come full circle to play the part of Mother in Carlton's new adaptation. In between her Railway roles, she has had a successful career on stage as well in film and television; she has had starring roles in the Australian 1971 classic Walkabout, and more recently in Masterpiece Theatre's Silas Marner, The Buccaneers and A Respectable Trade. Despite her glittering career, it is still The Railway Children with which people associate Agutter. In addition to her role in the original adaptation of the film, she had appeared as Bobbie two years previously in a BBC adaptation of the book and has since read the book on tape. Agutter's interest in all of E. Nesbit's books and the author herself has inspired her to put together a screenplay about her extraordinary life.

After living in America for 18 years, Jenny Agutter is now married to hotelier Johan Tham, and they have a 9-year-old son, Jonathan. They split their time between their London home and a house in Cornwall.

Photo of Gregor FisherMr. Perks
Gregor Fisher

From Rab C. Nesbitt to E. Nesbit, The Railway Children provided Gregor Fisher with a dramatic shift in scenery and style. Famous for his often unruly urban characters in the likes of Naked Video, Para Handy, The Baldy Man, and Rab C, the role of Mr. Perks took Gregor to the rural Home Counties of the Edwardian era. Playing the compassionate, bumbling Perks allowed Gregor to give something new to the character, something quite comical. Fisher, who lives in the Scottish borders with his wife, Victoria, and their three children, delights in the family viewing of The Railway Children. The 46-year-old actor is currently at work on several projects, including a new sitcom for the BBC, Brotherly Love.

Photo of Jemima RooperBobbie
Jemima Rooper

The role in The Railway Children of the eldest child, Bobbie, is a classic in British film. Jemima Rooper admits she was slightly daunted by the prospect of playing the part, a pressure doubled by the fact that the "original Bobbie," Jenny Agutter, would be there on the set alongside her, as her mother. Rooper has previously appeared in the psychological drama Dance for Britain's Channel 4, and in the BBC's Wives and Daughters, Junk, Summer in the Suburbs, and The Passion. The 17-year-old actress had to fit work on The Railway Children around studying for her A-levels. Now at Sixth Form College, Rooper is studying English literature, classical civilization, and theater studies.

Photo of Richard AttenboroughThe Old Gentleman
Richard Attenborough

Carlton's production of The Railway Children brings Richard Attenborough, the much-loved doyen of the British film industry, to the small screen for the first time. Despite an acting career that spans nearly 60 years and 70 movies, Attenborough has never appeared in a TV production and now only acts when he is offered a part that particularly intrigues him. The role of The Old Gentleman proved irresistible. Attenborough believes that Lionel Jeffries's 1970 film version of The Railway Children holds a unique position in British cinema, and agreed to participate in Carlton's adaptation of E. Nesbit's book because it will offer the viewer a different experience, and it will also introduce the story to a fresh, young audience.

Richard's experience of working with children began in 1961 when he produced his first film, Whistle Down the Wind. He also played Father Christmas in the remake of Miracle on 34th Street in 1994.

Last year Attenborough was honored with the BBC/BAFTA Lifetime Achievement Tribute for his outstanding contribution to world cinema. That contribution included his 1942 film debut as a young sailor in Noël Coward's In Which We Serve, The Great Escape, The Angry Silence, 10 Rillington Place, and, more recently, Jurassic Park, The Lost World, and Elizabeth. His credits as a director/producer include Gandhi, Cry Freedom, Shadowlands, Chaplin, and In Love and War. He also directed the classic A Bridge Too Far.

The 76-year-old, who in 1993 became Lord Attenborough of Richmond-upon-Thames, where he lives, continues to campaign vigorously for a viable British film industry. His latest film, Grey Owl, the story of the world's first celebrity conservationist, starring Pierce Brosnan, will be released here later this year.

Upcoming projects include a film about the enduring love affair between the founder of radical feminism, Simone de Beauvoir, and philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre. He also hopes to make a film about the life of Sissy, the last Hapsburg Empress.

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PeterJack Blumenau

PhyllisClare Thomas

FatherMichael Kitchen

CookValerie Minifie

RuthMelanie Clark Pullen

Aunt EmmaGeorgie Glen

Mrs. RansomeAmanda Walker

Station MasterClive Russell

Dr. ForrestDavid Bamber

Mrs. VineyJane Wood

BargeeIan Gain

Bargee's BoyBobby Windebank

Mr. SzczepanskyVelibor Topic

District SuperintendentGeoffrey Beevers

Engine DriverMichael Gunn

FiremanPaul Trussell

Son of PerksMax Southworth

Mrs. PerksSophie Thompson

JimJ.J. Field

Draper's BoyLee Turnbull

DraperRichard Lloyd

Man with coughMichael Larkin

Post Office WomanVicky Ogden


The Railway Children is a Carlton production and is presented on PBS by WGBH Boston. It is based on the novel by E. Nesbit, with an adaptation written by Simon Nye. The producer is Charles Elton. The director is Catherine Morshead. The executive producer is Jonathan Powell.

Masterpiece Theatre has been presented on PBS by WGBH for nearly 30 years. Rebecca Eaton is executive producer. Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Russell Baker is series host. Masterpiece Theatre is closed-captioned for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers by The Caption Center at WGBH.

The producers would like to thank The Bluebell Railway for their assistance in the making of this film.

Excerpted with kind permission from Carlton Television, © 2000.

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