Over the Christmas period the ITV television network will be showing PETER AND WENDY, which is another re-telling or re-inventing of the classic J.M Barrie story PETER PAN. This version stars Paloma Faith as Tinkerbell, Laura Frazer as Mrs Darling and Stanley Tucci as the infamous and at times bumbling Captain Hook. The exciting and magical drama runs for two hours but I am sure that ITV might screen it in one hour slots. It is a re-imagining of the classic story, which reinterprets it for the modern world that we live in, scripted by Adrian Hodges who worked on THE MUSKETEERS and MY WEEK WITH MARILYN. The drama opens in modern times London at the GREAT ORMOND STREET HOSPITAL, where we see Lucy Rose who is portrayed by Hazel Doupe,and also plays Wendy Darling. Lucy is awaiting heart surgery and her Mother Julie played by Laura Fraser who also portrays Mrs Darling is at her wits end that she might loose her child. The surgeon Mr Wylie played by Stanley Tucci who doubles as Captain Hook, assures the distraught mother that he will do all he can to save Lucy. The day before her operation the girl reads PETER PAN to some of the other sick children in the hospital, she then goes to sleep thinking of the adventure and its magical characters and Neverland. Whilst asleep she dreams the version of the story that we are watching, the storyline switches from the modern day trials that Lucy is undergoing to the fantasy life of Neverland.

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The musical score for PETER AND WENDY is by the highly talented Italian Maestro Maurizio Malagnini, like myself you probably first encountered his music in the series THE PARADISE which contained a gorgeous soundtrack and is set to return to our TV screens very soon for a second series. Well if you liked that, then you are in for a treat and I am certain will fall in love with the mystical, fantastical and gloriously sumptuous music that the composer has written to accompany PETER AND WENDY. It is one of those scores where a film music collector is like a kid in a candy shop, because there are so many goodies on offer one is not certain of which way to turn or what to select or in this case listen to first. The quality of this score is undeniable, the composer has certainly pulled out all the stops writing some of the most dramatic, romantic and haunting themes that I have heard in a long while. The score oozes a delicious richness that is lusciously appealing and highly emotive and inspiring.

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As you can probably guess the work is filled to overflowing with themes and motifs that accompany the many characters within the storyline and because of the high quality of this soundtrack I find it impossible to select any one cue or composition as a stand out piece or highlight, because the entire score just shines. We are treated to a handful of mischievous and darker themes which are of course connected to the underhanded antics of Hook and his crew, but there are so many exciting and adventurous themes within the work it is at times hard to believe that all this music is from one movie. At times I found the composers music reminiscent of James Horner with its emotive and haunting romantic interludes, then there is the adventurous and rousing material which I am certain Korngold would have more than liked. There are some delicate and poignant themes included where piano and strings play in unison or piano is supported by the string section, woodwind is also featured along side faraway sounding horns rumbling percussion and choir. This is a soundtrack that should be in every film music collection, released on December 25th, on Silva screen. Totally recommended…

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