What do Miranda Richardson, Sean Bean, John Hurt, and Jennifer Saunders have in common? They are all part of an amazing 9 story anthology called “The StoryTeller”.
Apparently, it first aired in 1988 but I hadn’t heard of it until much later when I stumbled upon the DVD, which was released in 2006. This amazing series (1 of 2) stars John Hurt as “The StoryTeller” and Brian Henson as the StoryTeller’s dog, along with a star-studded cast taking roles in each of the tales. It is reminiscent of a time when stories were passed orally from person to person, village to village, generation to generation.
Each of the 9 stories stems from folktales – 6 from Russia, 2 from Germany, and 1 from Celtic origin. The amount of research devoted to this series and the amount of care given to the development of the stories is apparent.
The episodes begin by the fire, where the StoryTeller recalls the events as he remembers them. Humor, intrique, and magic combine to offer you a glimpse into the world where they take place.
I have always been drawn to “classic” Faerie Tales, where the writer weaved a fantastic tale in a magical realm and there was a moral to every story. I also love the fact that there was always room for the listener (or the reader) to create a little bit of the story themselves. Sitting by the fire, The storyteller was often interrupted with questions from wide-eyed children about the exact size of the dragon or the depth of the hole where the treasure was buried. These questions are perhaps the source of the changes in the story, adding new information as the tale was forwarded to both answer the unasked and encourage further exploration.
If you are as in love with the art of storytelling as I am and a fan of Jim Henson’s work, this series is the perfect combination of the two. Years ago, I started a series of original Faerie Tales and it is my dream to publish it as a large-format hardcover, complete with illustrations. Something that people can share and enjoy together, just as they did long ago. Perhaps along the way, my stories will bring forth questions and ideas about the characters and the worlds I’ve created that I hadn’t thought of before.