The Adventures of Black Beauty: The Complete Series

In DVD/Blu-ray by Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Bottom line: Break out your cuddle blanket and settle down for 20 hours of warm-fuzzies. This slow-paced charm-fest, is as cozy as it gets.
Rated: 4/5.

Blu-ray Release Date: 5th December 2022.
No. of Discs: 7.
Running Time: 1224 mins.

DVD Release Date: 15th May 2023.
No. of Discs: 8.
Running Time: 1224 mins.

From the iconic theme tune, to the engaging storylines, The Adventures Of Black Beauty was the pinnacle of 1970s children’s TV.

Running between 1972-1974, the original series still airs worldwide. It’s been so successful on kid’s networks and streaming services that a sequel of sorts, The New Adventures of Black Beauty, was picked up 20 years later—and won the original show a whole new audience. 

It’s appeal is easy to see: combining period detail and mild peril, all set in the rolling Hertfordshire countryside. 

The story follows Dr James Gordon (William Lucas) who has moved from London to the country, bringing his children, Vicky (Judi Bowker) and Kevin (Roderick Shaw), with him. The two children set out to explore their new home— Five Oaks Farm—and find an exhausted, wounded horse. They decide to nurse him back to health but, a shock is in store, when his original owner tries to reclaim him.

Featuring scripts from classic TV luminaries such as Victor Pemberton (Doctor Who), Ricard Carpenter (Catweazle) and David Butler (Within These Walls), guest stars included John Thaw (Sweeny), Geoffrey Bayldon (Catweazle), Peter Bowles (To The Manor Born), Stuart Damon (The Champions) and Gerald Flood (Doctor Who).

Like all ‘70s shows, The Adventures of Black Beauty, doesn’t always work today, in terms of production values and attitudes. But if you’re looking for a panacea to the modern world, this slow-paced charm-fest, is as cozy as it gets. So break out your cuddle blanket and settle down for 20 hours of warm-fuzzies. 

Network’s new fiftieth anniversary special edition includes: 

  • Over two hours of brand-new interviews, including Judi Bowker, Stephen Garlick and director John Reardon.
  • Image galleries. 
  • A commemorative booklet.