Skip navigation |
[Viewing Options]

I was a Rat - review

Young reviewers find plenty to enjoy in the BBC's Sunday tea-time serial for 2001, 'I was a rat'.

BBC i - link to their websiteI Was A Rat – review

Children's Express reviews this year's BBC Sunday tea-time serial.

The scenery and costumes are superb and transport the viewer straight back to bustling 1920’s London.

There's nothing like a good old fairytale to get you ready for Christmas and this year CBBC are getting us in the Yuletide mood with the "fairy-tail" I was a Rat.

Based on the book by Philip Pullman, I was a Rat is set in the 1920’s. It tells the story of a young boy with a mysterious past who is taken in off the streets by a kind old cobbler, Bob (Tom Conti), and his washerwoman wife Joan (Brenda Fricker).

They name him Roger and it soon becomes clear that he's no ordinary little boy. Roger insists that he used to be a rat. He eats pencils and rips up his bed sheets to make a nest. This unusual little boy soon becomes the talk of the town, which unfortunately leads him into trouble.


Roger (Calum Worthy) does his best to look fierce for freak show boss Tapscrew (Don McKellar).


I was a Rat is a real rags to riches story and keeps the viewer intrigued all the way through.

The scenery and costumes are superb and transport the viewer straight back to bustling 1920's London. From Bob and Joan's little cottage to the royal palace the set designers spare no detail.

Calum Worthy who plays Roger is excellent and captures the mannerisms of a rat perfectly. Ned Beatty was also very well cast as the bad tempered newspaper publisher, Muddock. You could tell he enjoyed playing the part. He made us laugh and we enjoyed watching him shout at his staff.

We think I was a Rat is a great theatrical comedy. It boasts some excellent actors and the scenery is fantastic. The BBC has really done the book justice.

Although aimed at 6-10 year olds we think I was a Rat will appeal to children and adults alike. It’s a charming, feel good show which we reckon is sure to entertain all the family in the run up to Christmas.

About the team

This article was produced by Axel Landin and Kieran Kurup, both 10. It was published on the CBBC website.

BBC is the trade mark of the British Broadcasting Corporation and is used under licence.