Bedknobs and Broomsticks
General Information
Type English Live Action

English Cartoon

Created by Robert Stevenson
Years on Air 1971
Movies 1

Spanish Title: La Bruja Novata

Italian Title: Pomi d'ottone e manici di scopa

French Title: L'Apprentie sorcière

German Title: Die tollkühne Hexe in ihrem fliegenden Bett


Airdate: October 7, 1971

During the Blitz, the Rawlins children, Charlie, Carrie, and Paul, are evacuated to the Dorset village of Pepperinge Eye. They are placed in the care of Eglantine Price, a reclusive woman who reluctantly takes them in. Ms. Price is actually an apprentice witch and a student of the Correspondence College of Witchcraft, hoping her magic can bring the war to an end. She receives a broomstick from the college, though her attempt to fly it ends with her crashlanding. The children observe her, Charlie challenging her skills, prompting Ms. Price to briefly transform him into a white rabbit, and being chased by Ms. Price's Cat "Cosmic Creepers". Cosmic Creepers corners Charlie, but Charlie reverts to his normal form before he is harmed. Deciding to form an agreement with the children, Ms. Price enchants a bedknob, which will transport them to any location when attached to her father’s antique bed, giving ownership to Paul.

Ms. Price receives a letter reporting the college has been closed down, forcing her to go to London to speak with the college’s headmaster Emelius Browne. Convincing Paul to help her, the children use the bed to travel to London, where they meet Mr. Browne, actually a charismatic con artist who found some apparently meaningless formulas in a very old spellbook and turned them into an imaginary educational course. Ms. Price asks for the final spell of the course, so the elated Mr. Browne, believing his spells were fake, invites her to an abandoned mansion he is occupying. Mr. Browne gives the spellbook to Ms. Price, but it the second half is missing. The group go to Portobello Road where they search for the other half of the book, attracting the attention of a spiv named Swinburne.

Swinburne takes them to see his associate, the Bookman, who has the other half of the book. Ms. Price and the Bookman examine the book but find out that the final spell is missing. The Bookman explains the book’s author, a sorcerer named Astaroth, used his magic to give wild animals anthropomorphism, only for them to kill him and steal the source of his magic, a medallion called the “Star of Astoroth”. The animals sailed to the Isle of Naboombu, believed to not exist until Paul reveals it does, proved in a storybook he has. Ms. Price’s group escape on the bed before the Bookman can stop them. The group crashland in the animated world of Naboombu, travelling through the lagoon until fished out by a bear, learning no humans are allowed on the island. Mr. Browne speaks with King Leonidas, a lion who is a soccer fanatic and wears the Star of Astaroth, offering to act as referee in an upcoming soccer match.

Mr. Browne participates in the chaotic match, which ends with the king’s self-proclaimed victory. Mr. Browne secretly steals the Star, and Ms. Price has to turn Leonidas into a rabbit to make their escape back home, but they discover the Star has vanished before they can read the spell. Paul spots the incantation for the Substituiary Locomotion spell, able to animate inanimate objects, within his book. Ms. Price tests the spell on Mr. Browne’s shoes, but its power animates other clothes. Mrs. Jessica Hobday, organizer for the children’s refuge, visits and tells Ms. Price that the Rawlings can be moved, but Ms. Price declines. Mr. Browne grows worried he is becoming too attached to Ms. Price and the children, and departs for London, only to sleep at the railway station to wait for the next train.

A Nazi raiding party sneak onto the coast and occupy Ms. Price’s house, placing her and the children in a local weaponry museum. Mr. Browne sneaks into the house, using magic to turn himself into a rabbit, and joins the others in the museum. Ms. Price uses Substituiary Locomotion to animate the museum’s displays, and leads an army of medieval knights, Cavalier, Redcoat, and Highlander costumes upon the Nazis. The army, unharmed by gunfire, quickly overwhelms the Nazis. Surmising Ms. Price’s workshop is the source of her magic, the Nazi commander destroys it with explosions, knocking Ms. Price off her broomstick and the army collapses. The Nazis retreat to the sea, with the local Home Guard firing at them as they flee.

Though disappointed her witchcraft is gone, Ms. Price expresses happiness she did help out in the war effort. Shortly after, Mr. Browne enlists into the British Army and marches off with the Home Guard escorting him, while Paul reveals he still possesses the enchanted bedknob.

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