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Trivia / The Worst Witch

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  • Ability over Appearance:
    • Enid Nightshade in the books is described as a Huge Schoolgirl with hair the "colour of milky tea". She's played in the TV series by Jessica Fox who is very petite and has darker hair - but is wonderfully spunky and captures Enid's personality perfectly.
    • A necessary one due to a change in character. Miss Drill's appearance is not described but the illustrations show her as a hard-faced Brawn Hilda. In the TV series where she is a Cool Teacher, she's played by the more athletically built and kind-faced Clare Porter.
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  • Acting for Two: The actress playing Miss Cackle (in the adaptations) also plays her evil twin sister Agatha.
  • California Doubling: As this was a joint UK-Canada production, a few episodes were filmed in Canada. These usually take place outside the school, explained away as special trips for Mildred and friends. They're all still implied to take place in the UK though.
  • The Cast Show Off: In the Christmas Episode, Ruby has to throw a tap dancing routine into the pantomime to stall time. Her actress Joanna Dyce is a trained dancer and became a choreographer in adulthood.
  • Completely Different Title: The series is known in France as Amandine Malabul (which is Mildred Hubble's name in French). All of the books were prefixed with her name, and a subtitle. For instance, the fourth book, The Worst Witch All at Sea became Amandine Malabul: La Sorciere a Peur de l'eau ("Mildred Hubble: The Witch with a Fear of Water").
    • Weirdsister College became known as Eine Lausige Hexe in Cambridge ("The Worst Witch in Cambrige.")Fitting, as the show itself was Eine Lausige Hexe, which would be The Lousy Witch.
  • Creator-Preferred Adaptation: Jill Murphy preferred the 1998 TV series to the Made-for-TV Movie. She did however say she felt the earlier episodes were better (before the show had to invent new material to expand from the books). She seems to have strong feelings for the 2017 series, in which she has been more involved in the production.
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  • Dawson Casting: For the most part, averted. None of the actresses for the show were over eighteen. The fourth season was even relocated to a college setting because Georgina Sherrington was too old to believably still be in school. Also a case of Real Life Writes the Plot.
  • Fake Brit: Canadian actress Claire Coulter puts on a British accent to play Miss Cackle in the TV series. However, she did spend a good part of her childhood in London, and would have likely picked up the accent.
  • International Coproduction: The series was co-produced by HTV, a UK television station, and Gala Films, a Canadian company. The 2017 is an international production with CBBC and ZDT, a German Channel.
  • No Export for You: This is an odd example, but the entire series, including Weirdsister College, The New Worst Witch and the movie from the 80's, is available on DVD ... in Australia. Thankfully for fans of the show, however, the Region Coding on the box is wrong. The discs are set for region 0, not region 4.
    • In 2016 the show became available under the German title "Eine Lausige Hexe." It will show 4 series as, like the above example, Weirdsister College is considered a fourth season of the Georgina Sherrington series. The DVDs do have an English audio option. However, unlike with the earlier release, these discs appear to be set for region 2.
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    • The 2017 series is also set to avert this by being made available for international streaming on Netflix, presumably once the series has finished airing on CBBC... except in Japan, probably to avoid any unfortunate comparisons with Little Witch Academia, a franchise often compared with the books and the live-action productions.
    • HBO co-produced the 1980s telefilm and aired the 1998 series, but after a few years the 90s version vanished from HBO Family (as HBO neglected the channel) and neither Weirdsister College or the New revival made it to the US.
  • One-Book Author: A few of the actresses in the 1998 series never acted again - despite being series regulars - such as Emma Brown (Maud), Harshna Brahmbhatt (Jadu), Poppy Gaye (Griselda) among others.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Famously with Katy Allen replacing Felicity Jones as Ethel in Season 2. Actually explained as Ethel giving herself a magical disguise to stop people thinking she's related to Sybil. Jones returned as Ethel for Weirdsister College.
    • Miss Hardbroom is played by Kate Duchêne in the original TV series and Weirdsister College, but the role was taken over by Caroline O'Neill for The New Worst Witch.
    • Fenella Feverfew is played by Emily Stride in Season 1-2 and Julia Melowski in Season 3.
    • Chief Wizard Egbert Hellibore is played by Terrence Hardiman in Season 1, but replaced with Richard Durden for one episode in Season 2. Hardiman returns to play him in Season 3.
    • In the 2017 series, Maud is played by Meibh Campbell in season 1, who is replaced by Megan Hughes from Season 2. This is explained in the show that Maud changed her face while playing Hide and Seek, thinking that she wouldn't be found.
  • Playing Against Type: In the TV movie, Miss Hardbroom was played by Diana Rigg - who at that point was more famous for playing glamorous Action Girls in spy movies.
  • Playing Their Own Twin: Clare Coulter plays both Miss Cackle and her twin sister Agatha. Charlotte Rae likewise played them both in the TV movie.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot:
    • The change in actress for Ethel was apparently due to Felicity Jones missing home too much while filming Season 1.
    • The fourth season became Weirdsister College because it was getting unbelievable that Mildred would still be at school.
    • Those infamous green screen effects during Tim Curry's song are the result of a last-minute reshoot after the director noticed he was drunk in the on-location footage (Tim and the assistant director had been sharing some gin to keep warm).
  • Same Language Dub: The American broadcast of the series dubbed American accents over the British dialogue. Clare Coulter dubbed her own voice with her natural accent. Kate Duchene was the only one who kept her voice in the dub.
  • Separated-at-Birth Casting: In 2017 version Jenny Richardson (Ethel), Miriam Petche (Esmerelda) and Trixie Hyde (Sybil) share a resemblance with each other.
  • Technology Marches On: Both TV adaptations avert this by updating the books. The 1998 series has several mentions of computers and the internet (with at least two episodes where they are important to the plot) and Ruby Cherrytree is keen on gadgets. In the 2017 version Mildred has a mobile phone, although once she gets to Cackle's it is confiscated by Miss Hardbroom. Instead, the witches use 'mag-lets' - magical tablets that are phones in all but name.
  • What Could Have Been: In an early draft of the first book, Mildred wasn't a witch at all, but a fairy who had ended up at a witch school by mistake.
    "She had pointy ears because she was in fact a fairy, and was originally in the wrong school – she should have gone to a fairy school. At the end of this story she starts to grow wings and has to wear a very tight vest to stop them showing. She flies out of the window to find the fairy school and has a wonderful time there."
  • Word of Saint Paul: Harshna Brahmbhatt said on a CITV interview that Jadu's key characteristic is that she gets excited really easily. This trait doesn't really come into play outside the episode "A Pig In A Poke".
  • Working Title: Weirdsister College had a working title of The Worst Witch: The College Years (and ended up being used in an autumn CITV promo.)
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