The Tortoise-Catcher

Posted by
Roald Dahl HQ
Posted on
7:25pm, 1st January
Categories
Esio Trot
Dustin Hoffman as Mr Hoppy in Roald Dahl's Esio Trot, to be screened on BBC One Christmas 2014, alongside Quentin Blake's Alfie the Tortoise.
  • Dustin Hoffman as Mr Hoppy in Roald Dahl's Esio Trot, to be screened on BBC One Christmas 2014, alongside Quentin Blake's Alfie the Tortoise.
  • Roald Dahl's sketch of the tortoise-catcher in an early Esio Trot draft

In the BBC One adaptation of Roald Dahl Esio Trot, Dustin Hoffman creates a tortoise catcher very like Roald Dahl's original sketch...

In the BBC One production of Esio Trot, Dustin Hoffman - as Mr Hoppy - makes a very clever tortoise-catching device from an old fishing rod and some other implements. There he is, just above, making it.

But the idea for this particular tortoise-catching device was born several years earlier, when Roald Dahl was working on the drafts for Esio Trot. In fact, he put so much thought into it that he sketched out exactly how it should look, several times. Here's one of them:

Roald Dahl's sketch of the tortoise-catcher in an early Esio Trot draft. C. RDNL.
Fullscreen

You can see how this became the one Dustin Hoffman used to great effect - and there it is, just behind him with his many tortoises...

Dustin Hoffman as Mr Hoppy from Roald Dahl's Esio Trot, showing on New Year's Day 2015. Nick Briggs © 2014 Endor Productions
Fullscreen

Find out more about Roald Dahl's tortoise-catcher in the archive. From January, you can also view the archive material for yourself along with props and costumes from the BBC One film at the Roald Dahl Museum.

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