Evacuation (TV series)
|Narrated by||Matt Baker|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of episodes||20|
|Running time||25 mins approx.|
|Original channel||BBC One; CBBC Channel|
|Original run||4 September 2006 – 15 February 2008|
Evacuation is a television series broadcast on CBBC in the UK.
It is a reality show for children, in which six boys and six girls, all aged 12, from cities all over the UK are taken back to wartime Britain for two weeks, to live just as evacuees in World War II would have done.
The show is presented by former Blue Peter presenter Matt Baker, who in Series One occasionally steps in to speak to and/or help the children when no other adults are there and also sometimes interacts briefly with the adults during his pieces to camera. However, in Series Two, there is a slight change in the format: Matt mainly does pieces to camera (still occasionally interacting with the adults) and stays very much in the background.
Although it is a reality TV show, all the adults in the series are actors, and the children must refer to them by their character's name. (To maintain the illusion that the characters were real people, the closing credits never named the actors who played the parts.)
School teacher Miss Young is the only one of the characters to appear in both Series One and Two. Fortunately, as Evacuation is a reality TV show and not a drama, continuity between both series does not exist; the fact that she appears to be teaching both at Castle Farm and Pradoe Hall at the same time can therefore be safely overlooked.
Series one 
The first series of Evacuation began transmission on CBBC on BBC One at 16:30, 4 September 2006. The children were 'evacuated' to Castle Farm.
The children who were 'evacuated' to the farm were:
- Luke Burton
- Natalie Travers (who only appeared in the first three episodes; she left due to feeling very homesick)
- Harry Cracknell
- Richard Hall
- Charlie McCutcheon
- Josh Opoku
- Laura Adegoke
- Natalie Hancock
- Tia Hatton
- Joanna Lau
- Chelsea Thompson
The adults were:
- Mr. and Mrs. Rivett, who own the farm (the evacuees were allowed to call them Uncle Brian and Aunty Sue later in the series)
- Miss Young, the school teacher
- Mr. Storey, the local ARP Warden
- Mr. Patrick, an elderly gentleman who works for Mr. Rivett as a farmhand
- Mr. Graham, the local air-raid shelter expert
- Miss Victoria, a member of the Women's Land Army
- Matthew, the ploughman
- Home Guardsman Private Pickard
- The local vicar (never named on-screen)
Series two 
The second series, subtitled "To the Manor House", began transmission on CBBC on BBC One at 17:00, 17 January 2008. This time, the children were 'evacuated' to a posh country estate called Pradoe Hall, and learned about the difference in wartime social classes. The Lord and Lady lived upstairs, and the evacuees lived downstairs with the servants. In this series none of the adults were actors though they may have extended their everyday roles - the gamekeeper was actually the local shoot captain and the 'lord' merely a local country gentleman.
The children who were 'evacuated' to the manor house were:
- Nishith "Nish" Hegde
- Jack Smith
- Samir "Sam" Sayah
- Sean Williams
- Scott Dunstan
- Daniel Rushton
- Shaaron Somasanduram
- Olivia Barry
- Rachel Hardy
- Mary Ellen Jones
- Jade Hitchmough
- Annabella Jacobs
- Sade Philpotts (who only appeared in the final four episodes)
The adults were:
- Lord and Lady Olstead, who own the manor house
- Miss Young, the school teacher
- Mr. Henderson, the butler
- Mrs. Dobinson, the housekeeper
- Cook (never named on-screen)
- Mr. Goodall, the gamekeeper
- Miss Victoria, the kitchen hand
- Sergeant Rae
- Nurse Durkin
- Colonel Fanthorpe, of the Home Guard
- Mr. Lewis, the ARP Warden
- Mr. Jackson, the Fire Warden
- Mr. Pugh, the shepherd
- Mr. Ward, the farmer
In both series, the children lived exactly as wartime evacuees would have done: they ate 1940s food, attended 1940s school lessons, and – if they misbehaved – got a 1940s-style punishment. In the first episode of both series, the children had to hand over all of their 21st century items (mobile phones, iPods, jewellery, make-up, hair straighteners etc.) and these were only returned when they went home at the end of the series. They were all given 1940s-style haircuts, as well as clothing of the period – a school uniform, a Sunday best, pyjamas and work clothes – which they would wear over the next two weeks, and when outside had to carry gas masks and ID cards. The children had a go at wartime tasks and activities – such as building an Anderson shelter, pheasant-shooting, rounding up sheep, attending the village fete and disposing of an unexploded (replica) incendiary bomb to name but a few.
Even when the cameras weren't rolling, the adults still stayed in character and the children still behaved as evacuees.
If children had a very good reason to leave then they could leave the show and the parents would have to come and get them, all their belongs would also be returned to them. A good example of this was a girl from series one who didn't want to harm animals and eat them, not because she was a vegetarian but because she loved animals. Because of this she kept persisting wanting to go even with everyone else begging her not to, she cried and in the end she made her final decision to go. The last scene of her is when she is saying goodbye to the staff and the final shot shows her leaving and walking towards the train station for her to return to civilisation. It is not known of which of the children left but can confirm that it was a girl who left.
As with any reality TV show which requires kids to away from home for a while, emotions can erupt and the adults try not to be too bossy on them when this happens. The adults do try to comfort the kids espcially when they are homesick or upset. Although not filmed or broadcast on the final cut of the series, there was a member of the production team ready to talk to any of the kids if they didn't want to talk to the adults and if the kids walked off in case it got too much for them (although unlikely) a member of production crew would be on constant standby to try and resolve the issue that might have affected the child.