The adaptation of Dick King-Smith’s novel saw Victoria Chalet play Harmony Parker, a girl with a magic coin which grants wishes when you rub the Queen’s nose. The show ran for seven seasons with a total of 44 episodes between 1995 and 2003.
The stories remained faithful to the book and we meet Harmony Parker, a 10-year-old girl who wants an animal of her own but is not allowed by her parents, who think animals are dirty. Harmony has a 15-year-old sister, Melody, who spends most of her time looking in a mirror. Harmony’s best friend is a toy dog, Rex Ruff Monty.
Harmony believes animals are more interesting than humans and so she pictures the people she meets as animals. Her father is a sea lion, her mother a Pouter pigeon and her sister a Siamese cat.
She receives a magic coin from her uncle, Ginger, that grants her ten wishes (7 in the book) when you rub the Queen’s nose on the coin.
The first series by Steve Attridge, directed by Carol Wiseman and edited by Sue Robinson, won the Royal Television Society 1996 award for best Children’s Drama, and the third series also by Steve Attridge winning the Indie Awards 1999 prize for Digital Cinematography.
In 2000, the BBC revived the series with new stories, but without the main character Harmony, with a further four series being made between 2000 and 2003. Many viewers felt that the departure from the novels and the loss of the main character diminished the series.
The later series did however still feature other members of the Parker family in various roles. Harmony’s sister Melody, played by Heather-Jay Jones, stayed on until the penultimate series.