Having cause to study Astrid Lindgren’s Vi på Saltkråkan again, Son watched a few episodes with Dodo. I have to assume it was Dodo’s first time.
Which is why her comments are of interest. Me being of the same age as Saltkråkan, and having Son and Daughter growing up with the television series, they will be seeing it much more the way I did.
With immediate access to Daughter, I asked her thoughts on Malin, the 19-year-old [eldest] daughter in the Melkersson family. And that was a surprise. She felt Malin had no real purpose.
Whereas the seven-year-old witchlet needed her screen peers to have a mother figure. Hence Malin acting as mother to her much younger siblings, and making sure their crazy, widowed father doesn’t cause too much havoc. She cleans, and peels potatoes, but also has fun and meets several hopeless, I mean promising, young men.
I was already reading the Famous Five books and I – I am sorry about this – thought it was fine for Anne to look after the domestic aspects of the mysteries, while the other three behaved like boys.
And Dodo. Well, she obviously remarked on the fact that Malin did all the work. She’s a female of the 21st century. I should be too. But when it comes to Saltkråkan I am seven again, and I need for Pelle to have a mother figure. I ‘am’ Tjorven, and I quite need a kind, caring adult female to chat to.
The four older siblings in both families, who must be around twelve, are purely there for adventures. Not peeling potatoes. In fact, I believe I’ve heard that they were meant to be the focus of the series, but no one reckoned on Tjorven. She and her dog took over, and along with them we have the other two younger children, Pelle and Stina.
I believe we also need Mr Melkersson to be single. Not for romantic reasons; simply to be alone and a bit useless. That’s why we also require Malin to bridge the gap. And to peel the potatoes.
In 1963 when this was filmed, I suspect none of us were all that aware. We were sold the set-up and we were satisfied. Since I have remained seven years old all this time, I am still satisfied.