I’m a big fan of Old Jack’s Boat in general — great actors; good stories; charming animation — but the Christmas episode is something special.
Death is rarely mentioned on CBeebies. There’s a Woolly & Tig episode where a horse Tig is fond of dies. Peter Rabbit lives under threat from Mr Todd, Tommy Brock, and the man that ate his father, Mr McGregor. Sharks occasionally threaten to eat characters in The Octonauts. (Though when Octonauts have been eaten by sharks and whales, they’ve been shown alive and well in the stomach.) Old Jack’s Boat dealt with the topic well.
The episode was penned by former Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davis, who had also previously written the very good “moon maiden” episode.
It was a shame that Freema Agyeman’s scene was clearly chroma-keyed in. But I suppose with such high-calibre actors, finding a filming window that fits all of their schedules is a challenge.