Malory Towers, the much-loved adaptation of Enid Blyton’s boarding school classic produced by King Bert Productions, has returned to CBBC and BBC iPlayer this week with a fifth series that was filmed at The Bottle Yard Studios and on location in the South West of England last Summer.

Series five’s shoot marked the first time that the beloved children’s drama has based production at a UK studio. For series one to four, the interiors of the ‘Malory Towers’ school were built in a Canadian studio, but for series five the extensive sets were built at The Bottle Yard Studios, giving the production team convenient access to its regular Devon and Cornwall locations including Hartland Abbey near Bideford, which features as the school’s grand exterior. Filming for the new 20 x 25-minute series ran from early August until September 2023.

Eleven sets were built at The Bottle Yard Studios for many of the school’s interior settings including the iconic dormitory, classrooms, and common areas, with approximately 70 crew members working at the studio each day.

Malory Towers S5 - BTS at The Bottle Yard Studios (credit King Bert/BBC)

Malory Towers S5 – BTS at The Bottle Yard Studios (image courtesy King Bert/BBC)

Jo Sargent, Managing Director for King Bert Productions, says: “We were thrilled to have Malory Towers based in the South West for Series 5. With our location filming taking place in North Devon, Cornwall and Bristol, The Bottle Yard Studios has been the perfect home for our sets and allowed us to maximise the use of regional crew and suppliers. The Bottle Yard is an excellent studio and the team were very supportive during production.”

Laura Aviles, Head of Film, Bristol City Council, says: “Quality children’s drama is a vital part of the film and TV production sector in the South West of England and we were so pleased that our facilities at The Bottle Yard Studios fitted the bill so well when the production moved its studio base from Canada to the UK.”

Malory Towers S5 - BTS at The Bottle Yard Studios (credit King Bert/BBC)

Malory Towers S5 – BTS at The Bottle Yard Studios (image courtesy King Bert/BBC)

Malory Towers includes the same joyful escapism, wit and mischievous behaviour fans have come to adore. Fans will be eager to see what’s next for Darrell (Ella Bright), Felicity (April V Woods) and friends this term!

This series, we meet a new Matron. Matron Shipley played by Amanda Lawrence, (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker), is a stickler for the rules and will be tasked with the tricky job of keeping the girls in check as they return with another series of mischievous pranks and secret adventures. The new term also welcomes newcomer Mr Murray played by Gerald Kyd (Cold Feet, Deep Water), an archaeologist in search for an ancient chamber rumoured to be hidden in the school grounds. So, with a fresh new mystery to be solved, the girls are thrilled to put their detective skills to the test once again!

Meanwhile Darrell has taken on a new role as Games Captain, but there’s friction when she tries to nurture her sister Felicity’s sporting talents. Keen to step out of Darrell’s shadow and drop the mini-rivers nickname, Felicity is eager to find her own way at Malory Towers. But when she befriends new girl Josephine (Emily Costtrici), how long will it be for the pair to get up to mischief?

Familiar faces are also set to return including Gwendoline Lacey (Danya Griver), Sally Hope (Sienna Arif-Knights), Alicia Johns (Zoey Siewert), Mary-Lou (Imogen Lamb), Irene (Natasha Raphael), Jean (Beth Bradfield), Bill Robinson (Amelie Green), June Johns (Edesiri Paula Okpenerho), Susan (Ava Azizi), Clarissa (Amy Roerig), Ruth Batten (Aviella Burch) and Connie Batten (Kimia Lamour). Miss Grayling is played by Jennifer Wigmore, Geneviève Beaudet is Mam’zelle Rougier and Jason Callender is Mr Parker.

Series 5 of Malory Towers is a King Bert Productions (The Queen and I, Jack & The Beanstalk: After Ever After) commissioned for BBC Children’s and produced in association with BYUtv and WildBrain, who are also global distributor for the series. Adapted by Head Writers Rachel Flowerday and Sasha Hails, series 5 is produced by David Collier, and executive produced by Jo Sargent and Yvonne Sellins for King Bert. Bruce McDonald, Jack Jameson, and Sunnie Sidhu direct.

Malory Towers Series 5 began on CBBC and BBC iPlayer on Monday 10th June 2024. Go behind the scenes at the Studios with Blue Peter’s Joel Mawhinney in this special short film (first broadcast on CBBC on Friday 7th June and now available on BBC iPlayer).

Catch up on Series 1 – 4 on BBC iPlayer in the UK and on the BYUtv app in the US.