Christmas is the time of year for big family television events and this year ITV is bringing the story of Peter Pan back to our screens.

Peter and Wendy airs at 8pm on Boxing Day and stars Oscar nominated actor Stanley Tucci, who lives in Barnes, as Captain Hook.

This version is written by Adrian Hodges, the Bafta winning writer of My Week with Marilyn, and includes all of the magical adventure of JM Barrie’s tale of the boy who never grew up but expertly weaves it into the story of a teenage girl undergoing life-saving surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

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Breaking Bad actress Laura Fraser and newcomer Hazel Doupe play mother and daughter Julie and Lucy Rose as well as Mrs Darling and Wendy in ITV's Peter and Wendy.

Speaking after a preview screening at BFI Southbank, Hodges said: “I felt we have got to do something different because in the theatre it still works triumphantly in its traditional version but I felt that movies, TV needed something different.”

For Hodges, his version only amplifies the emotional punch already in the text - among Barrie’s inspiration were the tales he told his mother to ease the grief of his elder brother David’s death.

He said: “Kids love it because of the adventure and the flying and everything we would expect but I’ve seen grown-ups in tears.

“It is this extraordinary ability that Barrie had to be both very funny at times, very dry, very drole and also to put his finger on something extraordinarily sad about our passage through life.”

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The hospital setting also chimes with Barrie’s life – the author left the rights to his creation to Great Ormond Street – and that was one of the things that attracted Tucci, who not only plays Hook but surgeon Mr Wylie and Mr Darling.

He said: “That was one of the attractions to me. I loved the idea of switching between the three – in Barrie’s story there’s two – realities.

“There’s a third reality at the hospital. I did not shoot at the hospital myself but I love that aspect of it and I thought it brought an even greater gravitas to the piece.

“It is a dark piece, there is a sadness to it and yet there’s a hopefulness to it too.”

The Lovely Bones star Tucci, 55, also clearly relished the chance to be the dastardly Captain Hook.

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Stanley Tucci's Captain Hook is joined by a comic bunch of pirates.

His larger than life portrayal was described by ITV’s director of drama Steve November as ‘undoubtedly the best Hook ever’.

Tucci said: “Any actor who says they don’t want to play Captain Hook is lying to you. It is a great role because it is so complex because he is obsessed with his mother.

“He is a child and yet he is the most ruthless person on earth. He is a child’s nightmare, but in a very exciting way too. The child wants to be confronted by Captain Hook yet it is the thing he or she fears most. What greater role to play?”

Peter and Wendy is on ITV at 8pm on Boxing Day.