It’s 1858, and Bobby and his master, PC John Gray (Thomas Lockyer), live and work in Edinburgh’s deprived Old Town, keeping crime at bay and performing a sterling service at calming runaway bulls on market day. Soon after the opening credits, Gray succumbs to TB and is buried in the grounds of Greyfriars Church, whereupon the dog begins his interminable ritual. Of course, the locals are besotted with the little fella and none more so than good-natured Tam-O'-Shanter-clad youngster Ewan (Oliver Golding), who comes to the pooch’s rescue when the local charity commissioner orders in the dog catchers.
In order to keep the kids focused,director John Henderson pads out this amiable little film with a cross-country adventure, a collapsing house, a scary cellar and an ‘Oliver’-style workhouse. It’s hardly riveting stuff, but it’s authentically mounted and imaginatively cast. Just a shame it’s not very emotionally satisfying. Still, the Scottish Tourist Board will doubtless be clicking its heels at the prospect of a whole new tranche of visitors.