Meet the Characters
Article by Heather from Australia (July 5, 2005)
The ages of the Secret Seven are never actually mentioned. I wonder if that is so that they appeal to a wider range of children—any child between the ages of six and twelve could imagine that their favourite member is their very own age. I see them as being aged around ten, but I don't know where I really came to that conclusion.
Peter is the leader of the Society. He is a confident, commanding boy who always holds his own as leader. On occasion he can be a little brusque, especially with the girls, but everybody looks up to him and respects him. He is by far the wisest of the group, and certainly shows much better leadership skills and decision making techniques than any ten-or-so year old I have ever met. Many people see him as bossy, arrogant and dictatorial. I can see that point of view, but I have personally always liked Peter.
Janet is Peter's sister. Much more sedate and serious than the other girls, she also shows more bravery and wisdom. She also has an excellent memory, which is highlighted in Go Ahead Secret Seven. According to most of the original illustrations she seems to have dark, wavy hair which she always wears back—however it sometimes changes inexplicably to blonde. I always liked Janet because she reminded me of myself a little more than the other girls.
Jack is the second most 'important' boy in the books—he plays an active part in most of the adventures, and seems to be closer friends with Peter than the other boys. He is normally given the most important jobs (next to Peter) and generally gets on well with the others, other than the occasional spat with Peter over minor misunderstandings.
Colin is one of the 'background' members of the Seven. Colin occasionally comes up with the 'goods' and shines for a chapter or two, but in general sits in the background—a little like Daisy of the Five Find-Outers. Aside from this, most things we hear from Colin show him to be a brave and worthy member of the Society—it would just be nice to hear a little more from him!
Pam is the 'silliest' member of the group. She constantly leads Barbara into fits of giggles during meetings and important parts of the story. Pam always annoyed me a little, just because she was always goofing off and shirking her responsibilities. For instance, in Go Ahead Secret Seven she and Barbara are given a task (observing people and writing down what they remember), and come back with a report that doesn't make sense because they continually giggled and didn't concentrate. She's also by far the noisiest of the Seven and scarcely a meeting goes by without some type of outburst or silly suggestion from Pam. She does occasionally redeem herself though—and once or twice you give a sigh and realise she does actually belong with the rest of the Seven.
Barbara is Pam's "shadow". She follows Pam around constantly, and there's no use pairing her with somebody else to do any investigation—the two girls seem inseparable! I think Barbara would be a lot better if she was removed from Pam for a while, but we never really get the chance to see her alone. She does come out with some very silly suggestions and comments during discussion, which make her appear to be a little 'barbie-doll'-ish. I always picture her as blonde, and I think many of the illustrations have this depiction too.
George holds a similar position to Colin. George generally sits in the background and does as he is asked without complaint. He is often paired with Colin when the Seven split up, and the two seem to be good friends. He occasionally has a 'moment' and leaps into the foreground, and at one point he is forced to resign from the Society by his parents, much to his dismay.
Scamper is not technically a member of the Society (except for a short period as George's replacement), but always allowed to meetings. Scamper is a perfectly behaved, lovable Golden Spaniel. Scamper has a habit of digging exactly where a clue is buried, or sniffing out the bad guys.
Susie is Jack's little sister and the Seven's one enemy. She sometimes pairs up with Binky, a rabbit-faced annoying friend who stays with Jack and Susie occasionally. Another friend of Susie's is 'Bony'—Bonaparte, an annoying, dog-loving French boy who came to stay with Jack at one time but was taken under Susie's wing. Susie plays tricks on the Seven constantly, but often unwittingly leads them into adventure. In Secret Seven on the Trail she starts her own Society—The Famous Five (after the 'Famous Five' books—an unashamed plug).