Not a Box Of De­lights

SFX - - Reviews -

re­leased OUT NOW! 1986 | U | DVD

Di­rec­tor Colin Cant

Cast Alec Christie, Daphne

Ox­en­ford, Ge­orge Mal­pas

You know the drill – clas­sic chil­dren’s books, beloved BBC adap­ta­tion, DVD re­lease fi­nally al­low­ing us to re­turn to child­hood favourites – but how of­ten do th­ese nos­tal­gia- fests re­ally turn out to be as good as re­mem­bered? Not of­ten, alas. This lat­est re­lease is based on the first novel in Lucy M Bos­ton’s Green Knowe se­ries, cen­tred on a ghost- filled manor house based on the au­thor’s own fam­ily home.

Young Tose­land ( Tolly) is spend­ing Christ­mas with his great- grand­mother, at the fam­ily manor of Green Knowe. While there, she tells him sto­ries of an­ces­tors who lived in the house, and he sees echoes of the chil­dren around the place.

Di­rec­tor Cant gives this four- part se­rial a good sense of at­mos­phere, and it has a cosy, old- fash­ioned re­serve that still ap­peals, but for most of the story noth­ing hap­pens. There are ghosts. There is gig­gling. There is flute mu­sic. Tolly runs around the grounds get­ting overly emo­tional about gar­den or­na­ments. There’s a small sense of dan­ger in the fi­nal episode, but un­for­tu­nately that can’t make up for two hours of fam­ily anec­dotes and hide and seek.

Ex­tras None. Rhian Drinkwa­ter

Colin Cant also di­rected the ’ 90s BBC chil­dren’s se­ries Dark Sea­son and Cen­tury Falls, by Rus­sell T Davies.

The UK Euro­vi­sion en­try got no points.

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