The Box Of Delights, 1984
The Box Of Delights is a BBC children’s fantasy series. Running for six episodes in 1984 it was based on author John Masefield’s novel of the same name.
Writer John Masefield had been Poet Laureate of The United kingdom from 1930 until his death in 1967. Alongside his poetry he also wrote a number of children’s books. “The Box Of Delights or When The Wolves were Running” was first published in 1935,as a sequel to his 1927 book “The Midnight Folk”.
Prior to the TV series the BBC had adapted the book for radio no less than five times. It was producer Paul Stone who upon reading the book in the 1970’s embarked upon an ambition to create “the ultimate in children’s drama”. It took him ten years to to obtain the rights and get the go ahead to put his ambition into production.
The series offered an innovative mixture of live action and animation and cost £1 million to make that’s £3.16 million in today’s money. At the time it was the most expensive children’s series the BBC had ever made.
Despite it’s costs the series was a huge success. Widely acclaimed it won a number of BAFTA and RTS awards, particularly for it’s special effects.
Christmas, 1934 and schoolboy Kay Harker is entrusted with a magical box by an old Punch and Judy man Cole Hawlings.
The box allows the boy to time travel and shape-shift in order to protect the box from an evil magician, Abner Brown.
Patrick Troughton as Cole Hawlings
Devin Stanfield as Kay Harker
Robert Stephens as Abner Brown
Written By: John Masefield
Screenplay By: Alan Seymour
Produced By: Paul Stone
Original Transmission Dates: 21st November – 24th December 1984