In 1984 a new BBC series based on the classic book of the same name by John Masefield was shown on television in six parts between November and December bringing back the magic of yoreÂ to many a young child that Christmas.
From the first note of the arpeggio intro to The First Noel in the opening credits, a dark and magical world is unleashed upon the viewer, well so it was for this writer when he was an 11 year old school boy glued to every episode.
Published in 1935 the book The Box Of Delights was the follow up to The Midnight Folk and is based around the adventures of Kay Harker who finds himself involved in a supernatural fight between good and evil.
This series captures the atmosphere of 1930s England like no other and does so with very dated special effects long before the advancement of CGI. There are blue screen shots and beautiful stage sets that remind you of a nativity play and it is this lack of synthetic computer imagery that makes the whole series come to life.
Great and believable characters from the 1930s are brought to life through a cast of Britain'sÂ finest actors and actresses as well as British mythological Characters such as Herne the hunter and King Arthur in this rich tapestry of a series.
There are two cast members who stand out among the great British actors and they are the late Patrick Troughton and the late Robert Stephens, who dominate the screen and add even more color to an already beautiful production.
The story revolves around young Kay Harker and the mysterious Punch and Judy man called Cole Hawlings (Patrick Troughton) who bequeaths him a magical box for safe keeping and has the powerÂ to make who ever uses it become small, fly and travel back through time. The sinister Abner Brown (Robert Stephens) is seeking the box to work his own evil agenda so Kay must travel through time and fight off Brown's attempts to claim the box.
In a time when many are fighting for a vision of Britain and England this series helps you remember what it is that is worth fighting for. A Britain of friendly policemen and Christmas celebrated without recourse to political sensitivity and standing proud in its uniqueness which isn't based on skin color or race but on values.
The Box of delights is available at all half decent stores.
There is something here you may wish to watch…if you remember this from the first time around it may bring a tear to the eye.