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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Children of Green Knowe


Starring: Alec Christie, Daphne Oxenford and George Malpas
Distributor: Simply Media
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: U
Release Date: 28 March 2016

Stuck at boarding school for the Christmas holidays, as his father and stepmother are abroad, Toseland is surprised to receive an invitation from his great grandmother to spend the holiday with her at her grand house, Green Knowe. When he gets there he soon discovers that the house is full of mystery and magic...

The Children of Green Knowe (1986, 4 eps x approx. 30 min) is a children’s short series based on the books by Lucy M. Boston.

Toseland (Alec Christie) prefers to be called Tolly. He finds himself in his great grandmothers (Daphne Oxenford) house, an imposing structure originally built by the Normans and the seat of his family for many generations. As he spends time there he realises that the house is also inhabited by his ghostly ancestors, specifically, an earlier copy of his namesake Toseland, who goes by the name of Toby (Graham McGrath), Alexander (James Trevelyan) and Linnet (Polly Maberly).

The four-part show is an exercise in mood, the only potentially scary aspect of the house is an animated tree with a bad attitude, but even this poses little threat in what is essentially a safe sanctuary for Tolly. Tolly meets the children and his growing relationship with them is intertwined with his Great Grandmother’s story about the house and the people who have lived there.

Time has not been kind to the show, in mood it feels like it was probably out of its time, even in 1986. The performances remain solid, which is more than can be said for the print. It’s not in the greatest condition, although it is eminently watchable, overall it has the look of a show filmed on video rather than film stock. The DVD contains all four episodes and apart from the English subtitles the disc contains nothing in the way of extras.


Charles Packer

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