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Monday, 6 April 2009

The Box of Delights - The wolves will run once more in a film by Mike Newell

I have mentioned The Box of Delights a few times on the site. Mike Newell, who is currently finishing work on Prince of Persia, has signed on to direct an adaptation of John Masefield's 1935 children's classic The Box of Delights for Brilliant Films.

I remember the BBC adaption of the book.

The central character is Kay Harker who, on returning from boarding school, finds himself mixed up in a battle to possess a magical box, which allows the owner to go small (shrink) and go swift (fly), experience magical wonders contained within the box and go into the past.

The owner of the box is an old Punch and Judy man called Cole Hawlings, whom Kay meets on a railway station. They have an instant rapport, and this leads Cole to confide that he is being chased by a man called Abner Brown and his gang. For safety, Cole entrusts the box to Kay, who then goes on to have many adventures.

Everything about this reminds me of Christmas as a kid. Everyone seemed to watch it and wait for the next episode in the hope of seeing an amazing (for the time) special effect - whether it be a man walking out of a painting, a demon from the pit, wolves with glowing eyes or people shrinking or flying. It is crying out for a remake due to the progress in special effects since 1984 (I cannot believe it is that old). Here's the opening for the TV series (should bring back some fond memories for many of you).

Source: First Showing

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2 comments:

streetpete said...

Strange...I had no recollection of this particular 'delight' until the opening sequence and music ensued. Memories are now flooding back left, right and centre. I can feel a nostalgic lump surging up my throat and shivers running down my spine.
I must say that your review is full of empathy, and this may be the cause of my wistful sorrow.
Thanks for the memories, Phil.

MEK said...

This is one of my all time childhood faves. The BBC did a fantastic job, great cast and it's always good to see Troughton. I just hope the film captures the magic that the serial did. It still gets a rewatch every Christmas.

The Cadmium 2 podcast did a great episode on the BBC adaptation. It's well worth a listen

http://www.futilityradio.com/c2list.xml