• athelas329 November 2005
    A wonderful and classic children's drama
    I am delighted that I am not alone out there in the wilderness. I too, loved the wonderful adaptation of Children of Green Knowe. I have never forgotten it, indeed I have been writing to the BBC for years to ask if they would please re run it, or at least release it on DVD or video. Every man, woman and child should see this enchanting little gem of a series at least once. It captures the true innocence and enjoyment of Christmas as it should be.. simple, and captivating, with a little mystery thrown in. I was lucky enough to watch it the first time with my son, who also loved it. Now I would desperately love to share it with my little girl, and of course to be able to watch it every Christmas and soak up a little of its magic. So, build up the fire Tolly, I would like to hear the story of..The Children of Green Knowe.. Merry Christmas !! :)
  • james_trevelyan1 May 2004
    Experiences working on the television show
    Perhaps the greatest thing about portraying Alexander Oldknowe in the 1986 BBC Children's Television series 'The Children of Green Knowe' was meeting Lucy M. Boston, who wrote the novel upon which the four-part series was based, and who also wrote 'The River at Green Knowe'. She was a delightful lady, and I remember that we - myself and the other principal cast members - had our photograph taken with her.

    Also great to work with Heather Ramsay, who played my mother. She noticed that I was reading Stephen King's awesome 1985 short story collection 'Skeleton Crew' during the making of the series, and recommended the work of acclaimed British horror author Ramsey Campbell. Thanks heaps, Heather!

    Great too to work with the very talented Danny Schiller, who played Gabriel, the manic choirmaster. Danny went on to play Snorri the Miserable in Terry Gilliam's hilarious 'Erik the Viking' and also to portray a barrister in the 1992 thriller 'Under Suspicion', which starred Liam Neeson and Laura San Giacomo. And after all these years, I still remember the lyrics of song I sing before the King and his court (by the way, the banquet that you will descry laid out was fireproofed, so no one was game to pick at it!):-

    Return, return you happy men/To your own blessed shades again/Lest staying long some new desire/In your cool bosom raise a fire/Like a perfumed gale o'er flowers/Now glide again to your own bowers

    Saw Polly Maberly in an episode of 'Frost' in early 2001, and she acquitted herself very well indeed. She has grown into quite the young lady.

    As Montague H. Withnail declares in 'Withnail and I', 'Alas! I have little more than vintage wine and memories'. But what memories!

    James Trevelyan (Alexander Oldknowe)
  • robski724 May 2004
    What Green Knowe means to me
    I can remember when this programme first aired,right then i knew i was watching something special.For me that was the best Childrens drama serial that the BBC ever made,even better than The Box Of Delights and The Children of Narnia.It seems now that I'm older I've become all nostalgic for the programmes that i watched in my youth,and by reading other comments on this site I'm not the only one ...which is a relief...i thought i was the only one!!James it was really nice to read your experiences on the show,you really must feel so proud of your work and to be linked to such a great programme.I've only watched the programme once and for some reason the BBC never released it on video or DVD,so my memory is slightly vague on all the episodes,but i always remember the old lady telling toby to make a big fire in the house.She did have a certain phrase for this but it escapes me now,too long ago i guess.I have recently found someone who has the episodes on tape,so i should have a copy very soon.I just hope its as good as i remember it to be!!
  • pelgie18 December 2009
    Screening given by the BFI
    I was fortunate enough to see this series for the first time yesterday at the NFF (South Bank), followed by a Q&A with Alec Christie, who played Tolly. I was amazed at the quality of the print which looked superb on the big screen of NFF 1. The magic, I think, lies in the detail of the settings and in the atmosphere which is created by a story which moves at a dignified pace. I wondered whether the singing was 'lip-syncd' by the boy who plays Alexander? The first time he sings, in the Cathedral church, I thought the sound was amazingly beautiful. The singing at the concert for King Charles was more authentic. Throughout, there is a wonderful feel for the mood of the drama which is in stark contrast to so much of today's TV dramas for kids!
  • anne_salisbury1 December 2006
    Bring back Green Knowe!
    Green Knowe is the most magical series, it has never failed to transfix every child who has ever watched it. Not to mention a family inability to say Burma without three rs! We also don't light a fire, we build up a "great blaze"! We had our almost worn out video put onto DVD which has extended the lifespan a little but is still almost monochrome. Does anyone have a way of getting colour back or have a better version? (If they can do it with Gone with the Wind, surely it can be done for Green Knowe!) There is an on line petition to get the BBC to reissue the film on DVD - we have all filled this in and hope that it will have some effect. There is a very good website which is of the actual Green Knowe house - Hemmingford Grey in Cambridgeshire - which is worth a visit.
  • rabidfuzzy22 August 2006
    If you have't seen it see it.If you don't like it your mad.Childhood dream's ghost's history and magic,upper class's lower class's if it is a story line in any film or book that you enjoyed it's in here. BBC at it's best.no DVD as such yet but as soon as it is out i will be buying this. i have a ratty old VHS with all episode's and my six year old son is down stair's most morning watching. well i say watching he's transfixed also only just found out there are five other book's which were never adapted for the silver screen. i have read two and are just as good as the original children of green knowe.As i said above you cant miss this classic programme.
  • draperhacker4 April 2007
    Visit the House!!
    For all of you leaving comments or reading the comments here I can only recommend that if you ever get the chance you should visit the original Manor House (see location above)the book was written in. The house is simply warm and wonderful and very evocative and during the spring and summer months the garden is nothing short of a delight. The lady who now owns and runs the house and garden with the help of a number of fine gardeners is very amiable and shows you round the house if she has time herself. I visited over 4 years ago and still have fond memories and a collection of fine photographs of my visit. The quilt collection is amazing and the stories of the parties and war time evenings by the host really bring the house alive. The son's bedroom with its toys and chest is really the touchstone of the whole adventure.
  • Kim Ralls21 February 2006
    Simply wonderful!
    "Make up a great blaze, Tolly, and I'll tell you a story!" I will always associate The Children of Green Knowe with poached eggs on toast and cup of tea; as a kid I used to watch this religiously with said meal and beverage. My parents used to have this on one of those old single-reel Betamax videos (does anyone actually remember those?) and, of course, when the VCR eventually broke, we couldn't get it repaired. We lost so many wonderful videos with that.

    If only the BBC would re-run this lovely little series, or better still, release it on DVD. They did it with the Box of Delights (splediferous) and I'm sure they can do it with this as well. I've since begun reading the books and they do not disappoint. The role of Tolly's Grandmother could have been written for Daphne Oxenford - a truly wonderful performance. For me, this is the epitome of what children's drama should be - simple, yet magical!
  • Leofwine_draca11 April 2016
    I'll always love this one...
    A lot of British kids have memories of watching the original run of DR WHO and being forced to hide behind the sofa because they were too scared to watch the screen. I had the same experience, but with me it was THE CHILDREN OF GREEN KNOWE, a Children's BBC 4-part TV series adaptation of the 1950s novel by Lucy M. Boston. I watched this live on TV in 1986 at the age of 5 and it scared the life out of me. It was the bits in which inanimate objects come to life which really disturbed me, although even the rocking horse was spooky. Thankfully, the film has just come out on DVD over here in the UK, so I was able to catch up with it as an adult and I wasn't disappointed.

    THE CHILDREN OF GREEN KNOWE is short, simple entertainment. A young boy goes to stay in an old ancestral house over the Christmas break, and soon becomes aware that there are ghostly children from the Stuart era that he can sometimes see. There are also various myths and legends associated with the place that he becomes involved in. This type of story was very familiar in TV & book form back in the day, but it's handled in a completely charming way here. The low budget effects aren't up to much, but the story and execution have bags of atmosphere and charm that make it impossible to dislike. Daphne Oxenford is like Maggie Smith but even better. I miss the days when the BBC had the skill to make stuff like this, as it's the kind of thing which manages the very difficult job of recapturing the magic of being a child - something that modern film and TV makers seem to have forgotten.
  • Eve Cooper20 June 2011
    Ghosts, nostalgia and a tree with a bad attitude.
    I hankered after this amazing drama for years, i had all but episode 3 on VHS and had given up on it being released officially on DVD, so was ecstatic when I found an unofficial copy at raretv.com. Granted, it is not the best quality burned from VHS recordings, but it better than nothing, and i still watch it to this day, and even now at 33 years old it has not lost any of It's magic to me, and my 5 year old son enjoys it too. Mr Christie(Tolly) was kind enough to reply to a message I sent him in relation to the show, he had not been recognised as Tolly since 1988 and told me how much fun he had making the programme. His views echoed those already mentioned by a previous user, that children's drama today failed to live up to the quality seen in those such as Greene Knowe, which is a terrible shame. I talk about this programme even now with my family who also had such affection. Im not sure if this is true,but I have read somewhere that the BBC have not got a copy of the original footage so it would be impossible for a official DVD release like they did with Box of Delights. Has anybody else heard this?