.. and along with it, state of the art visual effects. The Box of Delights was an adaptation by the BBC of John Masefield’s children’s novel, The Box Of Delights, a sequel to The Midnight Folk.

What made it particularly special was that it was the most expensive children’s show at the time. In order to accommodate the many fantastical elements of the story, the BBC’s visual effects department invested heavily in new technologies (mainly Quantel) and even borrowed equipment from other TV shows in order to meet the complexities of the effects.

This BBC Pebble Mill interview with Robin Lobb, who was responsible for The Box of Delight’s video effects. Also, it features an interview with Devin Stanfield (who plays lead character Kay Harker) and Alan Seymour, who adapted the story for TV.

It’s fascinating to watch the original TV show (which I have on DVD) and look at the effects which seem so primitive now but were state of the art at the time. According to Robin in the above interview, they had to remove some elements from the original story because even the visual effects back then couldn’t cope with it. Now, of course, this wouldn’t be a problem.

When you look at what we had to contend with on the Harry Potter film series in comparison, The Box of Delights is the true spiritual precursor of epic fantasy films and TV series – certainly it’s one of the most beloved.