The Box(ing) Day of Delights

Been holding onto this for awhile.  Despite being in the amateur anglophile business for decades there are still ‘gaps’ in our education.

Appropriate for the season, the THT Brain Trust indulged ourselves with ‘The Box of Delights’ from 1984. ‘Box’ is such a classic BBC Production in so many ways.  A period production even when it was made, the intervening 38 years marks it thoroughly for this very particular style of production, especially the mix of video and film.  Even more than this, the series has been scored by Roger Limb, who supplied music all the way from The Keeper of Traken right through to Revelation of the Daleks.  Close your eyes and you get very strong Peter Davison vibes from the whole series.

But whereas Doctor Who had long since transitioned into a general-audience posture away from its edu-tainment roots, ‘The Box of Delights’ is firmly made for children with a kid at the center.  And it is a kids adventure, in the best sense of the word.  One which the BBC in those days seemed to excel at.

Commendable though this is, that isn’t the real reason to seek out and watch ‘The Box of Delights.’  It’s once again to marvel at the presence of one Patrick Troughton, who played the deliberately oblique Cole Hawlings.  Although he’s only in half the episodes, the motive shadow he casts runs through the whole of the series.

Delightful indeed.