The Secret Garden (1975– )

TV Series  -   -  Drama | Family
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In 19th-century India, little Mary Lennox is suddenly orphaned by cholera. Her only living relative is her crook-backed uncle, Archibald Craven, so Mary is sent to live at his estate on the... See full summary »

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Complete series cast summary:
Sarah Hollis Andrews ...
 Mary Lennox (7 episodes, 1975)
Hope Johnstone ...
 Mrs. Agnes Medlock / ... (7 episodes, 1975)
William Marsh ...
 John (7 episodes, 1975)
Jennie Goossens ...
 Nurse (6 episodes, 1975)
Jacqueline Hoyle ...
 Martha (Sowerby) / ... (6 episodes, 1975)
John Woodnutt ...
 Mr. Archibald Craven (6 episodes, 1975)
Tom Harrison ...
 Ben Weatherstaff (4 episodes, 1975)
David Patterson ...
 Colin Craven / ... (4 episodes, 1975)
Lorraine Peters ...
 Mrs. (Susan) Sowerby / ... (4 episodes, 1975)
Andrew Harrison ...
 Dickon / ... (4 episodes, 1975)
Richard Warner ...
 Dr. Craven (4 episodes, 1975)
Basil Clarke ...
 Pitcher (3 episodes, 1975)
Alison Lowndes ...
 'Lizabeth Ellen (Sowerby) / ... (3 episodes, 1975)


In 19th-century India, little Mary Lennox is suddenly orphaned by cholera. Her only living relative is her crook-backed uncle, Archibald Craven, so Mary is sent to live at his estate on the Yorkshire moors. Rude and unpleasant, Mary gradually begins to change as she explores the manor and grows to know some of the servants, particularly her maid Martha, and Ben Weatherstaff the gardener. With the help of a robin, Mary discovers a secret garden. She also discovers a cousin she never knew she had, and begins to form plans that transform her cousin, the garden, and ultimately herself. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Family


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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1 January 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A titkos kert  »

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Did You Know?


Following the common BBC practice at the time, shots on sound stages (including those of the "secret garden" itself) were made on videotape while exterior shots were made on film and converted to videotape. In the final video, those shots converted from film fail to be as crisp and clear as the shots made directly to videotape. See more »


At several points, one of the children is shown miss-speaking a line and quickly correcting themselves. One such point, appearing both in original and the condensed versions, occurs when Collin is speaking with his father after running into him outside the garden. See more »

Crazy Credits

In the 1984 condensed version, the BBC Video clip runs forward in the opening credits and runs backwards in the ending credits. See more »


Featured in The 100 Greatest Kids TV Shows (2001) See more »


The Watermill
Written by Ronald Binge
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User Reviews

Please don't compare this too much to the 1993 one....
2 December 2006 | by See all my reviews

I say that because first of all the 1993 version was in theaters and this one was a television drama in 1975 from BBC. So in that case the 1993 one was made for Hollywood concluding that this one was not fancy like the 93 one, maybe this one was a little plain but still it wasn't all bad. It had this calm type of simplicity that made it sweet but in a different way.

I think what really disappointed me and why it doesn't get 10 stars is because 1) I think the garden could have been much nicer. There are beautiful scenes of Mary walking around on lovely grounds in England. A few instances with that sweet music that gets stuck in your head because it is so calming, so simple, cheerful and beautiful. Those scenes are actually my favorite. So why was the garden filmed on an indoor set if she is seen walking outside where it really sets the mood for the feeling of the magic of the secret garden? Thats what I think I have to conclude about this one is that because the garden looked to be filmed inside there was not quite as much magic in it. I think the magic was like I said when Mary was walking around outside where it was real and not a set. 2) I liked all the acting except for Colin. The boy who played Colin cannot act at all and he stumbles on his words at the end and rushes through, it kinda kills the ending. I noticed Martha stumble once and as well as Ben Wetherstaff and maybe the other actors do too but I tried to ignore the few times they stumble. Look at it this way, when we speak, naturally sometimes we stumble, but obviously the actors were not told to re-due the scene. Also, I believe that from what I have heard about these made for TV BBC dramas from the 1970s they filmed the outdoor scenes and taped the indoor scenes.

Don't get me wrong I did LIKE this version, as I said it was very simple and yes very obvious to be a set especially the garden, but I don't know I found the scenes inside the house to feel natural and different then the 93 movie. Don't let those two things I mentioned kill this one for you I am not writing this review to warn you or anything...I just had to speak my mind to explain that this one cannot and should not be compared to the 93 one because I find that to just not be fare. This one was made 30 years ago, not supposed to be a FILM for the theater and just really the purpose of telling the story and not paying attention to the fanciest detail that the 93 one has. I like the 93 one too because I found that some of the changes make it darker and seem more realistic, mysterious and magical. For instance in the book and the 75 version Mary is told that her uncle does not want a child walking around in black the house is dark enough as it is. Well I think Mary wearing black in the 93 version in the beginning is more realistic and tragic and more Victorian, as well as those other types of examples I am sure you can think of if you have read the book and seen the 93 version. Even though the author was from the time the book took place she did not want the novel to be mysterious and quite so romantic as the 93 one. That is the beauty of the 93 one but we cant expect all versions to tell the story that way. We expect such fancy movies nowadays.

Just think about this difference and you will enjoy this version a little more than you realized. ENJOY THIS ONE FOR ITS SIMPLICITY.

I tend to repeat myself, but I hope my review is clear for you and will help you appreciate this version a little more for how it is.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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