19 user 3 critic

The Box of Delights 

Based on the classic children's novel by John Masefield, the story follows the exploits of a young boy, Kay Harker, who finds himself drawn into a world of magic and danger when he ... See full summary »




4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »




Series cast summary:
Devin Stanfield Devin Stanfield ...  Kay Harker 6 episodes, 1984
Robert Stephens ...  Abner Brown 6 episodes, 1984
Geoffrey Larder Geoffrey Larder ...  Foxy Faced Charles 6 episodes, 1984
Jonathan Stephens Jonathan Stephens ...  Chubby Joe 6 episodes, 1984
Heidi Burton Heidi Burton ...  Jemima 6 episodes, 1984
Joanna Dukes Joanna Dukes ...  Maria 6 episodes, 1984
Flora Page Flora Page ...  Susan 6 episodes, 1984
James Grout ...  Inspector 5 episodes, 1984
Carol Frazer Carol Frazer ...  Caroline Louisa 5 episodes, 1984
Crispin Mair Crispin Mair ...  Peter 5 episodes, 1984
Glyn Baker ...  Herne the Hunter 5 episodes, 1984
Patricia Quinn ...  Sylvia Daisy Pouncer 4 episodes, 1984
John Horsley ...  Bishop of Tatchester 4 episodes, 1984
Helen Fraser Helen Fraser ...  Ellen 4 episodes, 1984
Patrick Troughton ...  Cole Hawlings 3 episodes, 1984
Anne Dyson ...  The Old Lady 3 episodes, 1984
Nick Berry Nick Berry ...  Pirate Rat 3 episodes, 1984
Stewart Harwood Stewart Harwood ...  Pirate Rat 3 episodes, 1984
Bill Wallis Bill Wallis ...  Rat 2 episodes, 1984
Charles Pemberton Charles Pemberton ...  Chief Constable 2 episodes, 1984
Johnny Casino Johnny Casino ...  Old Jim 2 episodes, 1984
Simon Barry Simon Barry ...  Mouse 2 episodes, 1984
Jason Kemp Jason Kemp ...  Waterfall Boy 2 episodes, 1984
John Styles John Styles ...  Puppeteer 2 episodes, 1984
Learn more

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Based on the classic children's novel by John Masefield, the story follows the exploits of a young boy, Kay Harker, who finds himself drawn into a world of magic and danger when he encounters an old Punch and Judy man. Written by <markh@centurione.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Family | Fantasy


Did You Know?


Budgetary constraints as well as limited technology forced the filmmakers to omit some scenes from the book . A few examples of the cut magical incidents are the following .
  • When Cole Hawlings gives his Punch and Judy show for the children he makes some toy soldiers come to life and parade .
  • Kay travels at sea with the help of a dolphin that he rides , holding tightly its back .
  • Kay enters a magical coach which is guided by flaming horses .
  • After the shrinking boat incident (which is featured in the TV series) Kay and his friends encounter fairies in the forest .
See more »


Kay Harker: Ellen, do you know how to make a posset?
Ellen: Why, I most certainly do!
Kay Harker: Well, then, I wish you would.
See more »


Referenced in Hellraiser (1987) See more »

User Reviews

The essence of magic
19 October 2010 | by youbigbluemonkeySee all my reviews

I was fortunate enough to be a child when this first appeared on BBC and for the life of me i cant understand why it isn't repeated around the festive season.

I lived in a house in Scotland, we had snow knee deep, a coal fire to keep me warm and while we had no wolves to worry about we did have the occasional nosey fox or foraging badger to add to the mix of realism this gem of a classic children's drams. Every night myself and my two sisters who despite being ten years older than me would sit all snug and toasty and be transported away by what can only be described as the closest you will come to believing in magic as you ever will in your life.

While the pace of this can be charmingly laid back there are enough moments of wonder and tension to make you wonder where those 30 minutes went.

I wont go into the story as so many others already have and lets face it, this has dropped of the radar of television so only those that watched it or even just caught a glimpse of it know about it already.

Im thirtymumblemumblemumblemumblefour now and like others i watch this every year. Because of its setting, a kind of famous five version of england that really only existed in literature the box of delights doesn't age as it was already in that in-between place of time so viewers of all ages can enjoy this.

This is a fine tribute to those actors sadly no longer with us who gave this story life and gravitas and a true sense of magic.

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Official Sites:

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Release Date:

21 November 1984 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

La caja mágica See more »

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(6 episodes)

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