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"The Wolves are Running" – The Box of Delights needs to be remade

Posted by LiveFor on December 9, 2008

Chisholm and the rest of us at Live For Films got to talking about Christmas and things we remember watching as kids (although it’s not clear if Chisholm was ever a child or whether he was simply torn from the Earth fully formed). One of them was the BBC adaption of John Masefield’s 1935 children’s book, The Box of Delights.

The central character is Kay Harker who, on returning from boarding school, finds himself mixed up in a battle to possess a magical box, which allows the owner to go small (shrink) and go swift (fly), experience magical wonders contained within the box and go into the past.

The owner of the box is an old Punch and Judy man called Cole Hawlings, whom Kay meets on a railway station. They have an instant rapport, and this leads Cole to confide that he is being chased by a man called Abner Brown and his gang. For safety, Cole entrusts the box to Kay, who then goes on to have many adventures.

The Box of Delights was adapted for television by the BBC in 1984, featuring Patrick Troughton (Dr Who) and Robert Stephens. It was broadcast November–December, in six parts, with the last episode transmitted on Christmas Eve. Starring Devin Stanfield as Kay and directed by Renny Rye, it used an innovative mixture of live action and animation, with Quantel Paintbox and chroma key effects to bring the adventure alive. Noted for its yuletide atmosphere (it is set during Christmas), the series has become something of a nostalgic treat for followers of cult TV. The seasonal theme music is Victor Hely-Hutchinson‘s orchestral arrangement of “The First Noël” from his Carol Symphony.

Everything about this reminds me of Christmas as a kid. Everyone seemed to watch it and wait for the next episode in the hope of seeing an amazing (for the time) special effect – whether it be a man walking out of a painting, a demon from the pit, wolves with glowing eyes or people shrinking or flying. It is crying out for a remake due to the progress in special effects since 1984 (I cannot believe it is that old). Here’s the opening for the TV series (should bring back some fond memories for many of you).

Do you remember watching it? What happened to Devin Stanfield? Would you like to see a remake of the series or should it be the next big screen Christmas treat? Any other TV shows you watched as kids that you would like to see remade with todays technology?

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11 Responses to “"The Wolves are Running" – The Box of Delights needs to be remade”

  1. Uncle Bert said

    Id love to see this remade… keep the same music though!

  2. Anonymous said

    A remake would be awesome… It’s a true Xmas feel series! Start a petition, I’d sign it. LOL

  3. Cumbawumba Smythe said

    I’d forgotten all about that. Brilliant. Took me right back to my childhood. Yep, needs a remake ASAP

  4. Bert Entwhistle said

    Please re-make this!!

  5. Anonymous said

    I thought it was shite

  6. Shazzaaam! said

    I quite liked IT, although i prefer other Stephen King novels.

  7. Worm said

    Wasnt it filmed in Dorset!

  8. Dane said

    Yes! Yes! Y-E-S!!!!

  9. Pickard said

    Make it so!

  10. R K Startstedt said

    A large part of it was filmed in Scotland as 1983 was a particularly snowy winter!

    I wouldn’t remake it as a children’s series, I’d turn it into a two hour epic film but with an entirely British cast and crew (and Hollywood budget for the effects naturally!)

  11. Live for films said

    Cheers for the info R K. I didn’t know that about the filming in Scotland.

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