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Cult TV Essentials: The Children of Green Knowe

Adapted from Lucy M. Boston’s book of the same name (the first in a series of six books) and directed by the amazing Colin Cant, The Children of Green Knowe is a traditional children’s fantasy tale which follows the adventures of a young boy, Toseland aka “Tolly” (Alec Christie – as seen in The Office Christmas Special) as he travels to stay with his great-grandmother, Linnet Oldknow (Daphne Oxenford – Coronation Street, Man About The House, Doctor Who, The Wind in the Willows) for Christmas. The show was first broadcast on 26th November 1986 and ran for four episodes.

As mentioned, Tolly is off to stay with his Great-Grandmother Linnet Oldknow. She  lives in an old manor house known as Green Knowe. The history of the house is revealed and we discover it dates back to the Norman Conquest with Toseland’s ancestors, the d’Aulneaux family, later called Oldknowe or Oldknow inhabiting it.

As he explores the house Tolly discovers ghosts of three of his ancestors (with no moondial in sight)—an earlier Toseland – nicknamed Toby (Graham McGrath – Krull), Alexander (James Trevelyan- Home and Away), and an earlier Linnet (Polly Maberly – Pride and Prejudice, Hollyoaks, Eastenders, Gentleman Jack) —who lived in the reign of Charles II. Tolly is not thrown by the ghosts and happily chats to them. In the evenings Tolly lets his Granny tell him stories about the house and those who lived there. Surrounded by the rivers and the floodwater, sealed within its ancient walls, Green Knowe is a sanctuary of peace and stability in a world of unnerving change

After befriending the other children Tolly soon learns the legend of the “Demon Tree” known as Green Noah and the curses that surround Old Knowe. Will he be able to survive?



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