Three and a half stars, really — 10 weeks ago
13-year-old Tolly (Alex Etel) is sent to stay with his grandmother (Maggie Smith) at her old house, Green Knowe at the end of World War II. His father is missing in action and his mother has gone to see what she can find out in London. There has been a rift in the family so Tolly and his grandmother really don’t know each other well, and are a bit antagonistic at first.
There’s a separate story some generations back, appearing as ghosts or spirits to Tolly, who becomes quite involved in this other world of racism and discrimination, getting to know a blind teenager called Susan and her family. Gradually the past and present stories intertwine and he discovers a long-lost secret.
Nicely done, albeit with some inevitable plot-holes. Adapted from the book ‘Chimneys of Green Knowe’, with some liberties taken, but these are somewhat explained by the interesting ‘Extra’, an interview with Julian Fellowes who directed it.
Intended for older children, this appealed to us as adults too. Some quite tense moments, and some parts which were quite moving. Not quite four star level, but I’d like to have given it more than three!