James: "Definitively Christmassy"
One of the most magical programmes the BBC ever made for children, Box of Delights is quite startling in quality even now.
No other show has ever looked quite so definitively Christmassy - there are trains, snow, choirs, and something mysterious in the woods.
The production values are so high it allows the show to have a strong sense of style and imagery (such as the magical scene where Kay and Cole stand outside time on a snowy plain and discuss history while Wolves attack Romans soldiers in the distance). Couple with an all-star cast, extensive location shooting, and a large amount of night filming and you can just hear Doctor Who spitting with envy.
It's a shame it wasn't all shot on film, as some of the video footage looks a little too clean and bright, but the visual effects throughout are quite stunning - especially the innovative use of animation.
Of course, Box of Delights could never be made quite the same way again - you just don't see kids being this upper class on screen anymore. Not even Prince William.
Kim: "Sucker for fantasy"
I was a sucker for fantasy when I was a kid - trips to the local library always saw me returning with Susan Cooperís Dark is Rising series, or Alan Garner books. These days I guiltily read Harry Potter on the tube. The Box of Delights is one of those haunting books brought to life.
I remember watching it for the first time - not really realising what it was and being spellbound instantly. Forget Santa Claus, I beleived in Herne the Hunter. You were transported into a traditional Christmas, almost feeling the cold of the snow.
If, like me, the mention of this programme makes you smell mince pies, donít watch it. Preserve the memories as the details will ruin the illusion. But do make your children watch it...
Stephen: "Breaks every rule of childcare"
Hand on heart, this childrenís Christmas drama has never been bettered. An outstanding story and perfect casting more than compensate for some dated special effects.
Amazingly, the first episode pretty much breaks every rule of childcare in todayís society. Harker is put on a train by himself, talks to strange clergy men alone in a carriage, and then tells an old tramp his name at a train station.
Then again, Box of Delights is set in a more innocent age. Thatís a major part of the magic. But that doesn't stop it feeling like Twin Peaks meets the Famous Five.