The Children of Green Knowe - Episode 1 shown Wednesday 26th November 1986 at 17:00 on BBC1 and repeated on Sunday 30th November 1986 11:20 BBC2
A small boy dressed in a school uniform is sitting in what looks like a boarding school dinner hall. He is eating his food when he hears footsteps approaching. A woman dressed in grey enters the room him and asks him to come with her. The boy goes with her and goes into her private rooms. Miss Spud (the head mistress) has received a letter and Tolly (the small schoolboy) soon learns that his great grandmother wishes him to spend Christmas with her at her home. At least he has somewhere to go like the other boys. For the past three holidays, Tolly has had to spend it with Miss Spud and her aging father. The boy's name is really Toseland but his friends call him Tolly for short. Tolly has a father but he is away in Burma. His mother is dead and he is painfully shy of his stepmum. Hence he normally remains at school during the school holidays as there is no one for him to go home to - until now.
The grandmother's home is far away and so Tolly travels alone. He boards a train and is soon on his way to Old Green Know to stay with his Great grandmother. On the train, two nosey women ask Tolly questions about his name and where he is going. Outside the rain is bucketing down and some areas are completely flooded. The women like his name although he is a bit embarrassed to tell them that is is Toseland. A very old fashioned name which fits in nicely round these parts they agree. The train soon arrives at the Penny Soaky station where Tolly is to get off. The station master helps him off with his luggage. Tolly is the only one to get off at this station. He sits all alone waiting for someone to collect him. Eventually as it is getting dark, a car approaches. The driver stops the car and then leans out and shout to the boy asking "are you master Toseland of Green Noah". Tolly is relived the his ride has finally appeared. He quickly gets in out of the rain. Inside the car, the driver asks him whether he is home for Christmas holiday. The two talk about the weather and then the driver states that they had better get a move on as once they are there, they may not be able to get back. Tolly ponders this and then asks if they cannot get out, how do they get in. The driver does not respond to him. The driver informs him that Green Noah stands almost in the middle of the flood because the river runs alongside the garden. Soon the car stops and the driver suggests that Tolly will have to swim for it as the water if rapidly rising. Tolly asks where he should swim to now that is is very dark outside. The driver ends up giving Tolly a piggyback along through the water. Soon the pair see a small boat and a voice shouting for Master Toseland. The boatman takes Tolly in the boat and paddles across the vast spread of water which is no nearly waist deep. The driver makes his way back to the car. Tolly shouts a thankyou to him. The boat soon approaches a huge structure, a castle where his grandmother (Mrs. Oldknow) lives. She is waiting for him inside.
She is very pleased to see him and that he carries his grand father's name. She used to call her husband Tolly so Tolly it will be. Tolly informs her that he sometimes gets called Towser by the boys at school and that his stepmother calls him Toto - a name which he loathes. He asks what he should call her and she replies Granny. Tolly is eventually shown to his room. He asks his gran if there are any other children. She replies that there are but they may only come when they like. She does not tell him anymore about the children and quickly changes the subject. He sees a small wooden toy object and his gran instantly tells him that it used to belong to Toby. Tolly climbs into bed whilst gran winds the clock. As she leaves the bedroom she turns to him and says "welcome home." Tolly lies in bed and soon falls asleep, dreaming of a boat rowing on the water with someone shouting for Tolly.
The next morning he gets up and looks out of the window. He sees a small bird on the window and open it. the bird lands on his shoulder before flying away. He looks out of the window and sees that the castle looks like an ark. Gran arrives and takes him down for breakfast. At the table he asks about the picture on the wall. He thinks that the children are looking at him Toby Alexander and Linnet are in the picture according to Gran. Tolly continues to play with the little mouse that belonged to Toby. Mr. Boggis arrives and says that the water is going down. Gran asks if he has the yule log. Boggis notes that Tolly looks like his Grandfather. Gran mistakenly calls him Toby. Tolly then asks about the boat which he is told is called "Linnet."
Tolly goes off to look for Boggis who tells him of the old times with the horses and the castle grounds. As he continues to cut wood, Tolly goes off looking round. He picks up a small piece of wood with a name carved onto it. Boggis asks if he was looking for master Toby's horse. Apparently the horse is sometimes heard in the stables at night. Tolly goes in for tea and Gran checks him over for clean hands. Tolly asks about Toby's horse. His gran tells him that Toby's horse was called Feste and that Alexander had a white pony called Brucephalus. Poor little Linnet, however, did not have a horse of her own and had to ride in the pannier behind her mother or Boggis. Tolly then asks why the house is called Green Noah when the lady on the train said Green Knowe. Gran tells him that is used to be Green Knowe but it got changed. Gran looked very unhappy at the question and she really did not want to dwell on it. Tolly then goes to his bedroom and gets ready for bed. He lies in bed looking at his wooden mouse. He suddenly opens his eyes thinking he can hear childrens voices whispering in the night. He calls out to Linnet and hears them laughing. He asks them if they are teasing him and then wishes them good night and goes to sleep