1 9 8 9 (UK)
6 x 25 minute episodes
12-year-old Tom Long (Jeremy Rampling) is staying with his childless Uncle Alan (Shaughan Seymour) and Aunt Gwen (Isabelle Amyes) while his brother Peter (Simon Fenton) has measles. The elderly and reclusive landlady, Mrs Bartholomew (Renée Asherson), lives above them.
When their old grandfather clock strikes thirteen at midnight, Tom makes a strange discovery – a portal to the 19th century where only a lonely but friendly orphan girl called Hatty (Caroline Waldron) can see him.
Tom continues to visit the garden each night, and he and Hatty become friends.
Gradually, at first, Hatty begins to grow up and passes Tom’s age.
He comes to realise that he is slipping to different points in the past each time he returns. Finally, Hatty becomes an adult and is being courted by an acquaintance of hers who is nicknamed Barty (Gareth Kirkland).
On the final night before Tom is due to go home, he finds the garden is no longer there. He shouts Hatty’s name in desperation before his Uncle Alan finds him and puts the events down to sleepwalking. The following morning, Mrs Bartholomew summons Tom to apologise, only to reveal herself as the elderly Hatty.
This six-part BBC series was adapted from a 1958 novel by Philippa Pearce.
Sarah Jane McKechnie