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Moondial (TV serial)

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Title: Moondial (TV serial)  
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Language: English
Subject: Dark Season, Colin Cant, Helen Cresswell, Arthur Hewlett, Television programs based on children's books
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Moondial (TV serial)

Moondial title screen
Created by Helen Cresswell
Starring Siri Neal
Tony Sands
Jacqueline Pearce
Joanna Dunham
Valerie Lush
Arthur Hewlett
Joe York
Martin Sadler
Helena Avellano
Alison Rowley
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of episodes Six
Running time 25 - 28 minutes
Original channel BBC1
Original release 10 February 1988 (1988-02-10) – 16 March 1988 (1988-03-16)

Moondial is a British television six-part serial made for children by the BBC and transmitted in 1988, with a repeat in 1990. It was written by Helen Cresswell, who also wrote the novel on which the series was based.[1][2][3][4]

The west entrance to Belton House near Grantham in Lincolnshire, the setting for Moondial.


The story deals with a young girl, Minty (Siri Neal), staying with her aunt after her mother is injured in a car accident. Minty spends much of her time wandering around the grounds of a nearby mansion, and is drawn to a moondial that enables her to travel back in time, where she becomes involved with two children, Tom (Tony Sands), who lives in the Victorian era, and Sarah (Helena Avellano), who seems to live in "the previous century" to that, and must save them from their own unhappy lives.

Regarded as a nostalgic favourite by followers of 1980s BBC children's drama, Moondial employs extensive location filming (in the grounds of Belton House in Lincolnshire) and fantastical, dreamlike imagery.

The series was produced by Paul Stone and directed by Colin Cant. Other cast members include Valerie Lush as Minty's aunt Mary, Arthur Hewlett as the elderly, mysterious Mr. World and Jacqueline Pearce in the dual role of the vicious Miss Vole (who seems to have lived in the 18th Century) and the present-day ghost hunter Miss Raven.

The series was released on video in 1990, and reissued in 1995, but only in a shortened "movie edit". This was released on DVD in 2000, but has long since been deleted. The full episodic version was released in 2009 by Reader's Digest and later re-released on DVD by Second Sight in May 2015.


  1. ^ "DVD Review: Moondial (1988)". 2015-04-28. Retrieved 2015-05-02. 
  2. ^ Helen Cresswell (1987-11-02). "Children's Book Review: Moondial by Helen Cresswell, Author MacMillan Publishing Company $14.95 (202p) ISBN 978-0-02-725370-2". Retrieved 2015-05-02. 
  3. ^ "Entertainment | Helen Cresswell's literary legacy". 2005-09-27. Retrieved 2015-05-02. 
  4. ^ "Helen Cresswell". Retrieved 2015-05-02. 

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