From Time to Time is based on the book The Chimneys of Green Knowe, which is written around Lucy M Boston's famous patchwork quilts and a family who lived in the house of Green Knowe around the beginning of the 19th century.In the film, Tolly is a teenager rather than an eight year old child and there are incidents around his parents which do not appear at all in the books, where they are divorced and he has a stepmother whom he does not like. I have to say that because of this I did not find the scenes with Tolly seeing his father all that convincing, and as the parents do not appear at all except in descriptions in the books, I felt it inappropriate to include them in the cast of the film. I also found some of the discussions with the kitchen staff a little odd. The book was written well after the war and it seems a pity to place it in wartime context as there is no mention of this in it.
That said, From Time to Time is excellent. Dame Maggie Smith is, as always, excellent as the Grandmother, Mrs Oldknowe. The children play their parts well and appropriately and the scenes with Jacob and Susan escaping from the fire are exciting, though the children were supposed to be in a chimney and it was a little odd to see them running through a room whilst avoiding the flames! I also liked the scene with Sefton bullying Jacob and Susan and the use of the cupboard as Tolly's time travel mechanism.
Costuming is beautifully done and although there is the odd anachronism it is a great pleasure to enjoy this setting of a much loved book by Lucy M Boston. How lovely to see again Mrs Boston's much loved house, The Manor at Hemingford Grey, where the film was made!
I purchased the DVD myself with my own money when it became available.
Directed by Julian Fellowes of Downton Abbey fame, you can find this DVD on Amazon or it can be purchased directly from http://www.greenknowe.co.uk.
I found the film of Julian Fellowes talking about his thoughts on the making of From Time to Time quite illuminating as it illustrated some of the reasons for his including additional material in the film which is nowhere to be seen in Lucy M Boston's much loved children's book.