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Forgotten Door, The (ITV 1966, Betty McDowall)




The Forgotten Door is a fondly remembered mid 1960’s series about a young alien visiting Earth.

The series was directed by Pamela Lonsdale, whom is also credited for Ace of Wands and Chocky, among others. Incidentally, Chocky – adapted from John Wyndham’s novel — is also about an ‘alien’ who comes to Earth; a very different story but, nevertheless, equally satisfying.

Main ‘storyteller’ for The Forgotten Door was Betty McDowall — who starred in the film Time Lock about a boy trapped in a bank vault) and also the 1964 HG Wells’ film, First Men In The Moon. Other ‘voices’ in The Forgotten Door were by Murray Kash, Ann Murray, Aaron Shirley and Roger Snowdon. Drawings were by John Ryan, the man behind Captain Pugwash, while Colin Andrews did the set design.

Being shown at 6.15pm. on Sunday evenings, this often seemed to be the slot for a tea-time story, fantasy or adventure, maybe with a religious theme.

In fact, there was a religious adviser to the series in Ian McKenzie. (This was obviously years before all-day or 24-hour viewing and, to put it into time context, well over two years before the Apollo 11 landing on the Moon. ) A check on programme schedules the following year, for example, showed that fantasy still fitted the bill for this slot – The black and white version of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe was screened. — MacAnakin

production details
UK / ITV Network – ABC Weekend Television / 7×20 minute episodes / Broadcast 9 October 1966 – 20 November 1966 Sundays at 6.15pm

Adapted by John Kershaw from the book of the same name by American author and illustrator Alexander Key.