This article explores the production history of the BBC's 1975 adaptation of Peter Dickinson's 'The Changes' novels. Drawing extensively on archival material, it pieces together the development and filming of what was, until that date, the Children's Department's most ambitious drama production. It situates the ten-part serial within its production context, drawing attention to the Corporation's major transformation of its children's television production following the appointment of Monica Sims as Head of the re-formed BBC Children's Department in 1967, and charts the Department's struggle to produce the serial in an atmosphere of financial stringency and corporate indifference. It concludes by arguing that the development of this remarkable series, unseen on British television since 1994, suggests that the BBC's mission to entertain, educate and inform is not a project coherently managed or maintained but is rather a consequence of individual personalities prepared to contest resources and restrictions in the process of producing 'quality' television.