Thursday, January 08, 2009

Children of the Stones

Whenever I find myself becoming overly sentimental about 70s children's television, I watch an episode of The Tomorrow People to remind me how bad a lot of it was. However, there were a few series that were more innovative and powerful than anything that has been made since and perhaps the best of all was Children of the Stones.

I watched all seven episodes of this short series yesterday and found it as compelling ever. The writers made few concessions to their target audience and I imagine that they were responsible for a few juvenile neuroses.

The intro sequence sums up the series. The close-up shots of the stone circle at Avebury and Sidney Sager's terrifying choral music set the scene perfectly:


And this was shown at teatime!

8 comments:

Tim Footman said...

Quite agree: bold, scary stuff. But the most terrifying thing of all was Gareth Thomas's purple anorak.

Jim Murdoch said...

For me it would be 'Timeslip'. I bought the boxed set as soon as it came out on DVD and thought it stood up well. I often quote the 'Tomorrow People' episode where people picked badges - green and blue I think they were - and a whole society became divided on that basis - scary stuff.

Steerforth said...

I also thought the boxed set of 'Timeslip' and loved it, although I thought the first part dragged a bit.

'The Blue and the Green' was probably the best 'Tomorrow People' episode. I saw another story a few years ago and was astounded by the appalling acting (and that was before the kid from 'Flintlock' dragged the show down even further).

The Dotterel said...

Oh, fantastic! I loved this, didn't know it was available to buy (assuming that's how you managed to watch it yesterday - not all on YouTube is it?) and will be going out asap to get it. It left me with a lifelong passion for stone circles and rows (so it's got a lot to answer for!). Was it the best children's tv ITV ever made? Happy day!

Steerforth said...

Happy Day!

tattyhousehastings said...

Oh My God! I have discovered my lifelong recurring nightmare. There is a bit where a ?man is hammering on someone's house, or a church isn't there? Seriously this was stuff of true horror for me, in my nightmare I was in the church/house and a giant man was on the roof hammering, but instead of hands he had hammers!!
The terror...

The Silver Eel said...

I believe it was nearly impossible to watch children's television in the 1970s and not see someone involved in devil-worship, or some variant thereof. The title sequence is highly evocative of a meme which seems to have been around at that time - the two things which come to mind are the original cover (and content) of Alan Garner's Red Shift, and Nigel Kneale's The Stone Tape. Then there's the Jon Pertwee Doctor Who adventure The Daemons. What on earth was behind it? A national subscription to Man, Myth and Magic?

Tim said...

I asked my dad to take us to Avebury in 1980 and I was absolutely ****ing myself before touching a stone (convinced that electro-magnetism would glue my hand to it). Even at nearly 40, I give it a funny look when driving in that part of Wiltshire. Similar reaction to walking under pylons thanks to BBC's The Changes.