4 October 2012

Children Of The Stones

This time in the Ripping Yarns recommended listening corner it's a bit of a no-brainer. In Happy Days: Children Of The Stones comedian Stuart Lee returns to Radio 4 to give a highly enjoyable overview of the classic HTV show made for children in 1977. I was a tad too young to catch it the first time around, but managed to get caught up by the time of the recent dvd release and can happily confirm Children Of The Stones remains every bit as powerful as 'they' say it is.
"Writer and comedian Stewart Lee explores the ground breaking television series Children of the Stones and examines its special place in the memories of those children who watched it on its initial transmission in a state of excitement and terror.
In 1977 HTV launched the revolutionary children's television drama telling the story of an astrophysicist and his son who arrive in the village of Milbury to study ancient stones. The residents greet each other with the phrase "Happy day", and the community is held in a strange captivity by the psychic forces generated by the circle of giant Neolithic stones which surround it.
Filmed at Avebury in Wiltshire, it is a strangely atmospheric production with the baleful, discordant wailing voices of the incidental music increasing the tension.
The story, involving a temporal paradox and issues of individuality and community assimilation thematically challenged the after-school audience, which included Stewart Lee.
In this documentary Lee returns to Avebury to discuss the serial's impact, examine its influence on him and explore the history and secrets of the ancient stones. 
1970s kids may have dived behind the sofa during Doctor Who, but it was Children of the Stones that gave them nightmares. The series is frequently cited by those who remember it as one of the scariest things they saw as children.
The programme includes contributions from series co-creator Jeremy Burnham, cast members and fans.

1 comment:

Sage said...

I saw this programme as a 10 year old and remember it very well - it was scary indeed. It was scary in the same way as some of the public information films were especially the ones concerning kids playing on farms or round "Dark and Lonely" water.

Happy days.