DVD Review: Children of the Stones (Children’s TV series -1977)

DVD Review: Children of the Stones (Children's TV series -1977)Children of the Stones is a seven-part, children’s TV series that aired in the 70s and is now available to buy on DVD. It’s quite a spooky series that was produced by HTV and broadcast on the various ITV channels in early 1977. The two main characters are an astrophysicist named Adam Brake, and his young son Matthew.

The role of Adam Brake was played by the Welsh actor Gareth Thomas, who subsequently went on play Blake in the popular Sci-Fi TV series Blake’s 7.

At the beginning of the first episode, Adam and his son are travelling by car to the village of Milbury. They are going to Milbury so that Adam can study the ancient stone circle that surrounds the village.

They have almost reached their destination when a huge stone appears in the middle of the road. Adam slams on the brakes to avoid crashing into it but as he does so so—blink and you’ll miss it—the stone is replaced by the figure of a woman. This turns out to be Mrs Crabtree, who is the housekeeper from the cottage where the Brakes will be staying. She’s apparently been sent to meet them by Rafael Kendrick (Iain Cuthbertson) who is the main man in the village.

Everyone in the village appears to be very friendly, but it doesn’t take long before the Brakes realise that there is something unusual about Milbury and its inhabitants. For one thing, the village seems to be divided into two groups. The majority of the population is made up of the ‘Happy Ones’, who seem to be unusually intelligent, very happy, and extremely strange. They smile all of the time and greet each other with the phrase: “Happy day!”

The only people who are not Happy Ones are newcomers to the village, like the Brakes, and there are not many of them. At school, the non-happy children segregate themselves from their ‘happy’ classmates and know instinctively that something is wrong.

“We’ve got to stick together,” Sandra Smythe tells Matthew. “Just checking that you’re human,” says another classmate, who has just picked a fight with him.

The ranks of the non-happy ones are fast diminishing though, as more and more people suddenly get with the programme and get happy.

Children of the Stones is a very atmospheric TV series. The haunting theme music and backing music are partly responsible for this. The series also contains some quite difficult concepts for a children’s TV series, such as time circles and psychic bubbles. Even without fully understanding such things though, the programme is extremely entertaining.

Children of the Stones is a well written and interesting story and the cast does an excellent job of bringing it to life. Although it was made for younger viewers I am sure many adults will enjoy it too. I saw it when I was a child, loved it, and never forgot it so it was great to finally find it on DVD.

The series comes on a single disc and there are some special features included as well:

  • Interview with Gareth Thomas
  • Interview with Peter Graham Scott
  • Trivia
  • Filmographies
  • Production Overview
  • Children of the Stones TV Series Photo Gallery

 

CAST

Hendrick                                 …       Iain Cuthbertson
Adam                                        …       Gareth Thomas
Dai                                            …       Freddie Jones
Link                                          …       John Woodnutt
Margaret                                  …       Veronica Strong
Mrs Crabtree                           …       Ruth Dunning
Matthew                                   …       Peter Demin
Sandra                                       …       Katharine Levy
Kevin                                          …       Darren Hatch
Jimmo                                        …       Gary Lock
Dr Lyle                                        …       Richard Matthews
Miss Clegg                                  …       June Barrie
Browning                                    …       Hubert Tucker

 

CHILDREN OF THE STONES DVD INFORMATION

Soundtrack:              Mono.
Picture:                      4:3
Subtitles:                   None
Running time:          3 hours 7 minutes
Certificate (UK):      PG




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