I don’t usually start a review with a history lesson, but today I am going to. Children Of The Stones was a 7 part series that originally aired on British TV in the mid 70’s, actually January and February of 1977.  Back in the 70’s TV was a pretty polarized medium in the UK, as a watcher you had two choices, the government funded BBC, or the commercially funded ITV. The Beeb (as it was nicknamed) made the high quality intellectually stimulating shows, while ITV imported most of their material from the US in the form of sit coms, detective shows, and night time soap operas like Dallas.

In the mid 70’s the landscape changed, ITV suddenly woke up and started to smell the roses, making high quality programs became part of their make up.

One of those programs was Children Of The Stones. Originally aimed at the younger generation it was a Sci Fi adventure. The younger generation loved the half hour weekly show, and so did their parents. Children Of The Stones became an instant hit with young and old alike. It did not take long for this 7 episode series to take on ‘cult status’.

Using the historic site of Avebury, a stone circle and village that is far older than Stonehenge was a master stroke. Avebury has a small village inside the stone circle, what better location to weave a supernatural tale around? Folk lore has long maintained that stone circles were more than mere symbols showing thanks. Indeed many are aligned exactly to cycles of the sun and moon that one has to wonder where the knowledge came from.

When I first read the press release of the upcoming DVD I was both elated and concerned. Memory is a wonderful thing, and I had very fond memories of this show, but time tempers perceptions. I know that many times I have delved into the past to recapture it, and walked out disappointed. What was wonderful 30 years ago is now dated and boring. I could not resist a sneak peek at Children Of The Stones though, it was too ingrained in my mind not to.

I was shocked! It has not dated by one day, oh, that is one of the concepts talked about in the show! It is as vibrant today as it was 30 years ago. The photography is spectacular, the special effects may not be up to todays CGI (Computer Generated Images), but they are done like a magician practicing slight of hand, seamless, and minimalistic. With the right story line you do not need many of the visual aspects.

What I found particularly telling, was my wifes reaction to the series. She is a Cajun Gal, and certainly at no point in her life had she ever even heard of Children Of The Stone. She sat enthralled as the story unfolded.

If you are like me and watched Children Of The Stones back in the 70’s, you will want to grab a copy, if you missed it, maybe your were not born yet, well you need to watch this fabulous exploration of the unknown. You can pick up your copy from Acorn Media.

Simon Barrett

http://zzsimonb.blogspot.com

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