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The Changes (2-Disc DVD Set)

32 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Victoria Williams, Sonia Graham, Bernard Horsfall
  • Directors: John Prowse
  • Format: Dolby, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Bfi
  • DVD Release Date: 25 Aug. 2014
  • Run Time: 246 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00KH6JQ5W
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,269 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Directed by John Prowse

The long awaited DVD premiere of this influential science-fiction series, which was first broadcast on BBC1 in early 1975. Well remembered for its unsettling depiction of a society in meltdown, The Changes paved the way for the likes of Survivors and Day of the Triffids.

When a strange noise is emitted from machinery and electricity pylons, previously placid and easy-going folk turn violently against the technology that surrounds them ruthlessly attacking radios, TVs and other domestic appliances. In the devastating aftermath, young Nicky Gore (Victoria Williams) is separated from her parents, but finds a surrogate home with a group of Sikhs. But they soon are dubbed 'The Devil's' Children by superstitious locals and Nicky is accused of sorcery by a witchfinder. In grave danger, she is forced to find a way to escape, find her parents and uncover what caused the world to become so unbalanced.

This highly acclaimed series was adapted from Peter Dickinson's best-selling trilogy by Anna Home (who would later become chief executive of the Children's Film and Television Foundation), and features music by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop's Paddy Kingsland (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Its gritty depiction of a near-apocalyptic world, and its integration of Sikh characters make it as progressive and fascinating now as it was when it was first broadcast.

Special features /Episode List

  • At Home in Britain (1983): a short film made by the COI to educate a wide range of UK viewers about everyday lives and different faiths of Asian residents living in Britain
  • Stills gallery
  • The Noise | The Bad Wires | The Devil's Children | Hostages! | Witchcraft! | A Pile of Stones | Heartsease | Lightning | The Quarry | The Cavern
  • Illustrated booklet featuring essays by Paddy Kingsland, Peter Wright, Michael Bonner, Lisa Kerrigan, Kathleen Luckey and Rebecca Vick

UK | 1975 | colour | English language, with optional hard-of-hearing subtitles | 246 minutes | Original aspect ratio 1.33:1 | 2 x DVD9 | PAL | Dolby Digital mono audio (320kbps) | Cert PG (contains violence, threat) | region 2 DVD

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 63 people found the following review helpful By John McDevitt on 2 Jun. 2014
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The Changes is finally being released on home video, and I'm beyond thrilled! Over the last decade, I've become a giant fan of British children's television from the '70s and '80s. Their depth and strangeness are so refreshing compared to the shallow, streamlined family entertainment that is all too popular these days.

I'm an American who grew up in the '90s, but I've always loved television sci fi and fantasy, especially older shows like The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits. It wasn't until my adult life that I discovered Children of the Stones, and I couldn't resist finding more programs just like it!

The Changes happens to be one of the best examples of pretty much everything that made children's shows so wonderful all those years ago in England: a weird, scary premise (Suddenly everyone is filled with violent rage against modern technology.), diverse characters (The lead is a wonderfully resilient young woman, and, during her journey, she meets a variety of fascinating people.), a continuing story that works as a coherent whole with exciting cliffhangers along the way (I wouldn't dare spoil the surprises!), gritty twists that challenge the audience with tough questions about us and our future (What role should technology play in our lives? What are the different ways people respond to catastrophic events?), and a generous helping of local history and legend (I wouldn't dare spoil this part either!).

This production undoubtedly shows its age, but that adds to the charm! The viewer is transported back to the '70s and catches a glimpse of urban and rural life of the day. Also, the writing is way ahead of its time, giving the story a solid beginning, middle, and end; it's ambitious, perfectly focused, and unrelenting in its suspense.

If you've never seen The Changes, if you like science fiction and fantasy, and if you can appreciate what others might consider a diamond in the rough, please give this a look. It's a masterpiece!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mr. J. G. Allison on 26 Aug. 2014
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I pre-ordered this series as soon as I discovered BFI were releasing it. I remember watching this, aged 12, when it was originally broadcast, in 1975. I imagine like many others, I had been waiting for a DVD issue of it for many years.

So, when it arrived, I watched every episode in one sitting. It is a remarkable series, with more insight and foresight into issues of environment and race than is found in many adult dramas, even today. At a time when white actors were "blacking up" in series such as "It Ain't Half Hot Mum," to play Asian characters, with producers failing to find roles for real Asian actors, "The Changes" proves how blinkered this attitude was. The Sikh family group are shown as positive characters; they are the ones who listen to other opinions before making decisions and are keen to co-operate with the villagers. They are also seen as kind and welcoming and wanting positive role models for their children.

The environmental issues around the fear of machines and pollution are relevant today, highlighting constantly the need for balance between humans living in harmony and the need for progress. The series, adapted from Peter Dickinson's books, was years, if not decades, ahead of its time.

As far as the DVD goes, BFI have included an excellent, 28-page, booklet on the making of the series. However, as collectors and fans of classic TV have been waiting a long time for this series, the extras are virtually non-existent, just including a short film about Asians adapting to life in Britain and stills galleries.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Armchair Pundit VINE VOICE on 12 Jun. 2014
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"...they're awful, they frighten me, they're evil and wicked and dangerous!"
(The Bad Wires)

An unexplained phenomenon suddenly compels people to smash the trappings of the modern age - TVs, Phones and cars, then leave the cities for a more pastorial existence.
Only a few people are unaffected, one of whom is teenager Nicky Gore. Her family decide to get to France to escape the sound but Nicky is seperated from them.
After many exciting adventures, where along the way she meets up with a band of Sikhs also unaffected, she finally finds the reason for The Changes!
Substitute a sound for a bacterial plague and you could be watching a childrens version of Terry Nations "Survivors".
Visually this show stands out from most BBC shows from the 70s as it was shot on film, with not a single video camera in sight.
Also before episode one went out the announcer warned that it was not suitable for young children.
Episode titles - not seen on screen these were published in the Radio Times.
The Noise, The Bad Wires, The Devil's Children, Hostages!, Witchcraft!, A Pile of Stones, Heartsease, Lightning!, The Quarry, The Cavern.
Airdate - 6 January - 10 March 1975.
The author of the trilogy of books this show is based on, Peter Dickinson also had an input in the script, so the spirit of the books remain, even if many of the situations have changed.
This is a masterpiece of childrens TV - moodily shot, epic in scope and thought provoking.
Special Features:
At home in Britain (1983)
Stills gallery
Illustrated booklet.
If you like this you make like other childrens shows from the 70s - Sky, Children of the Stones and King of the Castle.
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