on 2 January 2010
I have spent many years bringing this show up in conversation thinking ,as no one seemed to remember it but me , that i had imagined it !
At last it is available on DVD. I loved it but was horrified by it at the same time. An older relation of 'Into the labyrinth'and has a very similar feel to it .
It is very ,very low budget childrens TV of the mid seventies. and looks it . I remember it being amazing and clever and scary and different at the time.and it is still very enjoyable .The low budget is very obvious and acting is terrible but give it a go.
Full of imagery that rang memory bells ,A great nostalgic item.
No extras and a very basic item but well worth another watch.
and as an added extra, probably one of the ugliest casts to appear all in one show !!!
on 1 June 2010
Like previous reviewer, Porky, I didn't seem to know anyone who could remember this series at all. So much so, that I gave up trying about 15 years ago.
I'm glad that someone else remembers anything at all about this series. I'm also glad that it isn't just me who was drawn in to what was really a very strange, odd and quite nightmarish kids TV programme.
Considering my all-time favourite programme during my childhood was 'Pipkins', I shouldn't really be surprised that 'King Of The Castle' made an impression on me.
Anyway, whether you remember it or not, this series is definitely worth a look.
on 13 January 2016
It’s still not aparent what exactly made this short 70s TV series so hauntingly memorable. Certanly not the minuscule budget, which required the star to mimic running through a set so tiny he had to jog on the spot! Some of the acting, particularly DaCosta’s isn’t great. Even the simplistic premise - one of escape, is overly drawn out over seven episodes. But there’s something about this imaginatively rendered tale, wonderfully unfettered by sets and a budget that makes classic Who look extravagant, that is so good.
The writing, which captures both a grimy high-rise reality (which resonated at the time) and dark dreamlike fantasy is helped immensely by solid performances from, among others professional Welshman Talfryn Thomas, Porridge screw Fulton Mackay, a charismatic Sean Lynch and a young Jamie Foreman, himself making an excellent Bill Sykes some years later.
The basic premiss is timeless, about an essentially good but lonely kid struggling with life’s travails, which he eventually overcomes through adversity and growing self confidence. At times it’s slowly paced and occasionally cringeworthy by today’s slick standards, but there’s a endearing quality to the drama and an honest rawness in Roland's depiction and interactions with adult weirdos, that today's fantasy offerings still find elusive.
Arguably the two greatest qualities of this show are the authentic way in which the oddball characters are portrayed, reflecting a British society that was so very different to today’s, and the sometimes unflinchingly dark but honest nature of the programme. Roland challenges many aspects of the adult world that kids find, quite rightly so, highly frustrating, among them - bullying, deeply entrenched authoritarianism, bureaucracy, needless hierarchy and parental disinterest.
Though ultimately the resolution is still unrewarding, even for these fully grown-up eyes, this is worth a look for those not just seeking nostalgia, but something rare and different that you don’t often get today.
on 29 April 2015
I remember this series well when it was first shown on ITV in 1977. The story of a boy who is trapped in a faulty lift in a block of flats.
I have just been watching the DVD of King of the Castle, and have to say that I enjoyed it very much indeed.
One thing bothers me though-the actor Philip da Costa, who played Roland in the series-I would like to know where he is now, and what he remembers of the series when it was being made. He must be in his fifties now I am guessing I wonder?
All in all though, a good purchase on DVD-thank you!