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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Television Series - The Stones with the Eyes
I have wanted to see this television series ever since I read the book upon which it is based "Marianne Dreams" by Catherine Storr. There was a film made in the 1980s also based on the book entitled "Paperhouse" which was a very good film but which only took certain elements from the book and made extensive changes to the basic story. The DVD is in black and white but...
Published on 29 July 2010 by Miriam Daly

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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bored not Awed.
This adaptation of Catherine Storr's Marianne Dreams is wordy, slow and clunky and still a must see for lovers of the book and fans of British 70's children's drama.
On the plus side Marianne's claustrophobia is captured powerfully, both in her confinement to bed and within the eerie confine of her nightmare house, shared with her companion Mark while the actor...
Published on 21 May 2011 by Hypatia


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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Television Series - The Stones with the Eyes, 29 July 2010
By 
Miriam Daly (Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Escape into Night - The Complete Series (DVD)
I have wanted to see this television series ever since I read the book upon which it is based "Marianne Dreams" by Catherine Storr. There was a film made in the 1980s also based on the book entitled "Paperhouse" which was a very good film but which only took certain elements from the book and made extensive changes to the basic story. The DVD is in black and white but this actually enhances the atmosphere and eeriness of the production.

Following a riding accident (an illness in the book) Marianne is confined to bed for six weeks. After finding a pencil in her grandmother's workbox she draws a house in her sketchbook. She then has a dream in which she finds herself in a desolate landscape with nothing but a sinister house offering a refuge from it. However she is unable to enter the house as there is no door handle and the house appears to be empty. When she wakes she realises that the house she dreamed of is the one she drew in her sketchbook and so she draws a door handle and someone at the window so that she will be able to enter the house.

This is the beginning of a strange dark journey for Marianne. The figure she drew at the window materialises in her dream as a boy named Mark and they have an antagonistic relationship caused by their fear of the surroundings and the fact that Mark is ill and can't walk. As the series continues and Marianne discovers through her home tutor Miss Chesterfield that there is a boy called Mark in the "real" world who is ill her dreams grow more sinister and frightening. One day when she is in a temper Marianne draws stone sentinels with one eye outside the house in her sketchbook and of course they appear in all their grim horror in the dream. The increasingly frightened children must put aside their differences and try to escape from the house before the malevolent stones completely entomb them or break into the house to kill them.

This television series is one of a kind. The atmosphere and sense of pervading evil is reminiscent (to me) of the film "The Innocents" (although the stories are completely different). There are no highly technical special effects but the camerawork, lighting and sets generate extreme menace and create images that stay in the mind. I would recommend this series to anyone, not just for children, as it is a thought provoking and imaginative story and if you bear in mind that it was produced for television in the 1970s you may be amazed at how quickly you can become immersed in the events depicted and also be reminded that gore and sudden shocks are not needed for something to be truly frightening.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We Are Coming!!, 3 Oct 2009
By 
D. Brown "The Molk" (Long Eaton, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Escape into Night - The Complete Series (DVD)
Like "PaulD" I too remember this from when I was a kid. I was a bit older though at 10, but it still made a powerful impression on me. I watched the film "Paperhouse" a few years ago, and it didn't ring the same bell. But now the original has finally been re-released, and I can finally see what scared the pants off me all those years ago.

And it didn't disappoint. Although the directing is not what audiences today are used to (very long takes, slow pans across rooms), the children are good actors and there are some genuinely startling moments in there. The effects aren't great, but then they don't have to be. There's no need for flashy CGI or even primitive CSO, as this programme is all about atmosphere. The world of Marianne's dream is a house on a moor, dark and musty, with cobwebs on the wooden stairs, and (like all dreams) there is a sense of lurking menace from the very beginning.

We didn't have a colour TV when I watched this, so I'm not missing anything by this release only being in B&W. In fact I can't see what colour would add. Most people appear to dream in monochrome anyway.

I think the best recommendation is that I watched this with my 11-year old son. Brought up on a diet of Star Wars, new Doctor Who, and SpongeBob, I thought he'd be bored, but he genuinely enjoyed it, and at some points was actually scared ("...a little bit.").

"Not The Light! Not...The...Light!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lasting Memories, 24 Oct 2012
This review is from: Escape into Night - The Complete Series (DVD)
Having read other reviews here, we are all "40" something people I think, age wise.

The one thing that is clear is that this series left an unforgettable scar on the mind, whether you watched it at the age of 4 or 10. I must admit that it gave me sleepless nights when I watched it as a 7 year old in April 1972. I too have bought the dvd, put together from various old existing footage - and like many many others I watched it originally in black & white & would agree that retaining it in black & white adds to the atmosphere & enjoyment.

The dvd did not disappoint. Watching as an adult in 2012 I appreciated the true depth of the storyline, essentially the fears & obstacles of making the transition from child to adult. The stones represent the adults, and there is one scene where Marianne wakes up from a troubled dream to find her mother & doctor by her beside, with clever camera panning giving the clue that they are surrounding her (like the stones & adulthood creeping up).

This was a truly ground breaking series & was aired back in the day when age classifications did not exist. I can understand why the dvd has a 12 classification.

The series retained the accuracy of the Catherine Storr 1958 book "Marianne Dreams", which I have also read. I would agree that the 1980's film "Paperhouse" diverts somewhat from the original story but is ok if you acknowledge that it is only loosely based on on the original.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth waiting for., 27 April 2010
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This review is from: Escape into Night - The Complete Series (DVD)
This series has crept up in conversation over the years with the usual "girl drawing stones/house/boy" references and after some research found it was called "Escape into Night". At the time it was unavailable but found clips on you tube. I still wasn't sure what the fascination was. I bought "Picture House" because it referred to Catherine Storr's book "Marianne Dreams" and even bought the book. Still wasn't sure what it was that made this series stand in my poor memory for so long.
At last its been released! I didn't even question the price, which is excellent value anyway. Put it in the old machine to watch and did it in two sessions. The first three episodes tell the story of a bed ridden girl who discovers a pencil with magic properties. A bit childish for a 48 year old? Maybe. The end credits then reminded me of a gripping moment in time when I was about 9 years old. The drawn faces turn into real people. Brilliant! Simple! The images gripped me but the insane whistling reminded me of a child doodling and making up tunes as they went along...Next evening I'm into my second memory trip. It is only when the stones voices come out of the radio in "Dalek like" ring modulating tones that I realise what the fuss was all about.
I wont ruin the story for anyone who doesn't know it but quite simply this is a massive nostalgia trip well worth taking. The quality is very good for the time. monochrome, not really a let down as it was originally in colour because we only had a monochrome set at the time and was all the more authentic for it.When the ATV emblem pops up at the beginning I'm almost prepared for Crossroads but saved from reliving that experience.
Obviously this DVD has found its way next to my collection of Timeslip and Doctor Who classics. The Tomorrow People I hide under the bed...I do have standards you know!
Oh and the delivery was first class!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WELL WORTH THE LONG WAIT, 10 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Escape into Night - The Complete Series (DVD)
I've waited over 40 years to see this program again and the "Stones" have been sitting at the back of my mind all this time. Finally I can put the ghost of the Stones to rest. They aren't has frightening as an adult but they did scare me as a child. The atmosphere was created by sound effects especially the ticking grandfather clock on the stair case.

I watched all 6 episodes in in sitting.

I'm glad that it's B/W because that's how I remember it.

Yes, it has to be the most scariest childrens program ever.

If in doubt and the stones are still haunting you, don't hesitate to re-watch this. I wasn't dissapointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars still traumatised 40 years later, 3 Sep 2011
This review is from: Escape into Night - The Complete Series (DVD)
The scariest childrens TV program ever ?? Too right !! Why I was ever allowed to watch this at the age of 5 I'll never know, clearly dad was working & mum was cooking, but I wish I never had. This program has nagged away in the back of my mind since 1972, maybe to see it again will erase the genuine fear I've felt about it since then.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Escaping, 9 Nov 2012
This review is from: Escape into Night - The Complete Series (DVD)
I first watched "Escape into Night" as a thirteen year old in April/May 1972,it lodged in my mind & has been there ever since.
When I viewed it again 40 years later I realised that it was my favourite childhood TV program,beating stiff competition such as "Do Not Adjust Your Set","Top Cat","Robinson Crusoe" etc.
The story is of Marianne,bedridden for several weeks by an accident,who sketches in her drawing book to relieve the boredom of her situation.Using an ancient pencil found in an old workbox,she draws a rickety house & Soon after Marianne has a vivid dream about a very similar house.She makes a connection between the dream & her drawing...things start to escalate as she adds more to the drawing (including the figure of a boy & later,stone "guards" each with a single eye).
In her dreams she meets the boy,who is called Mark & they develope a somewhat strained friendship:co-incidently back in her ordinary life she has a teacher,Miss Chesterfield,who also has "Mark" as a pupil.
As things progress,dreams & reality entwine,becoming increasingly dangerous for Marianne & Mark as the need to escape the house becomes more urgent.

The direction was slow paced,but this allowed the characters to develope & a chilling air of underlying menace was achieved.
The cast was excellent,particularly Vikki Chambers who's portrayal of Marianne was remarkable - I especially liked the "roses" scene,featuring Marianne & Miss Chesterfield.
To be honest,you could remake this 20 times & not improve on it - I didn't care for "Paperhouse" a more recent adaptation,it seemed rather flat in comparison.

Nostalgic rather than dated,this strange,complex & engaging TV series is a delightful oddity that puts much of today's bland TV slurry to shame.
What a pity the original colour version was junked - inexcusable!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars facinating, 11 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Escape into Night - The Complete Series (DVD)
I remember seeing this in 1972 when i was 7 and was scared and captivated, seeing it so many years later and owning it on dvd was thrilling even though in black and white[i had a black and white tv when i first saw it]. I have just read the book by Catherine Storr and purchased the PAPERHOUSE dvd but found that the latter lacked the creepy stones with eyes found in the original tv series and book. RICHARD JAMIESON, EDINBURGH. all these items were purchased from AMAZON
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars classic children's TV, 28 Aug 2012
By 
Miss M. Potter "marcia" (england) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Escape into Night - The Complete Series (DVD)
This was an interesting and memorable children's TV show from the early 1970s. It is still an interesting story.
A girl is ill in bed and passes the time drawing in a book. Fantasy and reality merge when she draws a house and a boy in the window then dreams that she really goes to the house.
The house is a bit creepy and the boy not to her liking at first so she draws stones all around the house with eyes that watch the boy as he looks out. The boy cannot walk.
The girl has a Teacher at home who tells her that she also teaches a boy that is also sick and at home. He can't walk.
After further visits to the house the girl makes friends with the boy and tries to help him walk but outside the stones are moving closer and closer to the house.
The series is very good although a bit dated in its effects and acting and sadly the original colour film has been lost so this is presented in black and white.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Escaped me for too long, 5 Aug 2011
This review is from: Escape into Night - The Complete Series (DVD)
For many years, I've had vague memories of stones with one eye, and a desperate need to get away from them; but it's only recently that I've discovered where that memory came from.

It wasn't till I was looking through some of the reviews for old TV series', that I finally found out that the programme that I had those flashes of memory of was 'Escape into Night', and I'm so pleased that I've finally been able to watch it in full.
Of course, after waiting so long to see it, there is a bit of a worry that it's not going to be as good as when I first saw it - but it was. Even the fact that it's only the black and white version doesn't detract from the programme, in fact, if anything, it's better than seeing it in colour, because I originally saw it in black and white.

Does it stand up to modern kid's programmes? Well, there are far fewer special effects than kids are used to these days, and (thinking about the plot as an adult) there are one or two small holes. But hey, this is from 1972, and some of those things you don't think about as a kid, so I have to say it's as good as anything that I've seen recently.

If you're in to some 1970's nostalgia, or just have that creeping feeling when you walk past stones at night, then you really should add this DVD to your collection. Now, where did I put those flared trousers...?
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