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4.4 out of 5 stars25
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 18 December 2010
I didn't see this during the late 1970s, when it first aired. But I had heard something about it. And, as a fan of 70s cult TV, I was keen to check it out. I'm glad I did, because I enjoyed it a lot. But it won't be to everyone's taste.

The plot is simple. The family of the conductor of the Bristol Chamber Orchestra move into a spooky old house in the Clifton area of Bristol, which has been in the family of its previous owners for centuries. A series of strange events occur. The two sons then enrol the assistance of ghost hunter extraordinaire, Milton Guest, beautifully hammed up by Peter Sallis. The daughter Jenny, however, feels sorry for the ghosts and wants them to stay. There's a back-story involving the 1831 Bristol Riots, which allows the producers to get some local history in. In the end, the ghosts are exorcised... or are they?

The results are decidedly odd. The first three or four episodes are genuinely eerie. Then, with the appearance of Peter Sallis, it all goes a bit Rentaghost. The final episode is almost comic. At other times it feels like a schools programme, with its low production values and large slices of local history clumsily introduced into the dialogue (Bristoleans hoping for nostalgic shots of 1970s Clifton will, however, be disappointed - it's shot entirely in the studio). Personally, I found it charming - it took me right back to my 70s childhood when there was lots of this sort of thing on the box. But if you're likely to be put off by creaky sets and dodgy special effects, or are looking for something more spine-tingling, this might not be for you.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 15 March 2011
Produced by TV company HTV West, who earlier gave us that excellent, atmospheric series "The Children Of The Stones", this enjoyable spooky story, aimed at a young audience, was originally broadcast in 1978.
This series tells the story of a family who move into a neglected murky old house in Bristol, unbeknown to them the house holds many secrets, and following a series of supernatural occurrences, the family realise they are not alone, and eventually discover a skeleton in a walled-up room.

The most familiar face amongst the cast is Peter Sallis, as eccentric ghost hunter Milton Guest, who is called in to lay the troubled spirits to rest.
The later stages of the series, in my opinion, lose a considerable amount of the atmosphere of the earlier episodes, which prompted me to award four stars instead of five, but it's still a good series. What modern audiences will make of it is hard to predict, but for those like me with fond memories of childrens dramas from the 1970's, this is worth adding to your collection.

This series was another feather in the cap for HTV West, who had a glowing reputation for their childrens dramas. This Network release contains all six, 25 minute episodes, with good picture and sound quality. No extras or subtitles.
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on 24 April 2013
As a small boy I was entranced by the Clifton House Mystery. I have always loved ghost stories and this one stayed within my imagination for very many years.
So I was delighted to purchase the entire series on DVD. I could now relieve my boyhood dreams whenever I wanted to.
The seller was excellent and the DVD arrived in only 48 hrs. This impressed me and I would not hesitate to use this seller again in the near future. This series remains wonderful with strong acting from all of the cast. I would recommend this wonderful series to very many of my friends in the future. Keep up the good work Amazon!

Regards Tim Cole, Winning Bidder
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on 27 May 2010
Simple, unpretentious, atmospheric, some genuinely spooky moments, good characterisation. Bristolians will love the frequent references to local history and geography (both integral to the plot). Slightly weird last episode. If you're a fan of 1960s-70s kids dramas you will absolutely love this.
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on 14 December 2011
I didn't see this back in the Seventies, but bought the DVD on the strength of the reviews here and elsewhere. I'm glad I did; it's a thoroughly enjoyable story with some nicely scary moments.

I disagree with the person who complained about "just how bad children's tv drama from the 70's could be". Nope; a lot of it was actually very good -- think of the individual stories in The Shadows (1975-78), or Alan Garner's The Owl Service from the beginning of the decade, or his terrifying Red Shift from 1978, the same year as The Clifton House Mystery. This certainly isn't faultless -- the children tend to go to their spot and project their perfectly-rehearsed lines, and the parents are a tad stereotyped in their roles -- but for me that didn't spoil the enjoyment at all. The only thing that I found irritating was the music box/sig tune; once it got in my head it was difficult to shift.

What I found amusing, and very much of its time, was just how middle-class the children were, when today we're used to all kids on TV, even those from professional families, being streetwise and a bit in-yer-face. I don't think the kids from Seventies' TV series exist today -- but perhaps they never did.
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on 15 February 2013
The series arrived in good condition on a two disc set. DVD 2 only had the last episode plus a taster of other almost contemporary drama. Most of the action is confined to the house that the family have moved to but, as the plot unfolds, this doesn't really matter as the acting of all the cast is excellent. My only real criticism is that some scenes seem to hurtle to the ad time (none of course on the discs) & where a ghost story should linger, it doesn't
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on 7 June 2015
I loved this. I had never seen it as a child, but it's just the kind of ghost story / TV series I think any child or young teen would enjoy. Of course being a 1970s series, it lacks the kind of special FX and high-octane adrenalin rush that seems to characterize every kid's movie these days. It's just a different style and should be enjoyed for what it is.
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on 21 June 2015
THIS IS A GOOD LITTLE SERIES, PACED JUST RIGHT. IN FACT IN AN AGE OF FAR TO GOOD LOOKING RUNNING AROUND PLAYING DEVIL WORSHIP AND SORTING OUT THE PROBLEM OF EVERY GHOST THEY COME INTO CONTACT WITH....SO LIKE OK....LETS GO BACK TO TALKING ABOUT BOYS AGAIN...PUSH HAIR BEHIND EARS AND GO ALL GOOFY......NO IN THE CLIFTON HOUSE MYSTERY YOU WAIT MY FRIENDS...AND ITS VERY ATMOSPHERIC...WITH PETER SALLIS PLAYING THE LONE SORTER-OUTER IN THIS BRISTOL SETTING. THIS IS THE 1970S AND LOTS OF CHAT WAS A BIT TOO MUCH FOR THE YOUNGSTERS IN MY HOUSE....BUT BY THE END OF EPISODE 6....THEY UNDERSTOOD WHAT I WAS TRYING TO TELL THEM....NO SCANTY..NO SWEARING...NO POUTING..JUST GOOD FUN WITH A BIT OF HISTORY THROWN IN...THE CLIFTON HOUSE MYSTERY....ENJOY...VIA AMAZON U.K.
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on 21 March 2013
enjoyed this blast from the past, i am going through a 70's reminising time at the moment catching up with the programmes i watched as a kid and enjoying it. quite dated but worth a look.
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on 14 March 2010
This is one of those programmes I can remember being on TV but never watched at the time which is surprising as I was a big fan of Amanda Kirby (Jenny) who appears in it.
The story is enjoyable and overall the programme is a typical example of a children's drama made in the late 70s - studio bound, drab sets and dark lighting.
All the Network DVD releases are well done but a nice extra might have been a short documentary about the Bristol Riots.
The only character I didn't like was the mother who comes across as a full-time moaner.
PS
Is that Roger Lloyd-Pack in the background with a beard, moving boxes around?
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