Customer Review

97 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Childhood revisited, 6 May 2008
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This review is from: The Owl Service - The Complete Series [DVD] [1969] (DVD)
I was reading "The Owl Service" on holiday in Wales (1978) when, as a total coincidence, I first saw this series. At the time it seemed otherworldly and slightly confusing to an impressionable 13 year old boy. The phrase "She wants to be flowers and you make her owls" has haunted me for 30 years. Finally I can see it all and appreciate that which I was too young to fully understand at the time.

I'm glad to say that the passing of time has not diminished the slightly off-kilter atmosphere of this classic series. Unlike much of "children's TV drama" these days, "The Owl Service" keeps you off-balance and intrigued as to what's actually going on.
This is an intensely claustrophobic story of relationships within a very English (step) family and the staff of their holiday home. Set in an oppressive Welsh valley it focuses specifically on the experiences and tensions between three teenagers who are forced to relive an ancient "mythical" conflict. Using a tale from "The Mabinogion" as the basis for the conflict it explores the difficulty of growing up and dealing with attraction, jealousy, alienation, the pressures of family, responsibility and even national identity but places it all within a subtly creepy supernatural setting.

The acting may now seem slightly stilted and the patronising "Granada-enforced" recaps do somewhat spoil the deliberate ambiguity of certain events but the meaning and power of the story has survived intact and "The Owl Service" provides some of the most "adult" children's TV you will ever have the good fortune to see.

edit: A special honourable mention must be paid to Roger's shorts :)
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 Sep 2009 16:08:57 BDT
M. W. Stone says:
I think Roger's shorts were there for a purpose.

He was supposed (as far as I can work out) to be aged about 17, but the actor was a good deal older than that, and it showed. My guess is the shorts were a clumsy (and for me at least, unsuccessful) attempt to make him look younger than he really was.

Posted on 2 May 2010 14:49:08 BDT
Four Violets says:
Love this review, thanks

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Nov 2014 09:25:27 GMT
Mr. M. Leacy says:
The actor playing Roger was 21 at the time of production, so yes, older than 17
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Reviewer

G. Thomas
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Location: Canterbury UK

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