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Dramarama: Spooky - The Complete Series [ITV] [Network] [DVD]
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Providing a showcase for some of Britain s most accomplished screenwriters, Dramarama was an acclaimed 1980s anthology series which became a staple part of children s television viewing and is still widely remembered today. Spooky aired shortly before the main series was broadcast, exploring the supernatural vein that would appear throughout Dramarama s run. These outstanding screenplays venture into the dark corners of the imagination to create some of the most spine-tingling scenes ever seen on children s television! Nicholas Ball, Wilfrid Brambell and Colin Jeavons are among the performers; high-calibre writers include BAFTA-Award winner Paula Milne, Grange Hill contributor Jane Hollowood, and authors Leon Garfield and Alan Garner, both recipients of the Carnegie Medal for children s literature.
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Top Customer Reviews
Aimed at a young audience, the plays manage to achieve an effective level of atmosphere, with good performances from a cast that includes a number of familiar faces. The series kicks off in impressive fashion, with the atmospheric ghost story "War Games With Caroline". The fourth story "The Ghostly Earl" has a more humorous, light-hearted feel. Although I found some stories to be better than others, overall this is an entertaining collection, a series intended for children maybe, but with plenty for adults to enjoy as well. Although I'm more than old enough to remember this series, I never saw it first time round so my review is not clouded by nostalgia.
This collection is reminiscent of the 1970's supernatural childrens TV series "Shadows" (another Thames TV production). So if you enjoyed those tales, I wouldn't hesitate in recommending "Spooky" for your perusal.
Picture and sound quality are good, no subtitles. The only extra is a 2-minute image gallery. The inside of the DVD case features an episode synopsis, which I have included below.
*WAR GAMES WITH CAROLINE - The year is 1983. Kevin, a schoolboy addicted to war games, is visited by the ghost of a girl begging for help amid the terror and confusion of a real war. The date: October 1943.Read more ›
The storytelling is also slightly more grown-up than in Shadows. Shadows had its great episodes (The Waiting Room etc.) but its worst episodes were generally so because of an excess of childishness. In Spooky, there's a new layer of "knowingness"; you sense the writers are playing with the medium in a way that never occurred to the Shadows writers. Not that this makes the stories any better - indeed, given time this postmodern knowingness did serious damage to TV drama, especially children's, which eventually became totally sarcastic and trivial. At their best, Shadows and Spooky have a kind of seriousness, a willingness to trust children, that was soon to be lost and will likely never be recovered. We're all too clever nowadays!
Now a few notes on each episode...
War Games With Caroline
This is a competently written and directed episode that, sadly, just doesn't have much going for it. The story is thin and predictable. Would perhaps have been better as a 10-minute piece. Nice sets, adequate performances, special effects for their own sake.
The Exorcism of Amy
A badly written and bizarrely made episode which, in the end, doesn't even make sense.Read more ›
It was ok, but some episodes were very poorly executed to be honest. If you want something a little darker for children I recomend Shadows Series 1 (Series 2 is awful) Children of the Stones and King of the Castle.
Calling it spooky is not something I would use to describe the series but I am watching it through a cynical adults eyes rather than the teenager i once was.
Would recommend this DVD if you want to indulge in some well wriiten scripts & 80's nostalgia.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Back to my childhood..home from school and Dramarama, Grange Hill, Press Gang, Just Us...great shows-happy days!Published 12 months ago by nat
Excellent service and product from amazon. The series itself (7 one-off dramas) is of erratic quality but the first programme "War Games With Caroline" is simply outstanding and,... Read morePublished on 29 Sept. 2013 by Im
very good as i remember it when i was a kid though looks slightly dated now and sound quality not great though original spooky stories that brought me back to childhoodPublished on 29 Aug. 2013 by melanie Lonergan
I bought it for one episode I saw as a kid "Wargames With Caroline" and it still looked fresh and evoked memories of a subject which at the time I was fascinated in.Published on 15 July 2013 by Long Cat