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They don't make them like this anymore
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.