Top positive review
13 people found this helpful
The final series with a list of the stories
on 4 October 2011
This final series of seven, 25-minute supernatural/psychological tales from 1978 have a mix of contemporary and historical settings. A collection of mostly setbound stories with dated (but still charming) special effects. This third collection certainly attracted a decent line-up of guest stars (see episode list below). As with the previous two series I found some stories to be better than others.
In what is probably my favourite story of the collection, the series gets off to a good start with "Eleven O' Clock", a sensitively directed spooky tale about a father and daughter who face supernatural forces while on holiday in an old French farmhouse. Amongst some of the good performances I was impressed with Clive Swift in "And For My Next Trick", where he plays a failed magician, who while unable to hold the attention of his child audience, eventually finds himself endowed with strange powers, the ending provides an effective twist. The episode "The Boy Merlin" was developed into the 1979 children's TV series.
Of course, with this being a children's series, the stories won't exactly have you leaving a light on all night, but some of these dramas do manage to provide a few atmospheric moments.
Having watched and digested all three series, I have to say that I've enjoyed all of them (including the admittedly weaker stories). Overall I would pick the first series as my favourite, with this final collection in second place.
As with the first two series, the picture and sound quality are good. The only extra is a 3-minute image gallery, there are no subtitles. Having checked on the IMDb I found the episode synopsis to be incomplete, so I have replicated the details from the inside of the DVD case below....
*ELEVEN O'CLOCK - Linda and her father are on holiday at an old farmhouse in France. At 11am on November 11, strange things begin to happen. Supernatural forces reach out to father and daughter...
Starring Ronald Hines, Tina Heath, Anna Korwin and Stephen Galloway.
*THE ROSE OF PUDDLE FRATRUM - Where is Rose Collard the ballerina, and why did she put a curse on the ballet that made her famous?
Starring Joan Greenwood, Bryan Pringle, June Brown, Christopher Lillicrap and Duncan Lamont.
*AND FOR MY NEXT TRICK... As a magician and children's entertainer, Devine is a failure. So when he suddenly finds he has strange powers, why does a young girl fear for him?
Starring Clive Swift, Caroline Embling and Jacqueline Pearce.
*THE BOY MERLIN - Myfanwy, grandmother of a young apprentice magician Merlin, sees a vision: "Their names shall be spoken together a thousand years hence... Merlin and Arthur'.
Starring Ian Rowlands, Donald Houston and Rachel Thomas.
*THE MAN WHO HATED CHILDREN - Higgs hates all children, especially Willie and Tom. He even has plans to put children under the age of nine on leads. But then he comes up against the special magic of Peter Pan...
Starring George A. Cooper, Brian Wilde, Charles Morgan, James Ottaway, Paul Watson and William Smoker.
*THE SILVER APPLE - What is the link between the beautiful Iona, a flying carpet, twin princes, a wizard who rules the Twilight Land, and the Silver Apple? The answer: magic!
Starring Peter Duncan, Brian Peck, Rachel Herbert, Simon Turner, Olaf Pooley, Prue Clarke and George Claydon.
*HONEYANN - Strange things are happening at pop star Roddy Magee's mansion. Is Nanny what she seems to be? And why does she fear Honeyann?
Starring Madge Ryan, Adrienne Posta, Gwyneth Strong, Paul Angelis and George Waring.