The Changes (TV series)

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The Changes
The Changes closing titles.jpg
Title image from end credit sequence
Genre Fantasy
Written by Peter Dickinson (novel)
Anna Home (adapter)
Directed by John Prowse
Starring Victoria Williams
Keith Ashton
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 10 (List of episodes)
Production
Producer(s) Anna Home
Location(s) Bristol
Broadcast
Original channel BBC
Original run 6 January 1975 (1975-01-06) – 10 March 1975 (1975-03-10)

The Changes is a British children's science fiction television serial filmed in 1973 and first broadcast in 1975 by the BBC. It was directed by John Prowse. It is based on the trilogy written by Peter Dickinson: The Weathermonger (1968), Heartsease (1969) and The Devil's Children (1970) (the books were written in reverse order: the events of The Devil's Children happen first, Heartsease second and The Weathermonger third).

Background[edit]

The Changes posits a Britain where a sudden enveloping noise emanating from all machinery and technology causes the population to destroy them. The resulting upheaval displaces many people and reverts society to a pre-industrial age where there is a deep suspicion of anyone who may be harbouring machinery. Even the words for technology are taboo. The remnants of modern technology that escape destruction (such as electricity pylons) produce a physical and sometimes violent repulsion among those left in Britain.

The Changes are seen through the eyes of teenage schoolgirl Nicky Gore (Victoria Williams), and the 10-part series, originally broadcast every Monday from 6 January to 10 March 1975, traces Nicky's quest to reunite with her parents and solve the mystery.

Regular cast[edit]

  • Vicky Williams as Nicky Gore
  • Keith Ashton as Jonathon
  • David Garfield as Davy Gordon
  • Rafiq Anwar as Chacha
  • Zuleika Robson as Margaret
  • Raghbir Brar as Gopal

Production notes[edit]

Despite its modest budget, The Changes was noted for its extensive location filming in Bristol, the Forest of Dean and Sharpness. Its original premise, downbeat tone and Sikh characters make it an acclaimed example of 1970s British television.

The theme and incidental music, composed by Paddy Kingsland, combines the sound of an EMS Synthi 100 synthesiser with a small live band (horn, sitar and percussion).[1] Kingsland went on to score both the radio and TV adaptations of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and incidental music for a number of Doctor Who stories in the early 1980s.

Described by BBC continuity as "a serial for older children", the TV series was freely adapted by Anna Home from a trilogy of novels by Peter Dickinson. The series took most of its material from The Weathermonger which, together with Heartsease and The Devil's Children has recently been reissued in a single volume in the UK. In the original books, however, the lead character of Nicky Gore appears only in The Devil's Children — the books have entirely separate characters, and Nicky is introduced into scenarios in which she does not appear in the books, mixing with characters from the other two books. In addition, the timespan of The Changes is considerably reduced from that of the original trilogy.

The series was shown overseas, repeated by the BBC in 1976 and on UK Gold in 1994. It was released on DVD by the BFI in August 2014.[2]

Episode guide[edit]

Note: Episode titles were given in Radio Times, but were not shown on-screen.

No. Title Guest cast Airdate
1 "The Noise" Sonia Graham (Mrs Gore), Bernard Horsfall (Mr Gore), Clyde Pollitt (Preacher), Bartlett Mullins (Old Man) Monday 6 January 1975 (1975-01-06), 5.20–5.45pm
A strange noise fills people all over Britain with a violent rage against modern technology.
2 "The Bad Wires" 13 January 1975 (1975-01-13)
Separated from her parents, Nicky joins a group of Sikhs.
3 "The Devil's Children" Arthur Hewlett (Mr Tom) 20 January 1975 (1975-01-20)
Nicky and the Sikhs settle at Brooker's Farm but are dubbed by villagers as "the Devil's Children".
4 "Hostages!" Arthur Hewlett (Mr Tom), Edward Brayshaw (Chief Robber), Derek Ware (Second Robber) 27 January 1975 (1975-01-27)
Bandits attack the village and take the children hostage.
5 "Witchcraft!" Roy Evans (Carter) 3 February 1975 (1975-02-03)
Nicky tries to track down her aunt, while the farm is visited by a witch finder.
6 "A Pile of Stones" 10 February 1975 (1975-02-10)
Nicky is found guilty of witchcraft and sentenced to death by stoning.
7 "Heartsease" Kenneth Gilbert (Innkeeper) 17 February 1975 (1975-02-17)
Nicky and Jonathon escape, pursued by the witch-finder and enraged villagers.
8 "Lightning!" Kenneth Gilbert (Innkeeper), Tom Chadbon (Michael) 24 February 1975 (1975-02-24)
Nicky and Jonathon try to escape to sea but their boat is struck by lightning.
9 "The Quarry" Tom Chadbon (Michael), Oscar Quitak (Mr Furbelow) 3 March 1975 (1975-03-03)
Nicky and Jonathon set off to investigate a mysterious power source on the other side of the mountains.
10 "The Cavern" Oscar Quitak (Mr Furbelow) 10 March 1975 (1975-03-10)
The protagonists enter a cavern and uncover the cause of the unbalancing of the world.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]