The Changes (TV series)

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The Changes
The Changes BBC TV title card.png
Title card
Written byPeter Dickinson (novel)
Anna Home (adapter)
Directed byJohn Prowse
StarringVictoria Williams
Keith Ashton
ComposerPaddy Kingsland
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series1
No. of episodes10 (list of episodes)
ProducerAnna Home
Production locationBristol
Running time25 minutes
Production companyBBC
Original networkBBC1
Picture format576i PAL
Audio formatMono
Original release6 January (1975-01-06) –
10 March 1975 (1975-03-10)

The Changes is a British children's science fiction television serial filmed in 1974 and first broadcast in 1975 by the BBC. It was directed by John Prowse and 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).


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 (all episodes)
  • Keith Ashton as Jonathon (episodes 5-10)
  • David Garfield as Davy Gordon (episodes 5-8)
  • Rafiq Anwar as Chacha (episodes 2-5)
  • Zuleika Robson as Margaret (episodes 5-8)
  • Raghbir Brar as Gopal (episodes 2-5)
  • Sahab Qizilbash as Grandmother (episodes 2-5)
  • Marc Zuber as Kewal (episodes 2-5)
  • Rebecca Mascarenhas as Ajeet (episodes 2-5)
  • Jack Watson as Peter (episodes 5-8)

Production notes[edit]

Despite its modest budget, The Changes had extensive location filming. This included:

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).[2] 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.[citation needed]

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.[3]

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)6 January 1975 (1975-01-06)
A strange noise fills people all over Britain with a violent rage against modern technology.
2"The Bad Wires"Bartlett Mullins (Old Man)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), James Ottoway (Maxie), David King (Mr Barnard), Nancy Gabrielle (Mrs Sallow)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), James Ottoway (Maxie), David King (Mr Barnard), 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), James Ottoway (Maxie), Stella Tanner (Anne)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"Stella Tanner (Anne), Tony Hughes (Jack)10 February 1975 (1975-02-10)
Nicky is found guilty of witchcraft and sentenced to death by stoning.
7"Heartsease"Stella Tanner (Anne), Tony Hughes (Jack), Kenneth Gilbert (Innkeeper), Daphne Neville (Villager), Godfrey Jackman (Publican)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), Merelina Kendall (Mary)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), Merelina Kendall (Mary), 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.


The Changes
Soundtrack album by
Released21 April 2018
LabelSilva Screen
BBC Radiophonic Workshop chronology
Everything You Can Imagine Is Real
''The Changes''
Doctor Who The Five Doctors

A selection of music from this serial was released as a single by BBC Records (RESL 33) in 1976.

The complete soundtrack by Paddy Kingsland was released on double white vinyl LP on 21 April 2018 for Record Store Day 2018.[4]

It was reissued as a bonus disc in the Record Store Day exclusive 6-CD box set Four Albums 1968 – 1978[5][6] 29 August 2020.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Paddy Kingsland.

Episode 1: "The Noise"
1."The Changes Opening Titles"0:35
2."Home Alone (Nicky's Theme)"3:05
3."Everybody's Gone"2:07
Episode 2: "The Bad Wires"
4."A Note on the Door"1:14
5."A Special Kind of People"3:34
6."Your Ways Are Not Our Ways"1:08
7."The Changes Closing Titles (56" Version)"1:01
Episode 3: "The Devil's Children"
8."The Bad Wires"0:58
9."The Barns"1:36
10."Life on the Farm"1:45
11."The Devil's Children"2:17
12."The Village Court"0:56
Episode 4: "Hostages!"
13."The Forge"1:34
16."The Changes Closing Titles (67" Version)"1:10
Episode 5: "Witchcraft"
17."The End of the Rescue"0:30
18."A Farewell"0:43
19."A Journey, And Arrival at Henley Farm"3:21
Episode 6: "A Pile of Stones"
20."Sentence of Death"3:07
21."Leaving Shipton"3:09
Episode 7: "Heartsease"
23."At Purton Bridge"1:10
24."The Changes Closing Titles (63" Version)"1:07
Episode 8: "Lightning!"
25."After The Bridge"1:59
26."Michael And Mary"2:09
Episode 9: "The Quarry"
27."Necromancer's Weather"3:19
28."The Quarry"2:46
29."Mr Furbelow"0:59
30."Qui Me Tangit, Turbat Mundum"2:39
31."The Changes Closing Titles (48" Version)"0:53
Episode 10: "The Cavern"
32."Into The Rock"2:59
33."The Cavern"1:53
34."Merlinus Sum"0:19
35."It's All Over"1:40
36."Everything's Alright Again (End Titles)"0:49
Bonus Tracks
37."Nicky's Theme (Stereo Demo)"1:35
38."Theme 2 Demo"1:47
39."The Noise"3:10


  1. ^ "Clearwell Caves Owner: Ray Wright". Skonnos Magazine. January 2001. Archived from the original on 18 September 2004. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  2. ^ Docherty, Mark J.; McGown, Alistair D. (2003). The Hill and Beyond: Children's Television Drama. British Film Institute. p. 89. ISBN 978-0-851-70878-2.
  3. ^ BFI DVD releases announced for August/September 2014
  4. ^ "Paddy Kingsland – Record Store Day". Record Store Day. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  5. ^ "BBC Radiophonic Workshop, The – Record Store Day".
  6. ^ "Silva Screen Records".

External links[edit]