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Recently bereaved teenager Alison goes with her step brother to stay for the summer in the quiet retreat of a relatives house in the Welsh Valleys. After hearing a scratching noise coming from the roof of the house, Alison discovers some old dinner plates in the attic which have a flowered owl pattern. What is the connection between this, the loony gardener, the angry housekeeper and the legend of the old village magician, who made a wife out of flowers and later turned into an owl when she betrayed him?Written by
Having enjoyed Children of the Stones recently I bought this expecting great things of another (supposed) classic of spooky children's (or young adult's) TV drama. I have to report that I was sorely disappointed.
Somehow, despite having a very limited number of locations and cast or, in fact, anything very much happening for long periods the story is still extremely difficult to follow. The direction is uneven; plot lines tail off and are never explained or resolved and the acting is often inept sometimes verging on the pantomimic. The decision not to even show one of the main characters (Margaret I wonder if Mat Lucas and David Walliams were taking notes?) just adds to the general confusion.
This is a real shame because the storyline has great potential and there are odd flashes of brilliance. You just feel the whole thing could have been much more effectively and concisely told in half the time and that the necessity of padding it out over eight episodes left even those involved unsure as to what the hell was going on.
I can only put it down to the inexperience of Peter Plummer and Alan Garner in writing and directing TV drama. Both of them were also probably too close to the material to be able to see what a tangled mess they were creating.
On the plus side, the title sequence is great; Gillian Hills is wonderfully sexy and her relationship with Michael Holden is touching and occasionally quite erotic. Francis Wallis as Roger, on the other hand, is such a moaning prig it's impossible to feel any sympathy for him at all.
View as a weird late '60s TV curio just don't expect a satisfying dramatic experience.
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