The Changes Logo

‘The Changes’ was originally a trilogy of children’s novels written by Peter Dickinson, and first published in 1969: ’The Weathermonger’, ’Heartsease’ and ’The Devil's Children’. In 1973, producer Anna Home (who later went on to become Head of the BBC’s Children’s department – and one of my former bosses!) combined and adapted the novels into a ten-part television series that captured the imaginations of children and adults everywhere, and now holds a worthy, if oft-forgotten, place in the annuls of telefantasy history.

The series follows the adventures of fourteen-year-old schoolgirl Nicky Gore – ably, if a little gawkily played by Victoria Williams, who actually celebrated her eighteenth birthday while filming the show – whose everyday life is shattered one evening after she and her parents hear a strange noise in their heads which compels them to destroy all their electrical possessions. All across the country other people find themselves succumbing to the same violent rage against technology, and soon men, women and children are forming angry mobs intent on overturning vehicles, smashing electrical machinery and destroying buildings. Nicky’s father and pregnant mother decide that they should flee to the safety of France, only to inadvertently become separated from their daughter; unfortunately for Nicky, her parents don’t seem all that concerned with looking for her, choosing instead to leave her behind in favour of saving their own skins. Having waited for several days, Nicky finally twigs that her mum and dad aren’t coming back for her, and so she decides to set off on her own to find them. On the way she befriends a group of Sikhs; helps establish a commune; gets sentenced to death as a witch; and is nearly killed in an exploding boat before finally discovering the cause of the mysterious Changes that have turned mankind into luddites.

It’s all cracking stuff, well scripted, nicely acted, and with some suitably evocative direction by John Prowse; the images of humanity’s descent into the Middle Ages are particularly memorable, as is the object responsible for the Changes, which we see in the ‘deux ex machina’ final episode. Anyone who has seen the show will be able to recall the chilling noise that signalled the Changes – and they certainly won’t be able to look at an electricity pylon in quite the same way again! It’s a shame that ‘The Changes’ has never been released on DVD – hopefully someone at the BBC will see sense soon…

The Changes - Eps 1-10

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Legal Bit: 'The Changes' is a registered trademark of BBC Worldwide; the 'The Changes' logo and all images from the television series are copyright BBC Worldwide unless otherwise stated; music is copyright the original composers and producers; no copyright infringement is intended. All specially created images and text are copyright © Clive Banks; please do not use these without my permission. All rights reserved. No profit is made from this website, and any revenue made from using the banner-links featured goes straight back into the costs of maintaining it, which comes out of my own pocket in the first place. No profit advertising is accepted. This website was created purely to entertain and amuse, and any references to persons living, dead, comatose, in suspended animation, not born yet, or a figment of someone's imagination is purely coincidental. All opinions expressed are my own, so there...

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