Changes Logo 'The Changes'
(10 Parts)
by Peter Dickinson
Adapted by Anna Home
Nicky & Jonathon

While schoolgirl Nicky Gore works hard at her homework, her parents enjoy a quiet evening in front of the television. But their peace and quiet is shattered when they suddenly hear a strange noise in their heads, which compels them to destroy all their electrical possessions. The phenomenon is also experienced by the rest of the country’s population, and as men, women and children everywhere succumb to the violent rage against technology, the streets become filled with angry mobs intent on overturning vehicles, smashing electrical machinery and destroying buildings. The following morning, Nicky stubbornly insists on attending school to sit an exam; however, having made her way through the mobs of angry luddites, she discovers that her school has been closed. Returning home, Nicky finds her parents packing; it seems that the madness has yet to spread to France, and they have every intention of fleeing there. However, not long after starting their journey they become separated; Nicky decides to return home to wait for her parents, unaware that her father and pregnant mother, fearing for the welfare of their unborn child, have decided to abandon the search for their daughter and make for France. After a few days have passed, Nicky meets a group of Sikhs making their way through the city; she manages to persuade them to let her join them on their journey, and together they travel through the countryside. Passing through one village on the way they come under attack from a group of hostile men; after a scuffle the Indians see off their assailants and continue their journey, but Nicky again feels the destructive urge while passing close to the electricity pylons that stand along the fields. Eventually arriving at the abandoned Brooker's Farm, the Sikhs decide to settle down and start a new life; they begin forging tools and then look to barter with a neighbouring village. However, despite the fact that the head man, Arthur Barnard, is willing to trade, it soon becomes apparent that he is a racist; he dubs the Sikhs “the Devil’s Children” and decrees that they are not to enter his village. Over time the relationship between the two communities grows, and both groups start to get along; but when Nicky later pays a visit to Barnard’s village she discovers that a gang of robbers on horseback have taken over, having killed the head man and taken all the children hostage. Learning that Brooker's Farm is to be the robbers’ next target, Nicky and her friends decide to take the offensive; the Sikhs rescue the children and, with the aid of the other villagers, they are able to see off the robbers. After the two communities bond over their common cause, Nicky decides to leave and head for her aunt's house; but while en route her cart crashes on the rough road, and Nicky suffers a concussion. She wanders off and takes refuge in a barn, where she inadvertently bumps into a tractor, causing it to slip off its brake and crash into some milk churns; Mr Gordon, the local witch finder, immediately brands Nicky as a witch and sentences her to death by stoning. Locked up to await her fate, Nicky is saved by the farm owner’s son, Jonathon, who frees her and then burns down the barn where she is being held to throw her captors off the scent. Together they set off in Jonathon’s boat, Heartsease, but are pursued by Gordon and his angry mob; Jonathon’s parents, Margaret and Peter, help save the two fugitives, and in the confusion Gordon falls into the canal and drowns. The villagers give up their pursuit, allowing Nicky and Jonathon to head out to sea. However, a strange storm soon whips up, and the Heartsease is hit by lightening and blown to pieces; Nicky and Jonathon only just escape with their lives, and, having reached the safety of the shore, are forced to continue their journey on foot. They soon meet a woodsman named Michael, who tells them of a mysterious power source on the other side of the mountains which he is convinced is the cause of the changes. Despite the fact that she still has to find her parents, Nicky resolves to investigate; she and Jonathon set off on horseback, making their way through the rough terrain and dense woodland before eventually arriving at a quarry. Here they meet Mr. Furbelow, the former clerk of the mining works, living in a small caravan in the quarry; Furbelow is in a state of high agitation, and talks of a mysterious entity in the caves; meanwhile, Nicky once again feels the destructive force in her mind, only this time it is much stronger. Jonathon reads the clerk’s diary and learns that the quarry workers unearthed a huge, ancient stone deep underground; this unearthly obelisk was inscribed with a Latin quotation: "Merlinus Sum, Qui, Me Tangit Turbat Mundum" - whoever touches me unbalances the world. It seems that Furbelow chose to ignore the warning – by touching the stone he awoke the dormant powers within it, setting in motion the catastrophic events that have set mankind back hundreds of years…

Vicky Williams (Nicky Gore), Sonia Graham (Mrs. Gore), Bernard Horsfall (Mr. Gore), Clyde Pollitt (Preacher), Bartlett Mullins (Old Man), Rugby Brar (Gopal), Marc Zuber (Kewel), Rafiq Anwar (Chacha), Sahab Qizilbash (Grandmother), Rebecca Mascarenhas (Ajeet), Arhtur Hewlett (Tom), James Ottoway (Maxie), David King (Barnard), Nancy Gabrielle (Mrs. Sallow), Edward Brayshaw (Chief Robber), Derek Ware (Second Robber), Roy Evans (Carter), Keith Ashton (Jonathon), David Garfield (Mr. Gordon), Jack Watson (Peter), Stella Tanner (Anne), Zuleika Robson (Margaret), Tony Hughes (Jack), Kenneth Gilbert (Innkeeper), Daphne Neville (Villager), Godfrey Jackman (Publican), Merelina Kendall (Mary), Tom Chadbon (Michael), Oscar Quitak (Mr. Furbelow)

Directed by John Prowse
Produced by Anna Home

TX (BBC1):
Part 1 - 'The Noise' 6th January 1975
Part 2 - 'The Bad Wires' 13th January 1975
Part 3 - 'The Devil's Children' 20th January 1975
Part 4 - 'Hostages!' 27th January 1975
Part 5 - 'Witchcraft!' 3rd February 1975
Part 6 - 'A Pile of Stones' 10th February 1975
Part 7 - 'Heartsease' 17th February 1975
Part 8 - 'Lightning!' 25th February 1975
Part 9 - 'The Quarry' 3rd March 1975
Part 10 - 'The Cavern' 10th March 1975

*Introducing Nicky Gore