Escape Into Night Logo 'Escape Into Night'

by Ruth Boswell
(Adapted from the novel
'Marianne Dreams'
by Catherine Storr)
Marianne and Mark

After fracturing her leg in a horse riding accident, young Marianne Austen is confined to her bed for six weeks. With her father away on business, Marianne’s mother does her best to keep her daughter occupied, but Marianne soon becomes fed up with her predicament – until she discovers an indelible pencil in an old sewing box, and relieves her boredom by drawing an imaginary house and garden in a sketchpad. When Marianne falls asleep that night, she finds herself on a remote cliff top facing the house from her picture, now seemingly given form – a sinister-looking building, apparently empty. Waking up, Marianne immediately draws the face of a young boy at an upstairs window… and when she dreams again, she sees the same boy looking out at her from the house. Unfortunately, the building has no stairs, so when Marianne awakes she draws another picture, this time of the interior of the house complete with staircase. Later that day, Marianne receives a visit from a home teacher, Miss Chesterfield, who has been brought in to educate her while she is off school. Falling asleep during her first lesson, Marianne returns to the strange house and meets the boy, Mark, who has no idea of how he came to be there; furthermore, not only is Mark bedridden too, he is also another of Miss Chesterfield’s pupils from the real world… The next day, Marianne daydreams during a lesson and returns to the house, where she finds the plants that she drew in the garden, and also some rocks… Mark tells Marianne that Miss Chesterfield is engaged to his uncle – and when Marianne is awoken from her dream by Miss Chesterfield, she finds that what Mark just told her about her teacher is true… The next day is Miss Chesterfield’s birthday, and Marianne asks her mother to buy some roses as a present; however, when her teacher arrives Marianne is dismayed to see that she has already been given roses by Mark – the girl immediately flies into a rage, trashing the flowers, scribbling over her drawing and putting eyes on the rocks to stop Mark from leaving the house. Tired from her tantrum, Marianne falls asleep and returns to the house, where steel bars now block the window of Mark’s room and a creepy whispering can be heard from outside. Marianne confesses to Mark about her drawing, but the boy refuses to believe her and a terrible argument ensues – and when Marianne wakes up, in a fit of anger she scribbles out the whole house and Mark too, replacing him with a drawing of her friend, Fiona. Marianne’s mother becomes concerned at her daughter’s moods, and her talk of being in her drawing. Marianne apologies to Miss Chesterfield for her actions and gives her the roses. Returning to the house, Marianne finds more of the one-eyed stones outside, and that Mark is still there, instead of Fiona. Back in her room, Marianne discovers that while she can rub out her drawing of Fiona, she cannot erase the stones because she used a different pencil to draw them… The next day, Marianne becomes upset by Miss Chesterfield’s news that Mark has been taken to hospital for special treatment. When Marianne next sees Mark in the house, she promises to draw some nice furniture to cheer him up; however, when Marianne awakes, she cannot find her pad and pencil – her mother has tidied it away and cannot remember where she put it! Marianne is distraught, and becomes even more upset on learning from Miss Chesterfield that Mark’s chest infection has gotten worse. When Mrs Austen finally finds the sketchpad in a desk drawer Marianne is elated; she immediately visits Mark – only to learn that the boy has no knowledge of just how ill he really is. Determined to help, Marianne draws Mark a huge bed and some food, and together they enjoy a picnic; with the appearance of these new comforts, Mark finally believes Marianne’s claims about her drawings – particularly when the food they have eaten keeps reappearing again and again! However, despite their growing friendship, Mark is still terrified by something outside – and when Marianne looks, she is shocked to see that the sinister stones have grown bigger, have moved closer to the house, and are watching the children with evil, glowing eyes… Terrified that the stones will kill Mark, Marianne draws the boy a bicycle to help him escape; Mark protests that he is too weak, but with Marianne’s help and encouragement he is able to go downstairs and start practicing riding. Using the bicycle’s lamp, the two children risk a look outside at the stones – and to their delight they discover that its light blinds the monsters. Waking up, Marianne immediately draws a lighthouse to keep the stones at bay – but when she returns to the house she is horrified to discover that the light just helps the creatures to see inside better. With the cyclopean stones now mere yards away from the front door, Marianne tries to cheer up Mark by turning on the radio she has drawn for him – only to learn that the stones have taken over the device: as the children listen in fear, the monstrous stones declare that they are coming for their victims…

Vicki Chambers (Marianne Austen), Steven Jones (Mark), Sonia Graham (Mrs Austen), Patricia Maynard (Miss Chesterfield), Edmund Pegge (Doctor Burton)

Directed by Richard Brammall
Produced by Alan Coleman

Episode 1: 19th April 1972
Episode 2: 26th April 1972
Episode 3: 3rd May 1972
Episode 4: 10th May 1972
Episode 5: 17th May 1972
Episode 6: 24th May 1972

*Introducing Marianne and Mark

*Although originally transmitted in colour, only black and white film copies of each episode exist in the archive