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Red Shift

Alan Garner, author of supernatural ITV hit series The Owl Service adapts his own obscure, semi-mystical novel detailing the lives of three boys living in the same part of Wales – one in the present day, one in the seventeenth century, one during the Roman occupation – their existences linked by common circumstance and the appearance of a stone axehead.

A treatment of the ‘British Gothic’ tradition along similar lines to David Rudkin’s Penda’s Fen, but a less successful one – while the present day strand is solidly written and well played, the historical scenes tend, whether via script incongruities or budgetary restraints – to resemble the dreaded Churchill’s People at times. The complex narrative is a disadvantage here – whereas The Owl Service followed the traditional children’s supernatural mystery format, but approached it from an entirely new angle, the choppy plotline in Red Shift adds up to a great deal less than the sum of its occasionally intriguing, always ambitious, parts.

Screen-grabbery:
Present day... ... Roman times... ... seventeenth century.
Present day... ... yes, OK... ... we're confused.
1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Stephen Campbell

    October 10, 2014 at 9:47 am

    Its coming to DVD on the 13th of October now all we need is the BFI to release all of Alan Clarkes work for the strand

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