As we bid Summer a fond farewell, there is no better time to start getting in the Halloween mood, and Network clearly agrees as they are unleashing four spooky tales from their archives.
THE OWL SERVICE (1969) – REMASTERED IN HD
Filmed almost entirely on location during the spring of 1969 and broadcast during the winter of 1969-1970, this remarkable adaptation of Alan Garner’s award-winning novel was a radical production that raised the bar for what viewers could expect from a teenage drama – and which was a significant influence on children’s television throughout the 1970s. This extraordinary tale of the supernatural, sexual jealousy and class division broke new ground and is presented here as a brand-new high definition remaster from original film elements in its original full screen aspect ratio.
Alison and her stepbrother Roger are on a family holiday at a remote Welsh cottage. She discovers a service of old dinner plates, which have a strange floral pattern that turns into owls when traced to paper. But what is the connection between this owl service, the strange gardener, the angry housekeeper and the mysterious local legend? Gradually the uncanny power of the valley takes over and the legend begins to unfold.
– Archive interviews with Alan Garner from 1968 and 1980
– Commentaries on selected episodes by writer/broadcaster Tim Worthington
– Image gallery
– Limited edition booklet written by Stephen McKay, Chris Lynch and Kim Newman
The Owl Service is on Blu-ray 17 October from Network
TALES OF UNEASE (1970) – AVAILABLE FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER
A rarely seen anthology series featuring stories full of menace and black humour, Tales of Unease avoids overt horror for a subtler and altogether more unsettling sense of the uncanny. This atmospheric series features stories from novelist John Burke, playwright Michael Hastings, A Bouquet of Barbed Wire’s Andrea Newman and James Leo Herlihy – author of Midnight Cowboy. This is the first time the series has been available since its broadcast.
– Limited-edition booklet written by archive television historian Andrew Pixley
Tales of Unease is on DVD 17 October from Network
THE INTRUDER (1972) – REMASTERED IN HD
Adapted from John Rowe Townsend’s award-winning novel and produced by BAFTA winner Peter Plummer, whose credits include the highly acclaimed adaptation of Alan Garner’s The Owl Service, this unsettling and atmospheric mystery series won the prestigious Harlequin award at 1973’s BAFTAs. Starring James Bate as an isolated teenage boy who undergoes a disturbing loss of identity and Milton Johns as his unlikely nemesis, The Intruder is featured here as a brand-new high definition remaster from original film elements in its original fullscreen aspect ratio.
Arnold Haithwaite pursues his strange and solitary profession on the Cumbrian sands beside the Irish Sea. He is a sand pilot and, like a sea pilot, must know his way about; he must have a strong sense of both locality and identity. This is called into question by another figure that haunts this strange landscape: a sinister intruder who claims to be the real Arnold Haithwaite.
– Archive interview with John Rowe Townsend
– Brand-new interview with Simon Fisher Turner
– Commentaries on four episodes by Tim Worthington
– Image Gallery
– Extensive booklet by TV historian Andrew Pixley
The Intruder is on Blu-ray 17 October from Network
COME BACK LUCY: THE COMPLETE SERIES (1978)
An unsettling tale of loss, alienation and the desire for friendship, ATV’s BAFTA-nominated adaptation of Pamela Sykes’ classic novel is as haunting now as it was when first shown in the spring of 1978. Adapted by award-winning writers Colin Shindler and Gail Renard, Come Back Lucy remains a stand out production in a decade where drama series pushed boundaries and set new standards for what was acceptable on children’s television. This release contains all six episodes and is the first time the series has been available in the UK since its broadcast.
The present becomes strangely entangled with the past when Lucy’s aunt dies and she must leave the peaceful countryside to live with trendy relatives in London. In the attic of her cousins’ old Victorian house she is confronted by Alice, a girl from the past, and discovers that time has rolled back a hundred years.
– Coming Back: brand-new interviews with actor François Evans, writers Gail Renard and Colin Shindler and director Paul Harrison
– Through the Mirror: Jill Nolan and Becky Darke examine Pamela Sykes’ original novel
Come Back Lucy: The Complete Series is on DVD 17 October from Network
All four releases are exclusive to networkonair.com and come with a limited edition O-card.