September 10th, 2013


Timey-wimey Argy-bargy

I have looked through a weird perspective glass - a tube of yew - and found myself face to face with long-forgotten scenes...

I was thinking in my usual melancholy way about the irretrievability of the past, and specifically the fact that the first two series of Ace of Wands got wiped (though happily the intro appears to have survived - how can that be?) when, snuffling after the writing credits of its creator, I came across a short play on that very theme by J. B. Priestley and Jacquetta Hawkes. "The Other Window" was broadcast as part of the children's series Shadows in 1975, by chance the year they were joint dedicatees of The Grey King:

I wanted very much to like it, but have to admit that coming from the writers of Time and the Conways and A Land this is lamentably clunky stuff, with barely a cliche of 1970s spooky children's television passed over. The kindest thing to say is that it shows just what a difficult genre this is to do well. Luckily, there are some wonderful examples to set against this one, and they are all the most lustrous for it.