Just finished watching The Owl Service on DVD - how this could have been shown on children's television seems inexplicable these days, with its very adult subject matter. I found parts of it quite disturbing and I'm still not sure if I actually understood it - no wonder Granada included a resume at the start of each installment telling you information that hadn't in fact been made clear in the previous episodes! Based on the book by once-popular author Alan Garner (I asked for it in East Sussex libraries and they don't have a single copy)it tells the story of a recurring piece of Welsh folklore and its effects on a two boys and a girl in their late teens. The girl is played by Gillian Hills, a bit of a cult star, with a career in French pop and parts in A Clockwork Orange and Blow Up (now married to the manager of AC/DC apparently). There are some amazing camera angles in the earlier episodes that make parts of it fairly avant garde and a scene at the end that prefigures The Exorcist. It's one of those productions that is supposedly 'cursed' and I was very upset to read that Michael Holden who played the Welsh boy Gywn (not a great performance but he showed promise) was beaten to death by two louts in the Rose & Crown pub, just off Piccadilly (mentioned in my Folklore of London) in an unprovoked attack in September 1977. Talking of cult early 1970s television - Found Objects (see list opposite) has a link to Penda's Fen mentioned in an earlier post (Old Weird Britain) - at last I (and you, dear reader) have a chance to see it in its entirety.
Author of Subterranean City, Beneath the Streets of London, London's Coffee Houses, Decadent London, The Folklore of London, Subterranean City (Revised and Expanded Edition), Netherwood, Last Resort of Aleister Crowley, Lord of Strange Deaths, the Fiendish World of Sax Rohmer; Secret Tunnels in England, Folklore and Fact