Friday, 3 December 2010
Dennis Potter's adaptation of Edmund Gosse's 'Father & Son' was screened in 1976. It is the story of Edmund and his father, the naturalist and minister Philip Gosse. The Gosse household, which is held together by religious piety and strict bible study, is suffering the recent loss of Edmund's mother.
Gosse believes the story of Genesis to be literary true, but his own research into marine life challenges this belief, as does the forthcoming publication of Darwin's 'Origins of the Species by Means of Natural Selection'.
Gosse's conclusion is to place himself 'where Adam stood' - he would see fully grown flora and fauna on the day of his creation, meaning God had created the world fully formed and thereby fitting in with the recent discoveries of fossils showing the natural world was far older than the Bible would suppose.
It is clear to see that even he acknowledges the weaknesses in his own argument, meanwhile the young Edmund too is learning how to play against his father's religious beliefs when he tells how God has allowed him to have a boat he covets in the toy shop window - something his father had forbidden him to even think about.
The play contains two instances of the kind of scenes we are more used to seeing with Potter - a mad woman who attempts to sexually assault Edmund, and depictions of the boy's nightmares, in which he is approached by a Christ figure who tries to lure him into the sea.
The feel of the play, and the scenes on the beach are reminiscent of certain Pre-Raphaelite paintings - this one in particular: WILLIAM DYCE, 'Pegwell Bay, Kent, a Recollection of October 5th 1858'
Thursday, 2 December 2010
There were about 200 of these apparently, with titles including, 'Build Your Own Computer', 'Making Your Own Fancy Costumes' and 'Make a Home Museum'. Sadly, the contents never live up to the initial promise - when they say 'Computer' they mean it the same way as you might call an abacus a calculator, so even in today's money, the 3p cover price seems a bit steep.
Wednesday, 1 December 2010
Monday, 29 November 2010
One of the girls' drawings of 'Pipes'
An actor was used to play the ghost and could be glimpsed momentarily throughout the programme. Here he is by the curtain.
Following on from the Enfield poltergeist post...
BBC's Ghostwatch (1992)
A mentally disturbed man, possessed by the spirit of a 19th century child killer named Mother Seddons, hanged himself in the under-the-stairs cubby hole in the 1960s, with only his hungry cats for company. Thirty years later, the current occupants of the property, a mother and her two daughters, are plagued by paranormal activity, the daughters claim to see a bald man in a black dress with no eyes. Cue some of the BBCs most high profile presenters of the time - Michael Parkinson, husband and wife pair Mike Smith and Sarah Greene, and, er, Craig Charles - to present a proto-Most Haunted live show on Halloween night to 'prove once and for all the existence of the supernatural'.
Except the programme was not live, but a pre-recorded, albeit convincing, drama in which 'viewers' rang in throughout the show reporting strange phenomena in their own houses or spotting 'Pipes'- the nickname the family had given the ghost - in the footage. The programme ended with the 'ghost' sabotaging the video to make everything look like all was well in the house before destroying the studio, whilst in the house itself chaos reigned' complete with a teenage girl belching out an Exorcist-style voice, and Sarah Greene trapped in the fateful cubby hole with Pipes himself.
Between August 1977 and September 1978 a series of events attributed to a poltergeist were investigated at a house in Ponders End, Enfield.
An account was published as 'This House is Haunted' by Guy Lyon Playfair. There's planty of details elsewhere on the internet and an interesting report from BBC's 'Nationwide' on Youtube, but the main fascination in these pics was always the posters on the wall.