Sunday, 26 August 2018

Sky

Sky (1975) title screen
Made by HTV West - who were also responsible for such wyrd wonders as 'Children of the Stones', 'Into the Labyrinth', 'Arthur of the Britons' and 'Robin of Sherwood' - 'Sky' is the story of a young man with solid blue eyes and strange powers found, buried under some leaves, in the woods who turns out to be a traveller from another time and dimension who has landed in 1970's Britain by mistake (as if anyone would go there on purpose).  Needing to find the 'Juganet' (a circle of power) that will enable him to complete his journey he co-opts the help of a trio of kids but ranged against them are the forces of nature in the shape of trees (leaves seem to particularly dislike him), wildlife and a spontaneously generated 'human' named Ambrose Goodchild (Robert Eddison) as the Earth tries to rid itself of this anomaly.

Sky uses his powers to stop Arby from leaving the cave.
Sky - the character - is an utterly alien presence who considers himself almost a god and views his helpers with a disdain bordering on contempt which makes him difficult to like.  We assume his motives are pure - he is the title character after all - but his manner is less than endearing.  Marc Harrison plays him with an ethereal otherworldliness that keeps him above and beyond his mortal helpers.

Written by the Doctor Who writing team of Bob Baker and Dave Martin the show is unapologetically odd. It makes no bones of it's contempt for the short-sightedness and self-destructive nature of contemporary society and like many of it's contemporaries it has at its core an ecological and almost neo-pagan sensibility that revolves around earth magic and, of course, ancient stone monuments.

Sky (1975) stonehenge
There are some definite pacing issues and it certainly could have benefited from trimming off an episode but it is, on the whole, a wonderfully disconcerting watch and another in that great 1970s tradition of making shows for kids that had the power to actually terrify them.  Scenes of Sky and his cohort being attacked by plants and animals soundtracked with a tumultuous, synthesised, atonal, sonic squall (courtesy of Eric Wetherell) are still as effective as they were 43 years ago and the series remains as disturbingly strange and enjoyable as it ever was.

Buy it here - Sky - The Complete Series [DVD] - or watch it below.

No comments:

Post a Comment