Sunday, 29 September 2019

The Keeper (1983)

The Keeper by Alan Garner
'The Keeper', written by Alan Garner, was the final episode of the original 'Spooky' series of the long running Dramarama series, an anthology show for children.

Garner's story concerns 'Beacon Lodge' a dilapidated and long abandoned gamekeeper's lodge where two paranormal researchers - Peter (Tim Woodward) and Sally (Janet Maw) -  settle themselves in for the night.  We know right from the off that there is something already resident, and comfortably at home, in the house and it's not best pleased at the the arrival of the interlopers. A game of scrabble and a poem set the scene for the conclusion as the secret of the house is revealed.

The Keeper by Alan Garner
At the heart of the story is a typically Garner tale of the power that resides in the land, an animistic presence that holds sway over the patch of earth.  It's a short little tale that uses many well worn tricks to build suspense - eerie acoustic instruments, predominantly a dulcimer, and a restless camera that's constantly circling and hovering just behind the Peter and, particularly, Janet - but it must be remembered this is a show made for kids for whom many of these tricks of the trade would be new and also they are well worn because they work.

A genuinely scary story from that golden age of kids television when film-makers had literally no qualms about utterly terrifying their young audience.



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2 comments:

  1. Really good, I do enjoy the short videos.

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    1. :) yeah me too. It's nice to lose yourself in a big long series but equally sometimes a short sharp shock is the way to go.

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