Sunday, 17 October 2021

The Witch's Bottle

Wyrd Britain reviews 'The Witch's Bottle' by Stewart Farrar from the ITV series 'Shadows'.

When Jill (Georgina Kean) and Steve Lancaster (Jasper Jacob) go to stay at their Uncle Mark's house Jill finds herself repulsed by the old oak tree in the garden and troubled by visions of flames.

This, the third episode of the mid 70s Thames Television series 'Shadows', is to my mind one of the gems of the entire run.  Written by Stewart Farrar, author of "What Witches Do" and perhaps the chief popularist of Wicca during the 1970s and 80s this is a light hearted and slightly frivolous tale of a, sort of, haunting and an old wrong remedied which showed that Farrar was willing to embrace the funny side of his obviously deeply held beliefs.

Director Vic Hughes made something of a career out of scaring kids with stints working on 'The Tomorrow People', 'Chocky' and the 'Spooky' first series of Dramarama and here he crafts a gentle spell punctuated by a seance scene that's guaranteed to put the wind up any watching young uns with a fine performance from Kean who would later be seen in kids fantasy programme 'King of the Castle'.  The cast is rounded out by two minor Doctor Who alumni ('The Ice Warriors' & 'The Time Monster' respectively) with a solid, if brief, appearence by Neville Barber (as Uncle Mark) and an enjoyably enigmatic performance from Wendy Gifford as the "herbalist" next door.

Buy it here - UK


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  1. For me Shadows was very much a mixed bag, but this episode certainly stands out as one of the best.