1 9 7 7 (UK)
7 x 30 minute episodes
Scientist Adam Brake (a pre-Blakes 7 Gareth Thomas) and his precocious son Matthew (Peter Demin) arrive in the sleepy village of Milbury in the west of England.
Brake is there to write a thesis on electromagnetic powers in the Neolithic stones in the remote village but instead finds the village under the grip of strange psychic powers unleashed by the sinister village squire, Hendrick (Iain Cuthbertson) – a Lord Summerisle character and a former astrophysicist of some renown.
Hendrick’s Millbury house is situated in the middle of the ancient stone circle which Brake arrives to study.
More than just the defunct “prehistoric Jodrell Bank” he envisages, this impressive monument marks the coming together of a number of still-active forces and traditions.
Matthew befriends Dai (Freddie Jones) a local tramp, who warns that he will not be able to escape the boundaries of the village because of the power of the stones.
The story that unravelled over seven episodes was remarkably complex for a show aimed at children, with a time loop that stretched back millennia. The cast, storyline and musical score were all first-rate.
Filmed on location at Avebury in Wiltshire, this incredibly eerie supernatural series from HTV was 1970s children’s television at its absolute best and is still held in high regard.
A belated sequel, Return To The Stones, by original writers Jeremy Burnham and Trevor Ray, was released in 2012, revealing what happened when a now grown-up Matthew returned to Milbury.
Peggy Ann Wood
Into the Circle | Circle of Fear | Serpent in the Circle | Narrowing Circle | Charmed Circle | Squaring the Circle | Full Circle