1 9 7 3 (UK)
6 x 15 minute episodes
Young Timothy is spending a seaside holiday with his parents when, intrigued by a sound only he can hear, he enters a cave and falls into the water which trickles along its floor. He discovers a magic fountain that can take him back in time.
It’s a happy accident that leads to a meeting with a monk, the exploration of a colourful new dimension and a battle with a sinister waiter who believes a local legend about a hidden cache of riches and wants to rob the magic fountain of its treasures.
Timothy discovers a secret passage leading from the seashore and the waiter is dragged by the flood of water into a subterranean passage.
But the young lad becomes trapped on a rock ledge by a lifeguard who is trying to discover his secret, and so leaps into the sea to escape.
Timothy eventually discovers he is the only one who can work the fountain and, in his last adventure, his trip through time takes him to the beginning of the fountain itself where he discovers how the monk’s attempts at building it ended in tragedy when it was completed.
This six-part illustrated series from Yorkshire Television was narrated by Edward Judd and featured Moog synthesizer music produced electronically by Alan Hawkshaw. The artwork was by Michael Hirsh.
The sci-fi atmosphere was heightened by the use of Zoran Perisic’s special optical effects which were used in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). To present a psychedelic “trip” in time and space, a special camera was developed for the movie, which Perisic eventually adapted for television.
The technique was called a “slit-scan”, with the film exposed through a tiny slit of light via two shutters: one is always open, the other opens automatically. The Yugoslav developed the “magic camera” while working as a producer for Yorkshire Television in Leeds.
Perisic designed, wrote, produced and directed The Magic Fountain which aired on Thursdays at 12:25 pm in March and April 1973.