The Changes was a very well realised children’s scifi drama serial featuring a Britain that has decided it hates technology and has reverted to a more simplistic age where machines are a no-no.
Based on a trio of inter connected novels by Peter Dickinson called The Weathermonger, Heartsease and The Devil’s Children. Vicky Williams starred as young teenager Nicky Gore. As the series starts strange noises are heard by everybody that makes them want to destroy machines, everyone but Nicky seems to be affected by this. Nicky’s parents are anxious to flee to France but in so doing end up getting separated from Nicky, at first she is all alone in the empty city but later teams up with a group of Sikhs who are also unaffected by the noise but are looking for a safe haven.
They set up home in a disused farm close to a village ruled over by the sinister Davy Gordon. Vicky initially acts as a go between for the Sikhs (who are excellent blacksmiths) and the villagers but Davy Gordon is convinced Nicky is a witch and is determined to be rid of her. Nicky is forced on the run but is befriended by a fellow teenager called Jonathan.
Together the pair of them embark on a quest to discover what has caused The Changes and hopefully put them to rights. They trace the noises to a cave and discover that the mystery goes back centuries to the time of Merlin. Nicky is able to face up to “The Noise” in the cave and quieten it (for the time being anyway) and by the credits of the final episode it looks as though things are reverting back to “normal”.
Made in 1975, a year that was full of eco type show what with Survivors on the air as well as The Good Life. Shot on film for a high quality look the Changes was fantastic television and not just for children either.
UK / BBC One / 10×25 minute episodes / Broadcast 6 Jan – 10 March 1975
Writer: Anna Home / Trilogy: Peter Dickinson / Music: Paddy Kingsland / Director: John Prowse
VICKY WILLIAMS as Nicky Gore
KEITH ASHTON as Johnathon
DAVID GARFIELD as Davy Gordon
RAFIQ ANWAR as Chacha
ZULEIKA ROBSON as Margaret
OSCAR QUITAK as Mr Furbelow
RUGBY BRAR as Gopal