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The Changes: The Cavern (BBC-1 10 Mar 1975, with Oscar Quitak)



In the final episode of the serial, The Cavern, Vicky and Jonathon, having discovered that an ancient force linked to Merlin is at the root of The Changes, know they must get into the Cavern and try and put things to rights. Vicky is being badly troubled by the psychological noises that affected everybody in the first place but Jonathon seems somehow immune to it.

Furbelow is also intent on stopping them thinking in his madness that he is somehow able to control the power he has unleashed. Finally though Nicky and Jonathon are able to reach the rock and it emits the same warning that it did to Furbelow. Nicky talks to the rock and tries to persuade it to revert things (and although it does sound odd written down that Nicky is communicating with a rock it does fit in with the story. It is clear the rock is not jut a rock but more like the spirit of the Earth itself is within it.)

A montage of what has happened so far plays out as Nicky communicates with the rock and Vicky is successful in trying to persuade it to stop what it is doing. A landslide seals the rock inside the cavern once more.

As Vicky says in her expositionary speech at the end “I don’t even know it it’s alive, but it is there, in nature. Deep in the roots of everything. Where it all begins. It has it’s own tides, it’s own energies. It’s own needs, it’s hungers. It’s order. But it needs the nature of our world and we’ve been changing that nature too fast. Our machines, pollution. We’ve put it out of balance. It felt. It knew. It was restless ready to be woken. Soon it would have done in time. Mr Furbelow was too soon, too sudden, just the wrong person. Tried to use the power, wasn’t strong enough.”

What is interesting is that within minutes of Vicky and Jonathon emerging from the cave there is the sound of a car in the distance and by the episode end with footage of a busy street playing over the end credits it is clear that The Changes are over. Things are wrapped up a little quickly but all in all it’s a brilliant adaptation of what in reality is three very disparate books only loosely connected by the fact that they all take place in the time of The Changes.

The series then can be read as something of an exhortation to slow down the pace of our modern world before it runs away from us completely. It was a common theme in drama of the mid 1970’s but of course we have taken zero notice and our now so dependent on technology that a societal collapse would be ten times quicker these days.

production details
UK / BBC One / 1×25 minute episode / Broadcast 10 March 1975 at 5.20pm

Writer: Anna Home / Production Design: Paul Munting / Director: John Prowse

Series: The Changes Episode 10 (of 10)

Vicky Williams as Nicky
Keith Ashton as Jonathon
Oscar Quitak as Mr Furbelow



Hazell: Hazell and Hyde (ITV 7 June 1979, with Maev Alexander)




Hazell Nicholas Ball

In Hazell and Hyde James is asked to find a young woman, Claudine, who has apparently joined a group of squatters. When Hazell tracks down the group he is told that they had forced her to move on – her drug use was causing big problems. When a body turns up it looks like Hazell has found her, and an identification by her father seems to confirm it. However Choc Minty quickly arrives on the scene and makes it plain the dead girl is not the Claudine he is looking for but a woman who had apparently crossed Claudine in some way.

Claudine actually turns out to be something of a psychopath and having killed once has decided to make her next target our intrepid hero.

Meanwhile Jim has finally found himself somewhere else to live, his old flat having been reclaimed by the fellow he lent him the use of it.

It’s definitely something of a walk on the seedier side of life for Hazell. Maev Alexander, wjho plays the disturbed Claudine, is best known for her role as Christine Russell in the first couple of seasons of Sutherland’s Law.

production details
UK / ITV – Thames / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Thursday 7 June 1979

Writer: P.J. Hammond / Production Design: Robin Parker / Director: Baz Taylor

Series: Hazell Season 2 Episode 8

Nicholas Ball as Hazell
Maev Alexander as Claudine
Peter Bourke as Graham Morris
Myrtle Devenish as Old lady singer
Christopher Godwin as Claw-Hammer
Betty Hardy as Mrs. Gladys Hazell
Michael J. Jackson as Squatter
Norman Lumsden as Old man singer
Ronald Mayer as Pianist / Singer
Roddy McMillan as ‘Choc’ Minty
Desmond McNamara as Cousin Tel
Yvonne Nicholson as Squatter
Mark Penfold as Mortuary attendant
John Rapley as Mr. Clive
Katherine Stark as Annie

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Hazell: Hazell and the Suffolk Ghost (ITV 31 May 1979, with Meg Davies)




Hazell and the Suffolk Ghost

In Hazell and the Suffolk Ghost our intrepid hero pays a visit to the seaside when an accountant, Peter Harlow, calls him in over a cottage he has been left in a will. He has no idea why he has been left the cottage but since he has taken over ownership more than a few strange things have been happening.

Hazell stays at the cottage for a few days and manages to find no small amount of comfort when Harlow’s wife Stephanie turns up (Harlow himself is in New York). Although there is clearly something spooky going on it’s definitely man made and it doesn’t take Hazell too long to work it out.

The episode was a rare outing outside of London for the series, it was filmed in the East Anglian village of Walberswick and surrounds. Although all the interiors were filmed in studio of coure.

classic quote
I may be common but I’m not stupid

production details
UK / ITV – Thames / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Thursday 31 May 1979

Writer: Richard Harris / Production Design: Philip Blowers, Peter Elliot / Director: Mike Vardy

Series: Hazell Season 2 Episode 7

Nicholas Ball as Hazell
Michael Gaunt as Peter Harlow
John Woodnutt as Vicar
Desmond Llewellyn as Bell
Richard Simpson as Weaver
Meg Davies as Stephanie Harlow
Desmond McNamara as Tel
Peter Woodward as Gregory Summers
Joy Steward as Mrs Summers

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Hazell: Hazell Gets The Boot (ITV 10 May 1979, with Billy Murray)




Hazell Gets The Boot

In Hazell Gets The Boot Hazell finds himself more or less coerced into taking on a supposedly simple job for villain Dave Castle. His Bently has been stolen and he wants James to get it back for him. Hazell’s investigation leads him to a scrap yard where the car is being hidden. He gets more than he bargained for when two of the Connell gang ambush him and give him a thorough going over.

Meanwhile Hazell’s love life is also going through a troublesome patch. Patsy Flanagan is spending some time at his flat after having a dust up with her husband. Hazell is keen for the arrangement to be just a night or two of pleasure but Patsy is keen on a more permanent arrangement.

production details
UK / ITV – Thames / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Thursday 10 May 1979

Writer: Willis Hall / Director: Carol Wilks

Series: Hazell Season 2 Episode 4

James Hazell as Nicholas Ball
Billy Murray as Big Dave
Pauline Delaney as Sister
Peter Bourke as Graham Morris
Liz Crowther as Cynthia
Betty Hardy as Mrs Gladys Hazell
Cindy O’Callaghan as Patsy Flanagan

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