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The Noise

The ChangesYoung Nicky Gore is preparing for an upcoming English test when her father, complaining of a headache, flies into a rage and destroys the family television set. Not long afterward, a strange noise overcomes the entire family, and they set about destroying every machine in their home – kitchen appliances, radios, clocks, anything even remotely mechanized. And the Gores are not alone; their neighbors are destroying everything from cars to bicycles. Throughout England, the industrial age comes to a standstill. Nicky’s father and her pregnant mother are seized by a compulsion to escape to France, where rumor has it things are “normal”. The noise occurs again, and in the ensuing frenzy to destroy any remaining machinery, Nicky is separated from her family, who continue to France without her. She returns to the family home, but has to resort to foraging for food in abandoned shops. The alternative is starving to death.

written by Anna Home
based on the novels by Peter Dickinson
directed by John Prowse
music by Paddy Kingsland

The ChangesCast: Vicky Williams (Nicky), Sonia Graham (Mrs. Gore), Bernard Horsfall (Mr. Gore), Clyde Pollitt (Preacher), Bartlett Mullins (Old Man)

Notes: Originally filmed in 1973 but not broadcast until early 1975, The Changes is based on Peter Dickinson’s novels “The Weathermonger”, “Heartsease”, and “The Devil’s Children”, though significant changes are made to his stories to fit the entire trilogy into ten half-hour television episodes.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Bad Wires

The ChangesThough the stays at her parents’ home for over a week after they disappear, Nicky is ultimately left with no choice but to follow the advice of a forlorn old man: leave to find her parents, or die alone in the city. She meets a close-knit community of Sikhs who are on the move themselves, largely because they have found no friendly welcome in this changing world, and they agree to let her travel with them. She befriends two of the younger Sikhs, Gopal and Ajeet. Her pragmatism, however, troubles her new friends – raiding the pantries of abandoned homes does not sit well with their beliefs. And Nicky discovers one other fascinating thing: the madness that has consumed the minds of everyone she has met, the madness that causes them to rage against any and all machines, has not touched the minds of her new friends.

written by Anna Home
based on the novels by Peter Dickinson
directed by John Prowse
music by Paddy Kingsland

The ChangesCast: Vicky Williams (Nicky), Bartlett Mullins (Old Man), Marc Zuber (Kewal), Rafiq Anwar (Chacha), Sahab Qizilbash (Grandmother), Rugby Brar (Gopal), Rebecca Mascarenhas (Ajeet), Gopal Bhanot (Sikh Interpreter)

Notes: Rafiq Anwar is the grandfather of Burn Notice star Gabrielle Anwar; he died in 1977, just two years after The Changes was broadcast in England. Many of the scenes in this episode were filmed in an unfinished (and therefore conveniently empty) roadway in Bristol.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Devil’s Children

The ChangesNicky and the traveling Sikhs happen upon an abandoned farm, a promising prospect for growing crops and forging new tools. Nicky offers to represent her friends to the residents of a nearby village, but rather than a warm welcome, she finds a xenophobic village leader who regards the Sikhs as foreigners at best, and “the devil’s children” at worst. Though she is able to establish very tentative trade relations, Nicky fears that trouble lies ahead.

written by Anna Home
based on the novels by Peter Dickinson
directed by John Prowse
music by Paddy Kingsland

The ChangesCast: Vicky Williams (Nicky), Rugby Brar (Gopal), Rebecca Mascarenhas (Ajeet), Marc Zuber (Kewal), Rafiq Anwar (Chacha), Sahab Qizilbash (Grandmother), Arthur Hewlett (Mr. Tom), James Ottoway (Maxie), David King (Mr. Barnard), Nancy Gabrielle (Mrs. Sallow), Gopal Bhanot (Sikh Interpreter)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Hostages!

The ChangesThe uneasy relationship between the villagers and the Sikhs gradually begins to settle; the Sikhs are able to forge tools the villagers need, and the villagers leave them alone. The calm is disrupted by the arrival of another party of strangers on horseback. They want both the villagers and the Sikhs to work for them, and to ensure the village’s cooperation, they take a child hostage. The Sikhs, with some help from Nicky, prepare to send a clear message that they won’t be victimized in the same way…and perhaps they can earn the village’s respect in the process.

written by Anna Home
based on the novels by Peter Dickinson
directed by John Prowse
music by Paddy Kingsland

The ChangesCast: Vicky Williams (Nicky), Arthur Hewlett (Mr. Tom), David King (Mr. Barnard), Edward Brayshaw (Chief Robber), Derek Ware (Second Robber), Rafiq Anwar (Chacha), Marc Zuber (Kewal), Sahab Qizilbash (Grandmother), Rugby Brar (Gopal), Rebecca Mascarenhas (Ajeet), Gopal Bhanot (Sikh Interpreter), James Ottoway (Maxie)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Witchcraft!

The ChangesThe villagers and the Sikhs join forces to fend off the band of marauders from their village; there is even talk of the villagers being less opposed to machinery than they have been in the recent past. With the villagers and Sikhs having moved from uneasy coexistence to trust and cooperation, Nicky is surprised when it is gently suggested that she leave and continue her search for her family. She rides out with one of the villagers in a horse-drawn wagon, learning from him that he’ll be avoiding a village called Shipton, which has become backward and savage since the madness descended upon the world. When the wagon loses a wheel, Nicky is thrown clear and is knocked unconscious; her driver leaves her to go for help. She awakens and, with difficulty, walks to a nearby farm. When she is discovered there, she is accused of being a witch.

written by Anna Home
based on the novels by Peter Dickinson
directed by John Prowse
music by Paddy Kingsland

The ChangesCast: Vicky Williams (Nicky), James Ottoway (Maxie), Rafiq Anwar (Chacha), Marc Zuber (Kewal), Rugby Brar (Gopal), Rebecca Mascarenhas (Ajeet), Sahab Qizilbash (Grandmother), Gopal Bhanot (Sikh Interpreter), Roy Evans (Carter), Keith Ashton (Jonathon), Zuleika Robson (Margaret), Stella Tanner (Anne), Jack Watson (Peter), David Garfield (Mr. Gordon)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

A Pile Of Stones

The ChangesWelcome to Shipton. Nicky doesn’t feel that welcome, “convicted” as a witch by the locals and sentenced to death by stoning at the urging of the fanatical Mr. Gordon, who holds thrall over the entire village. Not all of the locals are taken in by Mr. Gordon’s religious zeal, however: Jonathon and Margaret, a brother and sister whose parents live at the farm where Nicky was discovered, free Nicky from captivity and set a fire to cover their tracks. Jonathon, who was employed at a local shipyard until the madness descended upon the world, has been repairing a boat and offers to help Nicky escape, but not before evidence of his involvement in freeing her has been found.

written by Anna Home
based on the novels by Peter Dickinson
directed by John Prowse
music by Paddy Kingsland

The ChangesCast: Vicky Williams (Nicky), Keith Ashton (Jonathon), David Garfield (Mr. Gordon), Jack Watson (Peter), Zuleika Robson (Margaret), Stella Tanner (Anne), Tony Hughes (Jack)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Heartsease

The ChangesJonathon’s involvement in Nicky’s escape leaves his father torn; Mr. Gordon is now prepared to execute both. Mr. Gordon even threatens Margaret at knifepoint until she tells him about the escape plan involving Jonathon’s boat, Heartsease. Peter, Margaret and Jonathon’s father, watches helplessly, and comes under intense pressure from Mr. Gordon to join his hunting party. Margaret, in the meantime, has made her choice, and sets out to help Jonathon and Nicky.

written by Anna Home
based on the novels by Peter Dickinson
directed by John Prowse
music by Paddy Kingsland

The ChangesCast: Vicky Williams (Nicky), Keith Ashton (Jonathon), David Garfield (Mr. Gordon), Jack Watson (Peter), Tony Hughes (Jack), Zuleika Robson (Margaret), Stella Tanner (Anne), Kenneth Gilbert (Innkeeper), Daphne Neville (Villager), Godfrey Jackman (Publican)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Lightning!

The ChangesWith a diversion from Margaret, Jonathon and Nicky escape, moments after Jonathon sees his father grapple with Mr. Gordon and throw him off a bridge. Jonathon and Nicky’s escape by boat has begun…until a sudden clap of thunder brings the Heartsease to a stop. Jonathon tries to restart the engine, but his efforts are met with not just thunder, but lightning that sets the boat aflame. They jump clear before the boat explodes, and find refuge with a couple who moved out of London months ago. As they exchange information aboutwhat they’ve seen, they realize that whatever has caused the world to change was no accident.

written by Anna Home
based on the novels by Peter Dickinson
directed by John Prowse
music by Paddy Kingsland

The ChangesCast: Vicky Williams (Nicky), Keith Ashton (Jonathon), Zuleika Robson (Margaret), David Garfield (Mr. Gordon), Jack Watson (Peter), Kenneth Gilbert (Innkeeper), Tom Chadbon (Michael), Merelina Kendall (Mary)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Quarry

The ChangesNicky and Jonathon venture out to the mountains where Michael and Mary claim they’ve seen extraordinary storms brewing. They discover what seems to be an abandoned rock quarry, until they discover a disheveled man inside a large cavern. They greet him and listen to his rants about a “power”, later finding a journal describing an ancient power awakened, and a mention of Merlin. Though Jonathon is skeptical, Nicky is certain that they’re close to the source of what has changed the world, and the two set out to reverse that change.

written by Anna Home
based on the novels by Peter Dickinson
directed by John Prowse
music by Paddy Kingsland

The ChangesCast: Vicky Williams (Nicky), Keith Ashton (Jonathon), Tom Chadbon (Michael), Merelina Kendall (Mary), Oscar Quitak (Mr. Furbelow)

Notes: April 19th is pinned down as the date the madness began. It’s also refreshing to see an episode of a BBC genre series admit, right up front, that it’s filmed in a quarry.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Cavern

The ChangesNicky and Jonathon sneak into the cavern and lock Mr. Furbelow out. They venture deeper, until a strange pulsating noise scares Nicky back out again. She gathers her strength and they go further into the caves until they find a tall, standing stone, from which Nicky hears a muffled voice. Jonathon hears nothing, but Nicky starts speaking to it, pleading the case for humanity and its machines with a primal force that, in seeking to restore balance to the world, has thrown things even further out of balance.

written by Anna Home
based on the novels by Peter Dickinson
The Changesdirected by John Prowse
music by Paddy Kingsland

Cast: Vicky Williams (Nicky), Keith Ashton (Jonathon), Oscar Quitak (Mr. Furbelow)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

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