The Changes

1975 | United Kingdom

An excellent drama from a golden age of children's television, The Changes was described as one of the most ambitious series produced by the BBC Children's Drama Department. 

Legendary BBC Children's producer Anna Home adapted Peter Dickinson's trilogy of novels set in future Britain and took the character of Nicky Gore (from the third novel The Devil's Children) and made her central to the storyline. In the first episode, Nicky's father appears to go mad, smashing up the TV on hearing an ear-piercing nose. The family are all effected, wrecking all electrical items. This is repeated in homes all over Britain while at the same time earthquakes and tidal waves hit the country. 

The Gores pack up and head for France where it is believed that the Noise has no effect, but on the way, Nicky gets separated from her parents. She returns home but soon finds that sickness is spreading through her neighbourhood as the water becomes affected. Nicky joins up with a band of travelling Sikhs who are unaffected by the Noise. They are targetted by stone throwing thugs as they pass from town to town but manage to escape - eventually settling at an abandoned farm. A group of bandits attack the local town taking children hostage but they are rescued in a pitched battle with the Sikhs. Nicky decides to move on and find her aunt somewhere in the Cotswolds but she is taken by the self-appointed head of a village who claims that she is a witch. She is tried and found guilty and sentenced to be stoned to death but is rescued in time. She meets up with John and together they decide to try and find the source of the Noise. They stumble across a madman called Furbelow who claims that he can't control the power that he has awoken. He has a journal which is hidden in a cavern and Nicky finds it and deciphers the words written inside which say 'I am Merlin...whoever touches me unbalances the world.' 

Peter Dickinson's books from which this drama was based were: The Weathermonger, published in 1969 as was the second book, Heartsease. This was followed by The Devil's Children in 1970. Nicky was played by Victoria Williams who appeared in 3 episodes of Holby City in 2005. 

Published on December 3rd, 2018. Noel Onely.