Friday, October 15, 2010

Pretty Phantasmagorical

May I please present the opening to the 1976 BBC miniseries Children of the Stones, the entire run of which I watched while housesitting this summer. Though the show was intended for children, it incorporates some profound and complex themes about time. It often verges into creepy, unexplained territory that I liked, even though I watched it as an adult and even though the lights and film make much of it unmistakably phony. Think of it as, let’s say, the best episode ever of Are You Afraid of the Dark, just with accents.

I’m posting this clip, however, to let you all at the opening “theme song,” an atmospheric little choral composition that nicely sets the mood.. until the singing begins building up. This would normally indicate an upswing in tension. However, in the show (and in every single opening sequence) it kinds of builds to nothing aside from boulders, clouds and a musical, chaotic babble that suddenly falls into an in-unison sigh of relief that I came to interpret as the singers simultaneously running out of air and fainting. I thought it was funny, both in how often it figured into the show and how effectively it killed any air of mysticism.

And yes, by the way, I watched this because of Lost. And yes, I, ever the logophobe, dreaded the opening production company logo. Is it bad when the production company logo scares me more than the show itself?

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