5 November 2014 | Leofwine_draca
Slow, dream-like, artistic and magical:
BBC4 have been showing a handful of episodes of this long-lost supernatural anthology series from 1977, so here are my thoughts on individual episodes: VIKTORIA - the weakest story thus far, but not without a certain atmosphere. This is a family-based tale focused around a creepy life-sized doll and the strange girl who owns it. The story is worthy of note in featuring both Judy Cornwell (KEEPING UP APPEARANCES) and Lewis Fiander (DR JEKYLL AND SISTER HYDE) in strong roles as housekeeper and husband respectively, and an intricate little, character-focused storyline filled with twists and turns. It's not particularly frightening or stand out-ish, but it is creepy so that counts for something
NIGHT OF THE MARIONETTES - TV favourite Gordon Jackson stars as a scholar hot on the trail of Mary Shelley who falls foul of the strange proprietor of a roadside inn and his lifesize creations. The actress who plays the possessed daughter went on to become THE WOMAN IN BLACK in the long-lost '80s adaptation of that novel. This one is weird rather than scary, although it has some memorably weird highlights.
DORABELLA - the last of the series is also my favourite, thus far. It's a vampire story in which a couple of youthful men are the victims for a change; the gender reversal brings back fond memories of the likes of VAMPYRES and DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS. This episode is quite remarkable for the way in which it builds a rich Gothic atmosphere and a sense of dread which go hand-in-hand throughout. It's visually beautiful, full of stunning imagery like jet-black carriages, desolate beaches and of course the expected creepy castles. All in all a great twist on the vampire legend.