History Files

EARTHFASTS

 

Two schoolboys are mystified by strange noises coming from inside a hill on the moors near where they live. When they decide to investigate, the hillside opens and out marches an 18th-century drummer boy. This was the starting point for a five-part mystery with strong fantasy overtones which graced BBC Children's Television on Wednesdays, in early 1994. The plot concerned Arthur of the Britons, annoyingly referred to as 'King Arthur' throughout the serial, who was, according to legend, resting with his men beneath the moor, to rise again when the country needed him. Unfortunately, during his exploration of the caverns, the drummer boy, John Cherry, had taken and used an everlasting candle which was the central key to the timing of Arthur's return. The candle was supposed to burn all the way down, so releasing its guests from their 'sleep'. Its early removal had started a chain of events that would see many strange occurrences in the local countryside.

A modest but well-made children's drama from the BBC with excellent filming and effects, and a pretty credible performance from its two teenage leads, Earthfasts had all the elements of becoming a routine affair but for the air of mystery which hung over it, which eventually saved it from the mundane. By the end of its five-week run it left most viewers with the impression of time well spent.

 


CAST

Keith Chris Downs   David Paul Nicholls
Nellie Jack John Cherry Bryan Dick   Doctor Wix David Hargreaves
Eileen Watson Ruth Holden   Frank Watson Bobby Knutt
Mrs Heseltine Kate Rutter   Mr Heseltine Terence Edmond
Doctor Tate Peter Barnes

 


Adapted by: Marilyn Fox from
  a story by William Mayne
Producer: Richard Callanan
Director: Marilyn Fox
Music: Ilona Sekacz

 

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