Spooky turns to sinister as science and the supernatural collide All is not as it should be in Milbury, a sleepy English village surrounded by a megalithic stone circle. Astrophysicist Adam Brake (Gareth Thomas, Blake?s 7... more ») and his teenage son, Matthew, arrive to research the standing stones, but end up delving into the past in ways they never expected. What are the secrets of the ancient stones? What power does the druid-inspired Rafael Hendrick (Iain Cuthbertson, Gorillas in the Mist) have over the village?s trancelike "happy ones"? And is it true that "nobody ever leaves the circle"? An air of menace pervades this sci-fi thriller, enhanced by a haunting, chanted vocal score. Filmed on location at the Avebury stone circle--older than nearby Stonehenge--each episode builds relentlessly to a harrowing climax in what becomes, literally, a race against time. Seen on Nickelodeon?s paranormal anthology program The Third Eye, this eerie British series will also scare adults. DVD SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE interviews with star Gareth Thomas and producer/director Peter Graham Scott, production notes, series trivia, and photo gallery.« less
1970's British Scifi production. That being said, one must expect low budgets and retro technology/FX. So if you cannot stomach such, steer clear. This is a bit of a cross between The Prisoner, The Wicker Man, Children of the Damned, and Doctor Who. The intro music is really off the wall and will stick in your mind for years. Freddie Jones shines in the role he usually embraces, namely whatever happens to be the oddest, maladjusted, demented one. The plot is convoluted and when you finally figure out what is really going on it is rather mind blowing. One must give a lot of credit to the writers and their imagination. BTW, this miniseries inspired the writers of Lost.
The British Sci-Fi Classic...Now in North America!
J. Blaine | 01/18/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I received this a few days ago and started watching this today, and I'm happy to say that I am glad this classic mini-series has finally made it to North America! Of course, I first saw this on Nickelodeon's paranormal anthology series The Third Eye (over 25 years ago). It was such an involving, powerful, and terrifying seven episodes of science meeting mysticism -- and even today it still intrigues and haunts me to this day. Given that this British production is actually just over 30 years old, the video transfer looks quite acceptable (if you can stand good ol' film grain in the film segments, and the videotaped segments look quite good). Good mono audio, too -- in fact, on this DVD, I'm hearing elements that I never heard on the Nick broadcasts (this is a good dual-layer disc). The extra materials are quite good and informative, too. Definitely recommend this to others who know and love this classic. If this sells well enough, we'll also get "Into The Labyrinth" from Acorn Media."
Midwest Book Review | Oregon, WI USA | 01/17/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Children of the Stones is the DVD collection of all seven episodes of a British science fiction thriller, filmed on location at the Avebury stone circle (which is older than the nearby Stonehenge). When astrophysicist Adam Blake (whose other credits include "Blake's 7") and his teenage son Matthew come to research the standing stones, they discover fascinating and harrowing mysteries hidden in the stones' past. The seemingly druidic Rafael Hendrick holds an inexplicable sway over the entranced "happy ones" of the local village - and why is it said that "nobody ever leaves the circle"? The menace gradually builds up to the suspenseful climax, in this exciting and dramatic saga enhanced with interviews, production notes, series trivia, and a photo gallery. Highly recommended. Approximately 174 min., full screen, color. "
Nostalgic British Time Travel Supernatural Mystery of the 70
Harold Wolf | Wells, IN United States | 05/17/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"7 episodes, originally filmed for children, star Gareth Thomas as Adam Brake, Astrophysicist, and his son, Matthew, (Peter Demin). They search for modern (1977 standard) clues to standing stones 4000 years old. They find Milbury, a scenic country English village, filled with "happy day" families who are not quite normal. The mystery needs solving.
Matthew is the boy for the job, as he has the gift of seeing into time, through mental images. If it begins to seem a bit far-fetched, the film was intended to be supernatural, sinister, spooky, and paranormal, at least for kids. That is similar to another British author, J. M. Barrie, who came up with children stories of the paranormal and time travel in the form of Peter Pan and Wendy and those evil pirates. Matthew has his own Wendy friend in "Children of the Stones". Sandra (Katharine Levy), daughter of the new standing stone museum curator, Margaret (Veronica Strong), sparks Matt's attention, as Margaret does with Adam. Nothing turns into true romance--after all, it was filmed for kids.
Time travel was the basis for another British step through megalithic stones. Diana Gabaldon, author of the popular and lengthy "Outlander" series, used gems in place of this story's serpent-designed amulet for protection. Her books, never turned to film, YET, are a bit more believable, if paranormal behavior connected to ancient 2-ton rocks can be normalized. Her books are recommended.
One must keep in mind that this science fiction story was created in 1977 and has the gadgetry and special effects capability of the 70's. So, it looks a bit like the earliest action and suspense of Batman TV series of the late 60s. 21st century computer effects are nonexistent but the nostalgic look at British Sci-Fi of the 70's is now more adult oriented than what was originally intended.
No CC or subtitles found which would have helped with some of the stronger accented cast. They can't always be added to older films. The British had not yet learned that America would like viewing British TV.
Perhaps this is not for everyone, but I was intrigued to continue watching episode after episode without a break.
Episode titles: "Into the Circle", "Circle of Fear", "Serpent in the Circle", "Narrowing Circle", "Charmed Circle", "Squaring the Circle", & "Full Circle".
And 7 "circle" episodes are rounded out with extras: Gareth Thomas interview after 25-30 years with some fun antidotes. Director/Producer interview, Peter Graham Scott, who admits that Matthew (Demin) was a beginning actor. It shows in some overacted scenes. But the director was thrilled with the other child stars as well as the noted group of British and Scottish adult leads. Production notes. Trivia Photo gallery"
Looks like it inspired Lost
E. Guang | Phoenix, AZ (USA) | 08/15/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I remember reading somewhere the Children of the Stone was among the 3 or 4 series that inspired LOST. And I enjoyed watching this series looking for the similarities: - Milbury = the island in Lost - The Doctor and his son = the Dharma initiative that goes to the island to study the effect of the extreme magnetism. - The villagers = the Others - The doctor in the village complains that nobody gets sick in the village = People heal faster in the island in Lost. - New people arriving to the village somehow turn "weird" and they call it as getting infected or sick. They same in Lost. - In both Lost and children of the stones the conversion of new people to "Other" occurs inside a temple" - The village and Lost both have something that surrounds it and does not allow people to leave.
Great miniseries taking into consideration that it was filmed when I was a kid."