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Shadows and Otherly Introductions: Revisiting 26/26

There is something notably “otherly” about a number of the title, credit and introduction sequences for the likes of 1970s and late 1960s television such as The Owl Service, Children of the Stones, The Tomorrow People and The Omega Factor; they are often like a distilled, concentrated version of the series’ at times more subtly off kilter, unsettling atmospheres.

The sense of their oddness can be heightened by the way that their recordings are often preceded by period TV station idents, which if you are of a certain age are very evocative of… distant hazy memories? A world that now seems very much apart from today?

Around the beginning of the 1980s whatever that otherlyness was in such sequences seemed to fade away and in a post in the first year of A Year In The Country I discussed how that may have been connected to wider changes in society.

The images in this post are from one of the introduction sequences for 1970s young adult anthology supernatural drama television series Shadows.

In it a silhouetted bird flies across a minimal green landscape and blue sky, which then fills with traditional terraced but mostly Brutalist architecture that begins to spin around and the colour fades to a murky blue grey.

A fierce looking girl then appears in front of the swirling buildings, staring unflinchingly at the viewer.

The buildings become ghostly spectres and fade away, leaving the girl stood alone in a once again minimal but this time all blue and grey landscape. As she stands stock still her shadow playfully skips with a skipping rope, a silhouetted bird flies behind her and then she fades into the background and the landscape turns darker and the sky becomes purple.

An empty rocking chair appears in front of her; it rocks and its shadow has somebody sitting in it. This then fades to any angry looking duotone sea with a murky narrow band of purple sky above it before the series’ name suddenly appears.

Its intertwining of these elements seems like a curiously prescient expression of the way that otherly pastoral / wyrd rural culture has come to intertwine with hauntological and urban wyrd orientated culture.


The original post published during the first year of A Year In The Country:


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