Today: February 28, 2024

Come Back Lucy: The Complete Series

In the era of watch-on-demand TV and box-set binging, it can be hard to imagine what it was like to watch shows, once a week, one instalment at a time. 

Yet, despite the pain of those long waits between episodes (or maybe perhaps because it) the ‘70s were a golden time for children’s TV, with both the BBC and ITV targeting weekend dramas at YA audiences. One of the very best was Come Back Lucy.

ATV’s BAFTA-nominated adaptation of Pamela Sykes’ classic novel is an unsettling tale of loss, alienation and the desire for friendship, sprinkled with a hefty dose of magical realism.

Part ghost story, part social commentary, Come Back Lucy is as haunting now as it was when first shown in the spring of 1978. Adapted by award-winning writers Colin Shindler and Gail Renard, this was a stand-out production in a decade where drama series pushed boundaries and set new standards for what was acceptable on children’s television.

The present becomes strangely entangled with the past when Lucy’s aunt dies and she must leave the peaceful countryside to live with relatives in London. In the attic of her cousins’ old Victorian house she is confronted by Alice, a girl from the past, and discovers that time has rolled back a hundred years.

Despite the more conservative attitudes of the period, Come Back Lucy wasn’t never treated its audience with kid gloves. In fact, as the drama grows, so does the sense of unease. And when finally Alice’s true nature is revealed even 21st Century adults will fail to be unaffected.

Come Back Lucy is an incredible drama that, even 50 years on, retains its power to chill. Put it on your Halloween watch-list.

Special Features
Coming Back: brand-new interviews with actor François Evans, writers Gail Renard and Colin Shindler and director Paul Harrison.
Through the Mirror: Jill Nolan and Becky Darke examine Pamela Sykes’ original novel.
This release is exclusive to networkonair.com and comes with a limited edition O-card.

Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email: writerpaula@icloud.com

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