The Owl Service was filmed almost entirely on location during the spring of 1969 and broadcast during the winter of 1969-1970. Tis remarkable adaptation of Alan Garner’s award-winning novel was a radical production that raised the bar for what viewers could expect from a teenage drama – and which was a significant influence on children’s television throughout the 1970s.
This extraordinary tale of the supernatural, sexual jealousy, and class division broke new ground and is presented here as a brand-new high definition remaster from original film elements in its original full screen aspect ratio.
Alison and her stepbrother Roger are on a family holiday at a remote Welsh cottage. She discovers a service of old dinner plates, which have a strange floral pattern that turns into owls when traced to paper. But what is the connection between this owl service, the strange gardener, the angry housekeeper and the mysterious local legend? Gradually the uncanny power of the valley takes over and the legend begins to unfold.
Like all period pieces there are elements of the production that can be difficult to swallow, particularly the petty snobberies of Alison’s family, and working class Welsh stereotypes. But Garner knows his craft and that’s all part of the unfolding tale. Stick with it because, beneath all those period peccadillos, is a wonderfully unnerving tale which still has the power to surprise and delight.
Archive interviews with Alan Garner from 1968 and 1980.
Commentaries on selected episodes by writer/broadcaster Tim Worthington.
Limited edition booklet written by Stephen McKay, Chris Lynch and Kim Newman.
Exclusive to networkonair.com and come with a limited edition O-card.