Moon­dial

Nos­tal­gia ain’t what it used to be

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Rated dvd & blu-ray - Rhian Drinkwa­ter

Re­lease Date: 4 May 1988 | PG | DVD Direc­tor: Colin Cant Cast: Siri Neal, Tony Sands, He­lena Avel­lano, Jacqueline Pearce, Arthur Hewlett, Va­lerie Lush

Mod­ern- day

kids might get to en­joy Doc­tor Who or Adventure Time, but the poor de­prived things never knew Chocky, Chil­dren Of The Stones or the orig­i­nal BBC Nar­nia adap­ta­tions… Aaah, nos­tal­gia. There’s al­ways the un­pleas­ant pos­si­bil­ity, of course, that those se­ries were never quite as per­fect as they seemed to our pre- teen minds…

Adapted by He­len Cress­well from her own novel, Moon­dial is the story of Minty, who’s stay­ing with a fam­ily friend when her mother is ill. Ex­plor­ing the grounds of a nearby man­sion, she dis­cov­ers the “moon­dial” there can trans­port her through time. Minty meets Tom, an abused ser­vant in the Vic­to­rian man­sion, and they find Sarah, a girl from an ear­lier cen­tury who’s per­se­cuted by the ter­ri­fy­ing Miss Vole ( Jacqueline Pearce). As Minty’s mother re­cov­ers, she tries to free the two chil­dren be­fore Miss Vole’s mod­ern- day coun­ter­part learns the truth.

If you have fond mem­o­ries of this show they might be enough to help you en­joy this re­lease through nos­tal­gia- tinted glasses – but maybe not. For non- fans, there’s lit­tle to cap­ti­vate here. The story feels in­co­her­ent, with lit­tle to ex­plain the moon­dial, Miss Vole or what ex­actly hap­pens to the chil­dren once they are “freed”. And a dreamy and oc­ca­sion­ally haunt­ing at­mos­phere is sadly not enough to com­pen­sate for the show’s slow pac­ing, pre­co­cious child ac­tors and dis­jointed feel.

Ex­tras: None. He­len Cress­well also wrote and adapted the Lizzie Drip­ping books, and penned the TV adap­ta­tion of The De­mon Head­mas­ter.

The fir­ing squad just couldn’t quite pull the trig­gers…

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