A TRAV­ELLER IN TIME Ho-hum His­to­ries

SFX - - Re­views -

re­leased OUT NOW! 1978 | PG | dVd Direc­tor dorothea Brook­ing Cast so­phie Thomp­son, el­iz­a­beth Bradley, Ger­ald James

A Trav­eller In Time takes ’70s BBC chil­dren’s tele­vi­sion to the mid­dle-class max. There’s noth­ing nec­es­sar­ily wrong with that, but this five-part se­rial is prob­a­bly too de­mure for most view­ers now.

Pene­lope is a city girl who goes to stay in the coun­try with her un­cle and aunt in their an­cient farm­house. Soon she’s trans­ported back to the 16th cen­tury, where she meets a group of Catholics plan­ning to save Mary Queen of Scots.

Even more so than early Doc­tor Who, the “his­tory les­son” re­mit is amus­ingly bla­tant (Aunt Tissie to Un­cle Barn­abas: “Pene­lope wants to know about Mary Queen of Scots, why she was ex­e­cuted”, so Un­cle Barn­abas puts down his pa­per and be­gins...).

Pene­lope some­how flits back and forth be­tween time zones through­out the se­rial, although the main dis­trac­tion is the con­stant switch­ing be­tween film and video, a com­mon fea­ture of TV of the pe­riod.

While not with­out some charm, it’s ex­ceed­ingly mild and a bit am-dram. Episodes have the most un­dra­matic cli­maxes imag­in­able; one is ti­tled “The Kitchen”. If only the Fourth Doc­tor showed up!

Ex­tras None. Rus­sell Lewin

The se­rial is based on a 1939 book by Ali­son Ut­t­ley, best known for cre­at­ing the char­ac­ter of Lit­tle Grey Rab­bit.

Take this pic­ture to your hair­dresser.

The Great Bri­tish Bake Off: the an­i­mated ver­sion.

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