“I should bloody damn and bloody blast and bugger and bloody flaming bloody well think so!”
Terrific and strange, the kind of thing nobody has done before or since (correction: Potter did it years earlier with his Stand Up Nigel Barton). Grown adults portray a bunch of kids playing in the woods on a particularly traumatic day. Director Brian Gibson would go on to direct Poltergeist II, but writer Dennis Potter (the year after Pennies From Heaven) is what brought me here.
The kids play war games and house, while their parents are off at real wars and houses. They hear alarms from the nearby prison and hide. They misuse pronouns. The boys kill a squirrel then get upset about it. Later, they help to kill another boy, pyro Donald who sets the barn alight then gets trapped inside it.
foreground: Colin Welland, 45, of Kes, also writer of Chariots of Fire. with Michael Elphick, 33, of Withnail & I, star of a long-running series called Boon.
Helen Mirren, 34, between Caligula and The Long Good Friday
Janine Duvitski, 27, appeared in the Frank Langella Dracula and The New World
Colin Jeavons, 50, of a bunch of early 1960’s Dickens miniseries, later Blackeyes and Secret Friends
John Bird, 43, was playing Horace Greeley on a series last year
Not pictured: Robin Ellis, 37, known for a Revolutionary War-era series called Poldark.