The Changes is a children’s television programme based on the novels by Peter Dickinson in which the world all of a sudden is plunged into the past when the whole populace starts to destroy all machinery and technology all a sudden driven to it by some strange noise that just makes you want to destroy anything vaguely technological.
Originally published as three books in the later 1960′s and early 1970′s (The Devils Children, Heartease and The Weathermonger) this 10 part series is a modified version of the three books all featuring the same character who was only actually in the first book of the series, but is the central character of the TV series, which makes perfect sense for the TV series as the kids of the time watching it would have identified with the lead character.
The series follow Nicky Gore a schoolgirl who is separated from her parents when the Changes happened (and who decide to bugger off to France and leave her on her own – which was nice of them!) and is played well by young actress Vicky Williams.
Nicky is the centre piece of the series and has some interesting adventures throughout the series including being branded a witch and takes part in a thrilling escape down the canal from the baying hordes who want her stoned for being a witch.
The idea of the world being sent back to an earlier version of itself without technology and machines is a little bit like Terry Nation’s Survivors which was broadcast at about the same time, and like that show (and to be honest an awful lot of both adult and children’s television at the time) does suffer a bit from being a very middle class depiction of life without modern day conveniences with the working class people depicted being a bit more able to cope with the changes than the rest of the people (make of that what you will).
I did think that it ended a bit abruptly, but I find that is often the case with these sorts of stories, where the ending just seems to be a bit tacked on in the final episode and doesn’t often live up to how you might have imagined it would have ended. That is only a minor criticism really as I wouldn’t have known how to end it myself in a satisfying way
In fact I am still not sure what really happened in the ending like the character of Jonathan who couldn’t get a straight answer out of Nicky about what actually happened at the end of the final episode, but it was an enjoyable show all the same despite it being rather badly dated in certain ways.