Wednesday, 14 July 2010
West Country Tales: The Beast
'West Country Tales' was a BBC TV series from the early 80s comprising of stand-alone tales of the supernatural based on ideas submitted by the public.
The episodes are distinctive in the fact that dialogue between characters is kept to a minimum, or set low in the sound mix, in favour of a voice-over narration (in most
cases by Keith Barron) which calls to mind public information films or the English-language TV versions of 'Tales from Europe'.
This one,'The Beast' begins with a man taking a train journey back to his childhood village, called back by a letter from his sister. The tone of which brings forth a distant memory of an incident from his youth. Forbidden by his parents to use the shotgun he has been cleaning and restoring, he gets up at the crack of dawn and sneaks out into the fields to try it out. In the early morning, the fields and woods have an unnerving menace, but the boy's alarm is only awakened when he finds a gored sheep. As he continues to explore the woods he increasingly feels he is being watched, until there is a brief but frightening encounter.
Now, years later, it appears the beast has returned...