13.9.09

SKY (1975)


The Man Who Fell To Earth for schoolkids? Several years ago I decided I'd imagined this programme as no-one else I spoke to remembered it, but somebody's posted the entire series on Youtube &, judging by the comments left so far, it seems I'm not the only shellshocked ex-viewer this happened to.

Looking a little bit like a young John Foxx, Sky (Marc Harrison) was a morally ambiguous alien child with eeire, electric blue eyes who, lost in time & accidently finding himself on Earth via a black hole, uses his supernatural powers to try & find a way back to his own dimension. Coming into conflict with the very soul of the planet (aggressive Nature & it's human manifestation, the evil Goodchild), Sky finds himself being rejected by the Earth the same way an immune system might confront an antibody or infection.

Written by Doctor Who stalwarts Bob Baker & Dave Martin, Sky was made by HTV for ITV in 1975. Broadcast in seven weekly installments, it went out at 4.20 in the afternoon & was one of those sacrosanct serials that you'd desperately sprint home for as a kid, not wanting to miss a single second, even though the briefest glimpse of the title sequence could scare you half to death (it's "sleeps under leaves" imagery certainly made an indelible impression on me). As far as I know it was never repeated (though I could be mistaken), & subsequent damage to the archived video masters meant it was impossible to issue the series on DVD until earlier this year when inferior but watchable domestic VHS copies of the impaired segments were discovered. Watching it back now it's obviously dated significantly, but it remains haunting viewing with some amazing dialogue ("Forces of the earth. Forces in the earth. Forces from the earth and below the earth. You who made me manifest, called me forth from the tree of life, who gave me a voice and this hated human form; make your will known through me now against this abomination. Here we have anathema, alien and evil. Here we have strangeness, unwelcome and unknown. Here we have disease, blastocystic and obscene, spreading its contagion from the diaspora of beyond") & prescient, ecological themes to recommend it.

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