A young girl named Diana, her archeologist father and her brother visit friends in Berkshire near the site of the ancient Celtic horse cut into a chalky hillside. Though Diana is blind, she... See full summary »
The subtle trick Showtime's "Penny Dreadful is that it is far less about the blood, gore and the specter of gruesome death than the sharp pain and exhilarating pleasure of living, and the terror of feeling alone even in close company. Read our review in the May Picks section.
A young girl named Diana, her archeologist father and her brother visit friends in Berkshire near the site of the ancient Celtic horse cut into a chalky hillside. Though Diana is blind, she has the "sight" which connects her to a mysterious white stallion, to an ancient legend of Arthur as a Celtic chieftain, and to danger from others who seek paranormal power. Written by
A magical piece of nostalgia for children of the 'eighties, and fun for anyone who enjoys spooky fantasies.
This series was shown in Australia several times during my childhood, and I became thoroughly obsessed with the idea of the lost but not really forgotten world of Bronze and Iron Age religion in the British Isles. The story begins with the arrival in the Berkshire Downs of a young blind girl, Diana (Sarah Sutton, best known as Nissa in Doctor Who), her brother and their father, an archaeologist who has come to study the ancient sites around Uffington. He is trying to find evidence to support an historical King Arthur, and has the patronage of a local gentleman, with whom they are to stay. The most impressive and enigmatic site in the area is the White Horse, a giant hill-figure carved in the chalk, in a style reminiscent of designs found on Celtic coins of the Roman era. This is said to represent Epona, the great Horse Goddess, whose festivals, including human sacrifice, took place on the Downs. Soon after their arrival, Diana, her brother and father, go out for a drive to see the countryside. Diana, though blind, has the gift of second sight, and is the first to sense a mysterious wild white stallion galloping across the hills. Is this, as some believe, the Moon Stallion, magical messenger of Epona, whom no-one can see on a full moon night without dying, or is it just an ordinary horse ? Todman, the sinister Horse-Warlock is determined to catch the stallion, and Diana, whose name allies her with the Moon Goddess, is called upon to stop him. Having ancestors who were shepherds in the Berkshire Downs, and having studied the history of the Uffington White Horse, its folklore and rituals (largely inspired by seeing this series as a child), this programme will always be a magical piece of nostalgia for me. The music is especially memorable, with driving rhythms and Celtic-style melodies. I can really recommend the Moon Stallion to anyone with an interest in ancient Britain, folklore, comparative religion, etc., or just anyone who enjoys a bit of spooky fantasy.
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