Faerie Tale Theatre (1982–1987)
7.8/10
99
3 user

The Boy Who Left Home to Find Out About the Shivers 

An intelligent, fearless boy living in a superstitious Transylvanian village goes out into the world to figure out what everyone else is afraid of, "the shivers". The king hires him to rid the castle of ghosts and evil spirits.

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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Princess Amanda
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King Vladimir V
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Martin
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Zandor, the Inkeeper
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Father
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Sexton / Deacon
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Older Brother
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Attilla
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Narrator (voice)
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Headless Man
David McCharen ...
Gargoyle / Horrible Man #1
Mitchel Evans ...
Horrible Man #2 (as Mitchell Young Evans)
Roy Johns ...
The Mums
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The Mums
Nathan Stein ...
The Mums
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Storyline

An intelligent, fearless boy living in a superstitious Transylvanian village goes out into the world to figure out what everyone else is afraid of, "the shivers". The king hires him to rid the castle of ghosts and evil spirits.

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17 September 1984 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Connections

Version of The Storyteller: Fearnot (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A 'Faerie Tale Theatre' favourite
25 June 2017 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

There is a lot to like about the 'Faerie Tale Theatre' series. Many of their adaptations of various well-known and well-loved fairy tales are charming, clever and sometimes funny, a few even emotionally moving. 'Faerie Tale Theatre' puts its own magical spin on the best of the episodes while still capturing the essence of the stories, while also giving further enjoyments in seeing talented performers in early roles or in roles that are departures from their usual roles.

While not one of the Grimm Brothers' better known stories (in some way one of their least known), and not quite among their best (there are more magical, darker and more fun ones), 'The Story of the Youth Who Went Forth to Learn What Fear Was' (or 'The Story of a Boy Who Went Forth to Learn Fear') does deserve to be better known. It is an engaging story with a lot of atmosphere and a protagonist who is fearless and intelligent instead of a fool or anything like that.

Adapted by 'Faerie Tale Theatre' as "The Boy Who Left Home to Find Out About the Shivers", the story is not often adapted, most interpretations listed online (i.e. Wikipedia) are more things that were influenced by the story rather than proper adaptations. It is a shame because it deserves to be. 'Faerie Tale Theatre's' "The Boy Who Left Home to Find Out About the Shivers" does the story justice, it's a quite faithful telling, and to me it's one of the best of the series.

It's not perhaps child-friendly, being one of the darker and scarier episodes of 'Faerie Tale Theatre' (with a horror and Hammer horror vibe at times) but there is an amusing and satirical edge that adults will appreciate. Love the Gothic look of the production values that add enormously to the atmosphere needed. The score is suitably haunting and sometimes playful.

Writing entertains without being too silly, while the story provides a Gothic atmosphere that rivals the best of Hammer Horror often and some eerie jolts. The attempts to scare the boy may come over as silly to some, but that approach is not too far enough from those in the original story and the attempts here are still pretty unsettling and show the boy's admirable and envious resourcefulness. Things don't go at a fast pace as such but is hardly dull, though admittedly the second half is more interesting.

Good casting helps and "The Boy Who Left Home to Find Out About the Shivers" certainly has that, great even. Peter MacNicol is an appealing protagonist, while Dana Hill also charms and David Warner schemes effectively. The standouts however are a magnetic Christopher Lee and a pitch-perfect Vincent Price as narrator.

Overall, a 'Faerie Tale Theatre' gem and goes to prove that a fairly little-known story deserves more recognition. 10/10 Bethany Cox


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