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Haunted“The eerie supernatural drama series
  Haunted sent shivers down the spines
  of viewers in the 1970s and now comes
  to DVD to bring chilling tales to a new
  audience, one of which features an
  early appearance of the late and brilliant
  Jeremy Brett

TWO SEPARATE SPOOKY PLAYS FROM THE 1974 Granada television series Haunted feature on DVD for the first time; both carrying the theme of unsuspecting characters being plunged into creepy situations.

A youthful Jeremy Brett (Granada Television's The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes) stars in The Ferryman as successful writer Sheridan Owen, who is on his way back with his wife Alex (Natasha Parry) from a book signing and launch party when bad weather and broken windscreen wipers force them to seek shelter at a country inn uncannily called The Ferryman's Rest.

Haunted presents
two spine-tingling 70’s
plays that still have
the ability to intrigue
and entertain...”
Uncannily because Sheridan's latest novel is called The Ferryman and it centres on a pub of that name and a ghostly ferryman who ravishes and murders young women.

He is to discover that the owner of the establishment where he and Alex are staying, Miles Attingham (Geoffrey Chater), the barman Fred Burge (Ray Mort) and the manager George Partridge (Andrew Bradford) all have very similar names to characters in his best-selling novel. He also finds the grave of a man called William Grimsditch, a local ferryman, in the village churchyard. Yet another coincidence.

In his story, the daughter of the inn's owner is killed by the ferryman and when Sheridan learns that Miles' daughter Jill (Lesley Dunlop) has arrived on a surprise visit, he begins to believe that he was given the story psychically in order to prevent the ferryman striking again and becomes obsessed with protecting her.

The story has a neat twist as all is not quite what it seems, which is also true of the second play, Poor Girl, which is based on a short period story by the novelist Elizabeth Taylor. Adapted by Robin Chapman (Big Breadwinner Hog), there is more than a passing resemblance to The Turn Of The Screw.

A young and nave Edwardian governess, Florence Chasty (Lynne Miller) takes up a position in the household of Oliver Wilson (Stuart Wilson) and his wife Louise (Angela Thorne). Her charge is the couple's seven-year-old son Hilary (Matthew Pollock), who is precocious and flirtatious.

Hilary insists on calling Florence by her Christian name and brushes up against her in an unsettling manner. Her reaction to him is ambiguous; as is the worryingly strange happenings around them. The room fills with cheap perfume; her cup is stained with lipstick when she wears none and some green beads appear around her neck.

Is the house haunted or is it the over-active imagination of an inexperienced girl? Oliver seems interested in Florence and indeed he has had a number of dalliances since his marriage to Louise and there is friction between the two. Hilary always seems to get what he wants and re-organises the household with the confidence of a much older boy.

Florence begins seeing visions of the future and finally succumbs to her desires. But what is it she really wants? A rather confusing story that stretches the imagination but that can really only have one ending.

The Ferryman is from a story by Kingsley Amis, and is Adapted by Julian Bond (Ruth Rendell Mysteries) and Directed by John Irvin (The Dogs Of War). Poor Girl also features: John Boxer as Corbett; Marjorie Sudell as Stoddard; and Fidelma O'Dowd as Dawkins. Music is played by David Hartigan, Directed by Michael Apted (Enigma) and both plays are Produced by Derek Granger.

Haunted presents two spine-tingling plays that, although tame by today's standards, still have the ability to intrigue and entertain.

* The eerie supernatural drama series Haunted featuring The Ferryman and Poor Girl will be available to own, courtesy of Network Distributing, for the first time on DVD on 22 October 2012. Running Time: 100 Minutes approximately | RRP: 12.99.

"Haunted presents two spine-tingling 70's plays that still have the ability to intrigue and entertain" Maggie Woods, MotorBar