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Nobody's House (DVD Details)

Unique ID Code: 0000174710
Added by: Stuart McLean
Added on: 3/7/2016 18:20
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    Review for Nobody's House

    8 / 10

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    ‘Nobody’s House’ is another in a long line of ‘spooky’ kid’s TV shows that aired in the 1970’s. In common with the BBC’s ‘Rentaghost’ from the same year and HTV’s ‘The Clifton House Mystery’ a couple of years later, it manages to be amusingly spooky without ever quite being actually very scary, a lesson learned perhaps from US shows like ‘Scooby Doo’ and ‘The Ghost and Mrs. Muir’.

    It will no doubt be most fondly remembered from those born in the mid to late 1960’s who would have been the prime target for the show which, even today, carries a PG rating rather than a straight ‘U’, presumably because of its ghostly content.

    Having aired just once in the UK in 1976, though later in the Nordic countries and Europe, it has never been released in DVD and will therefore be a most welcome release.

    Kevin Moreton, who had already featured in the popular Granada Television show, ‘Sam’, plays a cheeky ghost, occupying a derelict Victorian House, who is determined to keep any potential residents away. Still dressed in his faded Victorian ragamuffin garb, he seems to only be visible to children.

    When Peter Sinclair (William Gaunt, ‘The Champions’), a City executive giving up the rat-race in favour of starting an antiques business, moves his wife, Jane, and two teenage children, Gillian and Tom, into a large derelict house, Cornerstones, that he purchased for half the asking price, strange things begin to happen. Silly things at first, like swapping a tea cup for a pot of paint (with predictably funny consequences). His teenage children seem pretty un-phased about it so after a while, the ghost allows them to see him. By simply pulling on his grey scarf he is able to become visible, invisible or teleport to any part of the house at will.

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    He also seems to be in touch with a number of other ghosts from the Victorian age, like one played by Brian Blessed who turns in his usual ‘playing to the back of the room’ performance. Indeed, a whole run of ghosts seem to feature throughout the seven-episode series, including one, Silver Ned, who is so troublesome that they decide he really needs exorcizing – heady stuff for an after-school kids show.

    When things start to move or disappear, and their father asks Gillian (‘Gilly’) and Tom who has moved it, the answer is inevitably ‘nobody’, which is the nick-name that the two teenagers give the young ghost; hence the title of the series.

    The series ran for a mere seven episodes, each lasting about 25 minutes to accommodate the adverts, and proved popular enough to spawn a spin-off paperback book which gets repeated plugs at the end of every episode on this set.

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    Image quality is impressive given the vintage and the fact that it was video recorded and audio is adequate too – albeit a little unsubtle with the synthesiser sound effects from time to time, all part of its period charm of course.

    Moreton is impressive in the title role though both Gilly and Tom seem curiously lacking in energy, perhaps making them more believable as a result. Whatever the case, the contrast between them seemed to work and the series remains a lot of fun, if a little predictable at times. At 25 minutes, it never seems to over-stay its welcome and it’s always a blast for kids to see adults being the butt of the jokes and mishaps and there are plenty of those.

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    Each of the seven episodes has a ‘Nobody’ somewhere in the title.

    1 There's Nobody There 27 September 1976
    2 Nobody's Perfect 4 October 1976
    3 Nobody's Fool 11 October 1976
    4 Nobody's in charge 18 October 1976
    5 Nobody loves me 25 October 1976
    6 Nobody's Family 1 November 1976
    7 Nobody's Ghost 8 November 1976

    All in all, this will be a huge nostalgic thrill to those who remember this series with fondness but who haven’t seen it for 40 years. It’s held up remarkably well and is a lot of fun. It’s in surprisingly good nick too so well worth picking up.

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