Play for Today (1970–1984)
6.3/10
52
3 user 3 critic

Red Shift 

Three men at three different times in history come to Mow Cop Hill in search of sanctuary from their troubles: a Roman soldier, an English Civil War rebel and a 1970s teenager. Somehow they... See full summary »

Director:

John Mackenzie

Writer:

Alan Garner
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Stephen Petcher Stephen Petcher ... Tom
Lesley Dunlop ... Jan
Stella Tanner Stella Tanner ... Tom's Mother
Bernard Gallagher Bernard Gallagher ... Tom's Father
Michael Wolf ... German
Charles Bolton Charles Bolton ... Thomas Rowley
Myra Frances Myra Frances ... Madge Rowley
James Hazeldine ... John Fowler
Robert Brown ... Rector
Freddie Fletcher Freddie Fletcher ... Randal
Michael Elphick ... Thomas Venables
Ben Howard Ben Howard ... Officer
Andrew Byatt Andrew Byatt ... Macey
Veronica Quilligan ... Girl
Ken Hutchison ... Logan
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Storyline

Three men at three different times in history come to Mow Cop Hill in search of sanctuary from their troubles: a Roman soldier, an English Civil War rebel and a 1970s teenager. Somehow they seem to be linked through an energy within the hill and an axe. Is history doomed to repeat itself or can loving another person free them? Written by Gazhack

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Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 January 1978 (UK) See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Mother: Watch your tongue.
Tom: She'd look damned funny if she did.
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User Reviews

 
Red Shift
14 August 2017 | by Prismark10See all my reviews

This Play for Today presentation, Red Shift has been spruced up for a Bly Ray release.

What makes it work is the direction by John Mackenzie who follows the stories of three men in different time streams; Roman, English civil war and the present day (1970s.)

Writer Alan Garner imbues the film with a mystical mythology of stone axe fallen from the stars which somehow foreshadows violence and maybe luck.

Tom and Jan are a young couple about to be separated as she is going to London to work as a nurse. Tom feels stifled living in his parents caravan. He becomes jealous when he finds out that Jan has been having an affair. They find a stone axe at their monthly meetings in Mow Cop Hill near Crewe.

In Roman Britain one of the soldiers goes berserk with a stone axe. A young girl abused by the soldiers are later poisoned by her.

During the English civil war there is a massacre by Royalist soldiers in a Cheshire village. Thomas Rowley and his wife are few of the survivors. Rowley has found the stone axe and heads to Mow Cop Hill where he built a house and placed the axe in the chimney as a good luck charm which some centuries later Tom and Jan discover.

Some of the violent scenes are well staged by Mackenzie, the massacre is horrifying. Some of the acting and writing is pretentious though although I admire the hints of mysticism and fatalism.


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