Instantly granted an outstanding reputation and work of brilliance since its original broadcast on Christmas night 1972, it’s no surprise that 101 Films has re-released Nigel Kneale’s critically-acclaimed BBC television ghost story, The Stone Tapes.
A scientific research team for an electronic technology company relocate to a renovated Victorian gothic mansion. When computer programmer Jill (Jane Asher) sees a ghost in a locked-up store room at the back of the house, the rest of the team also begin to see the apparition and hear its loud screams. Manager Peter (Michael Bryant) launches an investigation into the phenomena, believing it to be a supernatural impression of past events trapped in the room’s stone wall, which he dubs the ‘stone tape’. For Peter, “it’s a mass of data… waiting for the correct interpretation.” But when the researchers try to unlock the mysterious recording in an attempt to prove a scientific breakthrough in the recording medium, they unleash an evil, malevolent force that has been buried in the house’s dark history for decades.
It certainly invades the senses both audibly and viscerally. Close your eyes and you may be able to picture yourself on the set of a 1950’s Doctor Who set. Its sound effects are tinny, raucous and hard to bear for ninety minutes - but that’s the point. And thankfully this is enhanced by a clear, vibrant picture that will no doubt keep this masterpiece on people’s screens for years to come.