Tuesday, 23 December 2014
42 Ace of Wands
First watched : Uncertain
Back to ITV now and if Catweazle was a bit creepy this was downright terrifying ( and I'm not talking about the clothes ) . With its Tarot cards, seances , evil villains and gritty urban setting this pushed the envelope much further in terms of what you could include in a children's TV series.
The stories centered around Tarot ( Michael McKenzie ) , a stage musician who had genuine supernatural powers which made him the focus of attack from evil forces both in this world and beyond. Like Dr Who each series was comprised of four to six self-contained serials and Tarot had a couple of sidekicks. The original pair left at the end of the second series and the new girl Mikki ( Petra Markham ), in the third and final series, could communicate telepathically with Tarot. One of the villains, Mr Stabs, played by Callan's Russell Hunter was resurrected in a later series called Shadows .
I recall the programme's sinister ambience rather than the actual storylines and I suspect I wasn't watching it from its start in 1970. Only the third series survives intact and has been released on DVD; the first two appear to have been completely wiped. As an introduction to the fashions and preoccupations of early seventies Britain it's hard to think of anything better.