Shadows (TV series)

Shadows is a British supernatural television anthology series produced by Thames Television for ITV between 1975 and 1978. Extending over three seasons, it featured ghost and horror dramas for children.

Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of series3
No. of episodes20
Producer(s)Pamela Lonsdale (series 1 & 3)
Ruth Boswell (series 2)
Running time30 minutes
Production company(s)Thames Television
Original networkITV
Original release3 September 1975 (1975-09-03) 
1 November 1978 (1978-11-01)

Guest actors included John Nettleton, Gareth Thomas, Jenny Agutter, Pauline Quirke, Brian Glover, June Brown, Rachel Herbert, Jacqueline Pearce and Gwyneth Strong. The series was also notable for reviving the character of Mr. Stabs.

Notable writers for the series included J. B. Priestley, Fay Weldon, PJ Hammond, Joan Aiken, Jacquetta Hawkes and Penelope Lively.

Award Nominations

In 1976 and 1977 Shadows was nominated for the Harlequin BAFTA TV Award under the category of Drama/Light Entertainment. The series missed out on winning on both occasions, to Ballet Shoes and The Multi-Coloured Swap Shop respectively.


A tie-in book, The Best Of Shadows[1] was released by Corgi in 1979. It featured adaptations of seven episodes: The Dark Streets of Kimball's Green, The Inheritance, Eleven O'Clock, And Now For My Next Trick, The Rose of Puddle Fratrum, The Eye and The Man Who Hated Children.


A 1979 TV series, The Boy Merlin, was based on the third series episode of the same name.


"Shadows: The Complete First Series" was released in the UK on 1 November 2010 by Network, with the sixth episode Dutch Schlitz's Shoes being included on the Ace of Wands DVD boxset as an extra due to it featuring the Mr. Stabs character. Series 2 was released in June 2011.[2]

Series 1 (1975)

Title Writer Director Original airdate
The Future Ghost Roger Marshall Leon Thau 3 September 1975
Staying in a London hotel in 1875, Julia is awoken by the voice of a girl from a nearby room. On entering she discovers a girl who is ill in a 1970s-style room with unusual appliances. While she is in there, a fire breaks out and the room she had been staying in is burned to a shell. The next morning, the landlady is shocked to find Julia alive and well, but insists that no such room exists. Julia surmises that she was saved by a ghost from the future.

Starring: Jane Wymark, Bernadette McKenna, Daphne Slater and John Nettleton

After School Ewart Alexander Audrey Starrett 10 September 1975
Two schoolboys in a Welsh mining village find themselves locked in the school after hours. A series of supernatural events occur and they discover an old skull hidden away. Bringing it out into the open and giving it a resting place, the doors open and they leave.

Starring: Gareth Thomas, Rhys Powys and Lyn Jones

The Witch's Bottle Stewart Farrar Vic Hughes 17 September 1975
Arriving at her Uncle's house, Jill becomes obsessed with the story of a witch who was killed there.

Starring: Georgina Kean, Wendy Gifford, Neville Barber and Jasper Jacob

The Waiting Room Jon Watkins Stan Woodward 24 September 1975
Sue and Gerry find themselves stranded in an old waiting room at a railway station. They find themselves back in 1925 and witness a train crash. On returning to 1975, they find the same events beginning to play out.

Starring: Jenny Agutter, Paul Henley, George Innes and Beth Harris

An Optical Illusion Tom Clarke Peter Webb 1 October 1975
Karen, Dawn and Phil are visiting a Tudor mansion and decide to stay the night. They begin acting strangely as the former occupants of the house begin to take them over.

Starring: Pauline Quirke, Richard Willis, James Cossins and Susan Parriss

Dutch Schlitz's Shoes Trevor Preston Stan Woodward 8 October 1975
A man with strange powers named Mr Stabs arrives at a house with his servant. On finding an old bank robber's shoes, he begins to take on his character until the bank robber himself returns from the grave.

Starring: Russell Hunter, Barry Stanton, Gordon Gostelow, Ron Pember, Kenneth Caswell, John Abineri and Valentine Dyall

The Other Window Jacquetta Hawkes, J. B. Priestley Darrol Blake 15 October 1975
A man brings home a distorting lens and places it on the window. One by one his children begin to see visions of the past through it. Claiming it to be impossible, he finally sees it himself and orders the people within to leave them alone. The lens promptly melts.

Starring: Sophie Ward, John Woodvine, Roy Jacobs, Gwyneth Strong and Aimée Delamain

Series 2 (1976)

Title Writer Director Original airdate
The Dark Streets of Kimballs Green Joan Aiken Stan Woodward 28 July 1976
A girl, living unhappily in a foster home, seeks magical assistance from a king of Ancient Britons.

Starring: Alex McCrindle, Barbara Keogh, Hannah Isaacson, Joan Scott, Karen Archer, Pat Beckett, Andrew Paul

Time Out of Mind Penelope Lively Audrey Starrett 4 August 1976
A girl imagines herself as a maid in a Victorian doll’s house.

Starring: Coral Atkins, Sally Lahee, Neville Barber, Brenda Cowling, Elaine Button, Katrina Rose, Craig McFarlane

The Inheritance Josephine Poole Peter Webb 11 August 1976
A retired gamekeeper tells his grandson about the horn dance.

Starring: John Barrett, Priscilla Morgan, Dougal Rose

Dark Encounter Susan Cooper Leon Thau 18 August 1976
A man, evacuated from London to the country as a child, returns to face his fear.

Starring: Alex Scott, Shelagh Fraser, Brian Glover, Hugh Morton, Margot Field, Carolyn Courage, Graham Kennedy

Peronik Rosemary Harris Vic Hughes 25 August 1976
A schoolboy relives the quest of a Grail knight.

Starring: Paul Aston, Zelah Clarke, Ann Lynn, Tim Barrett, Norman Rossington, Chris Cregan

The Eye Ewart Alexander Neville Green 1 September 1976
A house is haunted by a blind Greek man named Stratos.

Starring: John Sanderson, Julia Lewis, Murray Brown

Series 3 (1978)

Title Writer Director Original airdate
Eleven O'Clock Ewart Alexander Joe Boyer 20 September 1978
A man and his daughter wait for a homing pigeon in a French farmhouse.

Starring: Ronald Hines, Tina Heath, Anna Korwin, Stephen Galloway

The Rose of Puddle Fratrum Joan Aiken Neville Green 27 September 1978
A television producer visits a village in Dorset to find an ex-ballerina.

Starring: Christopher Lillicrap, Joan Greenwood, Bryan Pringle, June Brown, Duncan Lamont, Vicky Spencer, Noel Johnson

And Now For My Next Trick PJ Hammond Michael Custance 4 October 1978
An old magician learns a new trick.

Starring: Clive Swift, Caroline Embling, Jacqueline Pearce

The Boy Merlin Stewart Farrar (story by Anne Carlton) Vic Hughes 11 October 1978
Young Merlin is in danger from a Saxon lord.

Starring: Donald Houston, Rachel Thomas, Archie Tew, Margaret John, Cassandra Harris, Ian Rowlands

The Man Who Hated Children Brian Patten Neville Green 18 October 1978
An old man plots to vandalise a park and blame it on children.

Starring: George A. Cooper, Brian Wilde, Paul Watson, William Smoker, James Ottaway, Charles Morgan, Niall Padden

The Silver Apple Roy Russell (story by Philip Glassborow) Gabrielle Beaumont 25 October 1978
Two princes are given a quest for magic to save the kingdom.

Starring: Peter Duncan, Prue Clarke, Simon Turner, Rachel Herbert, George Claydon, Brian Peck, Olaf Pooley

Honeyann Fay Weldon Pamela Lonsdale 1 November 1978
A girl is employed as a maid in a manor house dominated by a tyrannical nanny.

Starring: Madge Ryan, Gwyneth Strong, Adrienne Posta, Jeanne Watts, George Waring, Paul Angelis, Joshua White, Julia Swift, Timothy Stamp


  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 1 September 2009. Retrieved 10 May 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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