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29th July 2015
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The Stone Tape


TV: The Stone Tape

Creator: Nigel Kneale


those stone steps!arrow icon

When it was first transmitted - didn't realise it was as late at 1972
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make it goaway!arrow icon

Well, I found the DVD this year in my local library. Since it's often mentioned in sci-fi round-ups I thought I'd give it a whirl. I'm not saying how ...
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Saw it on first transmission in my early twenties.
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More recollections...

In Depth

The Stone Tape

A British electronics research team try to analyse a ghost.

Commissioned as "a ghost story for Christmas", this Nigel Kneale script is one of the masterpieces of genre television. It's a genuine alliance of mind-stretching science fiction concepts with the suspense mechanisms of horror.

An electronics company buys up a derelict country house as a research centre to develop new recording media. The project co-ordinator (Michael Bryant) discovers that a particular room needed for computer storage has not been made ready because the workmen refuse to go into it.

A sensitive computer programmer (Jane Asher) sees the ghost of a terrified 19th-century servant girl. Bryant decides to treat the haunting as a set of data that can be analysed with all the scientific equipment at the company's disposal.

As the rational scientists dissect the phenomena, the instinctive Asher decides that something more frightening and much older lies beneath the Victorian spook and is drawn into a tragic finish.

Intensely acted, the play carries over the themes of Kneale's work on Quatermass and the Pit, pitting science against the supernatural and discovering that an explanation doesn't always mean an end to the terror.

Work nominated by electronicseadog.

Text © Radio Times/BBC Worldwide

Paulvonscott recommends...

My Science Fiction Life contributor paulvonscott recommends his favourite stories from the site.

"I thought hard about them, but I think all of these show how science fiction affects people's lives," he says.

PaulGee31 on Day of the Triffids
It's great to be a thicky!

angelicSpaceboy on Journey into Space
Angelic's vicar rescheduled God for it...

MossyMermaid on The Stone Tape
30 years on, it claims another victim.

JennyDay on Tron
Loved how this changed a software engineer's life.

paulg1974 on Life on Mars
"I hope it's not Crime Traveller again." Exactly!

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