Review: DVD: Dramarama Spooky

Network DVD, Out Now

A collection of the supernatural and scary episodes of ITV’s fondly-remembered children’s drama showcase, Dramarama

Thames Television’s Dramarama was an anthology series that ran on ITV between 1983 and 1989, and whoever was in charge of the show had something of a soft spot for the weird and strange.

This collection of seven half-hour spooky episodes includes ‘The Exorcism of Amy’, a confused tale of possession; ‘The Danny Roberts Show’, about a radio DJ visited by a disturbed demon; and ‘War Games With Caroline’, which sees school kids from World War II haunt a contemporary (well, 1980s) boy.

A ghost sets out to gain revenge on those who murdered him in ‘The Ghostly Earl’; a boy being read a story in a lonely cottage discovers he’s part of the tale being told in ‘In a Dark, Dark Box’; and old Steptoe himself, Wilfred Bramble, features in the Hammer Horror lite tale ‘The Restless Ghost’.

Finally, there’s ‘The Keeper’, where some would-be ghostbusters get more than they bargained for after visiting a haunted house. That’s probably the best—and most adult in terms of sophistication—of the bunch: hardly surprising, as it’s by The Owl Service’s Alan Garner.

Easily mocked for the low production values, obvious scares, often dodgy child actors and awful 1980s fashions, most of these episodes have something going for them and will appeal to anyone who was a young teen at the time and remembers the show. If nothing else, this collection proves the rich history of spooky children’s drama was not dead in the 1980s.

Verdict: 6/10

Mark James


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