Lucy Felwood - Antonia Clarke
Eve - Dakota Blue Fanning
Dwight Lawson - Neil Jackson
Pip Felwood - Michael Byrne
Vivien Mullen - Lucy Cohu
Albert Felwood - Sam Hazeldine
Clare Mullen - Karla Crome
Barry Felwood - Danny Webb
Lorna Felwood - Sophie Thompson
Paul Fenner - Kris Marshall
Written by -
Directed by -
OTHER GHOST STORIES
Whistle And I'll Come To You
Episode 1 - First transmitted 27th February 2013
In 1944, an American airman becomes a point of contention between two young women on a Suffolk farm. In 1975, a woman with marriage problems and her daughter come to Lightfields for some space and to write a novel. The mother has memories there and the girl just feels lonely and out of place. In 2012, a couple struggle to run a guest house whilst looking after an ageing father and a troubled, abandoned grandson. A single tragedy will unite these disparate families.
In 2011, MARCHLANDS proved to be a moderately effective ghost story spanning three periods of history. Now, two years later, ITV has recycled the idea of the ghost and the three time periods, but amped up the soap opera of the story to make up for the fact that we have seen this all before, and only recently.
If you didn't see MARCHLANDS then that sense of deja vu will be removed and the drama here will be more effective, though much of it is pretty obvious. The ghostly elements are simple - self-opening doors, whispering voices, images in broken mirrors. That doesn't mean that they are any the less effective for that, but full on creepiness is not what is going on here just at the moment.
This is the set up for the three stories and so we are introduced to the characters, see the background to the tragedy and get an awful lot of hints as to just who might have been behind the death in the barn. Yes, this time around the imagery is going to be all about fire when previously it was all about water.
That, though, is pretty much all that has been changed from the original MARCHLANDS concept.
The photography and direction are very nice, giving a golden glow the forties, a drab orange to the seventies and a more normal palette to the present. Into these time periods are placed some good actors with some interesting characters that are only just beginning to emerge.
LIGHTFIELDS does enough to get by on, but it's going to have to work very hard to shrug off the familiarity of its predecessor.Top
Episode 2- First transmitted 6th March 2013
In 1944, Eve starts to believe that Lucy's death wasn't an accident, but has less evidence and more suspects than she needs. In 1975, a visit from Vivian's estranged husband reveals a past of mental instability. In 2012, Paul Fenner decides he wants to be a full-time father at the time that his son starts seeing the tooth fairy.
The slow burn that is LIGHTFIELDS continues at its own pace, telling more about the lives of the characters outside of the haunting of Lucy (and she's seen here clearly on a number of occasions) than the connections that they have with the event.
Pip struggles with his memories of the time when his sister died, but events surrounding his children and grandson are seemingly irrelevant, except that said grandson is now seeing Lucy. Similarly, Eve's sister Vivian has a convenient case of amnesia regarding that summer and so must try and unravel the secret herself.
That said, spending time with the characters is no hardship and any show that spends time building up its participants before getting on with the plot is to be applauded.
The supernatural happenings are limited and almost inconsequential.Top
Episode 3- First transmitted 13th March 2013
In all three time frames, letters become important with Eve's betraying her feelings toward Lucy, Vivian having ghosts typing them and Pip remembering delivering them.
This episode muddies the waters of the mystery of Lucy's death a bit more by introducing more suspects and starts to unearth the relationships between the characters a little in the three eras, but it remains almost as interested in the custody tug of war as the ghost that is Lucy.
The ghostly typing noise in the kitchen is effective though, even if it is ripped off from Kubrick's THE SHINING.Top
Episode 4- First transmitted 20th March 2013
In 1944 Lucy's father decides to take decisive action over his own guilt, Vivien believes that she caused the fire and attempts to make contact with Lucy's spirit in 1975 and in 2012 Pip finally unburdens himself to his family about the events of that night.
Decisions are being made, decisions that will get answers, but possibly at a price that is just too high. The spectre of death and suicide hangs over the characters and might have been more effective had we cared more about them. That the truth could mean so much to them ought to be more convincing.
Still, it is that threat of death that makes this episode actually work and more tense than most of the others to date.Top
Episode 5- First transmitted 28th March 2013
In 1944, the bereaved family make plans to leave the house, taking their unspoken secrets with them. In 1975, Vivien decides to confront Lucy, even though it means dying first. In 2012, Pip's great-grandson is abducted and he believes Lucy's revenge will be complete.
It's the final episode of LIGHTFIELDS and so the answers must come. In fact, the second half of the episode seems to be one long info dump explaining what happened in the barn on that fateful night in black '44, a barn that saw more human traffic than Picadilly Circus at rush hour. It's a clumsy way of the secrets coming to light (characters just tell each other what happened), but it does lay to rest the problem of an essentially good Lucy being a vengeful spirit and it does bring the theme of the series out at last; secrets destroy and can do damage across whole generations.
The characters remain sketched in, so the final toll of the story isn't as impactful as it might have been and the whole tug-of-love storyline in 1975 is resolved as unbelievably as it has taken place. It seems to have been tacked on at the end as though there was running time that needed to be filled so a side story was invented.
The story of LIGHTFIELDS has been slight, but it might have benefitted from a longer running time to allow the characters to be fleshed out and for the supernatural elements to have been more to the fore. A few photos catching fire doesn't prove to be scary, though the voice on the tape recorder does have a momentary frisson.
In the final analysis, LIGHTFIELDS has been a pleasant, though slight and ultimately unsatisfying, experience.Top
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