Communicator (communicator) wrote,
Communicator
communicator

Missive from behind the sofa

Over the weekend I watched a little of a program of Channel 4 presenting the '100 scariest moments' from film and TV. At number 97 I was electrified to see the show that frightened me, as a child, more than anything before or since. To the extent that just hearing its name sent a thrill of remembered terror through me.


The show is of course 'The Singing Ringing Tree'
http://uk.geocities.com/singringtree/

It only means something to those who are very close to my age. John Coulshaw (who does the Tom Baker impersonations on Dead Ringers) and the cast of the League of Gentlemen were interviewed, and they were like 'Shit, the Singing Ringing Tree, that was some heavy action.' I think one of them used the f-word in connection with this show.

What was it? I discovered on Saturday that it was actually an East German film of a traditional fairy story. The BBC split it into four half-hour black and white shows for kids. It was the most terrifying experience you can imagine.

Look, I was 3 years old OK? This show came out of nowhere. A prince that turns into a bear: I'll never forget his sad expression as hair grew all over his face, obliterating his humanity. A flying dwarf. A talking plastic fish. I'm only a toddler, why is this being inflicted on me?

To this day, if I saw a tree that both sang and rang, I would recognise it as the embodiment of primordial evil which it would surely be

You take care now.
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