Friday, July 20, 2018

The Folk Horror Podcast Episode 7: Red Shift (1978), pt. 1

Done! We talk about the 1978 Play for Today "Red Shift" by Alan Garner. And the book! We talk a lot of background but we do have about 20 minutes of synopsis before the end.

Here's the audio, but surely you would rather download this from apple podcasts or your podcast reader of choice?

Here's the Spotify playlist:

Here's a link to that really good TOR article. The author's name is Jo Walton:

Here's Apaches:

Great short doc about Garner:

And yet weren't these shown at night?

A galaxy (quickly moving) far, far, away.


Hints of Eden?


Tom and Jan.

Sergeant Major.


John Fowler.

Rather gory.


1 comment:

  1. Another great episode, with lots of stuff from the heritage of Great Britain!

    You and Mike had some confusion about which English highway is mentioned. It must be the M6. This does go through Cheshire, but does not go to London. There is no highway called the M16, this was planned but never finished.

    Red Shift shows the fascination that British fantasy authors have with the 9th legion. Yes, this was a real unit of the Roman Army, and it was stationed in Britain. But it isn’t included in some later lists of the Roman Army, so it was no longer in existence by about 200 AD. British fantasy writers enjoy inventing all kinds of bizarre things happening to it. In fact, there is some evidence that after it was stationed in Britain, it was moved to what is now the Netherlands. But we still don’t know what happened to it after that. It doesn’t seem to have been completely destroyed or something like that, because we have found records of some of its former officers continuing to have careers in the Roman government.

    The Roman sections of “Red Shift” are set about 100 AD. Roman rule in Britain would last for about three hundred more years. The end of Roman rule is usually dated to 410 AD, when the Roman Emperor Honorius told the British to look to their own defense. But even after that date, many historians believe that quite a few Romans stayed on in Britain.

    Tam Lin was originally a song from the Scottish Borders, the borderlands between Scotland and England, where it is set. So it isn’t really English or Scottish, but a bit of both.

    There is now some more research into berserkers. A berserker seems to have really been the champion of a Viking chief or lord. If a chief had to fight a judicial duel with another chief (or even with someone who wasn’t a chief), he would instead send his berserker. A berserker would wear a shirt made from bear skin as a symbol of his status.

    In a lot of ancient and dark age armies, including Viking armies, there were indeed people who were possessed by “battle rage”. But these folks were never called berserkers, these were completely different people. The confusion is modern, and the term “go berserk” was created from this confusion.

    Despite Mike’s comments, the British countryside certainly did exist before highways came to Britain. The modern highway system only started being created in 1958. Long before that, we have the British countryside being praised by travel writers and poets, and being portrayed by landscape painters. Mike is correct however that the British countryside isn’t particularly “natural”, it is the result of changes to Britain created by agriculture. But remember that agriculture came to Britain in 5000 BC, so some of these changes to the landscape are very old indeed. As Neil pointed out, some of Britain’s hedgerows are quite old, possibly dating back to Britain’s bronze age, when farmers clearing fields would leave a patch of woodland to show where the boundaries between the fields were.

    Hope I can fit this all into one comment this time!