You’ll be familiar with the premise of the haunted premises. A Bad Thing happens in the past and it echoes down the generations like Jimmy Savile‘s ‘uhuhuhuhuh’ noise echoing down the corridors of Broadcasting House accompanied by the faint sound of children crying like that nausey Smiths songs about the Moors Murders. Well Lightfields is not going to depart significantly from that boilerplate. This is ITV and if you’re looking for some kind of trailblazing reinvention of the ghost story then you can just fuck right off to BBC4 or your local arthouse cinema. What we do have is action from the 40s, 70s and present-day and it’s all just a little bit cray. It’s set in Suffolk which is fucking scary enough by itself. It all starts in 1944. Britain is at war with Nazi Germany and in the spirit of those times Martha Felwood (Jill Halfpenny), welcomes Eve (Dakota Blue Richards) an 18-year-old evacuee from London to help out on their modest agrarian operation Lightfields Farm and boy will she have a story to tell by the end of this? (I certainly hope so).
Eve is staying in the village at her aunt’s with her eight-year-old sister Vivien (played by Chris from Homeland for all I care). The worldly Eve sizes up the Felwood’s 17-year-old daughter Lucy (Antonia Clark) and they quickly bond over being sexually attractive young women and what it’s like to do it with a fella. Also hanging around is Lucy’s friend, Tom (Danny Miller) who labours both on the farm and under the delusion that he will one day get to put his cock into Lucy. It’s a lifetime ticket to sexual frustration central for him though. Bad luck, old boy.
“Also hanging around is Lucy’s friend, Tom who labours both on the farm and under the delusion that he will one day get to put his cock into Lucy. It’s a lifetime ticket to sexual frustration central for him though. Bad luck, old boy.”
No such sorrow for the sprightly Eve who flirts her way into a date with American airman Dwight (Neil Jackson) who is stationed at the local airbase. First base is as far as he gets with Eve though and when Lucy runs into him on a walk he decides that she might be a better bet. Lucy has heard worse ideas, notably the one Tom raises when he asks her out in a futile attempt to escape the friendzone. In a glorious scorched earth cockblock he drops the bombshell in front of Eve that he saw Lucy with Dwight. Eve sucks on an invisible popsicle of lemon, lime and grapefruit juice as she looks at her new frenemy. What has the world come to where you can’t cocktease a servicemen without your homegirl sprinting in to finish him off?
“Eve sucks on an invisible popsicle of lemon, lime and grapefruit juice. What has the world come to where you can’t cocktease a servicemen without your homegirl sprinting in to finish him off?”
1975! Somewhat stressed mother Vivien (Lucy Cohu) arrives at Lightfields. She is strangely drawn towards the place. I mean it’s not that strange – she stayed with her aunt in the village when she was eight. That’s right, she’s the Vivien I mentioned earlier, Eve’s younger sister by 10 years. She’s now a schoolteacher and wannabe novelist so six weeks of haunted house terror is exactly the kind of thing to get you in the mood. Just ask Jack Torrance. She’s brought along her daughturd Clare (Karla Crome) who can’t help but notice the ghostly girl titters on her tape-recording to her father. What a gwan? I’d hate to guess and be wrong but I can tell you that modern-day Tom is still working around the house showing exactly the kind of get-ahead spirit that the British working class excels in the not having of.
2012! Barry (Danny Webb) and his wife, Lorna (Sophie Thompson) are now in situ at the place looking after their 8 year old great grandson, Luke (Chris from Homeland). Puke gets on well with Barry’s 77 year old father Pip (he was also turding around in 1944) who often flashes back to the time Lucy got burnt to a crisp while fucking Dwight in the barn. I imagine he gets off on it.
“Stringent health and safety regulations did not exist back then and as a result they got torched. Sex gets you burned alive and then you’ll spend decades in the afterlife fucking with the tape recordings of 6/10 70s girls on vacation with their nausey moms.”
What is the terrible secret of Lightfields? I’ll tell you what. It’s that many years ago a young woman let an American put his cock in her in a barn. Stringent health and safety regulations did not exist back then and as a result they got torched. Sex gets you burned alive and then you’ll spend decades in the afterlife fucking with the tape recordings of 6/10 70s girls on vacation with their nausey moms. It is not exactly a surprising ghost story but neither is it a bad one.
The verdict on Lightfields: If there’s something weird in your neighbourhood, who you gonna call? The Fire Service would be a start.
Marks out of 10: 7
Imagined: Wednesday 27th February 2013