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Raven (1977 TV series) facts for kids

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Written by Trevor Ray
Jeremy Burnham
Directed by Michael Hart
Starring Phil Daniels
Michael Aldridge
Shirley Cheriton
Patsy Rowlands
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 6
Producer(s) Colin Shindler
Running time 25 minutes
Production company(s) ATV
Original network ITV
Original release 19 September (1977-09-19) – 24 October 1977 (1977-10-24)

Raven is a British television series made for ITV by ATV in 1977.

The series starred Phil Daniels in the title role as an orphan and former borstal inmate sent on a rehabilitation programme, assisting an archaeology professor in his excavation of a system of caves and who subsequently is compelled to fight a plan to build a nuclear waste disposal plant on the site. The man-made cave system is underneath an ancient stone circle, and contains 5th Century rock carvings which may be connected to the legend of King Arthur and Arthurian lore. The professor believes that ‘Arthur’ may not have been a single individual but an inherited office and he emphasises the notion of Arthur and his knights slumbering below the West Country landscape awaiting the call to return to action in a time of peril, more as an idea than a physical reality. The programme consistently featured the sign of Pluto (referencing Plutonium as a by-product of a nuclear reactions), a symbol for Raven's quest.

Other cast members in the serial included Michael Aldridge, Patsy Rowlands, James Kerry, Shirley Cheriton and Tenniel Evans.

The core of the story is the central Sage/Apprentice Hero relationship between Professor Young and Raven, representing the legend of Merlin and King Arthur, both characters having avian projections: Young as a Merlin (a bird which often accompanies Raven throughout the story), and Raven (protected by his namesake bird Raven at birth when abandoned by his parents).

An episode of this series is available to view at the National Media Museum in Bradford, UK.

The whole series of six parts was long been believed to be incomplete in the archives, until Network DVD, an independent DVD publishing company that specialises in classic British television, unearthed the original 2" VT tapes. Network released the series on DVD in 2010.

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