For those who prefer their paranormal activity a little more gentle and character driven, ITV’s series (or rather, ‘miniseries’, if one is to use their weird and very American phrase) Lightfields is the perfect option. It’s billed as a follow-up to 2011 drama Marchlands, and generally fits the same format that series used (one house, different decades, multiple characters with their lives intertwining). Though to be honest, if you’ve never seen Marchlands, it really wouldn’t make any difference to your enjoyment of Lightfields.
Intriguingly, this series is a co-production between ITV and Twentieth Century Fox, and it draws its inspiration from an American pilot episode that Fox originally commissioned then dropped in 2008.
It has an impressive cast of familiar TV faces and it all feels quite warm and inviting. Lucy Cohu, Sophie Thompson, Kris Marshall (Nick from My Family to you and me), Dakota Blue Richards and Karla Crome are all here, looking nice and slightly concerned while their lives are slowly invaded by supernatural forces.
I suppose this series fits into the horror genre, but anyone expecting any proper scares will be severely disappointed. Instead, it works best as a character drama, and the acting is always watchable if not especially memorable. Karla Crome, who seems to be in everything these days (a very good thing) is terrific as a teenage girl whose mother is doing her best to battle against the sinister forces interrupting their attempt at a peaceful life. Kris Marshall is also very believable, playing it straight and succeeding in a quiet, non-fussy kind of way.
Though it won’t be regarded as a landmark series in years to come, Lightfields is consistently involving and should find a good home in the houses of those who feel a little alienated by the current found-footage trend that envelopes ghostly horror stories at the moment.
Lightfields is released on DVD by ITV Studios Global Entertainment, Certificate 12.