In early 1986 the BBC decided to torment and scare its young viewers by unleashing a six part children’s drama called Running Scared. The paranoia it induced made no walk to or from school safe! Created by Bernard Ashley, a novel came out after the TV show aired. What made Running Scared stand the test of time was the fact it was a self contained, one off series. It used the Kate Bush song Running Up That Hill as its main theme tune which had only just been released at the time.
In the show we meet teenager Paula Prescott (Julia Millbank), whose life is put at risk when she uncovers evidence that could put a local criminal gang leader Charlie Elkin (Christopher Ellison) behind bars.
The reason Paula is at risk is because Paula’s late grandfather (Fred Bryant) has hidden a vital piece of evidence – one half of a pair of spectacles – that could put Elkin behind bars for many years to come, much to the pleasure of D.I. McNeill (James Cosmo).
Just before he passes away, Paula’s grandfather advises her that the location of the evidence can be found via an old musical box – the chase is then on to deciper the secrets of the box. Caught up in the maelstrom are Paula’s family and her friend, Narinder (Amarjit Dhillon) whose family are being terrorised by Elkin’s gang.