A clever story loosely based on actual people and events in history. The episode opens as a satanic ritual is taking place. A young girl is brought before the master and is told to look into a mirror. She sees the face of Chorozon the devil and instantly goes beserk, head butting a stone pillar. The master vows to try again and chooses another girl, Allison played by Rosalyn Landor, but Allison escapes and flees from the manor house (you get to see many shots of the rear of Hampden House and grounds).
Meanwhile at a country auction, Australian antiques dealer Laura Stephens bids successfully for the belongings of a late Earl supposedly renowned for his wild orgies. Simon Andrews, played by Paul Darrow of Blakes 7 Avon fame, overhears Laura chatting to Mike Roberts, an antiques exporter about star signs and is interested for some reason to hear that Mikes birthday is 21st June.
After the auction, Simon chats to Laura and notices a mirror in the late Earls belongings. It happens to be exactly the same as the mirror used in the satanic ritual. Simon offers Laura increasingly large sums of money for it but Mike suggests that he should get it appraised for Laura.
Whilst Mike drives home, mist starts to appear in the mirror. Mike goes into a sort of hypnotic state. At the same time Allison who is hiding in the woods also goes into a hypnotic trance. Suddenly Mike sees Allison standing in the middle of the road. He slams on the brakes just in time. She asks for his help so Mike takes her to his house (the same as the house used in Charlie Boy).
Allison notices the mirror and tells Mike that it is infact a scrying glass and that she can feel immense power from it. She goes on to explain that it could be the original made by the Elizabethan astrologer, alchemist, mathematician and magician John Dee, and that the Chorozon Society would pay handsomely for it. Whilst Mike's back is turned Allison runs off with the scrying glass.
The next morning Mike goes to see Laura at her antique shop (which is located in Amersham-on-the-hill, about 5 shops down from the old post office. I have to check this, but I think it's the same shop used for Heinz's antique shop in Charlie Boy). Laura wants to go to the police but Mike convinces her that he will be able to track Allison down and get it back. He goes to Simon Andrews antique shop (this is located in Old Amersham next to the ? hotel) and asks the shop assistant, Tina (played by Caroline Langrishe, known to me as ? in Lovejoy) about the scrying glass. He then goes into the back room and asks Simon if his client is the Chorozon Society and that he wants £1000 for the glass.
Mike reads up on John Dee and discovers that the scrying glasses were used in a ritual to raise Chorozon the almighty devil. John Dee employed the services of an Irish medium Kelly who would go into a trance and tell Dee what he saw in the glass. He saw strange writing called enochian, a series of calls to Chorozon the Guardian of The Abyss. Everyone who has tried to perform the same experiment since Dee and Kelly have all met with disaster. The book says that to incarnate the human form of Chorozon, the chosen human subject must be born on a solstice and must go eagerly to the place of invocation and have in their possession the scrying glass.
Charles Randolph, the leader and master of the Society attempts to call Chorozon again. This time Simon Andrews is by his side dressed in the same inverted cross robe. Another girl has been chosen and is told to look into the glass. She sees Allison running through fields. The scrying glass suddenly flies out of Allison's hands on to the ground. Randolph's face appears in the glass. Allison is frightened and she takes the glass back to Mike and pleads for his help. Randolph holds his glass tightly, and goes into a trance. His body trembles, almost in ecstacy and then Mikes face appears in the glass through mist. Randolph takes 2 voodoo dolls and brings them together. At the same time Allison and Mike embrace in the kitchen. As Randolph moves the dolls, Mike and Allison perform the same actions. They go to Mike's bedroom.
Randolph asks Simon to prepare for a midnight sacrifice. A chicken and dagger are brought to Randolph who slits the chicken's throat and drips blood on the male doll. He then uses the female doll to pick up the dagger. At the same time Allison goes to the kitchen for a knife. Allison is about to stab Mike but he wakes up and leaps out of bed. He watches Allison stab the bed several times whilst in a trance. Mike manages to stop her and break her from the trance.
The next morning Randolph is at Mikes door. He warns Mike about Allison, telling him that she is dangerous, disturbed and paranoid. Whilst talking he hypnotises Mike and whispers "offer me wine" and then "offer me some dry bread". Mike does as he is instructed. Randolph also asks for some salt. Allison comes running into the room and flings the tray across the room telling Mike that Randolph had hypnotized him and that you must never offer red wine, bread and salt to a black magician in your own home. They both tell him to leave. Randolph tells them that Allison is the chosen one and that its too late to change things.
Mike takes Allison to Laura's shop and asks for her to look after Allison while he sorts things out. Then Simon Andrews receives a phone call from Laura offering to sell the scrying glass. Simon comes to Laura's shop to buy the glass for £1500. Allison, hiding in the back room tells Laura to get rid of Simon but he sees her. Mike arrives to see Allison and Simon driving off as Laura stumbles out of the shop with blood dripping from her head where she was hit with a vase by Alison.
Simon takes Allison back to the society for the ritual. Mike gets the address of the society from Simon's assistant and when he arrives there he gains entry and sees Simon telling Randolph that the girl is ready. Mike finds Allison lying on a bed holding the scrying glass. She appears to be in a trance. He wakes her and takes the scrying glass from her. She is pleased to see him but she rings a bell, letting the society know that he is there. Randolph and Simon come into the room and Allison thanks Mike for coming as she was to be the chosen one had he not arrived. Randolph then asks for confirmation from Simon and Allison that Mike was born on the solstice, came eagerly and that he has the scrying glass. All is according to the ritual.
Mike is strapped tightly to a table. Simon asks to perform the ritual. Randolph chants and then Simon raises the dagger and then stabs Mike in the chest. Lightning strikes and wind howls through the room. Then the scrying glass cracks and the wind stops. Randolph raises himself from the floor to see the devil Chorozon is strapped to the table where Mike was. The gruesome face starts to wear off to reveal Mike's face. Mike then removes the knife from his chest and brakes free from the straps. He tells his servants they have done well and orders them to the floor whilst beckoning Alison to his side.
Production information for Guardian of The Abyss
15th November 1980 (UK ITV)
Laura Stephen's antique shop was located in Hill Avenue, Amersham-on-the-Hill, about 5 shops down from the old Post Office (I think this may be the same shop as used in Charlie Boy for Heinz's antique shop).
Simon Andrews antique shop was in Old Amersham High Street, next to the Kings Arms hotel.
When Mike stops to pick up Allison, you can see Hampden House in the distance with what must have been at one time, a gatehouse. This is on Rignall Road leading from Gt. Missenden to Chequers.
Hampden House is used extensively throughout this episode as the Chorozson Society headquarters. You get to see some nice shots of the exterior and interior.
I'm sure that the shots used for the interior of Mike's house are infact Hampden House as when Randolph comes to see Mike, you can see the shaped conifer trees through the window that you also see when Allison is escaping.
*update* However Andy Pagin, a visitor to the site and Hampden House is certain Hampden House wasn't used for the interior shots of Mike's house