'They had crossed more than half a mile of open pasture without a trace of cover, expecting every moment some attack than did not come. They had heard the unnatural humming of a pylon in the summer air; and had actually gone beneath it, on Fiver's assurance that it could do them no harm.'
The pylon and it's power line are also mentioned in chapters 24, 'Nuthanger Farm' and 47 'The Sky Suspended' and others.
This 132kV power line crosses the down close to Watership Down as it has for many years and is of an old type. In the book it is used to mark the transition from the world of the rabbits into the world of the humans. Perhaps surprisingly it features prominately in the film, particularly in the 'Bright Eyes' sequence where it takes on a very effective graphic form to emphasise the invasive effect humans have had on the rabbits and the down itself. This photograph was taken into the afternoon sun while standing by the isolated bush seen from the road giving a very dramatic view with the storm clouds gathering overhead which is derived in style more from the film than the book. The power line, part of the early phases of the National Grid, runs Northeast to Southwest and can almost be seen again in the distance in 'The Combe where Bigwig met the Fox'.
This pylon features in the ‘Bright
Eyes’ sequence of the 1978 film. The song
very nearly didn’t make it into the film at all;
three times it was dropped and re-instated.
The problem was that it was difficult to
integrate it into the narrative of the film.
Songs were also a Disney hallmark,
and that caused problems too. There
were three songs, all by Mike
Batt, two didn’t survive at all.
There have been proposals which might result in this power line being taken underground. I vote that we should keep 'our' pylon!
To continue the walk click here.