Century Falls is a British cross-genre series broadcast in six twenty-five minute episodes on BBC One in early 1993. Written by Russell T Davies, it tells the story of teenager Tess Hunter and her mother, who move to the seemingly idyllic rural village of Century Falls, only to find that it hides many powerful secrets.
The director of Dark Season, Colin Cant, had been assigned to direct another children's series for BBC One, but had little enthusiasm for the script. Instead, he wrote to Davies asking if he could provide something else. Davies quickly wrote the first episode of Century Falls for Cant to take to his superiors, who then fully commissioned the programme.
Tess befriends the only other children in the village, brother and sister Ben and Carey Naismith, and finds that Ben has strange powers which he draws from the waterfall that gives the village its name.
The Naismiths' uncle Richard is working with his aged father, Dr Josiah Naismith, to complete the unfinished ceremony using Ben's powers, hoping to raise the spirit of a mysterious God-like being, Century. They are eventually stopped by Tess' actions, aided by the local Harkness sisters, who knew the original tragedy of the 1950s events.
Colin Cant had, for many years, been the Producer of the BBC's long-running school drama Grange Hill, and had directed several well-received children's series before Century Falls, such as Moondial (1990) and Dark Season.
Of the cast, the three teenage leads were unknown: Catherine Sanderson as Tess, Simon Fenton as Ben, and Emma Jane Lavin as Carey. Simon Fenton has since gone on to appear in several well-known television dramas, such as ITV's police soap opera The Bill (in 2002) and Steven Spielberg's Band of Brothers (2001).
Many of the adult cast were already well-known character actors from a range of British television dramas. Bernard Kay (Richard Naismith) had appeared in episodes of many long-running British television dramas, such as Doctor Who, Crossroads, Dixon of Dock Green and Z-Cars, as well as films such as Carry On Sergeant (1958) and Doctor Zhivago (1965). Mary Wimbush (Esme Harkness) appeared in the BBC's famous adaptation of Poldark (1975) and several episodes of ITV's Jeeves and Wooster (1990-92). She was probably best known, however, as the voice of Julia Pargetter in BBC Radio 4's long-running rural soap opera The Archers.