Omnibus: Season 1, Episode 17

Whistle and I'll Come to You (1968)

TV Episode  |   |  Documentary, Biography
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A university professor, confident that everything which occurs in life has a rational explanation, finds his beliefs severely challenged when, during a vacation to a remote coastal village ... See full summary »



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Title: Whistle and I'll Come to You (1968)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Ambrose Coghill ...
George Woodbridge ...
Hotel proprietor
Nora Gordon ...
Freda Dowie ...


A university professor, confident that everything which occurs in life has a rational explanation, finds his beliefs severely challenged when, during a vacation to a remote coastal village in Norfolk, he blows through an ancient whistle discovered on a beach, awakening horrors beyond human understanding. Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

1968 (UK)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The isolated headstone by the cliff's edge where Professor Parkins discovers the whistle is the exact same as the overgrown one seen in the foreground when he arrives at the cemetery. See more »


Professor Parkins: There are more things in philosophy than are dreamt of in heaven and earth.
See more »


Referenced in Screenwipe: Review of the Year 2007 (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

Extremely Overrated.
24 October 2013 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

This short ghost story was written by M.R. James and directed by Jonathan Miller for the BBC program Omnibus. James was a highly accredited academic, known for his work in the fields of medieval and biblical history. But he also moonlighted as a writer, notably most renown for his ghost stories.

This film tells the story of a skeptically minded professor who moves into an old hotel, where he is confronted with the philosophical conundrum of whether he believes ghosts exist or not.

One day he goes out wandering, and finds an old engraved flute sticking out of the ground near an eroding gravesite. He takes the flute, does a rubbing to see what the engraving says, and even gives it a hoot.

It's after this instance that odd things start to occur. He starts to have weird dreams, and hear unexplainable noises.

One day he wakes up to find that both beds in his room had been slept in. But despite this, and ignoring the previous nights' occurrences, he manages to rationalize an explanation for everything- usually in absence of any evidence to back up his claims. This does, however, encourage him to read up on spiritualism, though.

Because he feels it necessary to remain in such a frame of mind, he suffers a mental breakdown when confronted with an actual physical manifestation...and this is where the film ends.

On top of it's shortness, the film is very slow moving and lacking of any major plot development. It ends up sort of like a "slice of life film", in that it just ends without winding anything up. But it also, has a trippy psychedelic element, in regards to the camera-work, which goes all "wavy" and "dreamlike" at times. Overall, I found this film to be a pretty basic, psychological look at the effects of the ghost phenomenon on an ultra-skeptic. It has atmosphere, but doesn't do much to develop or immerse you in the storyline. It ends up like a really crappy and poorly shot episode of The Twilight Zone. For this reason, I give it a 3 out of 10.

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