IMDb > "Out of the Unknown" Deathday (1971)

"Out of the Unknown" Deathday (1971)

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Angus Hall (novel)
Brian Hayles (adaptation)
View company contact information for Deathday on IMDbPro.
Original Air Date:
12 May 1971 (Season 4, Episode 4)
Adam Crosse is a reporter for a local paper. A neurotic under-achiever, the last straw comes when he... See more » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Pretty iffy episode, not to the usual standard. See more (1 total) »


 (Episode Cast) (in credits order)
Robert Lang ... Adam Crosse

Lynn Farleigh ... Lydia Crosse
John Ronane ... Quilter
Susan Glanville ... Joanne
Lindsay Campbell ... Stanley Hudson
Valerie Lush ... Dorothy Hudson
Simon Merrick ... Det. Chief Insp. Schofield
Leslie Schofield ... Det. Sgt. Roberts
Roy Evans ... Postman
Gina Manicom ... Telephone Operator
Douglas Wells ... Arnold
Tim Gudgin ... Newsreader

Episode Crew
Directed by
Raymond Menmuir 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Angus Hall  novel
Brian Hayles  adaptation

Produced by
Alan Bromly .... producer
Film Editing by
Dan Rae 
Production Design by
John Stout 
Costume Design by
Christine Rawlins 
Makeup Department
Lyn De Winne .... makeup artist
Art Department
Charles McGhie .... graphics
Sound Department
Malcolm Campbell .... sound recordist
John Staple .... sound
Visual Effects by
Peter Day .... visual effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Sam Barclay .... lighting technician
Ray Henman .... camera operator
Other crew
Roger Parkes .... script editor

Series Crew
These people are regular crew members. Were they in this episode?
Directed by
Peter Hammond 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
David Campton  (episodes "Tunnel Under The World" and "Liar")
Hugh Leonard  (episodes "Second Childhood" and "Satisfaction Guarenteed")
J.B. Priestley  (episode "Level Seven")
Hugh Whitemore  (episodes "Frankenstein Mark II" and "Too Many Cooks") (as Hugh Whitmore)
Martin Worth 

Production Design by
Paul Allen 
John Burrowes 
Tim Harvey 
Sally Hulke 
Martin Johnson 
Roy Oxley 
Chris Pemsel 
David Spode 
Marilyn Taylor 
Chris Thompson 
James Weatherup 
John Wood 
Production Companies

Additional Details

50 min


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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
Pretty iffy episode, not to the usual standard., 12 November 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Out of the Unknown: Deathday is set in England & starts one morning as a local newspaper reporter named Adam Crosse (Robert Lang) accidentally discovers that his wife Lydia (Lynn Farleigh) has been having an affair with another man, when Adam confronts Lydia she is very cold about it telling him that it's a purely physical relationship that satisfies her in a way he can't & that she won't divorce him because she needs the security that his job brings. Enraged & humiliated Adam loses it & brutally beats Lydia to death with a wrench before calming setting up a watertight alibi which will clear himself but also cast suspicion for Lydia's murder on a local serial killer nicknamed the 'Kitchen Killer'. The police are baffled & Adam is not considered a suspect but his guilty conscience starts to get to him as living without Lydia is harder than Adam thought...

Episode four from season four from the British television series Out of the Unknown this was directed by Raymond Menmuir & is a fairly weak episode, besides not really having any sci-fi Deathday is more of a psychological thriller that has glaring holes & a script that really is quite poor. Deathday was the episode from season four adapted from an existing work, Brian Hayles wrote the script based on the novel by Angus Hall who by all accounts was very unhappy with the finished program & you really can't blame him either. Although Deathday starts off quite well with Adam killing Lydia & then trying to frame the 'Kitchen Killer' for the crime the whole thing falls to pieces afterwards, from the police who barely question Adam & are done with a murder scene within a couple of hours to the idea that Adam picks that woman up at the end to the way Adam behaves to his imaginary conscience who he keeps having conversations with to a random ending where Adam kills himself. Even at only fifty minutes long Deathday feels longer, take away the first fifteen minutes with the murder & the twisting of the facts & Deathday really has nothing going for it. The whole thing is just sloppy, the way people behave & think are just so unbelievable including the police & Adam himself to Adam's schizophrenic alter ego popping up to torment him every so often. Nothing here really works, nothing here is convincing or thought out that well.

Originally broadcast during May 1971 Deathday hasn't dated that badly, apart from the fashions & cars of course but the story could easily be set in 2010 without any major changes. There are some really bad special effects here, when Adam is driving along at night the rear projection is awful, throw in some odd little dream sequences & the whole thing is a mess. The acting is pretty static, I thought Robert Lang in particular was terrible here. The next episode, The Sons and Daughters of Tomorrow (1971) is missing, believed wiped forever.

Deathday is a sloppy thriller with some laughable police work & some awful attempts at psychology that come across as just plain silly. Watch the first fifteen minutes & then switch it off, other than that don't bother watching it at all.

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