Up 762 this week

Tales of the Unexpected (1979–1988)

TV Series  |   |  Horror, Thriller
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 764 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 3 critic

Dramatizations of many Roald Dahl short stories.

0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon




9   8   7   6   5   4   3   2   1  
1988   1987   1985   1984   1983   1982   … See all »
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Hammer House of Horror (TV Series 1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

This British anthology series, which was produced by England's leading exporters of horror films, told tales of haunted houses, demons, ghosts and other supernatural wonders.

Stars: Nicholas Ball, Anna Calder-Marshall, Christopher Cazenove
Armchair Thriller (1978–1981)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Suspense and mystery-themed anthology series.

Stars: Frank Duncan, Maria Aitken, Zena Walker
Zodiac Killer (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.8/10 X  

A young man who works at a nursing home uses the legendary Zodiac killer's M.O. to kill people who neglect their elderly relatives.

Director: Ulli Lommel
Stars: Rudolf Waldemar Brem, Katja Rupé, Kornelia Boje
Thriller (1973–1976)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Anthology series of self-contained episodes with the genres ranging from murder mystery to suspense to psychological and supernatural horror.

Stars: Donna Mills, Gary Collins, Robert Powell
Brookside (1982–2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The everyday life and times of the residents, friends and enemies who live in a suburban street in the city of Liverpool in the north of England.

Stars: Alexandra Fletcher, Diane Burke, Steven Pinder
Man About the House (1973–1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

One morning after a particularly wild party, Chrissy and Jo wake up to find Robin sleeping in their bath. He needs a place to live, they need a flatmate that can cook, so they decide to let... See full summary »

Stars: Richard O'Sullivan, Paula Wilcox, Sally Thomsett
Just Good Friends (1983–1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The series followed the wavering relationship between two ex-lovers, Penny Warrender, a secretary for an advertising firm, and Vincent Pinner, an ex ice cream salesman turned turf ... See full summary »

Stars: Paul Nicholas, Jan Francis, Sylvia Kay
Smith & Jones (1984–1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Mel Smith and Griff Rhys-Jones present a series of short (often tasteless, always scathing) sketches about modern life and the stupidity and gullibility of those who believe in it.

Stars: Mel Smith, Griff Rhys Jones, Geoffrey McGivern
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.1/10 X  

A man falling in love with a beautiful manager who live on Miami.

Director: Enrico Oldoini
Stars: Massimo Boldi, Simona Ventura, Bruno Arena
Too Beautiful (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3/10 X  

Costantino and Daniele are two friends which have very success with girls. Their wish is to work in the show business and they can achieve their goal when meet Valeria, top model and ... See full summary »

Director: Ugo Fabrizio Giordani
Stars: Costantino Vitagliano, Daniele Interrante, Jennifer Poli
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3/10 X  
Director: Przemyslaw Angerman
Stars: Jan Frycz, Tomasz Karolak, Katarzyna Glinka
Comedy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1.1/10 X  
Director: Tamás Gerencsér
Stars: Anettka, Tamás Gerencsér, József Ihos


Complete series cast summary:
 Himself - Introduced by (32 episodes, 1979-1985)


A British anthology series featuring tales of horror, mystery and suspense. Most episodes featured a twist ending, and many of them were based on short stories by well-known writer Roald Dahl, who also served as the show's host during its first two seasons. Written by Marty McKee <mmckee@wkio.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Horror | Thriller


See all certifications »




Release Date:

24 March 1979 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The Title Music for the show was recorded in Studio 2 at Olympic Studios, London. See more »


Referenced in Mongrels: Marion the Young Lover (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Good stories, shame about the production quality
15 January 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Tales of the Unexpected took the short stories created by Roald Dahl from the book of the same name and others and put them on the small screen. Later on, other writers would be used and Dahl would provide an introduction to each story. This introduction was eventually dropped in favour of a voice over.

The key to each story was in the ending which originally was usually totally unexpected. The content and the background to each storyline often involved murder, often without holding back some visualisation and this lead to it being broadcast late on Sunday evenings.

The series suffered from poor production quality. It is likely that the series was shot on video tape which is evident nowadays. The appearance of studio sets is apparent as there is a definite transition between the quality of lighting indoors and for shooting on location. Some of the stories were quite laboured as the introduction of the characters and initial plot creation were quick. This left a large gap of time until the unexpected outcome. The acting was sometimes slow with long pauses in an attempt to spin out time.

Despite it's faults, Tales of the Unexpected managed to attract well known names in asting for episodes and sustained an audience following for 8 years. The stories were varied in their creation and the eventual outcome but eventually the ending could be predicted. In 1988 the series was quitely axed and reruns can now be seen on digital channels in the UK.

If you can ignore the poor production, it is well worth seeing, even after all these years.

9 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Did the series go downhill? ian030870
Memorable Episodes kflhvc
Childless Couples firstfossil
Obvious endings? ian030870
Looking for a Particular Episode... Please Help! EaterofWorlds666
Stuffed monkey? mcennimo
Discuss Tales of the Unexpected (1979) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page