BBC2 Playhouse: Season 7, Episode 1

Caught on a Train (31 Oct. 1980)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.9/10 from 277 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 1 critic

Peter boards a train to attend an important business meeting across Europe. His train trip is made more complicated by two women also assigned to his train compartment. One is an ... See full summary »


0Check in

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: October

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in October.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 15 titles
created 12 Apr 2011
a list of 30 titles
created 20 Oct 2011
a list of 504 titles
created 10 Nov 2012
a list of 44 titles
created 01 Jun 2013
a list of 1016 titles
created 30 Sep 2013

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Caught on a Train (31 Oct 1980)

Caught on a Train (31 Oct 1980) on IMDb 7.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of BBC2 Playhouse.
« Previous Episode | 48 of 111 Episodes | Next Episode »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Frau Messner
Wendy Raebeck ...
Ingo Mogendorf ...
Louis Sheldon ...
Michael Kingsbury ...
John Dolan ...
Small Man in Mac
Christopher Frederick ...
German Guard
Ken Shaw ...
German Guard
Terry Gurry ...
Belgian Guard
Baron Casanov ...
Fat Man
Martin Phillips ...
Belgian Youth
Richard Merson ...
Lex van Delden ...


Peter boards a train to attend an important business meeting across Europe. His train trip is made more complicated by two women also assigned to his train compartment. One is an independent American whom Peter finds attractive. The other is Frau Messner - an extremely particular and demanding older European woman. Between the two of them, they try different aspects of Peter's patience... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis








Release Date:

31 October 1980 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A landmark in British television
17 May 2007 | by (Derry, Ireland) – See all my reviews

Stephen Poliakoff's wonderfully dark and darkly comic "Caught on a Train" could just have easily been written by Kafka as Michael Kitchen's Joseph K-like young Englishman finds his train journey across Europe turning into something of a nightmare after meeting a supercilious, interfering old German lady who is the ultimate passenger from hell. Poliakoff uses these two characters to contrast the old and the new Europe. Ashcroft's aristocratic old Nazi may be symptomatic of a nightmarish dying breed but it is she who has the strength; her kind may have died out but she is a survivor while Kitchen's facile young go-getter 'just doesn't care' as Ashcroft's Frau Messner says. He typifies a divided and largely inconsequential modern Europe.

In these roles both Michael Kitchen and Peggy Ashcroft are superb. Ashcroft's performance here is a legendary piece of television acting and Poliakoff's play, (it is beautifully directed by Peter Duffel), a landmark in British television drama. Ashcroft may be the instigator of all Kitchen's troubles but almost everyone he meets adds to them in some way; his attempt to pick up a beautiful American girl is rebuked by her denunciation of virtually everyone she has met since crossing the Atlantic. Nor is the hint of violence very far away, (Kitchen is finally driven to lift his hand to the old lady). Yes, this is sublime and disquieting stuff. Poliakoff may have borrowed from Kafka but his vision remains truly his own.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
going gently dvd/vhs rubydancingmoon
Aubrey (1982 - Season 8, Episode 9) venussansfurs
Discuss Caught on a Train (1980) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: