Screen Two: Season 4, Episode 2

Dead Lucky (17 Jan. 1988)

TV Episode
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 17 users  
Reviews: 2 user

Martin Urban, a young accountant, is gay but unwilling to own up to this fact because he desperately wants to be the ideal son for his parents. When he wins a fortune on the football pools,... See full summary »



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Title: Dead Lucky (17 Jan 1988)

Dead Lucky (17 Jan 1988) on IMDb 7.6/10

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Episode credited cast:
Robert Austin ...
Mr. Cochrane
Harriet Bagnall ...
Francesca Brown
Honora Burke ...
Woman at Grafton Road
Charu Bala Chokshi ...
Mrs. Bhavnai (as Charubala Chokshi)
Robert Davis ...
Jacqui Docker ...
Ann Blake
Donald Douglas ...
Martin Urban's father
Alexandra Eagle ...
Martin Urban
William Gaminara ...
Tim Sage
Ann-Marie Gwatkin ...
Martin Urban's secretary
Paula Jacobs ...
Mrs. Gogarty
Carl Pizzie ...
Flower shop delivery boy
Chris Sanders ...


Martin Urban, a young accountant, is gay but unwilling to own up to this fact because he desperately wants to be the ideal son for his parents. When he wins a fortune on the football pools, he decides to give half of it away to deserving people. But he neglects to include his friend Tim Sage, who filled in the coupon for him and really needs the money. Perhaps Martin doesn't acknowledge Tim because Martin is strongly sexually attracted to him. Tim's revenge upon Martin succeeds beyond his wildest dreams, setting in motion a chain of events leading to a tragic climax. Written by <>

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Release Date:

17 January 1988 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


Remade as Ruth Rendell Mysteries: The Lake of Darkness (1999) See more »


Have a Nice Day
Music by David Lindup
Bruton Music Ltd
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User Reviews

Brilliant Hitchcockian Study of a Comedy of Errors
18 March 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Based on Ruth Rendell's shortish novel Lake of Darkness, this made-for-British-TV film rises to the level of Hitchcock. I know the label is too often applied to films in exaggeration or flat out error. But trust me, Dead Lucky is the real article. It is peopled by the dotty bumblers and ineffectuals from the working class and petite bourgeoisie backgrounds that made Hitch's early British films such a delight. (--Say, before Jesse Royce Landice in a mink hat and stole, gibbering about The Hamptons, came to epitomize the Hitchcock stock-in-trade dotty character.) These in-good-faith types are wholly inadequate to the task of coming to terms with a truly evil person in their midst when he arrives in the person of an apparently mentally-deficient assassin named Finn.

Along the way, our nominal hero does a fair amount of struggling with impulses he dares not fully own. In all of this, there is a delicious irony at work that Hitchcock would have loved. The assassin is perfectly centered, knowing who and what he is about, while the mature hero flails about like a teenager trying to discover what he wants out of life. The assassin "notices things", while the bourgeois boobs, including our hero, seem credibly oblivious to everything until it hits them over the head. Thus, the nominal villain of the piece is in ways more admirable than the poor victims he will set upon. And we eventually come to understand that the hero is as empty as we first take the villain to be.

None of this is forced, and it moves at the easy pace of life as it is lived. It is a quiet film, one that shocks you doubly, when the fireworks begin, for eschewing Hollywood bombast.

A solid Ten Stars. See it.

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