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The theme of blindness which Thriller handled so effectively in 'The
Eyes Have It' from its first series is revisited in 'The Next Voice You
See' which is the penultimate episode in series five.
The story begins in 1964 with a bank robbery in which Stan Kay's wife, Susie is tragically killed while he is blinded from a double-barreled shotgun blast. We then fast forward to 1974 where Stan (played by Brad Dillman), a successful jazz pianist, is due to play an engagement party for a wealthy society girl. Whilst performing he is shocked to hear a snatch of a familiar voice in the crowd - which he recognises as the dulcet tones of the armed robber ten years beforehand.
He conveys his worries to his agent Julie (played by the beautiful Catherine Schell) who is initially sceptical. As the evening unfolds the voice is heard again and again while Stan vainly tries to ascertain the speaker. It soon becomes evident that the murderer is aware of Stan's presence and an exciting game of seek and destroy follows. During this time his identity is kept a secret and we are just treated to glimpses of his shoes.
Amongst the supporting cast are Ray Smith as the gruff security guard Tamplin, Nigel Havers as a drunken guest and Geoffrey Chater as the affable host Sir Peter. The closing sequence in the wine cellar is extremely exciting as we see the killer close in on Stan.
Whilst not as strong as 'The Eyes Have It', 'The Next Voice You See' is a very competent episode and has plenty to recommend it. Go see.
This is a quite brilliant piece of TV drama that sadly has been little
seen but deserves a wide audience. Part of the exceptional "Thriller"
series, this is one of the very best and would make my top three.
In the story Stan Kay is an American jazz pianist visiting the UK. On a routine call to the bank there is an armed robbery in which his wife is killed and he is blinded. Ten years later Stan returns to the UK and is about to play at an upmarket party. While playing he hears the voice of the robber from the past. He is totally shaken and determined to find him but how can a blind man do this? Unfortunately Stan finds that he is not the only one who is determined to find his man...
This episode is close to flawless. The storyline is truly intriguing. Various suspects among the apparently upstanding party crowd are cleverly signalled. However the performance makes it really special. Stan's dignity and,later, vulnerability are superbly communicated by Bradford Dillman. The direction by Robert Tronson is inspired and makes the latter part of the action, in which Stan is being stalked by the man he can incriminate, almost unbearable to watch. The final minutes are incredibly tense. The last scene is marvelously poignant. One really feels for Stan, whose blindness is handled skilfully and sensitively, really heightening the drama.
All the key acting performances are expertly done. Special note should go to Catherine Schell as Kay's elegant and supportive assistant, Terence Sewards and Ray Smith. Welshman Ray employs a sometimes shaky Cockney accent here but carries his role as a bluff, distrustful security guard with aplomb. There is also a small but significant early role for Nigel Havers as a drunken, lecherous party guest.
The excellent script was the last one for the show written by Terrence Feely. There was a slight fall in quality after this until the great finale "Death In Deep Water", also starring the fine Dillman. If you do get the opportunity, don't miss this neglected gem!
I've only seen this once but think it to be the best ever Thriller episode. I couldn't remember the title and thought it may have been "The Eyes Have It." Looking further, I guessed it would have to be "The Next Voice You See." I was right. A very suspenseful and original story, one that a person would want to see again and again. The music at the end when the credits are going up is fantastic. I have it on audio and still play it now and again as I've never been able to get a Thriller DVD. But I'm still looking despite having one of the pre-recorded VHS tapes. An armed robbery takes place at a bank and a man is blinded. But 10 years on at a party, he recognises a voice. This story gets you in from the start. It is better than excellent.
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