When a down-at-heel, alcoholic physician discovers a medical kit, based on future technology, accidentally left in the wake of a time-travel expedition, he becomes a dispenser of miracle ... See full summary »



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Episode credited cast:
Dr. Roger Full
Elizabeth Weaver ...
Edna Flannery
Ian Frost ...
Alan Downer ...
John Dunbar ...
Mr. Collins
Katherine Kessey ...
The Receptionist
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dennis Bowen ...
Dr. Hemingway
Honora Burke ...
Mrs. Coleman
James Chase ...
Leon Cortez ...
Robert Dean ...
Dr. Gillis
Harvey Hall ...
Peter King ...


When a down-at-heel, alcoholic physician discovers a medical kit, based on future technology, accidentally left in the wake of a time-travel expedition, he becomes a dispenser of miracle cures. But is his discovery enough to salvage his self-esteem and redeem his life? Written by hutch48

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Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi





Release Date:

25 February 1969 (UK)  »

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Also filmed in America for "Rod Serling's Night Gallery". See more »

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User Reviews

I suppose we have to be grateful for what we have.

Out of the Unknown: The Little Black Bag starts as a washed-up struck-off alcoholic physician named Roger Full (Emrys Jones) finds a strange looking black suitcase with the date July 2160 stamped on it, together with the ambitious & greedy Angie Quiller (Geraldine Moffat) they discover that the case contains an advanced medical kit from the distant future that has accidentally been sent back in time. The scheming Quiller senses an opportunity to make money & convinces Full to use the medical kit to perform cosmetic surgery on rich clients, however Full becomes disillusioned & wonders at the possibilities that the medical kit could bring to modern science & how much disease & suffering it could cure. Meanwhile in the future they are monitoring the medical kits activity & are deciding what to do...

Episode eight from season three of the British television sci-fi drama series Out of the Unknown this was directed by Eric Hills & is a very frustrating piece of vintage television, basically while the BBC ruthlessly wiped & junked Out of the Unknown a few episodes were retained by luck & about twenty eight minutes of The Little Black Bag also managed to survive the cull. Unfortunately the opening twenty odd minutes of The Little Black Bag is missing as is the final one or two minutes which is incredibly annoying when watched, you get the meat the of the story & it's quite easy to pick up & understand but the missing final twist just kills the whole experience. What's here is great & it's such a shame that the only complete episodes from season three is the dull The Last Lonely Man, I can't really recommend The Little Black Bag as while the missing start can be overcome & the story easily picked up the missing ending really does spoil things after you have put the time in there's no pay-off. Fans of the series will enjoy it but I can't see most people getting much out of a seemingly random twenty eight minutes. As a moralistic tale about the corruption of great power & the abuse of it The Little Black Bag is fine & the final twist in which the villain gets their comeuppance would have been great to see (the original camera script still exists at the BBC so we know what was filmed & what happened, typical though isn't it? The BBC kept all the paperwork but junked the episode itself!).

Unlike other reviewers here I think special effects do matter, a bad effect can ruin an entire scene or just cause unintentional laughter so to say they don't matter is complete rubbish. Originally broadcast during Fenruary 1969 this has dated a bit, in particular the so called futuristic medical bag doesn't convince with plastic bright neon instrument's that look like the sort of toy medical kit equipment you buy your child from the pound shop, only less believable. It's also very odd to hear Angie talk about guinea's rather than pounds, this is so old Britain has since changed it's currency! Overall, although a bit bright & garish, The Little Black Bag looks fine & the strong story really carries it anyway. Nothing else from the remained of season three exists expect for the complete off-air recorded soundtrack to The Yellow Pill (1969) which is nigh on useless anyway without the accompanying pictures. The acting is solid enough, Geraldine Moffat as the greedy Angie comes across as suitably selfish & self centered.

The Little Black Bag was probably great, as it is it's been reduced to twenty eight minutes with the opening twenty minutes & final one or two minutes missing. It's hard to recommend in this form purely because the ending is missing which is a massive downer, I liked what was here for sure & wished the whole thing existed but it doesn't & that's it. Worth watching if your curious or a fan of the series. The original story was also adapted for Studio One: The Little Black Bag (1951), Tales of Tomorrow: The Little Black Bag (1952) & Night Gallery: The Little Black Bag (1972).

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