Hammer House of Horror: Season 1, Episode 4

Growing Pains (4 Oct. 1980)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Horror | Thriller
5.2
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Ratings: 5.2/10 from 144 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 2 critic

After the death of their son William Morton, the diplomat Laurie Morton and her husband, the scientist Terence Morton adopt a boy, James. From the moment James moves to Morton's house in the country on, weird things happen with the family.

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Title: Growing Pains (04 Oct 1980)

Growing Pains (04 Oct 1980) on IMDb 5.2/10

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
...
Laurie Morton
Gary Bond ...
Terence Morton
Norman Beaton ...
Mr. Ngenko
Tariq Yunus ...
Charles Austin
Matthew Blakstad ...
James
Christopher Reilly ...
William Morton
Daphne Anderson ...
Matron
Michael Hughes ...
Mechanic, Thornton
...
Nurse Foster (as Karin Scott)
Geoffrey Beevers ...
Gravedigger
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After the death of their son William Morton, the diplomat Laurie Morton and her husband, the scientist Terence Morton adopt a boy, James. From the moment James moves to Morton's house in the country on, weird things happen with the family.

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Drama | Horror | Thriller

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4 October 1980 (UK)  »

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User Reviews

Devil children and science do not a thriller make
2 July 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Originally broadcast fourth in the series of 'Hammer House of Horror', this episode gets off to a bad start when William Morton (Christopher Reilly) breaks into his father's lab, drinks some poison, and dies, badly. Staggering around on a lawn pretending to choke isn't horrifying, it is just funny.

Fast forward and William's parents, Laurie (Barbara Kellermann) and Terence (Gary Bond) adopt an odd boy called James (Matthew Blakstad), who stares a lot, speaks in a monotone, and is fairly unpleasant.

Once James arrives in the house, odd things start to happen. Things come to a head when Terence has a visit from some African dignitaries keen to hear more about how his plants and genetically modified rabbits can solve the food crisis in the Third World.

This story just doesn't go anywhere. The editing is quite poor, particularly the scenes involving the dog who goes berserk. From an early promising scene where James and Laurie are coming home which does have some chills, you expect the episode to take a different direction. It doesn't. And the ending is trite.

I have to defend the actors a bit though. The children, especially Reilly, probably suffered from poor direction. As the parents of this new devil child, Barbara Kellermann looks lost and Gary Bond looks embarrassed at the stuff they're given to do. Both were fine actors who would be given opportunities to do good work outside of this series.

I tried to like Growing Pains, and differently edited and cast it could well have worked, without the copout ending. As it is, it is only OK. It passes the time but has little else going for it.


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