Reviews & Ratings for
"Tales of the Unexpected" Accidental Death (1984)

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A return to form.

Author: Paul Evans from Swansea, United Kingdom
21 February 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Steve and Jane are trying to gather enough funds for a new restaurant and a new life, travelling around the country in search of houses to burgle under the guise of being employees of Silvertone Metal Polish and undertaking market research. They happen across a small hotel, and settle, they make the acquaintance of Percy Hampton and see him as a potential victim, but have they picked the wrong one?

You cannot fault Andrew Ray for commitment to Tales of the Unexpected, easily the most frequent regular, he's starred in some good episodes, this being a fairly good performance. Two particularly fine performances in this one, firstly Cyril Cusack, a legendary performer, loaded in charisma. Secondly, Doctor Who fans will recognise Mrs Milvain, the lovely Jacqueline Hill, a truly wonderful actress.

It's a clever story, the episodes featuring confidence tricksters were always well though out, and this is no exception, definitely better then the recent offerings. It almost feels like it could have belonged to an earlier series.

Much, much better. 6/10

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Average tale of the unexpected.

Author: Paul Andrews ( from UK
10 November 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Tales of the Unexpected: Accidental Death is set in the small British town of Bishopsbourne where two thieves Steve (Andrew Ray) & Jane Jefferies (Lynsey Baxter) book into a hotel, under the false pretence of carrying out market research they travel around the town entering people's homes trying to find suitable places to rob. While sitting at the hotel bar Arthur (John Hug) tells them about Percy (Cyril Cusack) who looks like a tramp but has a huge stash of cash at his run down cottage, Steve & Jane decide to break in & rob him while Percy is at the pub but he arrives back home much earlier than they expected...

Episode 12 from season 7 this Tales of the Unexpected story originally aired here in the UK during August 1984, the second of two Tales of the Unexpected episodes to be directed by Peter Duffell this isn't one of the show's better 25 minutes. The story by Tony Wilmot was dramatised by Denis Cannan & isn't anything particularly special, this is one of those Tales of the Unexpected episodes which is basically a crime drama with a twist ending, to be fair to it the ending is alright & certainly not predictable until it happens but the rest of Accidental Death is so dull & forgettable it's not much fun getting there. Steve & Jane spend almost the entire duration scouting around looking for suitable properties to rob & it's just not very interesting or entertaining. The character's are bland, the dialogue is flat & apart from a mildly surprising twist ending there's little here to recommend.

Shot entirely on video this episode has the perfect example of 'comet trails', just look at car headlights as they move. It's due to the video camera equipment used to shot it not being able to discharge the bright light, it happens with candles as well. The veteran actor Cyril Cusack makes one of his last on screen appearances in this his second Tales of the Unexpected story after The Hitch-Hiker (1980) from season 2.

Accidental Death is one of the more forgettable Tales of the Unexpected stories, it's far from the worst episode from this series but it's far from the best either. Not that great.

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