Tales of the Unexpected (1979–1988)
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Clerical Error 

Whilst winding up his late father's affairs for his invalid mother Paul Standing comes across an invoice from a London book-shop and goes to meet the owners, the Carey brothers, who claim ... See full summary »

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Episode complete credited cast:
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Mrs. Standing
Richard Pearson ...
Michael Carey
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Paul Standing
David Webb ...
Ronnie Carey
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Storyline

Whilst winding up his late father's affairs for his invalid mother Paul Standing comes across an invoice from a London book-shop and goes to meet the owners, the Carey brothers, who claim that Paul's father owes them money for pornographic books they sent him. In fact the brothers are crooks who scour the obituary columns for the names of deceased worthies and then hit their relatives with the lie that the dead man owed them for erotic reading material, knowing that the ignorant next of kin will pay up to avoid a scandal. However Paul and his mother invite the Careys to their house and greet them with a shot-gun and some very incontrovertible news that certainly scuppers the proposed scam. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Horror | Thriller

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30 April 1983 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Clerical Error
22 April 2015 | by See all my reviews

I watched "Clerical Error" only because David Webb appeared in it, and after his death I set up a website based on the theatrical and related memorabilia he had collected during his lifetime; this site having now expanded somewhat to become in part a fan site, I have decided shortly to add a few film clips to it.

David Webb made over seven hundred television appearances, many of them cameo or very minor roles, but in this one he is given top billing along with Richard Pearson and Hugh Fraser; indeed there are only four characters in it, the last being Evelyn Laye, whose role is minor but not that minor, if you get my drift. Likewise this was a tale of the unexpected that has a not very unexpected ending.

Two brothers, middle aged or so, run a bookshop, they are also con-men, scouring the obituaries columns for reports on the deaths of wealthy men whom they then invoice for expensive works of obscene literature, the idea being that the widow will pay up to avoid embarrassment. This is actually a well-known con; in 2009, self- styled fun-loving criminal Dennis Stafford boasted of carrying out a variation of it in the 1950s.

In this case there is not only a widow, but a son, and the con-men get their comeuppance. If the minutiae are not predictable, the viewer is surely expecting something similar.


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