On a train journey William Perkins is convinced that the passenger seated opposite him is 'Galloping' Foxley, who made his life a misery when they were at school together and relives the ... See full summary »



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Episode complete credited cast:
Himself - Introduced by
William Perkins
Anthony Steel ...
The Stranger
Young William Perkins
Young Bruce Foxley (as Jonathan Scott Taylor)
Anthony Woodruff ...
Colin Thomas ...
City Gent
Guy Humphries ...
Clifford Abrahams ...
Adrian Breeze ...
Timothy Breeze ...
Wayne Brooks ...


On a train journey William Perkins is convinced that the passenger seated opposite him is 'Galloping' Foxley, who made his life a misery when they were at school together and relives the unpleasant experience before the stranger identifies himself. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Horror | Thriller




Release Date:

15 March 1980 (UK)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Although he isn't credited as such, John Mills also plays the father of young William Perkins in the scenes at the boarding school. See more »

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User Reviews

Dahl Reflects on Terrible Schooldays
5 August 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

In its short-story form, Galloping Foxley is an excellent and typically horrifying tale of British public-school abuses and ritual humiliation. I have always loved Dahl's most sinister and dark work and this story is darkened further by the clear note of autobiography evident within it.

As an episode of "Tales Of The Unexpected" it shines even brighter. Dahl opens the episode with his usual address to the audience. He tells us that "every single word of the following tale is perfectly true" - ramming home the fact that this is an autobiographical venture. The story concerns a typically-British businessman, William Perkins, who loves the routine of his life. One day, turning up as usual at the railway station for his journey to work, he finds that a rather obnoxious-looking man has taken his place first on the platform and then in his usual carriage.

Breaking the silent code of the commuter, the new traveller addresses our man Perkins and engages him in uncomfortable conversation. These privations go on for several days until Perkins finally recognises the man as Bruce Foxley, the older boy from his school who had brutally beaten and abused him during his childhood. Foxley seems not to have recognisers Perkins.

Perkins determines to expose Foxley in front of the other commuters and proceeds to do so with relish, waiting until the train is nearly at its destination.. And at this point the written and televisual versions diverge.. I feel that the written story has a weaker ending than the TV version. In the original, the supposed bully Foxley simply denies that he is Foxley and gives his real name and old school - there the tale ends. In the TV version the denial is made and then we see the other embarrassed commuters leave the carriage. 'Foxley' addresses Perkins in the empty carriage whilst holding his distinctive cane over his shoulder in the manner we have previously seen earlier in the school-time flashbacks. This implies that the new man is indeed Foxley whilst leaving us in enough doubt not to be sure of it. A rather clever improvement, I thought. It gives subtlety to the ending and affords the possibility that the man is really Foxley and that he has once again and after all of these years, humiliated poor Perkins.

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