Tales of the Unexpected: Season 5, Episode 14

The Absence of Emily (25 Jul. 1982)

TV Episode  |   |  Horror, Thriller
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Magistrate Norma allows her sister Emily, a children's author, and Emily's failure of a husband Bob to live in a house in her grounds. Bob's first wife died in mysterious circumstances and ... See full summary »



(dramatisation), (story)
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Episode complete credited cast:
Frances Tomelty ...
Susan Tracy ...
Patsy Byrne ...
Diana King ...
Derek Anders ...
William Moore ...
Patrick McAlinney ...


Magistrate Norma allows her sister Emily, a children's author, and Emily's failure of a husband Bob to live in a house in her grounds. Bob's first wife died in mysterious circumstances and when Emily disappears Norma is deeply suspicious that she has come to harm despite Bob's assurances that she has merely gone somewhere quiet to complete her latest book. However, the opportunistic Bob comes to realise that it could be in his interests to play along with Norma's doubts. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Horror | Thriller




Release Date:

25 July 1982 (UK)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Yet another average tale of the unexpected.

Tales of the Unexpected: The Absence of Emily is set in rural England in a large country house where local magistrate Norma (Frances Tomelty) has generously allowed her sister Emily (Susan Tracy) & her good for nothing lay about failed businessman of a husband Bob (Anthony Valentine) to live in a house in the grounds rent free after Bob's latest business venture went belly up. Emily writes children's books for a living & when she suddenly disappears without trace or a contact number Bob tells Norma that she went away to finish her latest book but Norma is suspicious especially considering Bob's last wife died in a shooting 'accident' several years ago...

This Tales of the Unexpected story was episode 14 from season 5 that originally aired here in the UK during July 1982, the ninth of ten Tales of the Unexpected episodes to be directed by Alan Gibson this is yet another average crime/drama/thriller/mystery with a supposed twist ending that isn't that effective. The story by Jack Ritchie was dramatised by Denis Cannan & is pretty standard undistinguished fair for this series which if your a fan of or have seen some other episodes your more than likely to guess how it's going to end, I'm sorry but I just find the twist endings on this show far too predictable & have very little impact. As a stand alone piece of 30 odd minute drama it's OK, it'll pass the time harmlessly enough but it's utterly forgettable & you'll never want to see it again.

This hasn't dated too badly & the British countryside locations are always pretty enough to look at & add some background colour. There's no horror in this one & it doesn't have any scares or any real tension either. The acting is good from another top British cast full of familiar faces, I especially liked Tomelty in this & thought she did well with the material.

The Absence of Emily is another standard Tales of the Unexpected episode that while it isn't anything particularly special it's still worth a watch but just don't spend too much time, money or effort doing so.

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