Edward and George are friends whose businesses are in financial trouble but neither can get a loan from the bank, which makes them feel like robbing it. They enlist the help of an elderly ... See full summary »

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Edward
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Meakins
Harry H. Corbett ...
George Balsam
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Heeny
Avril Elgar ...
Thelma
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Storyline

Edward and George are friends whose businesses are in financial trouble but neither can get a loan from the bank, which makes them feel like robbing it. They enlist the help of an elderly safe-cracker called Meakins and, over the course of a weekend when the bank is closed, they tunnel into it from the shop next door. They successfully enter the vault after much arguing but, sadly for them they neglected to observe the notice on the door of the bank before they began their operation. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Horror | Thriller

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30 May 1982 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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"That's the dreadful thing, one crime leads to another." Likable Tales of the Unexpected episode.

Tales of the Unexpected: The Moles starts as Edward Boils (Fulton Mackay) confides in his friend & business associate George Balsam (Harry H. Corbett) that he & his firm are on the brink of bankruptcy & he can't get a loan from the bank. George is also having major money problems & Edward casually mentions if he had a gun he'd rob a bank, George however likes the idea & together they reluctantly agree to do just that. Unable to muster the nerve to use a real gun they decide the best option is to rob the bank when no-one is there, they hire Meakins (Bill Owen) a safe-cracker & start to dig a tunnel from the shop next door to the bank right up into the vault itself...

Episode 6 from season 5 this Tales of the Unexpected story originally aired here in the UK during May 1982, the first of five Tales of the Unexpected episodes to be directed by Peter Hammond this is a surprisingly light hearted & very likable tale with a twist. The story by J.J. Maling was dramatised by Chaim Bermant & the three main character's are rather delightful, the two businessmen who have never so much as had a speeding ticket before & the old timer who is an expert safe-cracker who has to keep them in check in some amusing little scenes. At only 25 minutes it moves along at a nice pace, the story has that basic hook & a decent premise & there's even an effective 'when your lucks out, it's out in a big way' twist ending which in the light of the previous 20 odd minutes is a little harsh & I ended up feeling a bit sorry for the main protagonists. A very likable, amusing & entertaining way to pass 25 minutes, this is one of the later episodes which is crying out for a filmed introduction by Roald Dahl who provided them for the first two seasons as it would be interesting to hear what the great man thought of this very memorable Dahl-ish story which he'd of been proud of writing himself.

Technically this is alright, very few episodes of Tales of the Unexpected are what you would call stylish & they were all made very cheaply for British TV. The fact the tunnel sounds & looks more like a cardboard tube isn't too distracting as the story really carries this episode. This one has a good cast including the last on screen credit for Harry H. Corbett who played Harold Steptoe in Steptoe and Son (1962

  • 1974) who died from a heart attack in 1982, the year The Moles was
broadcast. Bill Owen who played Compo in almost 200 episodes of Last of the Summer Wine (1973 - 2000) & Fulton Mackay who played the rather unimaginatively named Mr. Mackay opposite Ronnie Barker in Porridge (1974 - 1977) also appear.

The Moles is definitely one of the better Tales of the Unexpected episodes, certainly from the latter seasons of the show anyway. This is actually well worth a watch for a light hearted crime drama with a nice twist.


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