Tales of the Unexpected: Season 5, Episode 18

The Skeleton Key (22 Aug. 1982)

TV Episode  |   |  Horror, Thriller
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.0/10 from 29 users  
Reviews: 1 user

Andy, a hospital radiographer, is losing his girlfriend Emma to the self-centred Max, who is planning to take her on a romantic holiday. When Max complains of pains and Andy sees him in a ... See full summary »



(dramatisation), (story)
0Check in

Editors' Spotlight

IMDbTV Pick: Showtime's "Penny Dreadful"

The subtle trick Showtime's "Penny Dreadful is that it is far less about the blood, gore and the specter of gruesome death than the sharp pain and exhilarating pleasure of living, and the terror of feeling alone even in close company. Read our review in the May Picks section.

Related Items

Search for "The Skeleton Key" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Skeleton Key (22 Aug 1982)

The Skeleton Key (22 Aug 1982) on IMDb 5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Tales of the Unexpected.
« Previous Episode | 69 of 112 Episodes | Next Episode »


Episode complete credited cast:
John Duttine ...
Peter Machin ...
Peter Jeffrey ...
Mr. Stewart
Dr. Hartley


Andy, a hospital radiographer, is losing his girlfriend Emma to the self-centred Max, who is planning to take her on a romantic holiday. When Max complains of pains and Andy sees him in a professional capacity, an opportunity for revenge arises. Did Max really swallow that key, or is Andy just making him suffer ? Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Horror | Thriller



Release Date:

22 August 1982 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Rubbish love story.

Tales of the Unexpected: The Skeleton Key starts as Andy (Peter Machin) is told by his girlfriend Emma (Julie Dawn Cole) that she is dumping him for a guy named Max (John Duttine). Andy feels somewhat upset, then Max complains of pains in his body & Andy senses his opportunity. Since Andy is the radiographer at the local hospital & has to take an x-ray of Max he uses his position to try & get Emma back...

Episode 18 from season 5 this Tales of the Unexpected story originally aired here in the UK during August 1982, the final story from season 5 & the tenth of ten Tales of the Unexpected episodes to be directed by Alan Gibson I thought this was crap. The story by Graham Sutton was dramatised by Roy Russell & is one of those horribly predictable Tales of the Unexpected episodes which has some awful slushy love story at it's center. I'm sorry but this series is at it's best when it's telling dark twisted tales about crimes & the supernatural, not & I repeat not when it's trying to tell a truly horrible love story that is as predictable as it is crap. The Skeleton Key is one of those awful episodes which let the good ones down & why Tales of the Unexpected isn't that popular or well remembered despite running for over 110 episodes over nine seasons.

Why did the surgeon operate on Max before an x-ray had been taken? As everyone was at great pains to point out the key itself might have dislodged itself & moved by the morning so why operate when he didn't even know where the key would be for definite? This has no style & is rather bland & forgettable to look at. The acting is alright, John Duttine would later go on to star in over 60 episodes of Heartbeat (1992 - 2007) as Sgt. George Miller.

The Skeleton Key is crap, I hated it & thought it was a waste of 25 minutes of my time. There's no twist, no scares, no surprises so what's the point? There are much better Tales of the Unexpected episodes out there so watch one of those instead.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Did the series go downhill? ian030870
Childless Couples firstfossil
Memorable Episodes kflhvc
Obvious endings? ian030870
Looking for a Particular Episode... Please Help! EaterofWorlds666
Expensive Lunch Date apstory
Discuss The Skeleton Key (1982) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: