Thriller: Season 1, Episode 17

The Poisoner (10 Jan. 1961)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Horror
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 65 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 1 critic

London critic and wit Thomas Edward Griffith finds himself in need of funds and saddled with abrasive in-laws and a disapproving uncle. The solution to his problems lies in his collection of rare poisons.


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Title: The Poisoner (10 Jan 1961)

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Episode cast overview:
Murray Matheson ...
Thomas Edward Griffith
Sarah Marshall ...
Frances Abercrombie Griffith
Brenda Forbes ...
Mrs. Abercrombie
Jennifer Raine ...
Helen Abercrombie
David Frankham ...
Richard Peel ...
Maurice Dallimore ...
George Griffith
Charles Larrimore
Seymour Green ...
Sir John Herbert
Keith Hitchcock ...
Lord Danforth
Nelson Welch ...
Donald Journeaux ...
News Vendor (as Donald P. Journeaux)


London critic and wit Thomas Edward Griffith finds himself in need of funds and saddled with abrasive in-laws and a disapproving uncle. The solution to his problems lies in his collection of rare poisons.

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Release Date:

10 January 1961 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Thomas Edward Griffith: I am not under oath or on trial!
Justin: You will be, Mr. Griffith, you will be.
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User Reviews

A tribute to the vastly underrated Murray Matheson
1 May 2009 | by (Youngstown,Ohio) – See all my reviews

Episode 17, "The Poisoner," the first Gothic THRILLER, is a solid entry enhanced by the presence of Murray Matheson in a rare leading role (and later to be seen in "Letter to a Lover"). He portrays Thomas Edward Griffith, a 19th-century artist and author accustomed to the finer things, and determined to live life to the fullest. Chagrined to learn that his lovely bride (Sarah Marshall, daughter of Herbert) actually possesses no wealth at all, he is even more displeased by the unwelcome presence of his wife's mother (Brenda Forbes)and wheelchair-bound sister (Jennifer Raine, later seen in "The Closed Cabinet"). Adding to his woes is his miserly uncle George (Maurice Dallimore), who refuses to divulge a cent to his debt-ridden nephew. Amazingly, even after turning to poison as the solution to his problems, our hero never once loses audience sympathy (well, maybe once) as he flaunts the wheels of justice. Robert Hardy Andrews loosely based his script on the real-life crimes of Thomas Griffiths Wainewright (1794-1847), who actually was sentenced to life imprisonment in Australia, posthumously defended by no less a wit than Oscar Wilde. Director Herschel Daughterty would go on to do 14 more THRILLERs. Murray Matheson was a vastly underrated actor who did memorable turns on THE TWILIGHT ZONE ("Five Characters in Search of an Exit") and KOLCHAK: THE NIGHT STALKER ("Horror in the Heights," as the expert who divulges the Hindu legend of the Rakshasa.) Beautiful Sarah Marshall would reappear in "God Grante That She Lye Stille," but is best remembered by genre enthusiasts for her appearance in the STAR TREK episode "The Deadly Years." David Frankham would return in three additional entries: "Prisoner in the Mirror," "The Closed Cabinet," and "The Specialists."

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