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Don't go into the Cellar...wait that's from.......
David is busy filling in a hole in his cellar with cement, the house is a total mess, his friends Sim and Bob arrive to take him fishing, but he hides from them, carrying on smoothing over the hole. David overhears Bob telling Sim about a fling he had years ago with Irene. They discover David at work, he spins a yarn, but Bob denies the truth of it. Bob is suspicious, wondering where Irene is, David explains she's in Cambridge, they challenge David believing naturally, that he's killed he and buried her under the cement.
Well acted by the three main characters, Colin Blakely was excellent, Warren Clarke was great too, a much less gruff performance then he would have given in later years. The great Keith Drinkel, wonderful as always, had a twinkle in the eye as always, a fun actor to watch.
It's watchable enough, but it's definitely an episode I'd class as a plodder, it's a little on the forgettable side. 6/10
Original and unique, can you imagine if this was true?
Mrs Saunders has been visited by Doctor Scott, she tells him she fears for her next door neighbour, Mr Klausner, who spends ages in his garden shed experimenting with equipment. Klausner explains to Doctor Scott that he's been developing an amplifier to hear sounds the human ear hasn't been designed to hear, a world of sounds around us, that up until now were inaudible. Klausner hears the screams of the Rose bush as Mrs Saunders cuts flowers from it.
Fine performances from James Warwick (what's happened to him?) and the hugely underrated Harry Andrews, he is wonderfully sincere throughout, he didn't play up this story at all, especially as it's one which is rather far fetched.
Series Four has taken a bit of a deviation from the standard format of the show, this and the boy who talked with animals are more in the realms of fantasy, but as with the latter, this has a definite and unique charm. I don't think I've ever seen anything with a similar plot, so points for originality.
A total goody, 8/10
An intriguing double hander.
Gerry Williams returns home and discovers a man sat opposite him holding a gun, the man, Mr Smith, is an assassin, hired by Gerry's beautiful younger wife Ellen. Gerry has to think fast, he has a very short time to keep his life. Smith is an unusual killer, handsome, smart, intelligent, not what a killer should be. Gerry tries bargaining, offering artwork and money, but has an ulterior motive.
After the hideously unwatchable last episode 'A Woman's help,' Shatterproof comes as a welcome return to form (somehwat that is.) The production values aren't too bad, I can't decide if it's fifties or sixties set, but it looks rather good.
Anthony Shaw's (Smith) only acting credit, which I find hard to believe. The utterly wonderful Eli Wallach is just wonderful, a legend, he did a cracking job. Caroline Langrishe, only gets a small part, such a beautiful woman.
A cracking episode, one I think could be expanded and work beautifully well as a stage play, the story would lend itself very well. A bit similar to Dial M for Murder, and a Perfect Murder.
Familiar plot, but who cares, very good episode, I just wish the ending was a little different. 7/10
Tales of the unwatchable....
Elizabeth Bourdon is not an easy woman, spending her days in bed barking out orders, hiring help and dismissing them for not meeting her whims, she nags husband Arnold too. When the latest help is dismissed Arnold hires the beautiful young Miss Greco, Elizabeth is suspicious of her husbands behaviour, aware that he's attracted to Miss Greco. Elizabeth continues nagging at the pair, constantly ringing her bell for attention, she warns Miss Greco away from her husband. Fed up with her the two begin to slow poison her.
It's a mess, let's be honest, the filming is terrible, it looks like it was made on the cheap, the acting is ropy to say the least. I struggle to believe it's even part of the series, it feels completely alien to any of the episodes that have preceded it. Maybe the American episodes were created to cater to help break the series into that market, but this first one was awful.
Only half decent bit was the twist, if you can get through the episode itself, the last thirty seconds are fun at least.
Even mild mannered men have a breaking point..
Arthur Price is a quiet chap, lacking a little in charisma, a clerk, who's madly in love with the bosses daughter, the beautiful Ann. Arthur lacks in style, far from suave or debonair, living with his Landlady he takes in his posh friend Charlie Prince who's down on his luck, in the hope of piking up some of Charlie's style. Charlie begins taking liberties, skipping rent etc, pushing Arthur to his breaking point, who has now started dating Anne.
The 80's wasn't the most stylish era in all fairness, and this episode suffers a little because of that, it's a bit grey around the edges, a little colourless, that said it's a good story, Michael kitchen is really good, as is Jeremy Clyde.
The twist is OK, if a little unimaginative, but the good outweighs the bad, 6/10
A bit more old school.
Midsomer Cicely is the scene of a great Archaeological dig, where it is believed that the bones of a Saint are discovered, not long after the dig leader Zoe Dyer is found killed.
I was quite impressed with this one, it felt like a throwback to the past somehow, the storytelling, the killings, the format somehow, it all seemed to work quite well. The murder methods weren't as far fetched as usual, it was a sensible episode. Some of the clues were kept til the very end, which was a bit of a cheat, but intriguing.
I don't know how much I'm buying into the body language between and flirting between Nelson and Doctor Karrimore, they need to do something with Nelson, he's still feeling rather flat as a character, maybe a bit of romancing would help.
Julia Sawalha was great (she's not looking any older,) Ralf Little did a pretty good job, but Malcolm Sinclair was utterly brilliant as Reverend Corby, such a fun performance from him.
Pretty good on the whole, liked this one, 7/10
Weird and wonderful in its own little way.
On a Caribbean Island (which looks colder then a November day in Merthyr) a group of holiday makers are exited to see a Giant Turtle wash up on the beach, a totally unsympathetic bunch of people, only young David shows any concern for the animal. A young, considerate boy that has the gift of talking to animals, he is clearly distressed when the locals talk of turtle soup and speaks his mind calling them all a bunch of cruel individuals. David succeeds and the fabulous creature returns to the sea, but soon after David disappears.
The illusion of attempting to turn Cornwall into the Caribbean isn't a bad effort, but the grey skies and chilly looking extras can't mask the overcast climate.
In terms of IMDb scores this is rated in the bottom six of all episodes, there is no way on Earth it deserves to be there, it's a decent episode which tries to do something a little different, it shows human nature, bad and good.
If you only watch Tales of the Unexpected for the murders, mystery, suspense and general nastiness then this probably won't be up your Street, but if you like a bit of fantasy, a bit of escapism, then there is something quite magical in its own way. 7/10
The Landlady's back.
Mrs Grady is a terribly sweet old lady, scatty, forgetful, but a good sort. She heads out shopping, while she does young chancer Rex Tobin seizes his opportunity and breaks in. Forgetful as she is she returns home having forgotten her purse, she catches Rex attempting to break in, and when he tries to flee he tumbles down the stairs, she takes him in and offers to help. The pair begin talking, she explains her dear husband was killed by a mugger. A game of cat and mouse between the pair begins, she aims to get him on the straight and narrow,
I don't dislike this episode, fair to say it's not the best, but it's worth watching purely for how good Siobhan McKenna is in it. She'd given a brilliant performance as the Landlady a few years earlier, undoubtedly talented, she adds something good to a part that could have been quite ordinary.
Two sayings are brought to mind when watching this 'a leopard never changes its spots,' and secondly 'you never can tell,' surprising, 6/10
A strong episode, fine performances.
Tanner and Miller are archaeologists, in Jordan with a team of locals desperate to find something of significance. After a round of excitement, a magnificent statue is discovered of a woman, leaving Miller dazzled. In his excitement he rushes back to camp to tell Tanner, the pair load her onto their truck, to seek their fortune, with a fifty fifty split. As they travel a huge rain storm hits as they try to smuggle her through Israel. In making their journey Tanner coshes a Jordanian guard, and worse they are confronted by a guard on the border.
It is said that as time goes by the quality of the series drops, fair I guess but Series 4 is still pretty good, hard to decide if this or Shatterproof is the best of its offerings.
This episode is a great mix of story, twist and acting. The ever gruff Richard Johnson is fantastic, as is the fresh faced Nigel Havers, not much to say other then it's a great watch. 8/10
An English toy factory, beyond belief already....
Henry Knox is the manager of a local Toy factory Peckhams, a bah humbug, not a fan of Christmas, tearing up Christmas cards and dreading the Office Party, it falls on him to organise it. Henry is angered to hear that young employee 'Leighton' is organising a rival party at The George the night before the Office Party, and worse he's heard rumours that Peckhams Toys is to be taken over by an overseas firm. Henry's forced into taking action, retaliating against all the evils, but he had no idea what fate awaits him.....
Now I know they like recycling some of the stars of the show, but talk about frequency for Amanda Redman, starring in consecutive episodes as different characters, the blue jump suit is very eye catching. Robert Morley is a fun actor, I like him, he's big and bold, but I can understand why people aren't always impressed by him. Joyce Redman is great as Mrs Knox, a fine actress I always thought would have made a great Queen Mother.
It's a bit of a forgettable story if truth be told, it's watchable enough, and Robert Morley injects a bit of fun, but the story isn't the most engaging, it looks very dated in comparison to some, and the pace of it is very slow moving.
Inoffensive, but forgettable plodder, 5/10