List of Tales of the Unexpected episodes

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This is a list of episodes of the British drama series, Tales of the Unexpected.

Series One[edit]

Nine episodes. First broadcast: Saturdays on ITV - 24 March to 19 May 1979

Title Episode First aired Writer(s) Director
Man from the South 1 24 March 1979 Roald Dahl
Kevin Goldstein-Jackson
Michael Touchner
An American sailor and his girlfriend, Cathy, are on holiday in Jamaica. They become involved in a bizarre bet with Carlos, who loves to gamble. When the young man boasts about his cigarette lighter, Carlos offers him his Jaguar if the boy can strike his lighter successfully ten times in a row. But if it fails even once, if the boy does not strike it precisely, Carlos will cut off his finger.
Cast: Angela Malcolm (Maid), Pamela Stephenson (Cathy), José Ferrer (Carlos), Michael Ontkean (Tommy), Cyril Luckham (Rawlsden), Katy Jurado (Mysterious Woman)
Mrs. Bixby and the Colonel's Coat 2 31 March 1979 Roald Dahl
Ronald Harwood
Simon Langton
Mrs Bixby is having an affair behind her husband's back. Her lover gives her a mink coat. She devises a devious plan to explain its presence to her husband.
Cast: Will Leighton (Seamus), Richard Hampton (The Patient), Richard Greene (The Colonel), Michael Hordern (Cyril Bixby), Julie Harris (Mrs Bixby), Alan Chuntz (Taxi Driver), Sandra Payne (Miss Pulteney), Frederick Farley (Pawnbroker), Vass Anderson (Master of Hounds)
William and Mary 3 7 April 1979 Roald Dahl
Ronald Harwood
Donald McWhinnie
A widow is informed by her Doctor that her husband's brain has been kept alive. The husband had always imposed a strict regime on his wife and she now seeks revenge.
Cast: Marius Goring (Dr Landy), Elaine Stritch (Mary Pearl), Frederick Farley (Baxter), Richard Hampton (Vicar), Jimmy Mac (Dr William Pearl), Jane Paton (Nurse)
Lamb to the Slaughter 4 14 April 1979 Roald Dahl
Robin Chapman
John Davies
Mary Marney, a devoted and pregnant housewife, is preparing dinner when her husband Patrick returns home from his job as a police detective. He tells her that he is leaving her. Moving almost on autopilot, Mary fetches a leg of lamb from the deep-freezer in the cellar to cook for their dinner. Patrick tells he doesn't want dinner, as he is going out. In a trance-like panic, she hits him on the head and kills him. The police conclude that Patrick was killed with a large blunt object, but are baffled when the murder weapon cannot be found. As they were all friends of Patrick, Mary begs them to stay and eat the lamb which she has been roasting, while they discuss the case.
Cast: Michael Byrne (Patrick Marney), Brian Blessed (Detective Sergeant Jack Nolan), Susan George (Mary Marney), Mark Jones (Detective Sergeant Jameson), Andrew Fell (Uniformed Policeman), David English (Plain Clothes Policeman), George Little (Samuel), Hugh Cross (Police Doctor)
The Landlady 5 21 April 1979 Roald Dahl
Robin Chapman
Herbert Wise
Billy Weaver, a young man from London, arrives at a guesthouse. He is greeted by the Landlady, but his curiosity is aroused when he reads the Guest Book. He sees the names of young men whom, he remembers, had gone missing. The Landlady tells him that she is a taxidermist.
Cast: Siobhán McKenna (The Landlady), Leonard Preston (Billy Weaver), Anthony Dawes (The Clergyman), John Bryant (Mulholland), Jess Davies (Temple)
Neck 6 28 April 1979 Roald Dahl
Robin Chapman
Christopher Miles
Lady Turton, an art collector's wife, is conducting a series of affairs, much to the disapproval of her resentful husband and their butler, Jelks. They have an estate filled with art; even the outdoor gardens have fantastical pieces of topiary and abstract sculpture. One night while cavorting with Major Jack Haddock, making fun of her husband's beloved artworks, she finds her head trapped in a priceless piece of art. Sir Basil Turton asks Jelks to fetch him a tool with which he can free her head. Jelks brings him both an axe and a saw. After considering the problem, Sir Basil decides upon the axe.
Cast: Michael Aldridge (Sir Basil Turton), Joan Collins (Lady Turton), John Gielgud (Jelks), Peter Bowles (Major Jack Haddock), Paul Herzberg (John Bannister), Carmen Silvera (Carmen La Rosa)
Edward the Conqueror 7 5 May 1979 Roald Dahl
Ronald Harwood
Rodney Bennett
A husband and wife adopt a stray cat. The cat responds to the woman's piano playing to the degree that she becomes convinced that it is the reincarnation of composer Franz Liszt.
The woman bonds with the cat, much to her husband's jealousy.
Cast: Joseph Cotten (Edward), Wendy Hiller (Louisa), Phil Brown (F. Milton Willis)
A Dip in the Pool 8 12 May 1979 Roald Dahl
Ronald Harwood
Michael Touchner
William Botibol, a man on a cruise ship, takes part in a bet to predict how far the ship will travel in 24 hours. He calculates that he will win if the ship is delayed a little - if, for instance, it has to turn back to collect a man overboard. In order to win by cheating, he waits until he and a pair of women are alone at the deck, and then pretends to fall over. Unfortunately for him, one of the women is not what he thinks she is.
Cast: Jack Weston (William Botibol), Gladys Spencer (Sylvia), Bill Reimbold (Bill Wilson), Elaine Ives-Cameron (Sarah Grant), Davyd Harries (Purser), Michael Troughton (Steward), Jana Sheldon (Mrs Renshaw), Don Fellows (Renshaw), Paula Tilbrook (Maggie), David Healy (Auctioneer), Ken Buckle (Sailor)
The Way Up to Heaven 9 19 May 1979 Roald Dahl
Ronald Harwood
Simon Langton
Mrs Foster has a fear of being late. On the day of her holiday to New York, her husband, an inveterate and somewhat sadistic dawdler, torments her by making her late. As a result, she misses one plane but can catch the next flight in the morning. Mr. Foster attempts to delay her again: when they are about to leave, he pretends to remember something she needs and says he will run into the house to get it. Frantic, she follows him in, and sees that he is taking their in-house elevator to go upstairs. When she hears a certain noise, she returns to the car and tells the driver to take her to the airport. She gets her revenge on his cruelty when she returns from holiday, weeks later, and finds that the lift has been stuck between two floors all that time, during which her husband died of starvation and thirst.
Cast: Julie Harris (Mrs Foster), Angus MacKay (Walker), Julia Watson (Maid), Dulcie Huston (Hostess), Jeremy Longhurst (Driver), Brian Capron (Airport Official), Anthony Bailey (Arthur), Roland Culver (Eugene Foster)

Series Two[edit]

16 episodes. First broadcast: ITV - Saturdays 1 March to 14 June 1980

Title Episode First aired Writer(s) Director
Royal Jelly 10 1 March 1980 Roald Dahl
Robin Chapman
Herbert Wise
A Bee-keeper becomes concerned when his wife tells him that their baby daughter is ill and losing weight. To help the baby gain strength, he begins feeding her Royal Jelly.
Cast: Andrew Ray (Percy Hayward), Susan George (Mabel Taylor), Timothy West (Albert Taylor)
Skin 11 8 March 1980 Roald Dahl
Robin Chapman
Herbert Wise
An old street-beggar, a former tattooist, was a friend of the famous artist, Soutine. On his back, he has a tattoo by the artist, which is now priceless.
Cast: Lucy Gutteridge (Josie), Boris Isarov (Chaim Soutine), Donald Pickering (Gallery Owner), Peggy Ashby (Rich Woman), Sabina Franklyn (Young Girl), David Webb (Chef), Derek Jacobi (Drioli)
Galloping Foxley 12 15 March 1980 Roald Dahl
Robin Chapman
Claude Whatham
William Perkins is haunted by the bullying he received while at Boarding school 60 years ago. While on a train, he is convinced that the man sitting opposite him is the bully.
Cast: Adrian Breeze (Boy), Guy Humphries (Stamford), Wayne Brooks (Boy), Timothy Breeze (Boy), Clifford Abrahams (Boy), Paul Spurrier (Young William Perkins), John Mills (William Perkins), Anthony Steel (Man on the Train), Anthony Woodruff (Housemaster), Jonathan Scott-Taylor (Young Bruce Foxley), Colin Thomas (City Gent)
The Hitch-hiker 13 22 March 1980 Roald Dahl
Robin Chapman
Alistair Reid
Flashy American Paul Duveen stops to give elderly Irish vagrant Michael Fish a lift in his new BMW. Michael is a pickpocket, which comes in very handy after his encouragement to Paul to break the speed limit has attracted the attention of a traffic cop on a motor-bike, who waves them over. After the cop has gone, Michael shows a happy Paul that he stole the cop's notebook and evidence, but before long Paul will be anything but happy.
Cast: Cyril Cusack (Michael Fish), Rod Taylor (Paul Duveen), John Forgeham (Policeman)
Poison 14 29 March 1980 Roald Dahl
Robin Chapman
Graham Evans
This story is set in India during the time of British colonialism. Narrator Timber Woods goes to visit his friend Harry Pope. Harry is in bed, motionless, sweating, and in a panic. He whispers that a krait, one of the deadliest snakes, is on his stomach, underneath the covers. He asks Timber to go get a doctor; Timber calls Dr. Ganderbai, a local Indian doctor. Timber and Ganderbai frantically try to get the snake off of Harry to save his life. But they find no snake on Harry; perhaps it has gone, perhaps Harry imagined the snake. When he realizes this, Harry is so relieved that he attacks Ganderbai with racial slurs. The real poison in the room is not the snake's; it is the racist's. Ganderbai walks out of the room and tells Timber that Harry needs a vacation.
Cast: Andrew Ray (Harry Pope), Judy Geeson (Sandra), Saeed Jaffrey (Dr Kunzru Ganderbai), Anthony Steel (Timber Woods)
Fat Chance 15 5 April 1980 Denis Cannan
Robert Bloch
John Gorrie
John Burge, a pharmacist, is carrying on an affair behind his overweight wife's back. His lover, Frances, tells him that he must get rid of his wife. Mary, however, will not divorce him and Frances is issuing an ultimatum. He decides to put his pharmaceutical skills into play and poison his wife's chocolates. However, not everything will go to plan.
Cast: Katie Flower (Amateur actress), Peter Van Dissel (Amateur actor), Nigel Caliburn (Stage Manager), Carol Thornton (Woman in Audience), Geoffrey Bayldon (Dr Applegate), John Castle (John Burge), Sheila Gish (Frances), Miriam Margolyes (Mary Burge), Anthony Royle (Director of Amateur Production), Mike Quinto (Man in Audience), Jean Kitson (Chemist's Assistant)
Taste 16 12 April 1980 Roald Dahl
Ronald Harwood
Alistair Reid
Mike Schofield has a wager against his wine connoisseur friend, Richard Pratt that Pratt will not be able to deduce the vineyard from which the wine he is serving at dinner originates. The stakes become increasingly high: Pratt wants to bet for the hand of Schofield's daughter in marriage; if he loses, he will give Schofield both of his houses.
Cast: Ron Moody (Richard Pratt), William Hootkins (Peter Bligh), Mercia Glossop (Sybil Schofield), Antony Carrick (Mike Schofield), Debbie Farrington (Louise Schofield), Beth Porter (Joanna Bligh), Gabrielle Blunt (Mrs Adams)
My Lady Love, My Dove 17 19 April 1980 Roald Dahl
Ronald Harwood
John Rosenberg
Herbert Wise
Pamela Beauchamp has invited friends to stay for the weekend for fun, she has installed a hidden microphone in their room.
After a high stakes game of Bridge, she listens in to discover that they had been cheating.
Cast: Elaine Stritch (Pamela Beauchamp), Lisa Eichorn (Sally Snape), Douglas Lambert (Henry Snape), Shane Rimmer (Arthur Beauchamp)
Georgy Porgy 18 26 April 1980 Roald Dahl
Robin Chapman
Graham Evans
A Vicar with an overactive imagination sees naked women as he delivers his sermons. One day, he finds that women are suddenly attracted to him and a beautiful woman offers herself to his desires.
Cast: Ann Beach (Miss Unwin), Lally Bowers (Miss Elphinstone), Grant Bardsley (George Duckworth as a child), Jacob Witkin (Boris Duckworth), Joan Collins (Clare Duckworth & Mrs Roach), John Alderton (Reverend George Duckworth), Peter Godfrey (Doctor), John Biggerstaff (Pollard), Margaretta Scott (Lady Birdwell)
Depart in Peace 19 3 May 1980 Roald Dahl
Ronald Harwood
Alan Gibson
An art collector becomes involved in a struggle between two beautiful women. (Based on the short story Nunc Dimittis.)
Cast: Joseph Cotten (Lionel), Gloria Grahame (Gladys Ponsonby), Maureen O'Brien (Janet de Pelagia), John Bennett (Royden), Peter Cellier (Wilkins)
The Umbrella Man 20 10 May 1980 Roald Dahl
Ronald Harwood
Claude Whatham
On a wet afternoon, an elderly con-man strikes up a conversation with a passer-by. The old man sells him a silk umbrella, which he has stolen, claiming he needs money for a taxi. A mix-up with stolen umbrellas means that he exposes a couple who are cheating on the woman's husband.
Cast: Michael Gambon (Andrew), John Mills (The Umbrella Man), Michael Sheard (Inspector), John Rees (Clerk), Jennifer Hilary (Wendy), John Carson (Arthur)
Genesis and Catastrophe 21 17 May 1980 Roald Dahl
Ronald Harwood
Herbert Wise
In 1889, after having lost three children, an Austrian woman is concerned that her newborn baby boy is ill. The doctor helps and urges the woman's husband to be positive. They decide to name the boy Adolphus.
Cast: Helmut Griem (Alois), Hana Maria Pravda (Frau Lemner), Zhivila Roche (Klara), Alastair Llewellyn (Doctor), Graham Seed (Josef), Toby Waldock (Young Alois)
Mr Botibol's First Love 22 24 May 1980 Roald Dahl
Kevin Goldstein-Jackson
John Gorrie
Mr Botibol is obsessed with Classical music and builds a concert hall in his house. To his records, he pretends to conduct an orchestra and play a silent piano. A woman he meets shares his love of music and together they "perform" in the imaginary hall.
Cast: Paul Greenhalgh (Simpson), Anna Massey (Irene Wrzaszcyzk), Jack Weston (William Botibol), Alan Rowe (Clements), Allan Corduner (Store Assistant), Paul Bacon (Mason), John Flint (Workman)
Back for Christmas 23 31 May 1980 John Collier
Denis Cannan
Giles Foster
A man plots a foolproof way to murder his wife, but the murder is exposed because of an unexpected gift she left for him to find.
Cast: Laurence Payne (Party Guest), Richard Johnson (Dr James Carpenter), Siân Phillips (Hermione Carpenter), Artro Morris (Pathologist), Avril Elgar (Pathologist's Wife), Cyril Luckham (Consultant), Lynne Ross (Samantha), Andrew Lebas (Waiter)
The Orderly World of Mr Appleby 24 7 June 1980 Stanley Ellin
Robin Chapman
John Gorrie
Mr Appleby loves his antiques shop, even though everyone tells him the "antiques" are just junk. To maintain the shop, he repeatedly marries wealthy women. Now he has married for the fourth time. His new wife discovers that he murdered the previous three, but she is more than a match for him.
Cast: Robert Lang (Arthur Appleby), Cyril Luckham (Gainsborough), Elizabeth Spriggs (Martha Appleby), Christopher Bramwell (Dominic), Nigel Caliburn (Signwriter)
The Man at the Top 25 14 June 1980 Edward D. Hoch
Denis Cannan
Claude Whatham
A young seaman becomes embroiled in a fight with another man and kills him. Eager to escape, he turns to his friend, Diane. She sets him up with someone who can help.
Cast: Terry Gurry (Bodyguard with dog), Michael Ripper (Taxi Driver), Rex Taylor (Doorman), John Rees (Barman), Johnny Shannon (Barman), Meredith Saxon (Bodyguard), Peter Firth (Hardy), Rachel Davies (Diane), Norman Clive-Fisher (Darts Player), Betty Hardy (Motherly Woman), Dallas Cavell (Sam Madrid), Cassie McFarlane (Estelle), Paul McDowell (Shaefer), Brian Dooley (Lawyer), Mimi de Braie (Maria)

Series Three[edit]

9 Episodes. First broadcast: Saturdays, Sundays and a Friday on ITV - 9 to 30 August and 9 November to 19 December 1980

Title Episode First aired Writer(s) Director
The Flypaper 26 9 August 1980 Elizabeth Taylor
Robin Chapman
Graham Evans
Sylvia, a quiet teenage girl, is being pestered by an old man. A woman steps in to help and brings her to her caravan home to call for the police. Unfortunately, the woman is not nice at all.
Cast: Stephanie Cole (Miss Harrison), Alfred Burke (Herbert), Lorna Yabsley (Sylvia Wilkinson), Pat Keen (Vera), Bernadette Windsor (Louise), Giles Phibbs (Bus Conductor)
A Picture of a Place 27 16 August 1980 Denis Cannan
Doug Morgan
Giles Foster
An elderly woman lives in a house full of antiques. On visiting, a con-man buys a valuable picture from her at a knockdown price. She turns out to be smarter.
Cast: Michael Troughton (Andrew), Bill Maynard (Merv), Jessie Matthews (Hazel), Judy Riley (Lucy), Peter Sallis (Solicitor)
Proof of Guilt 28 23 August 1980 Bill Pronzini
Johnny Byrne
Chris Lovett
A Police Inspector is investigating a murder. The main suspect is George Stamford, who was with the victim at the time of death, but he admits nothing and there is no evidence against him.
Cast: Jeremy Clyde (George Stamford), Roy Marsden (Chief Inspector Walters), Dudley Sutton (Detective Sergeant Jack Sherrard), Peter Macklen (P.C. Harris), Richard Barnes (Charles Hearn), Brian Dooley (Forensic Scientist), Geoffrey Lumsden (Solicitor), Elizabeth Richardson (Clarissa Tower), John Gill (Alec McTaggart)
Vengeance is Mine Inc. 29 30 August 1980 Roald Dahl
John Rosenberg
Alan Gibson
Two out-of-work actors in New York set up a scheme whereby they take revenge on a newspaper critic, Lionel Brewster, for money. Mrs Wilbur calls on them and hires their services.
Cast: Julian Fellowes (George), Betsy Blair (Mrs Wilbur), Virginia Clay (Landlady), Robert Mill (Lionel Brewster), Morris Barry (Wilbur), James Greene (Garage Attendant), Mary Cornford (Theresa Burton), Terry Walsh (Bouncer), Bosco Hogan (Tom), Stephen Boswell (Doorman), Fiesta Mei Ling (Suky)
A Girl Can't Always Have Everything 30 9 November 1980 Tonita S. Gardner
Julian Bond
Graham Evans
Suzy and Pat, two struggling actresses, share an apartment together. They get lucky when a millionaire widower invests in their play. Suzy takes advantage and seduces him, but when he asks her to marry him, she is unfaithful. Pat sees a way to take revenge.
Cast: Peter Tuddenham (Vicar), Sylvester Williams (Messenger), Ryan Michael (Handsome Man), Richard Foxton (Stage Manager), Nancy Nevinson (Grand Lady), Joan Collins (Suzy Starr), Pauline Collins (Pat Lewis), Brewster Mason (Herbert Millette), James Faulkner (Patrick)
Parson's Pleasure 31 30 November 1980 Roald Dahl
Ronald Harwood
John Bruce
A crooked antiques dealer is masquerading as a clergyman. Claiming to be collecting old furniture, he comes across a farmer who gives him an antique piece worth a fortune.
Cast: John Gielgud (Cyril Boggis), Bernard Miles (Rummins), Lee Montague (Storker), Godfrey James (Claud), Irlin Hall (Lady), Harry Jones (Bert Rummins), Roger Milner (Hawkins), Virginia Clay (Housekeeper)
The Stinker 32 7 December 1980 Julian Symons
Julian Bond
Alan Gibson
Millionaire Jack Cutler runs into Harold Tinker - a boy he used to bully at school. Cutler gives the reluctant Tinker a job. Tinker, however, suspects that Cutler is having an affair with his wife.
Cast: Colin Hodges (Boy), Harvey Hillyer (Boy), David Carlton-Young (Boy), Robin Keston (Boy), Russell Gleed (Boy), Denholm Elliott (Colonel Harold Tinker), Joss Ackland (Jack Cutler), Diane Holland (Blanche Cutler), Tim Bentinck (Meech), Patricia Quinn (Phyl Tinker)
I'll Be Seeing You 33 14 December 1980 Robert Quigley
Julian Bond
Philip Dudley
Roland Trent, husband of a millionairess, is having an affair with a young woman who is almost blind. Leaving his rich wife will leave him penniless; he thinks of a way to have both the money and his mistress.
Cast: Robin Marchal (Clinker), Bryan Andrews (Police Inspector), Roger Brierley (Jack Parsons), Pauline Letts (Joan Wilcox), Patricia Mort (Olive Parsons), Alan Foss (Hector Wilcox), Murray Ewan (Professor George Coburn), Amanda Redman (Anna Warrack), Hilary Tindall (Vivien Trent), Anthony Valentine (Roland Trent)
The Party 34 19 December 1980 Doug Morgan
Chaim Bermant
Giles Foster
Harry Knox, manager of a toy factory for 40 years is uneasy when the company is taken over. As he's organising the Christmas party, another staff member arranges a staff disco ahead of his. Enraged, Knox sets fire to the factory, only to find that he has made a terrible mistake.
Cast: Raymond Francis (Pelham), Mary Tovey (Mrs Peckham), Michael Nagel (Noel), Janthea Williams (Sue), Olivier Pierre (Leclerc), Robert Morley (Harry Knox), Joyce Redman (Linda Knox), Amanda Redman (Pat), Leonard Preston (Leighton)

Series Four[edit]

17 Episodes. First broadcast: Sundays and a Saturday on ITV - 5 April to 26 July and 26 December 1981

Title Episode First aired Writer(s) Director
Would You Believe It? 35 5 April 1981 Robert Edward Alter
Julian Bond
Barry Davies
While on a dig in Jordan, two archaeologists discover a statue of a woman. They hide it in their van and smuggle it out of the country. When they reach their destination, they find it has been dissolved by rain.
Cast: Nigel Havers (Miller), Richard Johnson (Tanner), Christopher Blake (Israeli Officer), Tony Alleff (Hassin), Vic Tablian (Arab Officer), Albert Moses (Arab Patrolman), Ali Baba (Arab Digger), Paul Satvender (Arab Digger), Tapan Ghosh (Arab Digger), Raj Digger (Arab Digger)
Vicious Circle 36 12 April 1981 Donald Honig
Robin Chapman
Philip Dudley
An elderly woman catches a thief in the act at her home. She befriends the young man and attempts to set him on the straight and narrow.
Cast: Patrick Field (Rex Tobin), Siobhán McKenna (Mrs Grady), Lesley Goldie (Mrs Jackson), Graham Weston (Police Superintendent), Kenneth Hadley (Plain-Clothes Policeman), Roger Evans (Policeman), Forbes Collins (Policeman)
The Boy who Talked with Animals 37 19 April 1981 Robin Chapman
Roald Dahl
Alan Gibson
While on holiday in Jamaica, young David persuades his father to buy a giant turtle captured by fishermen, so that it can be released. When both boy and turtle disappear, an American man, Jenner, gets caught up in the adventure.
Cast: Paul Spurrier (David), Stuart Whitman (Sam Jenner), David Buck (David's Father), John Nettleton (Graham Edwards, Hotel Manager), Robert Arden (Berners), John Wyman (Denzil), Mel Taylor (Fisherman), Tony Osoba (Policeman), Amanda Kemp (Denzil's Girlfriend), Oscar James (Fisherman), William Hootkins (Harry Chester), Vivien Heilbron (David's Mother), Astley Harvey (John), Jeffrey Gardiner (Guest), Geoffrey Cousins (Geoffrey), Alison Coleridge (Mildred Berners), Mary Laine (Mary), David Rhule (Fisherman), Steve Margo (Fisherman), Leon Burton (Fisherman), Martin Island (Policeman), Christopher Gilbert (Barman), Emmanuel Josiah (Waiter), Nik Abraham (Waiter), Carl Campbell (Waiter)
The Best of Everything 38 26 April 1981 Stanley Ellin
Denis Cannan
John Bruce
Arthur, a junior office clerk, is smitten with his rich boss's daughter Ann, but is too shy to ask her out, because he is poor. A new friend, Charlie Prince, will help him to act rich in return for sharing a room. Arthur doesn't play fair with Charlie, but fate plays fair with Arthur.
Cast: Judi Bowker (Ann Horton), Michael Kitchen (Arthur), Jeremy Clyde (Charlie Prince), Rachel Kempson (Mrs Marsh), Brewster Mason (Horton), David Arlen (White Postman), Carl Andrews (Black Postman), Andrew MacLachlan (Metal Dealer), Peter Bartle (Metal Dealer), Judy Liebert (Metal Dealer), Richard Barnes (Metal Dealer)
A Woman's Help 39 3 May 1981 Henry Slesar
Bert Salzman
Bert Salzman
Arnold is financially dependent on his rich, older wife, but is having an affair. He devises a plan to kill his wife in order to get her money and remarry.
Cast: Anthony Franciosa (Arnold Bourdon), Shirley Knight-Temple (Elizabeth Bourdon), Deborah Geffner (Miss Greco), Annie McGreevey (Nurse), Imogene Bliss (Mother), Ian Martin (Dr Ivey), Raymond Thorne (Gardener)
Shatterproof 40 10 May 1981 Jack Ritchie
Pat Hoddinott
John Jacobs
Property millionaire Gerry Williams has a beautiful wife but she no longer loves him. An assassin is hired, but he soon becomes friendly with Gerry.
Cast: Eli Wallach (Gerry Williams), Anthony Pullen Shaw (Smith), Caroline Langrishe (Ellen), Godfrey Talbot (Emerson), Bridget McConnel (Mrs Emerson)
The Sound Machine 41 17 May 1981 Roald Dahl John Gorrie
A botanist has invented a machine which translates the sound of plants into speech. What he hears gives him a shock.
Cast: James Warwick (Dr Scott), Harry Andrews (Klausner), Margery Mason (Mrs Saunders)
Never Speak Ill of the Dead 42 24 May 1981 John Collier
Robin Chapman
John Gorrie
Irene, the wife of a country doctor, has a reputation for promiscuity. She again becomes the subject of gossip when she disappears. Soon, speculation begins to grow that her husband has murdered her and buried her in the cellar.

Remake of "De Mortuis" (1956), Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Season 2 Episode 3, starring Robert Emhardt.

Cast: Warren Clarke (Bob Streeter), Colin Blakely (Dr David Rankin), Cheryl Hall (Irene Rankin), Keith Drinkel (Sim Hoskins), Brian Osborne (Police Sergeant)
The Best Policy 43 31 May 1981 Ferenc Molnár
David Scott Milton
Ray Danton
Harry Flock is promoted to the position of bank manager due to his meticulous approach to work. The bank's head office however gets a tip-off that Flock is embezzling money, but, there is no evidence.
Cast: Gary Burghoff (Harry Flock), Deborah Harmon (Daisy Flock), Logan Ramsey (Philbert), William Boyett (Simpson), Edward Grover (Bailout), Robert Casper (Wheatley), Penelope Gillette (Mrs Runion), Damian London (Grunge), Tad Horino (Coroner)
The Last Bottle in the World 44 7 June 1981 Stanley Ellin
Denis Cannan
John Gorrie
Kyros Kassoulas is planning a meal for his wedding anniversary. He buys an expensive bottle of Claret for the occasion, but, he is fully aware that his wife is being unfaithful.
Cast: Anthony Quayle (Kyros Kassoulas), Gary Bond (Max de Marechall), Nigel Hawthorne (Charles Drummond), Lynette Davies (Sophie Kassoulas), Neville Phillips (Waiter), Carlos Douglas (Assistant Chef), Pat Lewis (Miss Pym), Claude Le Saché (Waiter)
Kindly Dig Your Grave 45 14 June 1981 Stanley Ellin
Robin Chapman
Alan Gibson
A commercial art gallery in Paris is run by the unscrupulous Madame La Grue, who is exploiting the artists she employs.
However, when one of her artists falls in love with the model he is painting, she soon realises that she has met her match.
Cast: Micheline Presle (Madame La Grue), Celia Gregory (Fatima), Robert H. Thomson (Graham MacKenzie), Gerard Lartigau (Henri), Alan Gifford (Edward), Helen Horton (Martha)
Completely Foolproof 46 21 June 1981 Robert Arthur
Robin Chapman
John Jacobs
Joe Brisson, a self-made millionaire has a number of enemies - including his wife. Joe plans to murder his wife as he has become bored with her.
Cast: Telly Savalas (Joe Brisson), Rita Gam (Lisa), Ramsay Williams (Howard Duncombe), Belinda Mayne (Anna Kleiber), Linda Liles (Miss Graham), Douglas Lambert (Harrington)
There's One Born Every Minute 47 28 June 1981 Bill Pronzini
Chaim Bermant
Philip Dudley
Arthur and Margaret Pearson live a quiet, middle-aged life. When Margaret inherits some money, Arthur decides to invest it in a property scheme. This however, proves the turning point in their relationship.
Cast: Frank Finlay (Arthur Pearson), Heather Sears (Margaret Pearson), Peter Copley (Man at Railway Station), Andrew Burt (Edward), Jo Rowbottom (Joy), Deryck Guyler (Commissionaire), Kevin Brennan (Grimshaw), Allan Mitchell (Detective Sergeant)
Bosom Friends 48 5 July 1981 Dana Lyon
Robin Chapman
Graham Evans
Nell and Emma are old school friends who meet up again for the first time in years. Eventually, Emma moves in with Nell. It turns out however that Emma is penniless and is happy to drag Nell down with her.
Cast: Rachel Kempson (Nell), Joan Greenwood (Emma), Nat Jackley (Deacon), Aaron Shirley (Brown), Patricia Browning (Ward Sister)
A Glowing Future 49 19 July 1981 Ruth Rendell
Ross Thomas
John Peyser
Betsy and Jack are long-term lovers who live together. Jack however has fallen in love with another woman in Australia and plans to marry her.
Betsy becomes enraged as he packs his things for moving away, which includes a lot of her possessions.
Cast: John Beck (Jack), Joanna Pettet (Betsy), Bill Lavoie (Removal Man)
The Way to Do it 50 26 July 1981 Jack Ritchie
Denis Cannan
Alan Gibson
Roger Carson is eager to get away from the clutches of his domineering Aunt May and takes up gambling. While at the Casino, he falls for hostess, Suzie.
The Casino manager has a score to settle with the Carsons however.
Cast: Andrew Ray (Roger Carson), Elaine Paige (Suzie), Elizabeth Spriggs (Aunt May), Sarah Webb (Jackie), Martin Benson (Vasco), Annie Leon (Miss Stevens), Forbes Collins (Commissionaire), Andrew MacLachlan (Police Sergeant), Genevieve Allenbury (Croupier), Philip Hatton (Croupier Thug), Dennis Masuki (Croupier), Barbie Denham (Croupier), Ann Coombs (Croupier), Trisha Clarke (Croupier)
Hijack 51 26 December 1981 Denis Cannan
Robert L. Fish
Herbert Wise
On board an aeroplane, a hijacker takes a stewardess hostage and demands a million dollars and a parachute. The Captain tries to deal with the situation and grants him his wish.
Cast: Simon Cadell (Co-pilot), Michael Craig (Hijacker), Suzanne Danielle (Millie), Denis Quilley (Captain Waterhouse), Sean Barrett (Steward), Peter Tuddenham (Airport Security Officer), Matthew Long (Second Security Officer), Richard Foxton (Security Guard), John Graham (Scottish Passenger), William Merrow (German Passenger), Neville Phillips (English Passenger), Douglas Lambert (American Passenger), Helen Horton (American Passenger)

Series Five[edit]

18 Episodes. First broadcast: Sundays on ITV - 25 April to 22 August 1982

Title Episode First aired Writer(s) Director
Blue Marigold 52 25 April 1982 Aileen Wheeler
Robin Chapman
Giles Foster
Marigold is a top model much in demand until her temperamental nature takes over. She loses her contracts and winds up in a mental home. Released years later, she plans a comeback.
Cast: Edward Jewesbury (Psychiatrist), Stephen Bent (Car Dealer), Ralph Bates (Paul Foster), Sharon Duce (Sophie Trent), Helen Fraser (Beryl), Toyah Willcox (Marigold), Billy Hamson (Bryan Sabotier), Paul Seed (Director of Commercial)
The Eavesdropper 53 2 May 1982 Ruth Wissmann
Robin Chapman
John Gorrie
Happily married Donald and Moira are out shopping for a new watch as a gift for Moira. While there, she overhears a conversation between two women about a married man one of them is seeing.
Moira soon realises it must be Donald they are talking about.
Cast: Michael Craig (Donald Henderson), Dorothy Tutin (Moira Henderson), Sheila Ruskin (Louise), Bernice Stegers (Kaye), Rosalyn Elvin (Waitress), Ronnie Stevens (Jeweller), Neil Daglish (Young Man), Lill Roughley (Blonde Girl)
Operation Safecrack 54 9 May 1982 Robin Chapman
Henry Slesar
Alan Gibson
On behalf of a company that designs safes, an advertising executive hires Sam Morrissey, an ex-safe cracker to break into one of their safes with the promise of £25,000 if he is successful.
Cast: John Mills (Sam Morrissey), June Ritchie (Jenny Morrissey), David Healy (Jack Harrison), Edward Burnham (Henry Bliss), Eliza Buckingham (Reporter & Voice of Stewardess), Rachel Laurence (Hilda), David Hanson (Winford Stark), Jason Norman (Billy Thompson), Richard Everett (Television Director), Nick Diprose (Floor Manager)
Run Rabbit Run 55 16 May 1982 John Bakkenhoven
Robin Chapman
John Jacobs
After World War II a US Army interpreter was stationed in Paris, staying at the house of the bully Hector and downtrodden Nathalie.
Ten years later, he returns to the house and meets Nathalie, but Hector is mysteriously absent.
Cast: Leslie Caron (Nathalie Vareille), James Aubrey (Robert Simpson), Constantine Gregory (Hector Vareille), Bernadette Windsor (Young Girl)
Stranger in Town 56 23 May 1982 Sidney Carroll Wendy Toye
A man going by the name of Sir Columbus dresses and acts like a clown, endearing himself to the local community. While there, he enters a business premises and reveals to the boss who he really is.
Cast: Jean Kitson (Secretary), Bruce Clark (The Boy), Jennifer Connelly (The Girl), Clive Swift (Latham), Robbie MacNab (Hotel Receptionist), Stuart Howard (News-stand boy), Giles Phibbs (Foreman), Derek Jacobi (Sir Columbus)
The Moles 57 30 May 1982 J.J. Maling
Chaim Bermant
Peter Hammond
Two businessmen on the verge of bankruptcy devise a plan to rob a bank. With the help of an experienced criminal, they dig a tunnel to reach the bank's vault.
Cast: Fulton Mackay (Edward Boyle), Bill Owen (Meakins), Harry H. Corbett (George Balsam), Joe Gladwin (Heeney), Avril Elgar (Thelma Boyle)
Decoy 58 6 June 1982 Victor Edwards
Robin Chapman
John Jacobs
Police officer Mary Bryan goes undercover to investigate a serial killer. The killer has murdered a number of women in the city and she sets up an ambush.
Cast: Susan Penhaligon (WPC Mary Bryan), Tim Woodward (Anthony Burton), Paul Antrim (Mike), Ian MacKenzie (Police Draughtsman), Harold Reese (Pathologist), Ian Redford (Detective Sergeant Harvey), Tom Cotcher (Detective Sergeant Talbot), Frank Wylie (Chief Inspector McLintock)
Pattern of Guilt 59 13 June 1982 Helen Nielsen
Robin Chapman
Herbert Wise
Keith Briscoe, a police pathologist has fallen out of love with his second wife and wants to get back with his first, Faye. While working on an investigation into a serial killer, he asks Faye to act as a decoy.
Cast: Peter Egan (Keith Briscoe), Suzanne Danielle (Elaine Briscoe), Jennie Linden (Faye Briscoe), Andrew Manson (Young Man), Harry Webster (Old Man), Bernard Kay (Detective Sergeant Jim Gordon), Andrew Hilton (Plain Clothes Police Officer), Brett Forrest (Gerald), Neil Hutchings (Mark Briscoe), Darren Michael (John Briscoe)
A Harmless Vanity 60 20 June 1982 Theda O'Henle
Jeremy Paul
Giles Foster
A woman is tipped off by a friend that her husband is having an affair. She is reluctant to believe it but sets up a meeting with this woman at a beach party.
Cast: Keith Barron (George Hitchman), Phoebe Nicholls (Carol), Sheila Gish (Mary Hitchman), Suzanne Worsley (Girl lover), Colin Farrell (Dave Ferguson), Michael Nagel (Lifeguard), Carol MacReady (Liz Ferguson), Chas Bryer (Frogman), Michael Speake (Television Announcer)
Death Can Add 61 27 June 1982 Philip Ketchum
Johnny Byrne
Graham Evans
Alan Corwin, an auditor in a city investment firm is approached by Oliver Platt, another member of the firm, to cover up his use of company money.
For a price he agrees, but Corwin's secretary and girlfriend is ignorant to the arrangement.
Cast: Geoffrey Chater (James Hamilton), Frank Gatliff (Thomas Keyes), Jan Francis (Leila Graham), Michael N. Harbour (Oliver Platt), Roland Culver (Sir Alex Bullen), Ian Holm (Alan Corwin)
Light Fingers 62 4 July 1982 Henry Slesar
Ross Thomas
John Peyser
Joan and Ralph live a quiet life. Ralph is concerned though when thefts begin to occur at his glove factory. Eventually, he hires a private detective to catch the culprit.
Cast: Frank Sinatra, Jr. (Cotter), Janet Leigh (Joan Stackpole), Tom Bosley (Ralph Stackpole), Kenneth Tigar (Semple), Penelope Gillette (Gladys Miton)
Death in the Morning 63 11 July 1982 Zia Kruger
John Gorrie
John Gorrie
Sir Ian Masterson, a rich landowner marries Karen. On moving into the house, Karen has an uneasy feeling and confides in their neighbour that the place is haunted.
Cast: Cherie Lunghi (Karen Masterson), Moray Watson (Sir Ian Masterson), Carol Drinkwater (Linda Larch), Alan Rowe (Duncan Larch), Hilary Mason (Mrs Pardoe), Richard Austin (Paul Masterson), John Stamp (Williams)
What Have You Been up to Lately? 64 18 July 1982 George Baxt
Denis Cannan
Herbert Wise
Two old actor friends meet up for the first time in 25 years. They ponder the fact that neither of them have been successful in their career or life and reminisce about a girl they both had a crush on.
Cast: Maggie Fitzgibbon (Melissa Mellor), Peter Barkworth (Richard Mellor), Benjamin Whitrow (Fergus Locke), June Watson (Audrey Locke), Fanny Rowe (Actress), Angela Harding (Cathleen)
The Absence of Emily 65 25 July 1982 Jack Ritchie
Denis Cannan
Alan Gibson
John Rosenberg
Norma has inherited a large estate and allows her sister Emily and brother-in-law Bob to live there.
Emily disappears and Norma believes that Bob has killed her for an insurance pay out. She and a detective investigate.
Cast: Anthony Valentine (Bob), Frances Tomelty (Norma), Susan Tracy (Emily), Patsy Byrne (Jean), Patrick McAlinney (Landlord), William Moore (Crisp), Derek Anders (Goff), Diana King (Ruth)
In the Bag 66 1 August 1982 Robert L. Fish
Bert Salzman
Bert Salzman
Cara is determined to get back her family jewels, which have been hidden away in a safe. Hiring a safe cracker, she goes along with him undercover.
Cast: Edward Albert (Sam), Terry O'Quinn (Cop), Lou Jacobi (Waiter), Roxanne Hart (Cara), Michael A. Candela (Gardener)
A Man with a Fortune 67 8 August 1982 Peter Lovesey
Alan Seymour
Herbert Wise
American John Smith is visiting England to track down his family roots. While in London, he meets up with two girls who befriend him.
Cast: Shane Rimmer (John Smith), Cyd Hayman (Janet Murdoch), Elizabeth Richardson (Eva), Peter Tuddenham (Tommy), Donald Eccles (Vicar), Nigel Greaves (Waiter), Jean Kitson (Clerk)
Who's Got the Lady? 68 15 August 1982 Jack Ritchie
Jeremy Paul
Peter Hammond
An art gallery owner has received a priceless work of art on loan. He sets up a robbery with a supposed fake being put in its place.
He then gets his girlfriend to make a copy of the painting in order to sell it as the real thing.
Cast: Timothy Carlton (Walter Jameson), Gladys Spencer (Old Lady), Richard Johnson (Parnell), Robert Beatty (Amos Pulver), Victoria Tennant (Bernice), Vincent Wong (Japanese Art Collector), Michael Forrest (Detective Chief Superintendent Nelson), Neil Daglish (Heath), Laurence Payne (Hollingwood), Peter Howell (Louis Kendall), Olivier Pierre (Andre Arnaud)
The Skeleton Key 69 22 August 1982 Graham Sutton
Roy Russell
Alan Gibson
Max, an arrogant young man plans a holiday with his girlfriend Emma, but he needs an emergency operation beforehand. Andy, a kind-hearted radiologist at the hospital builds up a friendship with Emma.
Max is being very bad tempered and so she finds she has a decision to make.
Cast: Julie Dawn Cole (Emma), John Duttine (Max), Peter Jeffrey (Stewart), Peter Machin (Andy), Tony Osoba (Dr Hartley)

Series Six[edit]

14 Episodes. First broadcast: Saturdays and a Sunday on ITV - 9 April to 16 July 1983

Title Episode First aired Writer(s) Director
A Passing Opportunity 70 9 April 1983 Donald Honig
Alan Seymour
Graham Evans
Frank Jesmond and Peter Madison are former schoolmates with very different lives. Jesmond is tough but broke while Madison is rich and successful.
Jesmond is desperate for money, but, Madison wants to see how desperate.
Cast: Guy Bertrand (Manservant), Paul Davies Prowles (Timmy Jesmond), Charles Keating (Peter Madison), Janette Legge (Eleanor Jesmond), Mark Lewis (Showroom Manager), Bryan Marshall (Frank Jesmond), George Sewell (Laughlin)
The Memory Man 71 16 April 1983 Henry Slesar
Denis Cannan
Peter Duffell
Coln Mearns has a gift for memory, but is struggling financially. Advertising to teach his methods, he is met by a shady character who is desperate to remember the combination of a locker.
Mearns soon becomes curious to what the locker contains.
Cast: Judy Geeson (Mary), Colin Blakely (Colin Mearns), Bernard Cribbins (Charlie Krebs & Mr King), Johnny Vyvyan (Small Man), John Biggerstaff (Tobacconist), John Judd (Police Inspector)
A Sad Loss 72 23 April 1983 Patricia Moyes
James Andrew Hall
John Gorrie
Claire Hawksworth runs a Caribbean hotel with her boyfriend, but they have fallen on tough times. Hopeful of some money, Claire turns to her rich aunt. Her aunt however tells her of a new heir to her fortune.
Cast: Bazil Otoin (Desk Clerk), Heinz Bernard (Charlie), Lally Bowers (Alicia Hawksworth), Elizabeth Bradley (Mrs Bradley), Hayley Mills (Claire Hawksworth), Stuart Wilson (Dave Brigham), Phyllida Law (Maggie Patton), Ronny Cush (Harry), Major Wiley (Police Inspector), Iris Iverson (Hotel Guest), Chris Allen (Hotel Guest), Richard Markin (Hotel Guest), Jean Channon (Hotel Guest), Juliette James (Hotel Guest)
Clerical Error 73 30 April 1983 Peter Ransley
James Gould Cozzens
Richard Huggett
Graham Evans
Paul Standing, the son of a recently deceased doctor is sorting out his paperwork when he receives a bill from a bookshop for thousands of pounds worth of pornography. Paul is highly suspicious.
Cast: David Webb (Ronnie Carey), Richard Pearson (Michael Carey), Evelyn Laye (Mrs Standing), Hugh Fraser (Paul Standing)
Heir Presumptuous 74 7 May 1983 C.B. Gilford
Ross Thomas
Philip Leacock
George Devon, a wealthy rancher is found murdered. His identical twin nephews stand to inherit his fortune, but one of them was seen at the scene of the crime.
Both have alibis and no one can tell the two boys apart.
Cast: Royce D. Applegate (Deputy Eddie Ream), Tara Buckman (Sally Fenton), David Cassidy (Donald and David), Ann Doran (Mary Deacon), Darren McGavin (Sheriff Milt Singleton), Robert Snively (George Devon)
Where's Your Sense of Humour? 75 14 May 1983 Peter Ransley
Patricia McGerr
Leonard Lewis
George Forester is a compulsive prankster. His wife and friends have been victims for many years until one day he goes too far.
Cast: Sheila Gish (Laura Parker), Philip Jackson (George Forester), Penelope Nice (Julie Forester), Tom Chadbon (Frank Parker), Scott Saunders (Young Parker), Penelope Fischer (Carol), John King (Bob)
Down Among the Sheltering Palms 76 21 May 1983 John Gorrie John Gorrie
Gerry Armstrong an American soldier in World War II returns after 40 years to Norfolk, where he was based. While there, he attends a dance and meets a beautiful woman, but, she is not all she seems.
Cast: Geoffrey Bayldon (Sid), Anne Carroll (Lena), Margaret Courtenay (Marge), Christopher Fulford (Bill), Gabrielle Hamilton (Doris), Van Johnson (Gerry T. Armstrong), Barry McCarthy (Jeff), Vanessa Paine (Carol)
The Vorpal Blade 77 28 May 1983 Edward D. Hoch
Robin Chapman
John Jacobs
Von Baden recalls a murder from fifty years ago at Heidelberg, Germany. But, he has kept a secret ever since about what really happened.
Cast: Peter Cushing (von Baden), Dean Allen (Duellist), John Bailey (Winterluck), Steve Brigden (Fifth student), Andrew Bicknell (Macker), Matthew Francis (Young von Baden), Michael Gardiner (Second student), Denys Graham (Doctor), Anthony Higgins (Cassan), Barrie Jaimeson (Josef), Kirstie Pooley (Eva), Nicholas Hall (First student), Brian Binns (Third student), John Rankin (Fourth student)
The Wrong'Un 78 11 June 1983 Michael Brett
Paul Ableman
Leonard Lewis
A German businessman is staying at a hotel and in mood for celebration. He meets up with Molly, an attractive but strange girl. Despite being warned about her, he takes her to his room.
Cast: Andrew Ray (Cranmer Oakes), Richard Foxton (Assistant Manager), Constantine Gregory (Helmut Kohler Weinrich), Lucy Gutteridge (Molly), Elspeth March (Mrs Carson), Daragh O'Malley (Jimmy), Graham Weston (Business man), Carrie Lee Baker (Sally, the maid), Alpana Sen Gupta (Cynthia)
The Luncheon 79 19 June 1983 Jeffrey Archer
Gerald Savory
Graham Evans
Susan Mandeville is a beautiful American woman who takes a shine to struggling writer Tony Medway.
He takes her out to lunch in the hope of getting a lucrative offer for his book, but, things aren't so straightforward.
Cast: Stephen Greif (Rinaldo), Jacqueline Hill (Melanie Litmayer), Gayle Hunnicutt (Susan Mandeville), Bosco Hogan (Tony Medway), Hazel McBride (Louise Medway), Burnell Tucker (Peter Blundell), Gertrude Shilling (Miss Sopwith), Barbara Molyneux (Lady Handel), Martin Ryan Grace (Wayne), John Cassady (Shaun), Shireen Anwar (Bank Teller), Mark Lewis (Carlo), Nicholas Field (Mario), Stuart Turton (Franco), Patrick Bailey (Dieter)
The Tribute 80 25 June 1983 Jane Gardam
Alan Seymour
Graham Evans
Three English ladies hear about the death of an acquaintance of theirs. They decide against putting a notice in the newspaper but invite the woman's out to lunch instead.
Cast: Eleanor Bron (Polly Knox), Sheila Burrell (Lady Eleanor Benson), Anna Neagle (Fanny Soane), Phyllis Calvert (Mabel Ince), Brian Tipping (Head Waiter), Stuart Turton (Wine Waiter), Chris Tummings (Youth), Kelvin Omard (Youth)
Hit and Run 81 2 July 1983 Patricia Moyes
Robin Chapman
Peter Hammond
Roger Ashburn, a young doctor is deeply in love with his beautiful wife, but, she doesn't feel the same way. He arranges a dinner party with some of his friends, but, she disappears afterwards.
Roger is desperately worried, but, there is a surprise in store.
Cast: Brenda Blethyn (Carol Hutchins), Antony Carrick (Inspector), Tony Crean (Ambulance Attendant), John Duttine (Dr Roger Ashburn), Ray Lonnen (Dr Steve Hutchins), Robert McBain (Ambulance Driver), Michael Melia (Detective Sergeant), Cherry Morris (Casualty Sister), Susan Penhaligon (Mary Ashburn), Michael Quinto (Policeman), Phyllida Nash (Joan Hunter)
Youth from Vienna 82 9 July 1983 John Collier
Ross Thomas
Norman Lloyd
Caroline Coates is promoted in her role as television news reporter, but is worried that she won't last if her looks start to go. She is admired by a man who has come up with a formula for an anti-ageing process.
Cast: Sharon Gless (Caroline Coates), Dick Smothers (Dr Humphrey Baxter), James Carroll Jordan (Alan Brodie), Ellen Geer (Stella Archer), Elliott Reid (Dick Archer)
The Turn of the Tide 83 16 July 1983 C. S. Forester
Ross Thomas
Ray Danton
A lawyer is planning the perfect murder of an enemy of his. He plans meticulously, but there is one thing he's overlooked.
Cast: Richard Basehart (Slade), Gretchen Corbett (Martha), Nicholas Hormann (Spalding)

Series Seven[edit]

15 Episodes. First broadcast: Saturdays and Sundays on ITV - 12 May to 21 October 1984

Title Episode First aired Writer(s) Director
The Dirty Detail 84 12 May 1984 Henry Slesar
David Scott Milton
Leo Penn
Fred Pearson, a Vietnam veteran is a broken man after years of punishment from his sergeant. One day, he walks into a bar and sees the sergeant, still very much the arrogant bully he always was.
Cast: Jenny O'Hara (Ruth Pearson), George Peppard (Sergeant Guedo), Vincent Howard (Detective), Ted Gehring (Bartender), Tom Finnegan (Barfly), Kevin Dobson (Fred Pearson)
The Best Chess Player in the World 85 19 May 1984 Julian Symons
Peter Ransley
Graham Williams
Graham Evans
Shaw, the owner of a newspaper is controlling and very rich. His wife is content with the money he provides but is having an affair. When Shaw finds out he decides to act.
Cast: Andrew Ray (Jerry Wilde), Christopher Reich (Peter Simpson), Clifford Parrish (Frank Miller), Michael Jayston (George Bernard Shaw), Mark Jax (White), Lynette Davies (Paula Shaw), Pat Guthrie (Telephone Operator)
Proxy 86 26 May 1984 Talmage Powell
Bert Salzman
Three men are being blackmailed by a woman for money. One day she is found murdered and the three worry that they will be suspected. Her chauffeur however, has a plan.
Cast: Barbara Bolton (Mrs Sutton), Lois Smith (Sara), Tom Smothers (William), Patrick O'Neal (Sutton), Malachy McCourt (Judge), Joanne Lara (Maria), Larry Keith (Grenich)
Have a Nice Death 87 2 June 1984 Antonia Fraser
Wolf Mankowitz
William Slater
Successful writer Sam Luke is being hounded by the feminist movement for his books, which speak of women being the weaker sex.
Unable to deal with them, he returns to his wife, but now is getting death threats.
Cast: Bill Bailey (Bob, Interviewer), Ian Tyler (Bell Hop), Sue Vanner (Zara Luke), Barbara Rosenblat (Television Interviewer), Kate Harper (Clodagh Jansen), Susannah Fellows (Joannie Luke), Simon Cadell (Sam Luke)
Number Eight 88 9 June 1984 Jack Ritchie
Ross Thomas
Leo Penn
A driver picks up a hitchhiker. They hear on the radio that a serial killer is on the loose. The driver quickly realises that the description exactly matches that of his passenger.
Cast: Dennis Christopher (Driver), Brad Dourif (Hitch-hiker), Kathleen Doyle (Ann), Will Hare (Old Man)
The Last of the Midnight Gardners 89 16 June 1984 Tony Wilmot
Gerald Savory
Peter Hammond
A magazine editor has a wife and a secret lover. For his magazine, he launches a competition for a story involving the perfect murder. His wife encourages him to enter it himself.
Cast: Jane Asher (Jane Oats), Forbes Collins (Inspector), Celia Gregory (Edna Tewsland), Patrick Mower (Walter Oats), Jim Norton (Dr. Mellish), Panos Alexander (Steward)
The Gift of Beauty 90 30 June 1984 Joseph Dougherty
Bert Salzman
Bert Salzman
Elizabeth and her lover Ray murder her husband for a life together. Elizabeth has a face lift to close the age gap between her and Ray, then she hears of an anti-aging process.
Cast: MacKenzie Allen (Ray), Carol Lynley (Elizabeth), Randall Edwards (Rebecca)
Wet Saturday 91 7 July 1984 John Collier Norman Lloyd
George Princey has a high standing in the community and when his daughter kills a man he endeavours to cover up to prevent him facing a scandal.
Cast: Ed Begley, Jr. (George Princey), Fritz Weaver (Princey), Mary Sinclair (Mrs Princey), Charles Hallahan (Jack Lowry)
Sauce for the Goose 92 21 July 1984 Patricia Highsmith
Bert Salzman
Bert Salzman
Olivia starts a relationship with a younger man on the basis that she's killed her husband and gained his fortune. Her lover however still sees himself as a free agent and has an affair with another woman.
Cast: Gloria Grahame (Olivia), Robert Morse (Stephen Shaw), Lisa Dunsheath (Gloria)
Bird of Prey 93 4 August 1984 John Collier
Ross Thomas
Ray Danton
Jack and Edna's parrot lays a large, oversized egg. The parrot dies and so they keep the egg warm.
On hatching, it reveals an aggressive black-feathered bird. Jack is taken by it, but Edna is suspicious of the evil-looking creature.
Cast: Sondra Locke (Edna), Frank Converse (Jack), Charles Hallahan (Charlie)
I Like it Here in Wilmington 94 11 August 1984 Henry Slesar
David Scott Milton
John Peyser
Harry is a clothing manufacturer in Wilmington, Delaware. He is on the verge of bankruptcy however.
Being used to the good life, he ponders the idea of murdering his wife in order to collect the insurance money.
Cast: Tom Smothers (Marvin Castlemore), Susan Strasberg (Roberta Elton), Janet Leigh, Robert Loggia (Harry Elton), Wendy Austin (Cissy)
Accidental Death 95 19 August 1984 Denis Cannan
Tony Wilmot
Peter Duffell
Steve and Jane are con artists who gain access to people's homes claiming to be doing research into polish. While there, they assess the valuables in the house for later theft.
Coming across a scruffy old man, they hear that he is actually rich but they underestimate him.
Cast: Andrew Ray (Steve Jeffries), Lynsey Baxter (Jane), Cyril Cusack (Percy Hampton), Tamara Ustinov (Beryl), Giles Phibbs (Farmer), Bryan Matheson (Husband in Bar), Yvonne Marsh (Policewoman), Ruth Kettlewell (Wife in Bar), John Hug (Arthur), Jacqueline Hill (Mrs Milvain), Ian Flintoff (Doctor), Jason Carter (Youth at Yacht Club)
The Reconciliation 96 16 September 1984 Nicholas Monsarrat
Roy Russell
John Jacobs
James has walked out on his wife, who still loves him. His lawyer advises him that it may be difficult to get a divorce unless he can catch her being unfaithful. With not much hope, he hires a private detective.
Cast: John Castle (Derek Johnstone), Keith Edwards (Juan Luis Romero), Wilfred Grove (Porter), Jim Norton (Bates), Roger Rees (James Howgill), Meg Davies (Caroline Howgill & voice of Jenny), Anna Maria Macchi (Sandra Marino)
The Mugger 97 14 October 1984
Gerald Overton, a politician has fallen in love with a beautiful woman he met at a party. Things go wrong and his entire career and reputation are in jeopardy. Gerald decides to take the law into his own hands.
Cast: Roy Marsden (Gerald Overton), Graham Bell (Television Interviewer), Amanda Boxer (Jenny Overton), Kate Harper (Mary Tregallas), Peter Russell (Policeman), Toby Scopes (James Overton), Zara Nutley (Ann Dibbell), Mark Lewis (Gerald's Pursuer), David Hanson (John Dibbell), Diana Goodman (Television Reporter), Evie Garratt (Mrs Cromer), Forbes Collins (Police Officer), Raymond Boyd (Manservant), Dadina Sagah (Maid), Chris Tummings (Boy on roller skates)
The Open Window 98 21 October 1984 Christopher Lukas
At a hunting lodge in Connecticut, a young man climbs through the window. However, when he emerges the other side he finds himself in a strange new world, unlike anything he's ever seen before.
Cast: Michael Conforti (Stanley), Valerie Mahaffey (Jane), Richard Dow (Gregory), Richard Marr (Vernon), Michael Galloway (Stuart), Dina Merrill (Marjorie)

Series Eight[edit]

4 Episodes. First broadcast: 1 Saturday and 3 Sundays on ITV - 30 March and 14 to 28 July 1985

Title Episode First aired Writer(s) Director
People Don't Do Such Things 99 30 March 1985 Ruth Rendell Gordon Hessler
Reeve Baker is a successful romantic novelist. Gwen, the wife of a friend falls for Baker and despite her husband's warnings, Gwen carries on with the relationship.
Cast: Jay Varela (Sergeant Demmer), Don Johnson (Reeve Baker), Arthur Hill (Terence Carter), Samantha Eggar (Gwen Carter), Denise Galik (Melanie Todd)
In the Cards 100 14 July 1985 John Collier John Peyser
Madame Myra is a fortuneteller with a lacklustre career and dim future. A man shows up eventually who is eager to guide her to a better life, but he has an ulterior motive.
Cast: Kenneth Tigar (Merrifield), Elaine Giftos (Grace), Susan Strasberg (Madame Myra), Max Gail (Charlie)
Nothin' Short of Highway Robbery 101 21 July 1985 Lawrence Block John Peyser
A husband and wife are embarking on a long drive through the desert. They stop off at a rundown gas station to be told that their car is in need of extensive repair.
They agree to stay for a meal while the mechanic works on it.
Cast: Jennifer Holmes (Marcie), Bud Cort (Newt), Bettye Ackerman (Ruby), Warren Oates (Harry)
Scrimshaw 102 28 July 1985 Brian Garfield
Brenda is a lonely alcoholic living in Florida. Her life is turned around when an old friend, Eric turns up.
Cast: Claude Anagram (The Bartender), Saw Weyman (The Man on the Beach), Mary Gross (The Woman on the Beach), Adair Jameson (The Gallery Lady), Charles Kimbrough (Eric), Buddy Owen (The Sailor), Joan Hackett (Brenda), Harry Richard (The Desk Clerk)

Series Nine[edit]

10 Episodes. First broadcast: Fridays on ITV - 18 December 1987 to 29 January 1988 and 15 April to 13 May 1988

Title Episode First aired Writer(s) Director
Skeleton in the Cupboard 103 18 December 1987 Tony Wilmott
Peter Ransley
Paul Annett
Robert Smythe has a dark secret he has kept for 20 years but, it has now come back to haunt him. He endeavours to keep it a secret from his wife, but she is growing suspicious.
Cast: Francesca Brill (Jane Fisher), Charles Dance (Robert Smythe), Philip Dunbar (Henry Traile), Zoë Wanamaker (Margaret Smythe), Matthew Jones (Man on the Phone)
The Colonel's Lady 104 8 January 1988 Somerset Maugham
Denis Cannan
Barry Davis
Eve Hamilton-Peregrine has written a successful book of poetry. Her husband is suspicious about the subject of the poems and demands to know who the lover is that she writes about.
Cast: Joss Ackland (Colonel George Peregrine), Paul Williamson (Harry), Gareth Thomas (Telfer), Anna Nicholas (Irina Stefanopoulos), Dennis Matsuki (Manservant), Carol Leader (Daphne), John Horsley (Giles Rowley), Rupert Frazer (Basil Dashwood), Kate Emma Davies (Clio Stefanopoulos), Allan Corduner (Hatchard's Bookshop Assistant), Pauline Collins (Eve K. Hamilton-Peregrine)
The Surgeon 105 15 January 1988 Roald Dahl Graham Evans
Doctor Robert Sandy receives a huge diamond from a grateful patient - an Eastern Prince. Robert is eager to sell it for money, but, his death follows his greed.
Cast: John Alderton (Robert Sandy), David Belcher (Julius Goff), Shirley Cain (Sister Wyman), Jonathan Coy (William Haddock), Alison Fiske (Betty Sandy), Geoffrey Greenhill (Detective Inspector Watkins), Raad Rawi (Crown Prince Zawi), Devon Scott (Jane Chenies), John Skitt (James Wishart), Thorley Walters (Harry Gold)
The Verger 106 22 January 1988 Denis Cannan
Somerset Maugham
Rodney Bennett
The Dobsons have been serving their Parish Church for years, but when a new Vicar arrives he changes things radically.
They move away and start a new life, but, in the process, a secret that the Dobsons have been keeping comes to light.
Cast: Gareth Walker (Cafe Owner), Tony Kassell (The Boy), Debbie Norris (First Waitress), Glenda Smith (Second Waitress), Andrew Seear (Clerk), Geoffrey Beevers (The Health Inspector), Bruce Boa (Groober), Richard Briers (Albert Dobson), Andrew Burt (Vicar), Mike Carnell (Passer-by), Geoffrey Chater (Magistrate), Rowland Davies (Bank Manager), Bradley Lavelle (Lawyer), Patricia Routledge (Milly Dobson)
The Facts of Life 107 29 January 1988 Somerset Maugham
Noella Smith
John Gorrie
Nicholas is a keen amateur fencer but is held back by his inexperience. He makes it through to a national fencing competition in London, but he has never been outside of his village or away from his parents.
Cast: Jim Broadbent (Lovejoy), Benedict Taylor (Nicholas Lillie), James Easton (Tony), Stephen Hancock (Mr Lillie), Daphne Neville (Mrs Lillie), Gerard Logan (James Barron-Ervine), John Drake (The President), Ronald Markham (Arthur), Rosalind Bennett (Zoe), Ronnie Stevens (Rudge), Genevieve Allenbury (Croupier), James Trapp (Cashier), Paul Vaughan-Teague (Scorer)
Wink Three Times 108 15 April 1988 John Charters
Paul Ableman
Paul Annett
Jeremy Tyler, a shy solicitor is staying at a London hotel on a business trip. While there, he is mistaken for another man by a woman on a blind date.
Cast: Peter Baldwin (Second Desk Clerk), Andrew Bicknell (Giles Wimbourne), Ellis Dale (First Desk Clerk), Peter Davison (Jeremy Tyler), Jeremy Gittins (Dominic), Liza Goddard (Babs Colport), Luke Kelly (Barman), Robin Lermitte (Piers), Caroline Goodall (Holly Peverill), Terry Wallis (Hall Porter), Les Henry (Head Waiter), Mel Hastings (Steward)
The Dead Don't Steal 109 22 April 1988 Ella Griffiths
Robin Chapman
John Glenister
Ken Johnson is having an affair with his secretary, Lillian. His wife finds out about it and is furious, but then, Lillian tells Ken that she has met someone else.
In temper, he kills her and buries the body, but then, he gets a phone call from her.
Cast: Nicholas Ball (Ken Johnson), Glynis Barber (Lilian and Sylvia Brett), David Caddick (First Police Officer), Norman Tyrrell (George), Albert Welling (Inspector Gunter), Michael Wisher (Dexter), Lois Baxter (Annie Johnson), Derek Carpenter (Van Driver), Dave Sommerton (Second Police Officer), Brian Goodfellow (Detective Sergeant Davies)
The Finger of Suspicion 110 29 April 1988 Tony Wilmot
Robin Chapman
Rodney Bennett
Steve Baker is married to a beautiful Arab woman and they live happily in a Middle Eastern country. Then, Steve's past comes back to haunt him as he is charged with a crime.
Cast: Michael Brandon (Stephen Baker), Lucy Gutteridge (Soroya), Stefan Kalipha (Chief Inspector Aziz), Michael O'Hagan (Superintendent Burke), Nadim Sawalha (Zayid Halim), Rob Spendlove (Inspector Hook), Tony Allief (Police Sergeant), Eddie Lemare (Police Constable)
A Time to Die 111 6 May 1988 Aileen Wheeler
Robin Chapman
Paul Annett
Yves Drouard is busy trying to keep his wife and young mistress happy. Things become further complicated when his mistress tells him she is pregnant.
Cast: Mike McKenzie (Pianist), David Suchet (Yves Drouard), Nina Van Pallandt (Marthe Drouard), Sarah-Jane Varley (Lucie), Adam Crouch (Antoine), Paul Herzberg (Henri), Pauline Letts (Madame Cabon), Jemma Redgrave (Violette Charbonneau), Ivor Robers (Gas Inspector)
Mr Know-All 112 13 May 1988 Paul Ableman
Somerset Maugham
Gareth Davies
Elly, a pretty hotel maid is seduced by a guest. He gives her a valuable statuette, which he found during an archaeological dig.
Elly is sacked by the manager when he finds out about the affair, but, the manager's wife has exactly the same statuette.
Cast: Edward Wiley (Jasper Cranley), Eamonn Walker (Bates), Chaim Topol (Professor Max Kelada), Kim Thomson (Elly Somerton), Steve Plytas (Professor Daxatides), Steffanie Pitt (Angela Dalton), Leslie Lyon (Lizzie Cranley), Erika Hoffman (Suzie Anderson), Peter Frye (Professor Maddox)

Many of the earlier episodes were preceded by an introduction by Roald Dahl. The dancer in the title sequence was Karen Standley.

These episodes have frequently been repeated on British television, most recently on ITV3. All episodes have been released on DVD in a box-set for each series, except the 1984/85 series which were released together with the first episode of series 8.[1][2]

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