The Nightmare Man

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This article is about the 1981 TV serial. For the 2006 film, see Nightmare Man (2006 film). For the episode from The Sarah Jane Adventures, see The Nightmare Man (The Sarah Jane Adventures).
The Nightmare Man
Nightmare Man DVD.jpg
The Nightmare Man UK DVD release.
Created by
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of episodes 4
Running time 30 minutes
Original network BBC
Original release 1 May (1981-05-01) – 22 May 1981 (1981-05-22)

The Nightmare Man is a science fiction and horror television serial, produced by the BBC in 1981.

An adaptation of the novel Child of Vodyanoi by David Wiltshire, The Nightmare Man is set on a small Scottish island with the population gripped by fear following a series of savage murders and the discovery of a strange craft on the local beach.

The four-part serial was adapted for television by Robert Holmes, produced by Ron Craddock and directed by Douglas Camfield. Both Holmes and Camfield had worked extensively on Doctor Who.

Cast and characters[edit]

Michael Gaffikin[edit]

Described as a sassenach, being English, dentist Michael Gaffikin (James Warwick) is a keen golfer and in love with the island's pharmacist.

Fiona Patterson[edit]

Played by a young Celia Imrie, Patterson is a pharmacist and also an illustrator and cartographer.

Dr Symonds[edit]

A Canadian bird-watcher, Dr. Symonds (Tony Sibbald) is on the island watching birds. Canadian actor Sibbald is perhaps best known for playing American parts on television such as Mr Huckle in Doctor Who (Terror of the Zygons - also directed by Douglas Camfield), and Chuck Marshall in Quatermass.

Inspector Inskip[edit]

A muppet of a policeman from Glasgow, recently settled on the island, Inskip is played by Maurice Roëves.

Colonel Howard[edit]

A somewhat mysterious character, Colonel Howard (Jonathan Newth) arrives at the start of the story and quickly makes the acquaintance of the other main characters.


The serial was shot in the Cornish village of Port Isaac. It was made entirely using outside broadcasting video facilities.


The serial has been released on DVD (Region 2, UK) by BBC Worldwide as part of their Cult TV range. The DVD included a booklet detailing the serial's background and production.

External links[edit]