Brian Clemens' Thriller (1973 - 1976)

Discussion in 'Cult TV' started by Willie Oleson, Jan 14, 2020.

  1. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    Episode 1.

    upload_2020-1-14_4-28-25.png

    It's almost impossible to describe the whole story because there are so many spontaneous twists and turns, but it's about a couple that wants to defraud the insurance company by faking the death of the wife.
    Except that the death itself won't be faked, that's going to be the wife's look-alike's job, Jennifer.
    Jennifer and Paul get married.
    upload_2020-1-14_4-34-24.png
    Paul's wife and co-conspirator Toni pretends to be Jennifer (as herself) and fakes spontaneous blackouts, which will explain Jennifer's (as Toni) unfortunate "accident".
    Later, the doctor calls Jennifer to rearrange the next appointment but she has no idea what he's talking about since she's never suffered from blackouts.

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    Jennifer thinks that Paul worries too much about his (vague) business, and informs him about her wealth, more than one million dollars, just in case he's going to need some.
    Paul had no idea, and this last-minute revelation saves her life.
    But Toni has no intention whatsoever to change their plans.
    The situation spirals out of control, she tries to kill Jennifer herself, she and Paul struggle and he accidentally pushes Toni over the cliff - which is witnessed by a witness.
    The witness was part of the original plan, but of course he wasn't supposed to see this.

    Paul urges Jennifer to tell the police the truth: that it was an accident, and that he saved her life.
    She says that she can't tell the police anything because she had a blackout.

    Paul is toast, cue sinister dam-dam-dam music.

    Well I thought it was a very intriguing and twisty episode, although Jennifer had to be a little gullible sometimes in order to let the deceit to continue.
    There weren't any eerie moments and that's what I really want from this series.

    7/10
     
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  2. Angela Channing

    Angela Channing World Cup of Soaps Moderator

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    This was a great series and featured many actors who went on to bigger things, including a young Donna Mills in the episode about a Rolls Royce.
     
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  3. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    Episode 2.

    upload_2020-1-15_4-42-46.png

    The episode starts with a murder that takes place in 1953. They don't show the murderer so there we have our first mystery.
    In the present time, a couple decides to buy a big house in the countryside and once they're inside it becomes clear that it's the same house where the woman was murdered.
    What could possibly go wrong.
    About the couple itself, she's rather young and pretty and he's middle-aged and average looking. We have to believe that he's worked hard and long enough to afford a house like that, but they still need that hypersensitive and vulnerable damsel in distress because...they're more interesting victims I suppose.
    Nevertheless, I have this feeling that the older man/younger woman is the standard, not the exception, in this type of story.

    Anyway, the husband starts to behave strangely, he whistles some familiar tune and snaps his fingers in a compulsive way.
    A plumber is working on the pipelines in the cellar, and he discovers the body of the woman who was murdered in the opening scene.
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    They really make the best of sets, and a spooky house doesn't really need monsters or murderers. The madness, the sadness and the hostility of a particular space can represent an evil that isn't necessarily human.
    Well obviously in this case it is since they found the body, it's a murder house.

    They call a psychic in order to find out who or what is being haunted.
    As per usual, this results in over-the-top cheesy drama, screaming and near-fainting.
    upload_2020-1-15_5-31-54.png

    At some point the husband almost stabs his wife, later he leaves the house and actually kills a woman and takes her jewelry.
    Confusing part: this unknown victim looks like the psychic.
    upload_2020-1-15_5-37-9.png

    But later he also kills the psychic and buries her in the cellar.
    At the end of the story it's revealed that he was the original killer all along and he's always amnesiaced his crimes.
    The house in the countryside is where it all began and somehow he was lured back to that place and then his hidden alter ego took over again.

    So..the possession turns out to be a semi-possession. I tried to decide how much I liked it, and I guess that says it all.
    For whatever reason I don't care for these characters and maybe that's why the melodramatic reveal falls flat.

    6/10
     
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  4. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Warrior

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    I have been considering buying this series for a long time now. Is it an anthology series where the same actors crop up again and again as different characters and how long are the episodes?
     
  5. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    Spooky atmosphere with a bit of camp. Oh yes, this is definitely your thing.
    Approx 65 minutes per episode. Mostly different actors, but some may appear in more than one episode.

    At the end of the episode they also show the intro used for the American broadcasts.
    upload_2020-1-15_22-16-17.png

    upload_2020-1-15_22-21-1.png
    This actor and this scenery are not in the episode, actually.
     
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