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  #1  
Old 17th July 2016, 09:57 AM
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Default Deadite Does Thriller

So, I was excited to get this complete Thriller box set that i'd heard a lot about but never to my recollection seen. I've decided that i'm going to post potted reviews of every episode as i watch them. I'll try to steer clear of spoilers as it's a 'twist in the tail' kind of series, but will opine on the contents of the episode as much as possible within that self-imposed restriction.

But where to start? Well, I decided to do a little research online and managed to find an episode guide. Trawling through that I found an episode that includes the legendary Bob Holness! So, that's where i'm starting.

I doubt whether i'll manage more than 2 or 3 episode reviews a week (maybe less than that on occasion) so the thread might well be a slow burner.

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Episode 2.04 One Deadly Owner

Main Cast: Donna Mills (Helen Cook), Jeremy Brett (Peter Tower), Robert Morris (Freddie Green), Laurence Payne (John Lacey), Eric Lander (Hans), Michael Beint (Hawkins), Bob Holness (Announcer).

I decided to start my viewing of the Thriller series with this episode because I noticed Bob Holness in the credits! Being an old fan of Blockbuster I had to start with this episode, even if it is only voice-work by him. Anyhoo, to the episode.

Donna Mills plays the fashion model Helen Cook who as the episode starts buys, on impulse, a white Rolls Royce that seems to have bewitched her for some time. As time progresses she becomes convinced that the car is haunted (much to the derision of her photographer friend, a very young looking Jeremy Brett, pre Sherlock Holmes). What follows is some amateur detective work as Helen tries to make sense of the predicament she finds herself in, with aid from several other characters (or is it aid?) before a denouement that, in truth, I called within the first 10 minutes of the programme.

This episode is faintly ludicrous to begin with, but if you manage to suspend your disbelief you can enjoy the ride as I did (see what I did there?). This is no more than an average thriller in my opinion, so I mark it as neither remarkable, nor risible. The acting is perfectly adequate throughout - Eric Lander as Hans is particularly good as a rather stereo-typically brash German agent and seeing Jeremy Brett's costume changes throughout the show is also amusing. Fashion victim! My only disappointment being that Bob Holness only 'appears' as a radio announcer! Then again, radio is where he first rose to prominence – he was a radio James Bond dontcha know!

2 out of 5.

Last edited by Deadite; 17th July 2016 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 17th July 2016, 10:57 AM
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I thought this was some kind of porn or something, you know like debbie does dallas
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  #3  
Old 17th July 2016, 01:32 PM
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Great idea for a thread, Deadite.

Thriller is an excellent series. I look forward to your writing on it.

As it's a goof few years since i watched the set i might even follow in watching it again using your running order.
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Old 21st July 2016, 09:53 PM
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Episode 3.05 Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are

Main Cast: Lynda Day George (Cathy Moore), Peter Jeffrey (Dexter), John Carson (Arthur Lewis), Colette O'Neil (Alice Lewis), Bernard Holley (Paul Eastman), Richard Corbet (Reeves), Kathleen Mallory (Jane Howard), John Line (Davis), Molly Weir (Miss Pendy), Kevin Brennan (Parminter).

Ah, the time-worn story of a distressed lady looking for a travelling companion that no-one else seems to think exists! How I missed thee! Of course, my jaded opinion is based on an old-chestnut that might not have been such an old-chestnut in the early seventies when this was first aired. Anyway, to say the plot of this thriller was familiar is to take away from an excellent episode. It may have been familiar but it kept me riveted throughout and I guessed only half the sting in this particular tale.

A great part of the enjoyment came from a rather shabby cast of characters the alcoholic inn-keep who may have a skeleton in the closet (well played by John Carson) and the policeman who is certainly sexist and possibly violent.

Although the climax was not entirely unexpected and told in part in wibbly-wobbly 'this happened in the past', I thoroughly enjoyed this one and have to single out the performance of Peter Jeffrey as the rather concerning copper Dexter as an episode highlight Not the kind of policeman i'd want anywhere near me in a crime, but fine thriller viewing!

Score 4 out of 5
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Old 28th July 2016, 09:44 PM
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Episode 5.02 The Double Kill

Main Cast: Gary Collins (Hugh Briant), James Villiers (Paul), Peter Bowles (Superintendent Lucas), Stuart Wilson (Max Burns), Penelope Horner (Clorissa Briant), John Flanagan (Michael Player), Hilda Fenemore (Mrs Harper), Griffith Davies (Burglar), Michael Stainton (Brent).

A man is a bit too free and easy down the pub talking about the pieces of art his wife has bought, goes home and finds a burglar ransacking the place. Gary Collins as Hugh Briant (the aforementioned blabbermouth) is a little too confident when he tackles him, however. In fact, he has a deal he wants to make. Can he and the burglar trust each other? Of course not! Nasty deeds are done, and Peter Bowles enters the piece as Superintendent Lucas, who has a secret of his own that his Sergeant isn't impressed by.

I dunno whether i'm clever, lucky, jaded, or all three, but I guessed what was happening here right from Lucas's entrance the 'twist' was a little too telegraphed IMO, although Briant's actions before the 'sting' are suitibly ironic and thus wrap up the episode nicely.

Nothing outstanding in the acting department for me just a competent Thriller.

2 out of 5.
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Old 3rd August 2016, 09:22 PM
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Episode 1.08 File it Under Fear

Main Cast: Maureen Lipman (Liz Morris), Richard O'Callaghan (George Bailey), James Grout (Superintendent Cramer), John LeMesurier (Stubbs), Colin Fisher (Sergeant Truscott), Rose Hill (Mother), Richard Pendrey (Gerry Masters), John Nightingale (Steve Kerroway), Jan Francis (Gillie Randall), Jenny Quayle (Betty), Georgina Melville (Jackie), Sue Bond (Karen).

I picked this one next solely on the strength of it having Maureen (You've got an ology) Lipman and John (Would you mind awfully falling-in?) LeMesurier in the cast. Set largely in a library in a seemingly small community (although it's never really clarified where it is) that is rocked by a series of murders and as is usual in this series, there are no shortage of suspects. There's the creepy library assistant, the dodgy lodger and a silent American airman who shows up in suspicious places all the time (and thus was immediately eliminated from my own enquiries!). Maureen Lipman is suitibly prim as the head librarian and John LeMesurier is his usual affable self as the regular.

This one seemed to plod a bit compared to the previous episodes I watched, but was enlivened at the end by several neat flips and for once a Police force that didn't seem negligent, dodgy, or uncaring. I think this one finished strongly but flagged in the middle. The end for me made it an above average Thriller.

3 out of 5.
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Old 3rd August 2016, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deadite View Post
Episode 1.08 File it Under Fear

Main Cast: Maureen Lipman (Liz Morris), Richard O'Callaghan (George Bailey), James Grout (Superintendent Cramer), John LeMesurier (Stubbs), Colin Fisher (Sergeant Truscott), Rose Hill (Mother), Richard Pendrey (Gerry Masters), John Nightingale (Steve Kerroway), Jan Francis (Gillie Randall), Jenny Quayle (Betty), Georgina Melville (Jackie), Sue Bond (Karen).

I picked this one next solely on the strength of it having Maureen (You've got an ology) Lipman and John (Would you mind awfully falling-in?) LeMesurier in the cast. Set largely in a library in a seemingly small community (although it's never really clarified where it is) that is rocked by a series of murders and as is usual in this series, there are no shortage of suspects. There's the creepy library assistant, the dodgy lodger and a silent American airman who shows up in suspicious places all the time (and thus was immediately eliminated from my own enquiries!). Maureen Lipman is suitibly prim as the head librarian and John LeMesurier is his usual affable self as the regular.

This one seemed to plod a bit compared to the previous episodes I watched, but was enlivened at the end by several neat flips and for once a Police force that didn't seem negligent, dodgy, or uncaring. I think this one finished strongly but flagged in the middle. The end for me made it an above average Thriller.

3 out of 5.
Funny enough i watched this one last night, have to say i did find it to be probably the weakest one i've seen so far.
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Old 3rd August 2016, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by J Harker View Post
Funny enough i watched this one last night, have to say i did find it to be probably the weakest one i've seen so far.
It certainly plodded, but i liked the end so marked it up a bit!
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Old 3rd August 2016, 11:08 PM
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It certainly plodded, but i liked the end so marked it up a bit!
It wasn't awful. Even for the worst episode I've seen its still better than a lot of modern toss.
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Old 8th August 2016, 09:32 PM
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Episode 3.03 Death to Sister Mary

Main Cast: Robert Powell (Rook), Jennie Linden (Sister Mary/Penny Stacey), George Maharis (Mark Fields), Antony Newlands (Tony Barton), Joan Haythorne (Mother Superior), Derek Foulds (Dicky), Leigh Lawson (Larry Turner), Gerry Cowen (TV Director), Windsor Davies (Detective Moore).

Jennie Linden plays the part of Penny Stacey who plays the part of Sister Mary in a soap opera called 'Saints & Sinners' on telly. The cast and hangers on of the show start having 'accidents', there's also a mugging, a hit and run well you get the picture, even if the people involved don't.

I can't really reveal more without going into spoiler territory, so i'll shut up about the story now and say that this Thriller seemed designed to get under my skin. I found it squirm inducing at times which is testament to the direction and performances involved. My only reservation is that the victims at the centre of the events seem a little slow on the uptake about what's happening. This episode also has Windsor Davies in a straight role as a police detective! He only appears quite late in the piece, however, and seems less able than the non-police characters! Antony Newlands hams it up a tad too much as well.

A bit more of my likes are presented below in spoiler space don't read if you don't want to spoil it.

SPOILER:
Robert Powell gives a really creepy performance as Rook, who for some reason, no-one takes very seriously as a nut-job, he's just a 'harmless' nut. As a 'number 1 fan' he was bound to be unhinged and unlike other Thrillers i've seen so far, this one ran straight and true and there was no real twist the guy's a nut and tries to kill Sister Mary after wooing her with plans of a fan club. I really liked the fact that at the end, he is shown to be physically ineffectual he falls over running up stairs and when he throws a punch he misses, swings himself around and falls onto some glass!


Really good episode IMO.

4 out of 5
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