Many things haunted my youth - fluorescent socks, the bittersweet twist of a first and unrequited love, losing six straight games of "strip kerplunk" and having to roller-skate home in just me vest - nothing, however, comes close to THAT chest-tightening moment in Armchair Thriller's "Quiet as a Nun" when Maria Aitken (think Yvette Fielding in a woolly hat) climbs the steps of the church tower to the sound of something rocking eerily back and forth and slowly opens the hatch to find... a very unusual nun indeed. It's this, together with the steady, spine-tingling build-up of tension and a gutsy performance from Aitken, which elevates the efficient murder-mystery to the premier league of classic British chillers alongside the likes of The Signalman, Night of the Demon, Children of the Stones, Adventures 2 & 4 of Sapphire & Steel and that bit on The Bionic Woman when the fembot's face falls off (we don't count that though, it's not British).
This six-part series is adapted from Antonia Fraser's novel and stars Aitken as TV journalist Jemima Shore (later given her own series Jemima Shore Investigates with Patricia Hodge as the eponymous heroine) investigating the troubled death of old school friend Sister Miriam and the strange goings-on (at night!) at the Convent of the Blessed Eleanor, and includes Patsy Kensit (Birdseye Peas) in an early role. It's true that it was the talk of the Nation's playgrounds and work spaces - a watercooler moment when the closest people had ever got to a real watercooler was watching Jack Klugman fill his face on Quincey. I was much too young for all that of course and only happened to catch it via my mother's womb when the midwife accidentally picked up ITV on the monitor as she was giving her a scan (true).
We've waited a long time.