Oh gosh - I remember these so well! I remember looking forward to watching these with my father each week. Fabulous stuff and full of suspense with great atmosphere and some great 'incidental' music! Another lovely slice of yesterday thanks to good old 'Network' who have done it again - 'Network' certainly rule! This is yet another great release of quality vintage TV, and as usual; all the Ad. Bumpers are still intact. These have clearly been re-mastered, though even at the time, I distinctly recall the crystal clear sound and picture quality of this classic weekly TV show. The striking theme music will have stuck in many a Viewer's mind as these episodes were eagerly anticipated each and every week. There were some big names in these, and someone of 'note' starred in each and every episode - some of the bigger names were:
Linda Thorson, John Le Mesurier, Dennis Waterman, Joyce Carey, Jeremy Brett, Nyree Dawn Porter, Patrick Allen, Jacqueline Tong, Helen Mirren, Robert Powell, Richard Todd, Pamela Franklin, Diana Dors, Patrick Trougton, Judy Geeson, Charles Gray, Donna Mills, Ian Hendry, David Lodge, Max Wall, Carol Lynley, Gerald Harper, James Villiers, Peter Bowles, Ian Bannen, Denholm Elliott, Keith Barron, Geoffrey Chater, Nigel Havers, Ralph Bates, T. P. McKenna, Sydney Tafler, Stuart Damon, Gemma Jones, Bob Hoskins, Susan Hampshire, Dudley Sutton and Brian Blessed.
At the opening of each episode, there was a little 'jingle' for the 'ATV' presentation and logo which upon hearing again after all these years so beautifully re-mastered will bring tears of nostalgia to the eyes of many I suspect... Every time you thought you'd seen the best of these shows, another would surpass its predecessor - if that was truly possible, and one would never really know the outcome until the show had actually ended! There were often great 'twists' that would mirror the later successful TV series that would follow: 'The Tales Of The Unexpected'.
Amazingly (though there were many far better episodes) for some reason, one of the episodes that had stuck in my mind remarkably well was one starring Robert Powell and the fabulous Linda Thorson (the best of 'The Avengers' girls in my opinion) The scene that had stuck in my mind in particular was the one involving the decanter stopper. Oddly, this is the first episode on the Disc Set, though like 'Network's' release of 'The Champions' - and unusual for them, these are also arranged on the Discs out of original sequence and airing dates for some reason.
The episodes involving the Private Investigator played by Dinsdale Landen were so good, they almost spawned a regular TV show independently! Just the odd story was sometimes tricky to follow, like perhaps 'Murder In Mind' for example, which was very 'deep', but this did not matter. In another, Maureen Lipman gives an award-winning performance as the scared Librarian in a story co-starring John Le Mesurier. (two great actors in unlikely roles)
Another great episode does in fact ring a bell from the movie 'Eyewitness' that stars Peter Vaughan in both, and the episode starring John Turner almost mirrors the same opening of his movie: 'The Black Torment' which he was to also star.
Some of these are still dreadfully eerie to watch, and still send a cold chill down the spine after all these years! The one with Hayley Mills and Gary Collins in particular is a great example of this. Probably the weakest episode is 'K Is For Killing' which somehow does not fit into the series quite as comfortably as the rest. There's also shows demonstrating some great talent from stars in the making, like Helen Mirren for example who even back then was displaying her abilities and talent, and giving us a mere taste of what she was to become!
One of the very best stories has to be 'Dial A Deadly Number' and must serve as a lesson to all not to take advantage of a situation that could potentially turn around and bite you in the bum! The suffering and consequences then become self inflicted...
The series goes out with a bang on its usual top form with 'Death In Deep Water' which is full of even more classic suspense and twists!
A total of 43 episodes in this box set and so these come in at tremendously great value for money! Among some of the best titles are:
Someone At the Top Of The Stairs
File It Under Fear
The Eyes Have It
Spell Of Evil
Only A Scream Away
Once The Killing Starts
One Deadly Owner
A Coffin For The Bride
I'm The Girl He Wants To Kill
In the Steps Of A Dead Man
Nurse Will Make It Better
A Killer In Every Corner
If It's A Man, Hang Up
The Double Kill
The Crazy Kill
The Next Voice You See
The Next Victim
Nightmare For A Nightingale
Dial A Deadly Number
Death In Deep Water
Bonus and Extras include an extremely interesting interview with Brian Clemens - Creator, and also a fascinating look at how they re-mastered some of the shows!
Enormously great value!
on 28 February 2006
For those that remember this series from the 70s that should be reason enough to buy this terrific, re-mastered collection of thrillers, that includes an interview with series creator Brian Clemens. But even those not wishing to bask in such nostalgia there is still much here to recommend
Although low budget, with occasional wobbly sets and dubious landscapes, the series is almost always terrifically professional and has an art for pacing and atmosphere that most of today's shows cannot match. They may seem dated to some, but that's only because we are not used to seeing what are essentially filmed plays, heavily studio bound that concentrates on invoking the viewer's imagination rather than showing bloody realism. No hand-held cameras or state of the art effects here.
But apart from solid plots, well told, there is terrific acting with some of the best character actors of the time (British and American), some of whom are no longer with us, others in the fledgling years of a good career. Especially memorable are Michael Jayston, Donna Mills, Helen Mirren, Denholm Elliot, Anthony Valentine, Robert Powell, Bradford Dillman, Diana Dors and Norman Eshley (as a chilling psychopath in "The Colour of Blood"). Best of all however is the American, Gary Collins, who was in 3 episodes and was excellent in all of them.
There are all types of Thrillers here; espionage, supernatural and sometimes just straightforward whodunits. In one of the most famous episodes, "A Coffin for the Bride", the action is actually from the point of view of the murderer, played to great effect by the charming but deadly Michael Jayston (who gives another predatory and memorable performance as the butler from hell in "Ring Once for Death")
Stalking is sometimes a theme, although each episode that tackles it finds its own angle. In one of the most edge-of-seat episodes - "I'm the Girl he wants to kill", a knife-wielding maniac pursues a woman in an empty office block at night. But the episode that opens the 4th series - "Screamer" - is more of a slow-burner and no less effective for that. A young woman's fear of a railroad rapist is the basis for a gripping psychological thriller.
But the best episodes, in my opinion, are those where a clever idea is developed and used to hook the audience into always wondering what will happen next. In "A Killer in Every Corner", 3 students are invited to the house of a renowned psychologist to discuss his experiments, unaware of how much of a role they are to play in them. And in "The Next Voice You See", a sightless pianist at a busy party recognizes the voice of the man who had blinded him in a bank robbery years earlier. Sometimes it is the seeming clash of 2 stories that creates a situation that is awash with possibilities. In "The Crazy Kill", Denholm Elliott plays a doctor whose wife may or may not be neurotic. But that's not half of the problem as two escaped prisoners are on the way to his house. "The Double Kill" sets off an intriguing tale when a husband who boasts about his expensive possessions to anyone who will listen comes face to face with an intruder in his house...
The first season starts promisingly, although some of the episodes are short of the quality that is to be found in seasons 2, 3, 4 and, up to a point, season 5. There are, however, 2 unusual episodes in the second season. "K is for Killing" is done rather tongue-in-cheek, and instead of delivering the usual tight plot, it concentrates more on the relationship between the husband and wife private detectives. Consequently, it unfolds rather slowly and is not to everyone's tastes, but I thought it was reasonable, even though almost every attempt at comedy falls flat.
"Who Killed Lamb?" is a detective story rather than a thriller. In fact, it was made by a different company entirely and is only included here because, at the time, it was incorrectly advertised as a Thriller, but its very well written and certainly worth seeing.
Apart from the ones I have already mentioned, especially notable are "Only a Scream Away", "Sign it Death", "Nurse Will Make it Better" and, probably the most well crafted of the lot, - "In the Steps of a Dead Man". In fact, only when the series reaches the end of Season 5 with the weak and confusing "Murder Motel" does it really start to flag. The final Season (6) throws up (at least) two turkeys. Ironically, the production values had noticeably increased by then, but this seems almost to its detriment in episodes such as "Kill Two Birds". With its proliferation of characters and locations it offers none of the atmosphere and expectation that became the hallmark of the series and it seems more like an episode of "The Sweeney" than one of the greatest Anthologies ever broadcast on T.V.
Season 1 (10 episodes): 5.5 (out of 10)
Season 2 (8 episodes) 6.5
Season 3 (6 episodes) 7
Season 4 (6 episodes) 7
Season 5 (7 episodes) 6.5
Season 6 (7 episodes) 5
on 12 July 2005
Thriller was an ITV series which ran for 6 series from 1973 to 1976. Perhaps because they were individual stories with a different cast every week, the series has a low profile and is unknown to many, even those who were around in the 70s. However, at the time they were given the prime slot on a Saturday night and had the added cachet of being 75 minutes long (65 minutes on the DVD without the adverts), which was unusual at the time, when most TV programmes ran for only an hour.
Viewed today, despite a few fairly obvious plots and occasional clunkers, there is still a lot to enjoy. Every show is bolstered by a starry cast, which reads like a who's who of 70s TV, often including an American leading lady in distress to assist with overseas sales. The stories unfold at a pace that sometimes seems slow, but allows a lot of atmosphere and tension to build. Okay, so with a limited cast and with one of the characters usually catching on to what is happening and being killed for their trouble around the end of reel two, the ending is not always a surprise, but there is usually a twist or two and of course there are always the excellent performances. The stories are often set firmly in the stockbroker belt, so the sets are also a feast for the eyes. All in all, they are like watching whodunnit theatre plays in your own living room, and none the worse for that.
Its hard to single out individual episodes, but the more well known include One Deadly Owner, about a haunted car helping Donna Mills and Jermey Brett to solve a murder, and Ring Once for Death, where Nyree Dawn Porter is slowly poisoned by her smooth butler, played by a young Michael Jayston. Occasional changes of pace didn't work, such as K is for Killing when Gayle Hunnicutt and Stephen Rea (10 years before The Crying Game)played a wise-cracking husband and wife detective team which jarred with the normal tone of the episodes, but with few exceptions this was a very consistent series from the master of TV writing in the 60s and 70s, Brian Clemens.
With no less than 43 episodes and some extras, this box set represents good value for money, even if most buyers will already have purchased the first 10 episodes separately when they were released last year. The programmes were re-edited for American TV with newly filmed front and end titles. The makers of this DVD have thankfully restored the more tasteful British titles, but include the US titles for good measure at the end of each episode. They are interesting to watch (once), but thank goodness for the restoration as the US titles cheapen what are otherwise classy and first rate pieces of 70s TV history.
on 5 December 2005
No series ever before or since is quite like THRILLER,a real moment in time artefact.
It's hard to believe this series scared many adults but it was tailor made to unnerve children staying up late.
I adored enjoying these stories again, I love the theatrical look and feel of them and I marvel at the constant inventiveness of writer Brian Clemens. His plots are terrific, The Double Kill is probably the cleverest of the lot, an ingenious twister that never lets up and keeps you guessing all the way!
For sheer edge of the seat fear I'm the Girl He Wants to Kill takes some beating.
A Coffin for the Bride had me fooled when I first saw it, maybe it is an obvious twist but its still an ingenious one! Other gems include Come Out Come Out Wherever you Are with a magnificent performance by Peter Jeffrey and the captivating Screamer, which works it s tricky spell so beautifully no viewer could possibly guess the outcome!
The camp delight that is Someone at the Top of the Stairs is one of the series forays into the paranormal but is let down by an atrcious final fifteen minutes when a miscast David de Keyser hams everything up wrestling with an interminable and pointless lump of explanatory dialogue.
Possession, Lady Killer, Dial a Deadly Number (a shameless Psycho rip-off!) and Once the Killing Starts are among the other corkers. It's a pity he too often opts for hero saving heroine in the nick of time endings often with no genuine believeability: the US influence on the series does show too clearly sometimes. THRILLER is best when it is at its most English.
Not all of THRILLER is good, you get used to some of Clemens' shoddy corner cutting after a while, as the endings of Nurse will Make it Better and Spell of Evil appallingly testify, and his dialogue and characterisations, especially of the female kind, is dreadful. But he is the master of suspense plotting, and the scores, the terrifying title sequence, the tone of the show and the sheer number of great plays contained within the strand make this a wonderful piece of tv nostalgia.
on 12 November 2005
Thanks to Network DVD and the much acclaimed Brian Clemens, I can now enjoy these beautifuly crafted TV gems all over again. I had to watch these on an old PYE black and white TV when they were first shown in 1973. I only saw a few of them in colour when Thames TV broadcast a selection in 1981, but they had the American title sequences.
Looking back now I am glad Network have given us the choice of the UK or USA titles, just for the sake of it, but even better!!! On the UK titles they've included the original ATV IDENT. When you see this you'll think... CROSSROADS :o) But it gets better. They've even put the VTR leader before the ATV ident!
At the time of writing this review ... I've only seen 4 of the 44 episodes packaged with this huge boxed set. I can tell you every story had my full attention. Just seeing some of the great old character actors/actresses from 3 decades ago brings a lump to my throat and I ask why did British TV go down the drain? Thriller was professional TV in my opinion, along with many other TV greats this series makes me realise how lucky we were just to have 3 channels back then...because subsequently....we became like America.
on 16 February 2014
Before I commence, it is worth mentioning that this perhaps a little sycophantic review is not one borne out of a sense of nostalgia. True I may have contemplated trawling through Amazon to find shows I liked when I was younger and slimmer and less afraid of teenagers, but this box set came to me entirely on the recommendation of Amazon. How glad am I that this happened!
I knew nothing of this show and so was actually a little apprehensive when the first disc entered my DVD player. And so what do I think of it? Well, let’s take the negatives first.
It DOES look dated. I had a good long think about this and I came up with the idea that it might have something to do with it being 40 years old. OK, so the jarring change from smooth and soft location shots to the gaudiness of the studio shots physically hurt my eyes every time, but TV was comparatively infant at the time. And yeah, the whole style of the shows is very old fashioned, with limited pizazz and showiness – but actually that is very much its charm.
Another negative is that pretty much every show is written by Brian Clemens and whilst this does make for a box set that doesn’t grate as it goes off in a new direction or gets mercilessly hijacked by some blundering ghost writer, it also does mean that by the last couple of discs the plotlines are in danger of becoming a little predictable.
My final grumble is that, at a little over an hour long, occasionally the pudding gets so hideously over-egged that it once or twice bordered on the irritating. You know the sort of horror flick staple? Where there is ONE PERSON that knows there is a monster in the cellar and NOBODY ELSE BELIEVES THEM and then eventually one other person BELIEVES THEM and they go on to vanquish it? A good example is “Somebody At The Top of The Stairs”, an episode which did actually succeed in creeping me out totally. It then murdered its own powerful tour de force with a long and clunking ending to the episode which left me wishing for a time machine, a pass to the editing suite at ATV studios and a pair of bloody sharp scissors.
But these are piffling complaints. Because in all I didn’t actually ever want the set to end. I haven’t enjoyed a program so much in ages. Because of the age of the program, what it relies on is good acting, very tight stories and filming to ensure that your attention is grabbed and retained throughout. As said above, there are one or two examples where this falls flat but by in large I was pretty much riveted from the opening shot to the end credits.
Thriller has a really enjoyable trans-Atlantic feel to it, with almost every episode having an American star in it, ostensibly to help it be marketable overseas. But even though the American element is present, this is still a very British program.
But where this show really shines is the stories. Clemen’s incredibly fertile imagination manages to create a show that has so many different types of story that it is consistently captivating. A personal highlight was “The Eyes Have It” in which a group of terrorists break into a school for the blind with a view to wasting some statesman or other with a rocket launcher (as ya do). This opened up a really enjoyable episode in which the group of hostages, all of which are blind, go out of their way to thwart this assassination. This demonstrates a really clever writing style, but also some really impressive acting performances.
To detail other episodes which have remained with me would take up pages of review. Let it just be said that this is a masterpiece of TV which sadly is no longer made in a world which hungers so much for the brash and banal.
The entire six series of 'Thriller' which was originally made and aired on terrestrial tv (or just 'tv' as it was then called!) in the early to mid 1970's.
In lots of ways having viewed every episode I would have to acknowledge the obviously commendable and quite prolific effort involved in writing these television 'plays' but also for me on several occasions it was not the acting, sets, or presentation that let many of the stories down but the writing itself. They did quite often have the feel of presenting a scenario, characters, dialogue and action in quite an elaborate and interesting way only for an anti-climatic last quarter to emerge when the strings were drawn together in often the most implausible manner imaginable with adherence to a strict criteria of 'at this point hero turns up and saves the lady' I can only think there must have been some exterior commercial pressure present for each episode to be structured in such a formulaic manner and this was clearly not the best possible resolution in a number of episodes.
I have to say that the whole token American did get on my nerves also. I was happy to ignore this as a small point but by the time you get to the 20th episode and there's yet another U.S citizen on her holidays, marrying an Englishman, working here etc you have to wonder just how much this body of work was compromised to satisfy the U.S distributors/audience. Even American viewers must have got a bit fed up with seeing yet another American in 'jolly old England' after a while I imagine.
Some stories whilst the idea was good the execution let it down. I do agree with some of the points the 1 star reviewer has given this compilation. Often red herrings were presented too clumsily. Showing the seedy little caretaker cutting pictures of the 'victim' out of magazines and generally acting weird with the directors big invisible sign around his neck saying 'this is the murderer' but whenever the 'killer' is depicted in action you only ever see his shoes. Well we know it's not the caretaker mate otherwise you'd just show him doing it. It's one of the other guys she knows who has hardly been in it up to now and who has done nothing remotely suspicious at all! Oh he's inviting her to his country retreat, there's 10 mins left, that'll be him then.
Having said all that there are some good stories well presented and some of the not as well presented episodes are still entertaining. The acting is of a good standard, a young Helen Mirren is outstanding in the episode she is in as is Diana Dors aa well as many other UK and U.S actors. The stories cover a wide variety of subjects from the supernatural to general villany, murder most horrid etc. There are also a lot of episodes for your money though as intimated, of varying quality.
It's fun viewing life and social attitudes in the 70's where every gal dreamed of becoming a secretary and the police could make statements such as 'I'll accept help from anyone. Even a woman' (said by Brian Blessed to a woman posing as a private detective) without fear of repproach or riddicule!!
I can understand giving a rating of anything between 1 and 4 stars for this but not 5 stars as there are too many weak episodes to justify this. Even some of the 5 star reviews on this site have listed or acknowledged many of the fundamental flaws with this boxset but still equated it as deserving full marks. It is a slight shame that the 1 star review by George W. Iscariot has been so heavily marked down as I feel it provides some much needed balance and to that end is a helpful review.
So, has this compilation got repeat value? Yes.
Is it likely to appeal to anyone under 30? Unlikely.
Would I recommend purchasing? Possibly, there are a lot of episodes. If you can vaguely remember it from the 70's and liked it and can get it for less than half price it may not be a bad buy.
Overall good in parts but not enough real quality to make it an essential purchase.
on 12 February 2007
This superlative boxed set - 15 DVDs - collects all the episodes of ITV's `Thriller' - Saturday night staple viewing from the mid-1970s. Each hour-long episode told a self-contained story in a variety of genres - usually murder, supernatural or crime.
I remember watching the original broadcasts as an adolescent. How do they stand up now? With titles such as `I'm the Girl He Wants to Kill', are they as corny as they sound?
So far I've watch half a dozen. Superlative.
Each episode is a masterclass in how to manipulate plot and insert twists every few minutes. Writers of ITV's recent brave but failed stabs at two-part modern thrillers would have benefitted from studying Brian Clemens' 30-year-old scripts to see just how it should be done. The sheer variety of stories and situations Clemens dreamt up is staggering, so even the weaker episodes have much to savour.
Tension is built without actors having to shout at each other, which seems to be de rigeur these days on soap - which is pretty well the only type of drama you get on TV now, apart from actors dressing up as politicians (and who wants to see that?).
There are corny elements, of course. There's usually an American character (so ATV could sell the series to the USA), and the woman alone in the house always does go down into the cellar where the killer/madman/ghost is lurking. But the indulgent delight of the thriller genre is just that - give us the thrills and we will do the screaming.
The episodes have dated in some respects; actors in those days spoke their lines in RP, but at least they have the advantage of intelligibility over their modern counterparts. Plus you get the cream of British actors from that time creating a host of memorable and bizarre characters, as well as some surprises. Diana Dors' career-best role was in Nurse Will Make it Better (creepily, a role that was originally destined for Mary Ure who died before filming) in an epsiode that surely was the inspiration for The Omen.
But chief credit goes to Brian Clemens, who wrote most of the episodes and storylined the rest. You'll hear Z-list pundits waffle endlessly on about Dennis Potter, who was little more (and probably less) than a self-indulgent, tedious fantasist. News for pseuds: Clemens is the presiding genius of British TV screenwriters.
If you think modern TV drama is rubbish (and getting worse), then Thriller will remind you of just how good TV drama was 30 years ago. Even ITV could produce great stuff then, when series such as South Riding were stock fare. I've got another 42 epsiodes to watch - so that's my viewing for the year sorted, then.
If, on the other hand, you think modern TV is cool, you'll hate Thriller - but then you probably have no taste anyway.
on 5 February 2012
After working my way through the complete 'Tales of The Unexpected', 'Hammer House of Horror', 'The Twilight Zone' (1960s series 1-5 and 1980's 1 and 2), 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents...', 'The Veil' et al. I decided to buy this on the sole basis of a recommendation here. Anthology TV, by its very nature, is schizophrenic - mixing a lot of blah with some good and, occasionally, some outstanding (for me, Tales of The Unexpected's darker outings, like 'The Flypaper', 'William & Mary', 'Neck' fit here nicely). So, with a box set this big, and with the quality of actors here, I thought I'd go for it.
Very glad I did! Consistently well-written, taut, watchable, absorbing and always well-paced,
'Thriller' never falls into becoming a 'The Scary Door' style self-parody (The Scary Door, if you didn't know, is a wickedly and hilariously accurate Twilight Zone spoof, re-visited in a number of 'Futurama' episodes).
The hour long episodes allow for suitable character and story development, and prevent reliance on the more 'high concept' (e.g. idea-first, narrative-second) approach that so many anthology series seem to depend on. Hit rate is high: of the 28 episodes I've watched so far (and joyously, I'm barely half way through the box-set) just one episode was skipped - the stupidly Sweeney-esque 'Who Killed Lamb?'
It's hard to summarise the 10 discs I've watched to date, each with three one-hour episodes, but I'd say that every genre one would expect an anthology TV series to cover, Thriller covers, and covers very well. Unusually, there are no sci-fi, dystopian/future shock, or outright horror episodes (at least, none that I've seen yet). Instead, we have the English traditions of quiet, understated and almost quaint folk horror ('A Place to Die' and 'Nurse will Make it Better' are not a million miles away from 'The Wicker Man', 'Wake Wood' or 'Blood On Satan's Claw'); others tap into more straightforward cops n' killers, mysterious murders/murder mysteries and Hitchcock-esque psychothrillers (say, 'Frenzy'). Regardless of genre, the acting quality never drops below consistently good to superb, and many names should be instantly familiar to Amicus/Hammer/Tales of The Unexpected fans - Robert Powell, Dennis Waterman, Niamh Cusack, Brian Blessed, Pamela Franklin, Hayley Mills, Diana Dors, Jenny Agutter, Nyree Dawn Porter, Helen Mirren, Denholm Elliott, Anthony Valentine.
I really can't recommend this strongly enough. The only thing I've been unable to work out is why (especially compared to the vastly inferior 'Tales of the Unexpected') 'Thriller' seems to have escaped so many viewers: don't let it escape you.
on 17 July 2009
Dang...DAAANNG!! Oooh, Play that spooky 70's arpeggio!
I am actually a British viewer of this series, but it seems from all the packaging problems mentioned by global viewers, that someone somewhere actually listened, and re-packaged the entire caboodle. It seems the repackaging fandango has lowered the price drastically, too - from the original £75 to just under £40. Hooray!
And what a bargain! I am a little too young to remember this series from when it first aired in the 1970's. I'm glad I didn't see it as a nipper, it would probably have scarred me for life!!!
The 18 certificate is perhaps a little extreme. For instance, there is no explicit gore. Often, you don't even see actual murders being committed - but boy, are they tense!
If you can imagine a more grown up version of 'Tales of the Unexpected' then you would be close to the feel of this series. Some episodes, like the first one, 'Ladykilers'- featuring a shockingly young and blue-eyed Robert Powell and a Canadian Linda Thorson, is a whodunnit of the 'what for' and 'why' variety.
Other episodes are not so straightforward. 'Possession' is a genuinely gripping mix of clairvoyancy and murder in a spooky old house, and not at all what it seems at first glance. 'A Good Place to Die' - concerns the trials of a doe eyed American doctor's wife who finds herself the subject of FAR too much interest in a bonkers English village. The subtext of rural ritual sacrifice, makes it one of the creepiest pieces of episodic drama I think I've ever seen. Brrrr...
Granted, most of the 43 episodes revolve the themes of manslaughter, supernatural skullduggery and murder - with the themes of murder, supernatural skullduggery and manslaughter. But that doesn't make them any the less suspenseful. The subject matter may not be that original, but each story manages to find a neat twist to keep you genuinely baffled right to the end.
The direction is tight, and the strength of writing in each individual story is not something we'll see the like of again until Jimmy McGovern decides to become an episodic mystery writer.
The acting is largely excellent. It's so much fun to spot both well-loved and soon-to-be stars of the 70's and 80's doing such sterling work on Telly. As stated, Jeremy Brett pops up looking seriously handsome in the episode 'One Deadly Driver'. He stars alongside Donna Mills (the lovely US actress who went on to appear in 'Play Misty For Me' and 'Knots Landing') and a stunning White Rolls Royce, as all three of them try to unravel a murder.
Thriller was Produced in 1973 for ATV and shown to both British and US audiences. The marvelloulsy claustrophobic plots were peppered with the finest British, American and Canadian small-screen stars of the day. Filmed both in studio and on Location around London, it all looks somehow other-wordly now at this 36 year remove, but that simply adds to the eerie charm.
In short, if you fancy a spending an hour or two of your life watching good actors in great stories, then this is the series for you. Coz you know, If it's close to midnight and something strange is knocking at the door....... then it must be Thriller night. Ow!