123 of 129 people found the following review helpful
Nostalgic thrills from an all star cast,
This review is from: Thriller - The Complete Series (15 Disc Box Set) [DVD] (DVD)
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.