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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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The info on the case sums this series up pretty accurately. Produced by Thames TV, this is a collection of 11 plays, a suspense anthology that studies the psychological effects on an assortment of characters who find themselves in a variety of stressful situations, and the increasing cloud of fear that envelops them.
The pace of the stories allows an effective level of suspense to build up. A host of familiar faces give good performances, in stories written by Roger Marshall, (Public Eye) John Kershaw, Richard Harris, Jacques Gillies, Jeremy Paul, Hugh de'Allenger, Hugh Leonard and Roy Harley Lewis.

The series opens with Roger Marshall's "Did You Lock Up?", in which a couple (played by Michael Craig and Gwen Watford) return home to discover that they've been burgled and their home ransacked, the ensuing stress causes the husband to become increasingly obsessed with home security, the return of the same burglars eventually leads to a neat twist ending. As with most TV series I did find some of the stories to be better than others, but taken as a whole I found this to be an enjoyable series.

This complete series was originally broadcast from 1970-73, picture and sound quality are good, the only extra is an image gallery, no subtitles. All but one of the stories are in colour, and all have running times of around 50 minutes, except one (see episode details below). The 3 discs are stored in a single-size case, which features a synopsis of each episode on the inside, which I have replicated below.

*DID YOU LOCK UP? - While Peter and Moira Astle celebrate their wedding anniversary in a hotel, their house is burgled. Returning home, they are shocked to see the wanton damage the thieves have inflicted. Peter becomes obsessed with preventing his house being burgled a second time.
Starring Mark McManus, Michael Craig, Gwen Watford, Malcolm Kaye, Ray Smith and Charles Leno.

*SUGAR AND SPICE - Anne Brand is the anxious mother of Michael, who is missing. It is not the first time. But Victor, her husband, does not take the situation too seriously: their marriage is breaking up and so is his extra-marital affair. And Victor is about to be confronted by what he believes to be a far bigger problem: his daughter.
Starring Sheila Hancock, Ronald Hines, Suzanne Togni, Ivor Salter and Janet Hannington.

*AT OCCUPIER'S RISK - Judith is an unexpected guest at the quite country hotel run by Mr and Mrs Darban, a very strange couple. And a curiously threatening hitch-hiker adds up to a situation of unbearable suspense. It's less a case of wondering what will happen next, than hoping it doesn't happen at all.
Starring Anthony Bate, Annette Crosby, Gemma Jones, Tom Chadbon and John Swindells.

*THE DEATH WATCHER - Why do we shiver when we see ghosts? Perhaps they need heat to energise themselves - and draw that heat from living beings. Many scientists have wondered about life after death, but few have taken their experiments as far as murder to illustrate a point...
Starring John Neville, Michael Hawkins, Judy Parfitt, Victor Maddern, Daphne Oxenford, George Hagan and Ann Way.

*REPENT AT LEISURE - Attempting to recover from a broken heart, Isabel takes a cruise and has an encounter with a man who may or may not be after her money.
Starring George Sewell, Elizabeth Sellars, Peter Cellier and Alethea Charlton.

*RETURN OF FAVOURS - When a stranger intrudes on the privacy of Judith and Roger to give them tea, Judith is sure he's a killer. Roger discovers the truth about the intruder, but cannot reveal it.
Starring George Cole, Caroline Blakiston, Jennie Linden and Robin Ellis.

*THE LESSER OF TWO - A neighbour's disapproval: a brick through a window: cat-calls and jeers: a petition. Throughout the day, a world of menace closes in on Margaret as she tries to adjust to a situation that everyone else finds unacceptable. And she tends to think they're right - until it's too late.
Starring Margery Mason, Godfrey Quigley, Elizabeth Burger, Geoffrey Hughes, Dorothea Phillips and John Rolfe.

*WHITE WALLS AND OLIVE GREEN CARPETS - Lena has her ideal, in the shape of the perfect room in an idyllic country retreat. Robert, too, has an ideal: he believes if you can't live without someone, you must either live with them, or get rid of them - permanently.
Starring Ian Bannen, Natasha Parry and Geoffrey Wright.

*SOUR GRAPES - "A holiday in Spain at a luxury villa for two", read the brochure. But there had been no mention of the visitor who wanted to share the couple's food and accommodation, and who certainly wasn't there for sun and relaxation...
Starring Ray Smith, Daniel Massey, Isabel Dean and Simon Gough.

*COME INTO MY PARLOUR (BLACK AND WHITE EPISODE) - Deanna Ward goes back to her job as a customer representative, Her first customer is a bachelor who promises to buy something for his fiancee. When Deanna returns with the goods, however, she walks into a macabre and terrifying situation.
Starring Beth Harris, Gabrielle Blunt, Peter Barkworth and Peggy Bullock.

*THE PARTY'S OVER (27 minutes approx) - Something evil is happening in the Parkers' marriage. There is terror in the quite suburban house with its locked cellar: murder may not be far away. Or could it just all be in the imagination?
Starring Edward Fox, Suzanne Neve, Philip Brack, Susan Tebbs and Penelope Lee.

Another welcome release from Network.
55 Comments| 58 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 14 September 2016
Thrillers, of course they are, but a lot more.They unveil a whole spectrum of the human instinct. I have discovered the series - of which I have the three- disc collection- through Amazon uk and after buying the other memorable Thriller. This "fear" is, it seems to me, wider in purpose, educational for disclosing sides of the human soul and mind that not many films can offer and for the best opportunity it gives to people like me, a. genuine lover of British English, to learn while enjoying myself. Which of them is my favourite? All. After watching a single episode, I surf the internet to know about the leading actors and actresses. I think there are more dvds in this series I think I' buy more.Well, thanks a lot, England my England.
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on 30 March 2017
Its retro of course. They really build the drama and tension and its great to go back in time to the 70s.
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on 26 July 2016
If this had been filled with unknown or bad second rate actors, this collection would have been binned.
Nuff said..
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on 15 October 2014
Excellent series from the golden age of British TV. Younger viewers may well find the pace of these stories too slow compared to the crash-bang-wallop of so much modern TV, but older viewers like myself (I am 53) will delight in these atmospheric stories. No flashy special effects or computer graphics so beloved of current productions, just solid stories and good actors. Inevitably with series of this kind some stories are stronger than others, but I found all of them watchable and enjoyable.

To put things a bit more in context, it's not quite up there with the 'Thriller' series, which to me represents the peak in this kind of entertainment, but it's hugely enjoyable all the same.

If, like me, you are of a certain age, then I would say 'go ahead - you'll be in for a treat!'
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on 22 August 2016
First of all it would be easier to enjoy this DVD if they provided subtitles. As these are all good actors they don't speak out to the camera but speak as normal people would - which means a lot of muttering and whispering. I've only watched three of these plays but find it really heavy going - and after the fear promised in the brilliant opeinging sequence there's nothing too frightening here. No twists and turns - 'Black Mirror' might have had some very unpleasants scenes but at least it was hard to second-guess those plots. These I worked out halfway through. I'll finish it to the end for the quality of the acting but it won't be one I'll keep.
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on 9 October 2012
A great opening sequence and theme music set the atmosphere for this series of 11 tales, each one finely acted. Nearly all episodes are completely studio shot, giving them the feel of theatre productions, including good use of off-screen sound effects. They come across as character studies, with the protagonists thrown into strange and stressful scenarios, and while there is little action, the quality of the acting makes the stories compelling. No contrived twists, with some stories simply running their course. Very typical of early 1970's British television, and for me at least, a welcome relief from the hyper-active camera work and noisy sound effects seen in today's productions. If the story is solid, and the acting strong, very little else is needed.
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on 16 October 2011
Like most anthology shows this is a mix of good and bad, though in this case there are few bad episodes and at least two excellent ones. You get solid 70s drama, 11 separate stories, with some very good writing.

Some have compared it to Thriller but this is much better than Thriller, in terms of acting, writing, atmosphere, chills and depth. Perfect viewing for a rainy day or a dark, windy night!
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on 23 August 2014
I had high hopes for this series because I'm a fan of 60s/70s British TV.
Unfortunately the budget is too cheap for it to be anything more
than the cast staring intently at each other.Compared to Brian Clemens
Thriller or the Armchair Thriller series, this is nothing.The shabby sets, painfully
slow 'plots' and poor camerawork make for a depressing experience.
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on 7 July 2013
Brilliant plots with great actors love the series fully recommended. Ten out of ten for all episodes. A must view dvd
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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