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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 13 March 2006
Well worth the purchase, if you like thrillers, horror, suspense and a twist at the end this is well worth the purchase. Takes me back to a Sunday night at 10pm on ITV last thing I watched before going to bed and the weekend being over. On the episode the Landlady the episode has the old Anglia Knight logo and it will really take you back. Well packaged good information on the box.
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Disc 1 - Man from the South / Mrs. Bixby and the Colonel's Coat / William and Mary / Lamb to the Slaughter / The Landlady / Neck.
Disc 2 - Edward the Conqueror / A Dip in the Pool / The Way up to Heaven.

The main highlights for me were the last 3 stories of disc 1 and a Dip in the Pool from disc 2.
Things have changed a lot since 1979 and shock-endings are now expected in every story but a few of these televised tales of Roald Dahl still manage to raise a wry grin. They all have twists at the end, some like Mrs. Bixby and The Way up to Heaven knowingly telegraph the endings; the classic tale Lamb to the Slaughter is told in a series of flashbacks so we know what happened as the police search for the weapon.
A few tales like The Landlady and Neck still manage to build up the suspense quite well, the Landlady has a suitably creepy ending that is still quite effective.
Not all the tales hit the mark but Dahl's black humour is shown to good effect in most of these tales, I especially liked the dark ending of A Dip in the Pool.
Not the best collection any any means but it has some pretty good moments.
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on 10 March 2011
9 television plays in this first series; these series/compilations are always inevitably variable in quality but there are some solid episodes here which compensate for a couple of the less effective ones.

Man From The South - Often imitated and adapted this tale concerns a mysterious enigmatic stranger who strikes up a wager with a less financially well off younger man for a very unusual stake. Good story.

Mrs Bixby and the Colonel's Coat - Weak episode for me. A gentle romp concerning a woman in receipt of a mink coat from her ex-lover and how is she going to explain its presence? Flat and pointless.

William and Mary - Another good episode concerning a domineering husband and a exasperated wife. I wont say anymore other then it has a delightful resolution.

Lamb to the Slaughter - Not bad. A murdered husband, distraught wife, who why and how did he die?? Told in flashback form.

The Landlady - Nice episode. One B & B you wouldn't want to stay at. Wouldn't be out of place if situated in Royston Vasey.

Neck - Ok if unremarkable. Some mildly amusing parts but a bit unfulfilling. An over amourous Joan Collins gets herself into a fix.

Edward the Conqueror - A woman who believes a stray cat to be the reincarnation of Franz Liszt cue good music and a not bad tale. Nice cat as well.

A Dip in the Pool - Good. A desperate man who bets on the distance the liner he's on will travel over a set period of time. Desperate circumstances call for desperate measures.

The Way Up to Heaven - Ok. A woman driven to the edge by her fear of being late/missing appointments by those who revel in her anxieties.

The performances are of a high standard and I disagree that the production values were poor at all with good use of a variety of appropriate settings. Interestingly i saw these when they originally aired, a few decades ago now, and remembered very well all the episodes I rated this time around and not the ones which weren't so good which suggests either my tastes haven't changes at all or good is good and stands the test of time. Quality music score and opening credits and excellent intros by Roald Dahl as well who sets the scene and provides the odd interesting anecdote.
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on 23 September 2008
Having recently really enjoyed some repeats of these on ITV3 I was compelled to see if they were available on DVD to collect. The reason being that they are just as enjoyable time and time again, due to the short tales with clever twists at the end. I opted for the first series as I could relate to those episodes I enjoyed watching on ITV3, by recognising characters on the DVD cover. This might be a tip for anyone else deciding which series to buy.

This series features 9 tales, 4 of which I really like, 2 I think are OK and 3 I'm not keen on. As with most things different people will enjoy different episodes. However, if you enjoyed watching first time around in the early 1980s I'm sure you won't be disappointed. These episodes can be watched over and over again quite easily. I enjoyed this series so much I am about to consider buying another series, after reading other people's reviews.

This series has some familiar faces in, such as Emmerdale cast, Brian Blessed (the big guy with the beard from Flash Gordon), Joan Collins, Gail's psycho husband from Coronation Street, whom some of you will also remember as a teacher from Grange Hill, and Julie Harris, who I remember in the black and white version of the film "The Haunting".

Those episodes I recommend are "Mrs Bixby and the Colonel's Coat", The Landlady", "Lamb to the Slaughter" and "The way up to heaven". Enjoy watching as I do regularly.
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I brought this set plus series 2, 3 and 4 as I have found TV today to be excruciating.
Tales Of The Unexpected is a interesting series with great stories and plots.
I enjoy the introductions by Dahl and find him to be a very intelligent man.
This is a very well produced series and hope 2, 3 & 4 will also live up to series 1 has as I play these DVDs for the first time.

I highly recommend this set if you enjoy short stories with a good plot and a few twists.
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on 24 June 2008
This episode makes this DVD well worth buying. I was 29 when this came out and I still had chills months after this broadcast. The play shows very well, how loneliness can drive one insanely to an extreme, unspeakable deed. I saw a re-run of it on ITV3 a little while ago, expecting to have become chill-proofed. Nope! It is still very chilling!
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on 12 April 2006
I was about 13 when this series first came on the telly and I used to really enjoy it.

The plots are much simpler than I remember, but as Roald Dhal explains, there's not much scope to pad the plot out in a 30 minute show. The acting is generally good (I think acting as a skill has sadly gone downhill over time rather than improved), and there are some well known names in most episodes looking very young indeed.

The other surprise was how low-budget the original production was. The sets are really quite ropey, with the characteristic deadly silence (no ambient noise) of cheap productions of that era. The episodes are all shot on videotape with the associated lens-flare and streaking along with unrealistic lighting requirements of videotape in those days. Don't expect technical quality anywhere near the same league as The Professionals or The Sweeney (which are excellent), this is definitely a low budget regional telly series more akin to the quality of Crossroads.

DVD Quality: This is just a straight transfer from the original tapes, and although the picture quality is acceptable (see videotape comments above), the sound isn't that great.

Worth 15 quid? Not really. I got bored after two or three episodes, as once the nostagia has worn off, you realise it is just a cheap production from the 70's that should be left as a fond memory. Wait until it's on sale for £4.99 or buy the other DVD with 4 episodes for £7 if you need a nostalgia hit.
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on 25 July 2013
The perverse imagination of Roald Dahl is always a treat. This first series showcases his talents and should be a delight for anyone who likes a quirky story, well told. The sets and clothes are clearly dated but the stories aren't.
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on 19 January 2012
Brilliant series. Very quirky with some excellent performances from Julie Harris, Elaine Stritch, Siobhan McKenna and even Joan Collins (I know, she bloody awful usually, have you seen the film 'I don't want to be born?'). The best episode has got to be The Landlady with Siobhan McKenna, truly spine chilling.
It has all the corny charm of the 80s, not to mention the fashion.
All in all, I urge you to watch it, better yet, buy it!!
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on 9 September 2014
Just as creepy as first time round Thank You.
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