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Thriller 

Anthology series of self-contained episodes with the genres ranging from murder mystery to suspense to psychological and supernatural horror.

Creator:

Brian Clemens
Reviews
Popularity
3,006 ( 388)

Episodes

Seasons


Years



6   5   4   3   2   1  
1976   1975   1974   1973  

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Donna Mills ...  Chrissie Morton / ... 3 episodes, 1973-1974
Gary Collins ...  Dave Adams / ... 3 episodes, 1974-1975
Michael Jayston ...  Mark Walker / ... 2 episodes, 1973-1974
Robert Powell ...  Paul Tanner / ... 2 episodes, 1973-1974
Pamela Franklin ...  Abby Stevens / ... 2 episodes, 1974-1975
Joanna Pettet ...  Jody Baxter / ... 2 episodes, 1974-1975
Bradford Dillman ...  Gary Stevens / ... 2 episodes, 1975
John Carson ...  Arthur Lewis / ... 2 episodes, 1973-1974
Ian Bannen ...  Doonan (3) / ... 2 episodes, 1975
T.P. McKenna ...  Frampton / ... 2 episodes, 1973-1976
Dinsdale Landen ...  Matthew Earp 2 episodes, 1973-1974
Michael Kitchen ...  George Newton / ... 2 episodes, 1974-1976
Edward Judd ...  Bill Lewis / ... 2 episodes, 1974-1975
Geoffrey Chater ...  Graham / ... 2 episodes, 1973-1975
Derek Smith Derek Smith ...  Baverstock / ... 2 episodes, 1973-1974
Derek Francis Derek Francis ...  Sam / ... 2 episodes, 1974-1975
Linda Liles Linda Liles ...  Ann Curry / ... 2 episodes, 1975
Susan Dury Susan Dury ...  Babs Bryant / ... 2 episodes, 1974-1975
John Moreno John Moreno ...  Filton / ... 2 episodes, 1973-1975
Stephen Greif ...  Ben Kroom / ... 2 episodes, 1974-1975
Suzanne Neve ...  Beryl Wittaker / ... 2 episodes, 1974-1975
John Flanagan John Flanagan ...  Michael Player / ... 2 episodes, 1975
Ian Redford ...  Barnstapple / ... 2 episodes, 1975-1976
Ronald Mayer Ronald Mayer ...  Dr. Lambert / ... 2 episodes, 1973-1974
Anthony Dawes Anthony Dawes ...  Car Salesman / ... 2 episodes, 1974-1975
Ray Marioni Ray Marioni ...  Croupier / ... 2 episodes, 1974-1975
Peter Hill Peter Hill ...  Filing Clerk / ... 2 episodes, 1975
Norman Mitchell ...  First Man in Pub / ... 2 episodes, 1974-1975
Reg Lye ...  Caretaker 2 episodes, 1973-1975
Annette Woollett Annette Woollett ...  Penny / ... 2 episodes, 1974-1975
James Greene ...  Constable Breck / ... 2 episodes, 1974-1975
Peter Mackriel Peter Mackriel ...  Mr. Taylor / ... 2 episodes, 1974-1975
Harold Bennett ...  2nd Old Man / ... 2 episodes, 1973-1976
Patrick Magee ...  Prof. Marcus Carnaby 2 episodes, 1974-1975
Ed Bishop ...  Carson / ... 2 episodes, 1975
Michael Stainton Michael Stainton ...  Brent / ... 2 episodes, 1973-1975
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Storyline

Anthology series of self-contained episodes with the genres ranging from murder mystery to suspense to psychological and supernatural horror.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 January 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tensión See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(43 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Referenced in Dennis Spooner: Wanna Write a Television Series? (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

True To Its Name
13 April 2003 | by all-briscoeSee all my reviews

A truly-exceptional series that has largely disappeared into obscurity. This is despite it achieving considerable critical and popular approval when broadcast in the 1970's. It is one of the few British series to have achieved success in the USA and it is not difficult to see why it achieved such popularity.

Unlike most series, "Thriller" was an anthology of separate stories, without recurring characters or situations. This allowed great flexibility in terms of style and story-writing but unfortunately made it more difficult to achieve a long-term identity.When broadcast in the USA and given a rare repeat in the UK in the 1980's it was billed as discrete movies, further eroding its identity.

The show had a very unusual length of just over an hour of action. This allowed more chance to develop stories and explore characters, to great effect. However it also created scheduling problems and has probably helped to kill the chance of further repeats. Unlike better-remembered but unquestionably inferior productions of the time, it was shot on video-tape. Once again artistically this was a great success. It made the action darker and more claustrophobic. Unfortunately this also made repeats less likely with filmed action usually seen as more likely to win wider viewer-approval.

Most credit must go to Brian Clemens. He created the series, wrote most episodes entirely and provided the outlines for all of them. His writing was first-class, and well-supported by guest writers such as Terence Feely. He produced highly intriguing, unsettling, often frightening stories. Astutely, violence was largely kept off-screen and the exact motives of characters were frequently well-hidden. Viewers were forced to use their imaginations, making for deeper and more satisfied viewing. Characterisations were very sophisticated but suitably enigmatic. Most stories featured extraordinary twists and some terrifying scenes.

Direction could still have set things back but was immensely strong. A small team of directors kept true to Clemens's intentions and added great atmosphere. Laurie Johnson's music was perfect - extremely chilling and unnerving - and cranked up the tension spendidly. However the producers also knew when to use silence to powerful effect. They were utterly aware that less is often more.

Acting was very fine. The British performers included many of the leading lights of the 1970's and beyond. Unusually almost every story featured an American actor. Although this was almost definitely to help American sales, it brought an extra dimension. The Americans were able to offer more stylish and classless displays than their more traditional and austere (but still exceptional) British counterparts.

There were inevitably some limitations. The depiction of women was very old-fashioned and often patronising, with far too many references to grown women as "girls". There was an over-emphasis upon portraying women as pretty but helpless, dependent on men to save them. However there were some strong, perceptive and assertive female characters. Generally the view of England is very traditional and deferential, focusing on affluent figures in ostensibly idyllic surroundings. Its world-view was more of the 1950's than the 1970's.

Story-development is a little formulaic. For example, many episodes end with men cradling distressed women. However it should be remembered that "Thriller" was intended for a popular audience and not for the avant-garde, and some predictability goes with the territory and is often part of the fun.

The American versions feature filmed titles and music added long after original production by different companies. The music is sometimes very effective but the titles are unnecessarily long, often amateurish or crass, and alien to the main episodes.

However these are minor points. "Thriller" triumphs irrespective of these reservations, and no production is perfect. Any sophisticated viewer lucky enough to see an episode should be hugely impressed with what is seen. One hopes that stories will appear on DVD or video or receive a repeat broadcast so everyone can see what they have been missing!


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