Beasts

1 9 7 6 (UK)
6 x 60 minute episodes

A series of six effective and concise horror/mystery stories commissioned by ATV from producer Nicholas Palmer and writer Nigel Kneale (creator of Quatermass) transmitted on Saturday nights.

Laden with suspense, drama and a thick vein of black humour, each stand-alone television play was a variation on the theme of civilised man in conflict with the primal, animal side of existence.

The debut episode, 'Special Offer', introduced misfit teenage checkout operator Noreen Beale (Pauline Quirke) who developed an unrequited crush on her supermarket manager. Meanwhile, the shop's cuddly cartoon rabbit mascot has come alive and is causing havoc, with stock mysteriously exploding from the shelves.

Suburban couple Roger (Anthony Bate) and Angie (Elizabeth Sellars) Truscott are held under siege in their secluded home by a pack of frighteningly intelligent rats in the second episode, 'During Barty's Party'.

'Buddyboy' had playboy nightclub owner, Dave (Martin Shaw,) buying a derelict dolphinarium, where he and a young woman seem to be haunted by the ghost of Buddy Boy, the former star attraction who was killed in mysterious circumstances a few years ago.

In 'Baby' - arguably the scariest and most disturbing of the six stories - vet Peter Gilkes (Simon MacCorkindale) and his pregnant wife, Jo (Jane Wymark), move to the countryside where they discover a strange mummified animal (a lamb? a pig? a monkey?) in the wall of their cottage. The wife increasingly feels that she and her unborn child are in danger.

'What Big Eyes' featured RSPCA officer Bob Curry (Michael Kitchen) who is horrified when he discovers pet shop owner Leo Raymount (Patrick Magee) has been conducting experiments on a wolf, searching for proof of lycanthropy.

In 'The Dummy', washed-up actor Clyde Boyd (Bernard Horsfall) has a nervous breakdown after the collapse of his marriage and believes that he really is the movie monster that he has been hired to play.

EPISODES

Special Offer | During Barty's Party | Buddyboy | Baby | What Big Eyes | The Dummy