1 9 7 9 – 1 9 8 8 (UK)
72 x 24 minute episodes
Anglia’s series of half-hour plays with a sting in the tale (and usually featuring well-known stars, many of them American) began in 1979 and was originally based on Roald Dahl stories and the tales had a special edge.
Teleplays were eventually added by such masters of crime and suspense as Ruth Rendell, Julian Symons and Stanley Ellin.
One of the most memorable episodes was titled Royal Jelly (pictured below) and revolved around a mother (Susan George) who is concerned that her newborn baby is not thriving. Her husband (Timothy West) is a beekeeper who is overly fond of his produce and has some novel ideas about how it could be put to use.
Smart performances by actors such as Derek Jacobi, John Gielgud, Rachel Kempson and Joan Collins gave added bite, but by the mid-80s the fund of good stories seemed to have run out and the series became ‘Tales of the Totally Predictable’ with a macabre ending just tacked on.
The sinister ‘Carousel’ theme music was by Ron Grainer.