1 9 7 6 (UK)
6 x 60 minute episodes
This series of six effective and concise horror/mystery stories commissioned by ATV from producer Nicholas Palmer and writer Nigel Kneale (creator of Quatermass) was transmitted on Saturday nights.
Laden with suspense, drama and a thick vein of black humour, each stand-alone play was based on anthropomorphic terrors.
This debut episode introduced misfit teenage checkout operator Noreen Beale (Pauline Quirke, pictured at right) who developed an unrequited crush on her supermarket manager, Colin (Geoffrey Bateman).
Meanwhile, the shop’s cuddly cartoon rabbit mascot (‘Briteway Billy’) has come alive and is causing havoc, with snowstorms of soap powder, geysers of ketchup, machine-gun bursts of cornflakes, winds of small change, a chariot race of shopping trolleys and washing up liquids all piddling away in a row.
During Barty’s Party
Suburban couple Roger (Anthony Bate) and Angie (Elizabeth Sellars) Truscott are held under siege in their secluded home (pictured at right) by a pack of frighteningly intelligent rats.
As the rats gets closer, tough guy Roger begins to crack up and his nervous wife takes control.
The episode is a feast of sound effects: gnawing, scuttering and squeaking, not to mention four neighbours and a courting couple in a car all being eaten alive.
Playboy nightclub owner, Dave (Martin Shaw,) buys a derelict dolphinarium, where he and Lucy (Pamela Moiseiwitsch) seem to be haunted by the ghost of Buddyboy, a clever dolphin who was the former star attraction until he was killed in mysterious circumstances a few years ago.
In 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?) sealed in the wall of their cottage.
Jo increasingly feels that she and her unborn child are in danger.
T P McKenna
What Big Eyes
RSPCA officer Bob Curry (Michael Kitchen, pictured at right) is horrified when he discovers pet shop owner Leo Raymount (Patrick Magee) has been conducting experiments on a wolf, searching for proof of lycanthropy.
Washed-up actor Clyde Boyd (Bernard Horsfall) has a nervous breakdown after the collapse of his marriage and believes that he really is the 9ft movie monster that he has been hired to play.