1 9 7 2 (UK)
7 x 50 minute episodes
This BBC2 anthology series presenting seven chilling stories of the supernatural debuted on Saturday 4 November 1972 with ‘The Exorcism’ and thereafter screened on Sunday nights.
Only three episodes – ‘The Exorcism’, ‘Return Flight’ and ‘A Woman Sobbing’ – survive. All other episodes were wiped due to the BBC’s lack of an archiving policy at the time.
Four nouveau-riche middle-class friends – Edmund (Edward Petherbridge), Dan (Clive Swift), Rachel (Anna Cropper) and Margaret (Sylvia Kay) – gather for an enormous Christmas dinner at an isolated cottage.
Suddenly, there’s a power failure and the phone goes dead. Then their wine turns to blood and the turkey makes them violently ill.
Then things really get strange as the ghost of a poor woman who starved to death with her children in the cottage in the 17th Century, seeks retribution.
Whilst coming into land after a routine charter flight from Hamburg to Luton, recently-widowed pilot Captain Hamish Rolph (Peter Barkworth) suddenly takes evasive action to avoid a WWII Lancaster bomber. But neither his co-pilot nor air traffic control saw such a plane.
It seems to be a straightforward case of hallucination and early retirement for Rolph, but he is determined to prove otherwise and clear his reputation.
Written by Robert Holmes.
Captain Hamish Rolph
Newly married couple Lorna (Sarah Badel) and Geoffrey Hamilton (Neil Stacy) find a deal that is too good to pass up on an antique Victorian brass bedstead. They soon find, however, that it is exerting a strange influence over their lives.
Lorna begins suffering from a bad case of the optical shakes and bursts of electronic muzak – which is a sure sign of either incipient schizophrenia or the Unknown™.
Written by Hugh Whitemore.
Death Cancels All Debts
World-famous writer Powys Jubb (Sebastian Shaw) finds himself waking up at 4:20 every morning when his clock stops ticking. He soon becomes convinced that someday he will die at 4:20 AM.
Written by Peter Draper.
When Michael (John Castle), a journalist, decides to do a story on a serial killer named George Joseph Smith – whose crimes as the ‘Brides in the Bath’ murderer horrified and appalled the England of his time – he discovers that the past is living on in the present.
Written by Dorothy Alison.
Two in the Morning
Wisbech (Peter Jeffrey) is an underwriter in an insurance office who finds himself pursued by his double (quite literally in the case of a protracted pursuit down motorways)
Supporting roles came from Frederick Hall as the Manager, Donald Douglas as Hazelhurst and Marianne Stone as Mrs Frith – an apparently sympathetic lady who gave the impression of being less a sounding board than an extremely sinister listening post.
Written by Leo Lehman.
A Woman Sobbing
Shortly after Jane Pullar (Anna Massey) moves her family to a country house in Sussex so she and her advertising executive husband (Ronald Hines) can raise their two young children away from London, she begins hearing the sound of a sobbing woman coming from the attic at night which no one else can hear.
Is it a symptom of her depression or is her home haunted? In her attempts to discover the truth she becomes increasingly paranoid
Written by John Bowen.