1 9 7 6 (UK)
1 x 30 minute episode
Adapted and directed by Robert Fuest for HTV West from a 1924 story by L P Hartley, The Island aired under the anthology title Classics Dark and Dangerous.
A soldier named Lt. Simmonds (John Hurt) travels (with difficulty, since the boatman from the mainland is uncooperative) to the island mansion of his married lover Mrs Santander (Jenny Runacre).
Upon arriving, the evasive butler (Graham Crowden) tells him that Mrs Santander will not see him immediately, and while waiting, he encounters an “electrician” (Charles Gray) – of whom the butler denies all knowledge – who eventually reveals his true identity: Mr Santander, the cuckolded husband of Mrs Santander.
Santander invites Simmonds to a drink, where he rants at him that his pretending to be an electrician was “a charade” and that his wife had many lovers, of whom Simmonds was “the least” and that she had only ever mentioned Simmonds once.
He then shows Simmonds that he hurt his finger and beckons him into another room to show him why. Revealing Mrs Santander’s lifeless body seated in a chair, Santander says he caught his finger while moving her dead body.
The butler comes in and appears shocked that Mrs Santander is dead. He says he will phone the police.
Simmonds, attempting to leave, notices that his revolver is missing a bullet and suspects that Santander used it to murder his wife while Simmonds bathed. As he searches the house for the murderous husband, the butler informs him that the police are on their way.
When he demands to know where Santander is, the butler replies, “Mr Santander, sir? Why, he’s in South America.”
A possible implication is that the two have conspired to frame Simmonds for the murder, although another implication may be that Simmonds has gone mad, killed Mrs Santander and imagined the presence of Mr Santander.
The story was later combined with two other episodes of Classics Dark and Dangerous – Mrs Amworth and The Mannikin – for theatrical release as Three Dangerous Ladies (1977).