1 9 7 2 (UK)
1 x 50 minute episode
A Warning To The Curious was based on a ghost story of the same name by English author M.R. James, originally published in 1925, about a young man who, on a visit to East Anglia, stumbled across some hidden treasure including an Anglo-Saxon crown that, according to ancient legend, would protect Britain from invasion.
After he had dug up his find, he felt that he was being followed by an invisible and possibly malign presence.
The following day, after he failed to attend a rendezvous with two friends, they went looking for him on the nearby beach. A mist descended on them, and they found him lying on the shore. It was clear from the state of the corpse that he had met a violent end.
The men put the treasure back where it had been found, and vowed never to speak a word of what had happened to anyone. The murder remains unsolved.
This spine-chilling tale was written and directed by Lawrence Gordon Clark, whose subsequent credits included the movie Romance On The Orient Express (1985).
Clark’s adaptation updated the tale to the 1930s and dwelt on the privations of the Great Depression. It also turned the protagonist from the original ingénue into an older, ambivalent, and altogether more intimidating figure (Peter Vaughan).
It also brought in a character from another James story, The Stalls of Barchester, the scholar Dr Black (Clive Swift).
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