Don Fellows

Tales of the Unexpected
Series One, Nine episodes
24 March to 19 May 1979

By Woofer McWooferson

Tales_titles (1)

Below is a list of episodes from Series One, all of them Roald Dahl stories, along with a brief description and thoughts on each.

Title: Man from the South
Episode: 1
Air Date: 24 March 1979
Writer(s): Roald Dahl, Kevin Goldstein-Jackson
Director: Michael Touchner
Claws: 6
Observations: Tommy (Michael Ontkean), a brash and bold American on holiday in Jamaica, makes a risky wager with the suave, confident, and mysterious Carlos (Jose Ferer). Although the plot itself is both simple and nervewracking at the same time, the twist is spectacular and not quite what one would expect for the build up. Uneven but somehow satisfying.

Title: Mrs. Bixby and the Colonel’s Coat
Episode: 2
Air Date: 31 March 1979
Writer(s): Roald Dahl, Ronald Harwood
Director: Simon Langton
Claws: 2
Observations: Mrs Bixby (Julie Harris) is having an affair and schemes to explain to her husband the mink coat her lover gave her. Predictable and dull.

Title: William and Mary
Episode: 3
Air Date: 7 April 1979
Writer(s): Roald Dahl, Robin Chapman
Director: John Davies
Claws: 7
Observations: When a widow (Mary Pearl) learns her husband’s brain has been kept alive, she brings him home and changes up their routine. More fun than anticipated. Smoke ’em if you’ve got ’em!

Title: Lamb to the Slaughter
Episode: 4
Air Date: 14 April 1979
Writer(s): Roald Dahl, Robin Chapman
Director: John Davies
Claws: 8
Observations: Mary Marney (Susan George) comes home from the market to find her husband, Patrick Marney (Michael Byrne), dead in his chair. When detectives from the precinct where Marney worked come to investigate, Mary insists they stay for dinner. An old story but fun. Execution on the show was a bit dry. Best of Series One.

Lamb to the Slaughter

Title: The Landlady
Episode: 5
Air Date: 21 April 1979
Writer(s): Roald Dahl, Robin Chapman
Director: Herbert Wise
Claws: 7
Observations: Billy Weaver (Leonard Peston) takes a room in Bath from an eccentric landlady(Siobhán McKenna). Another that was better than anticipated. It’s a slow build, but a fun twist.

The Landlady

Title: Neck
Episode: 6
Air Date: 28 April 1979
Writer(s): Roald Dahl, Robin Chapman
Director: Christopher Miles
Claws: 8
Observations: Lady Turton (Joan Collins) is the promiscuous younger wife of a resentful art collector (Michael Aldridge). With his latest acquisition, however, Lord Turton finds a suitable role for his wife. Joan Collins plays her patented high class bitch and makes anyone not having an affair with her want to punch her in the ovaries. Nice ending.

Title: Edward the Conqueror
Episode: 7
Air Date: 5 May 1979
Writer(s): Roald Dahl, Ronald Harwood
Director: Rodney Bennett
Claws: 7
Observations: An older woman (Wendy Hiller) adopts a cat with a fondness for Franz Liszt. The husband (Joseph Cotten) is unimpressed. Cats know things.

Edward the Conquerer

Title: A Dip in the Pool
Episode: 8
Air Date: 12 May 1979
Writer(s): Roald Dahl, Ronald Harwood
Director: Michael Touchner
Claws: 6
Observations: William Botibol (Jack Weston), a man on a cruise ship, joins a betting pool for predicting how far the ship will progress in 24 hours and bets everything. Botibol is a sympathetic character and the story is fun, but the ending is a bit predictable.

Title: The Way Up to Heaven
Episode: 9
Air Date: 19 May 1979
Writer(s): Roald Dahl, Ronald Harwood
Director: Simon Langton
Claws: 7
Observations: Mrs Foster (Julie Harris) fears being late, and her husband (Roland Culver) enjoys making her late. However, his most recent attempt doesn’t quite go as planned. Another one that was better than anticipated.

Overall, it’s a pretty good series. Most of the episodes were entertaining if a bit predictable.

6.4/10 claws

SERIES Review: Tales of the Unexpected (Series One)

Tales of the Unexpected
Series One, Nine episodes
24 March to 19 May 1979

By Woofer McWooferson

Tales_titles (1)

Below is a list of episodes from Series One, all of them Roald Dahl stories, along with a brief description and thoughts on each.

Title: Man from the South
Episode: 1
Air Date: 24 March 1979
Writer(s): Roald Dahl, Kevin Goldstein-Jackson
Director: Michael Touchner
Claws: 6
Observations: Tommy (Michael Ontkean), a brash and bold American on holiday in Jamaica, makes a risky wager with the suave, confident, and mysterious Carlos (Jose Ferer). Although the plot itself is both simple and nervewracking at the same time, the twist is spectacular and not quite what one would expect for the build up. Uneven but somehow satisfying.

Title: Mrs. Bixby and the Colonel's Coat
Episode: 2
Air Date: 31 March 1979
Writer(s): Roald Dahl, Ronald Harwood
Director: Simon Langton
Claws: 2
Observations: Mrs Bixby (Julie Harris) is having an affair and schemes to explain to her husband the mink coat her lover gave her. Predictable and dull.

Title: William and Mary
Episode: 3
Air Date: 7 April 1979
Writer(s): Roald Dahl, Robin Chapman
Director: John Davies
Claws: 7
Observations: When a widow (Mary Pearl) learns her husband's brain has been kept alive, she brings him home and changes up their routine. More fun than anticipated. Smoke 'em if you've got 'em!

Title: Lamb to the Slaughter
Episode: 4
Air Date: 14 April 1979
Writer(s): Roald Dahl, Robin Chapman
Director: John Davies
Claws: 8
Observations: Mary Marney (Susan George) comes home from the market to find her husband, Patrick Marney (Michael Byrne), dead in his chair. When detectives from the precinct where Marney worked come to investigate, Mary insists they stay for dinner. An old story but fun. Execution on the show was a bit dry. Best of Series One.

Lamb to the Slaughter

Title: The Landlady
Episode: 5
Air Date: 21 April 1979
Writer(s): Roald Dahl, Robin Chapman
Director: Herbert Wise
Claws: 7
Observations: Billy Weaver (Leonard Peston) takes a room in Bath from an eccentric landlady(Siobhán McKenna). Another that was better than anticipated. It's a slow build, but a fun twist.

The Landlady

Title: Neck
Episode: 6
Air Date: 28 April 1979
Writer(s): Roald Dahl, Robin Chapman
Director: Christopher Miles
Claws: 8
Observations: Lady Turton (Joan Collins) is the promiscuous younger wife of a resentful art collector (Michael Aldridge). With his latest acquisition, however, Lord Turton finds a suitable role for his wife. Joan Collins plays her patented high class bitch and makes anyone not having an affair with her want to punch her in the ovaries. Nice ending.

Title: Edward the Conqueror
Episode: 7
Air Date: 5 May 1979
Writer(s): Roald Dahl, Ronald Harwood
Director: Rodney Bennett
Claws: 7
Observations: An older woman (Wendy Hiller) adopts a cat with a fondness for Franz Liszt. The husband (Joseph Cotten) is unimpressed. Cats know things.

Edward the Conquerer

Title: A Dip in the Pool
Episode: 8
Air Date: 12 May 1979
Writer(s): Roald Dahl, Ronald Harwood
Director: Michael Touchner
Claws: 6
Observations: William Botibol (Jack Weston), a man on a cruise ship, joins a betting pool for predicting how far the ship will progress in 24 hours and bets everything. Botibol is a sympathetic character and the story is fun, but the ending is a bit predictable.

Title: The Way Up to Heaven
Episode: 9
Air Date: 19 May 1979
Writer(s): Roald Dahl, Ronald Harwood
Director: Simon Langton
Claws: 7
Observations: Mrs Foster (Julie Harris) fears being late, and her husband (Roland Culver) enjoys making her late. However, his most recent attempt doesn't quite go as planned. Another one that was better than anticipated.

Overall, it's a pretty good series. Most of the episodes were entertaining if a bit predictable.

6.4/10 claws

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