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Tales of the Unexpected


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Just noticed that ITV3 are showing the first series of this, the ones where Roald Dahl was still introducing them. Missed the first two though. :unsure:

Still got Royal Jelly to come however. That one'szz greatzzzzzzz. :unsure:

EDIT: The next one that's on (1st July) is William & Mary, the one where the guy's brain is being kept alive after an accident. I remember that one from way back when.

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What time is it shown?

Next one is:

DRAMA: Tales of the Unexpected

Channel: ITV3 119

Date: Saturday 1st July 2006

Time: 00:05 to 00:35 (starting in 3 days)

Duration: 30 minutes.

William and Mary. Series 1, episode 3.

A tale with a twist. A man continues to dominate his wife even after his death by persuading a surgeon to perform a macabre experiment.

Starring: Roald Dahl, Frederick Farley, Marius Goring, Richard Hampton, Jimmy Mac, Jane Paton

(New Episode)

Excerpt taken from DigiGuide - the world's best TV guide available from http://www.getdigiguide.com/?p=1&r=8627

Copyright GipsyMedia Ltd.

Episode 4 is on straight afterwards. Then the next two the week after (although I think they start 35 minutes earlier).

They're the later, not as good, stories though.

These contain prime unexpectedness:

http://play.com/DVD/DVD/4-/848510/Tales_Of..._1/Product.html

http://play.com/DVD/DVD/4-/1026204/Tales_O..._2/Product.html

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I watched 2 the other day. The one with the finger chopping which was a bit rubbish but probably scared me as a kid and the one with Michael Horden being MASSIVELY sexist.

Have they shown "The krait" yet? My rose-tinted memories say that it was one of the better episodes.

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The intro freaked me out.

I with you on that, As a kid I could watch all sorts of mental shit on TV without the slightest problem, but the intro to Tales of the Unexpected used to creep me out something awful. Even just thinking of the music sends a shiver down the spine.

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I with you on that, As a kid I could watch all sorts of mental shit on TV without the slightest problem, but the intro to Tales of the Unexpected used to creep me out something awful. Even just thinking of the music sends a shiver down the spine.

My other half can easily be freaked out in seconds by someone humming the music or attempting the dance; the former is the easiest option. Fortunately I've spent years since upper school perfecting my interpretation of the theme, so I'm in a strong position in this regard. At school we developed the concept of an old people's home where all the creepy pensioners gathered to enjoy TotU with their shawls and hot buttered toast; it was the only pleasure they had. "Quick, it's starting! It's on!" They'd then attempt to emulate various acts and ideas from that week's episode. With hilarious results!

I think season 2 is the best, but to be honest they're all a bit played out for me nowadays - too many UK Gold repeats and all that, and their faithfulness to the original stories works against them in this respect, too. But if you haven't seen them, or haven't seen them in a while, they're bound to be a pleasure - especially if they open with the old goat Dahl sitting in his fireside armchair, leering to the camera like a man who's got a cellar full of tied-up kids to look forward to after the credits roll.

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Still got Royal Jelly to come however. That one'szz greatzzzzzzz.

I remember that one!

Me and Mrs Stilly were talking about these the other day, but she gave me a funny look when I said the dancer at the start reminded me of Princess Di...

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Apparently their is an episode with John Gielgud in it where part of it showed a glimpse of my old village (in Norfolk). Anyone seen him in one yet?

It's probably Neck, which is one of the Dahl short story adaptations and has Gielgud in it. It's a nice EC Comics-style story. Not sure of the season, but Google will be.

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Apparently their is an episode with John Gielgud in it where part of it showed a glimpse of my old village (in Norfolk). Anyone seen him in one yet?

It's on a week on saturday:

DRAMA: Tales of the Unexpected

Channel: ITV3 119

Date: Saturday 8th July 2006

Time: 00:00 to 00:30 (starting in 9 days)

Duration: 30 minutes.

Neck. Series 1, episode 6.

Tales with a twist. The rich and beautiful Lady Turton flaunts her lovers in front of her husband, but the disapproving butler sees the perfect chance for revenge.

Starring: Roald Dahl, Michael Aldridge, Peter Bowles, Joan Collins, John Gielgud, Paul Herzberg

Excerpt taken from DigiGuide - the world's best TV guide available from http://www.getdigiguide.com/?p=1&r=8627

Copyright GipsyMedia Ltd.

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  • 14 years later...

These are being shown on Sky Arts, which has unexpectedly appeared on Freeview channel 11.  Spooky.

 

They're a perfect combination of great fun and complete shit, with some genuinely good ideas combined with serious padding and twist endings that make you think the series should be renamed, "Tales of the Exactly What You Expected".

 

I dunno - maybe we've been spoiled as viewers since 1979, but most of these twists you either see coming a mile off, or are so stupid you wouldn't have a chance.

 

Example.  A man and his boss are locked in a room.  The secretary outside hears a gun being fired, and when the door is opened the boss has been shot.  But there is no gun.  Then, after 28 minutes of padding, the accused is allowed to leave.  There is no gun, so no evidence.  (That is to saym the dead man with a bullet in his head is apparently not evidence enough).  So how did the accused get away with it?

Spoiler

They mentioned very briefly in the episode that the accused had worked in a circus and it turns out he was someone who eats metal and he ate the gun.

 

Absolute horse shit.

 

Also, it seems amazing to me that one of the most disturbing bits of TV I've ever seen (The Flypaper) was shown the other day at 9am, and 12pm .  Surely no-one is watching this and that is why no-one complained.  Maybe it's the post 1970s revelations that sour it, but that is one fucked up 30 minutes of TV.

 

Depending on the episode, you'll laugh at how dated it is, or enjoy it unironically, or feel smug if you guessed the twist.  But it's compulsive viewing.

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Absolutely, some of them are bobbins, with ending that make you go "er, where's the twist?" or "is that it?". Mind you there are plenty of bangers:

 

Lamb To The Slaughter - this may be a little obvious for some but does enough redirection to make it twisty.

 

The Stinker - simple twist but effective.

 

Operation Safecrack - solid episode this which leads the viewer on brilliantly.

 

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Me and my girlfriend watch these all the time, most of them are on YouTube.

 

Royal Jelly is the one most people will pick as the tip of the top, and Neck / The Flypaper mentioned above are excellent too, but there are stacks of great ones, especially if you are prepared for it to be Tales of That’s Just What I Expected. As a rule of thumb the first three series are class, then they nosedive - but if you dig Seventies/Eighties Britain on telly, they’re all golden.

 

One of my favourites is The Man at the Top, it’s like watching a grimy episode of Shenmue set in Southport.

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

Playing catch up with these after series linking them on Sky Arts.  You have to sit through two or three average episodes in order to find the gold but when you do find it my god it's good.  There's a weird 1970s vibe that shows what a different world is was.  Most episodes involve a businessman with a mistress who wants to kill his wife. Everyone smokes, men always have a moustache, and women find any man that goes near them irresistable.  

 

Most episodes have  a 1 minute storyline that's stretched to breaking point to fill 30 minutes  but when you get a good idea it works well, like this:

 

So there's this guy and he owns a factory. Somebody is stealing from the warehouse and our man thinks he knows who it is. One of his employees keeps mysteriously disappearing for a couple of hours but always has a plausible excuse when he comes back. Surely he has to be the thief.

 

A private detective suggests spraying stock with an invisible glow in the dark paint.  Next time some stock goes missing they catch the guy by turning the lights off, and they can see his glowing hands. It's the guy they suspected!  The boss goes home, tells his wife that they found the thief, and he and his wife go to bed. He turns off the lights and finds glowing handprints all over his wife's tits. Brilliant stuff!

 

They should bring it back.  Do a reboot.  Not like, say, Inside Number 9 (where the episodes stand alone but have the same feel or tone) but a series of 30 minute unrelated episodes where you don't know what you're going to get.

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