Thriller was a very well remembered anthology series of twist in the tale stories, mostly written by Avengers/Professionals alumni Brian Clemens. The title is pretty encompassing of all manner of stories, everything from straighforward suspense through to horror and the supernatural. The earlier stories, which tended to be more straightforward are the strongest whilst the later ones tended to be less subtle.
The episodes benefited from a strong title sequence, the infamous fisheye camera shot with a blood red background, there was also typically memorable theme music from Laurie Johnson. Johnson had also composed the theme tune to The Avengers and Thriller’s world actually owes a lot to that environment too, many of the episodes take part in in the kind of idyllic yet sinister English village that the Avengers loved.
A high calibre of UK actors made appearances in the series including the likes of Helen Mirren, Hayley Mills, Robert Powell, Linda Thorson, Jan Francis, John Le Mesurier, Angharad Rees, Dennis Waterman, Ingrid Pitt, Jenny Agutter, Jeremy Brett, Francesca Annis to name just a few, heavy US financing also meant there were plenty of US guest stars including Donna Mills, Bradford Dillman and Caroll Baker.
The above dates refer to the original UK broadcast dates (it being a show of UK origin) but it was usually broadcast first in the USA, dates for which are 18 January 1973 – 4 November 1975 . Incidentally a one off Yorkshire TV play Who Killed Lamb is often cited as being an episode of Thriller, it wasn’t but appeared directly at the end of season two’s run in the UK (and has been included in DVD releases of the series).
1. LADY KILLER
3. SOMEONE AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS
4. AN ECHO OF THERESA
5. THE COLOUR OF BLOOD
6. MURDER IN MIND
7. A PLACE TO DIE
8. FILE IT UNDER FEAR
9. THE EYES HAVE IT
10. SPELL OF EVIL
1. IF IT’S A MAN HANG UP
2. THE DOUBLE KILL
3. WON’T WRITE HOME MOM, I’M DEAD
4. THE CRAZY KILL
5. GOOD SALARY, PROSPECTS, FREE COFFIN
6. THE NEXT VOICE YOU SEE
7. MURDER MOTEL
2. THE NEXT VICTIM
3. NIGHTMARE FOR A NIGHTINGALE
4. DIAL A DEADLY NUMBER
5. KILL TWO BIRDS
6. A MIDSUMMER NIGHTMARE
7. DEATH IN DEEP WATER
WHO KILLED LAMB (This one off play was inadvertantly broadcast under the Thriller banner at the end of season two despite having nothing to do with the series, since then it has become a sort of unofficial entry in the series and so is included in our run down for the sake of completion).
UK / ITV – ATV / 43×75 minute episodes / Broadcast 14 April 1973 – 22 May 1976
Creator: Brian Clemens / Music: Laurie Johnson