Shadows of Fear: Come into my Parlour (ITV 9 Mar 1971, with Peter Barkworth)

Domestic terror is at the heart of most of the Shadows of Fear stories and Come Into My Parlour is no exception. When it begins Deanna Ward has just returned to her job as a door to door salesperson for a cosmetics company.

She is invited into the home of John Dolby, a former solicitors clerk now reduced to working in a betting shop. He claims it was the fine he got for travelling on the tube without a ticket that has ruined his life. He is rather familiar and at one stage even persuades Deanna to pose for a portrait photograph.

With Dolby having agreed to buy some cosmetics for his “fiancee” Deanna returns to his flat the following Saturday where events take a very strange turn.

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Peter Barkworth channeling John Christie.

Another creepy episode written by Roger Marshall who had the initial idea for the series in the first place. Like many of the other episodes in the series the cast is pretty small and here it’s mainly a two hander between Peter Barkworth and Beth Harris. With his collarless shirt, dodgy haircut and cardigan Barkworth’s John Dolby looks to be channelling Richard Attenborough as John Christie in 10 Rillington Place. Most likely deliberate too – Christie is even name checked (more than once) by Dolby. Also like many of the Shadow of Fear episodes there is a nice sting in the tale and it doesn’t end how you think it will.

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production details
UK / ITV – Thames / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Tuesday 9 March 1971 at 9.00pm

Writer: Roger Marshall / Production Design: Fred Pusey / Director: Kim Mills

Series: Shadows of Fear Episode 10 (of 11)

Beth Harris as Deanna Ward
Peter Barkworth as John Dolby
Gabrielle Blunt as Neighour
Peggy Bullock as Mrs B

Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.