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Shadows of Fear: White Walls and Olive Carpets (ITV 23 Feb 1971, with Ian Bannen)



White Walls and Olive Carpets has something of a proto episode of Thriller feel about it with it’s tale of menace set in an isolated country home.

When the story opens Lena is about to visit the country home where her lover Robert lived with his wife who has just been killed in a car accident. Lena very quickly starts to get very bad vibes about the house.

Lena and Robert had been involved in an intense affair before his wife died but had broken it off now although they are back together Lena thinks Robert’s feelings may have changed. Robert reveals that his wife killed herself after receiving a letter telling all about the affair.

When Robert reveals that he knows Lena sent the letter and that his wife wan’t actually killed in the accident (just very very badly injured) it’s a twist that turns the story on it’s head. The payoff in the final scene when it arrives is definitely on the morbid side but truly excellent.

The episode, apart from a brief scene at the start, is a two hander between Ian Bannen and Natasha Parry. Bannen does that whole slight air of menace thing so well of course.

classic quote
“You’re like a driver who runs someone down and then blames them for scratching the paint.”

production details
UK / ITV – Thames / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Tuesday 23 February 1971 at 9.00pm

Writer: Hugh Leonard / Production Design: Stan Woodward / Director: James Gatward

Series: Shadows of Fear Episode 8 (of 11)

Natasha Parry as Lena
Ian Bannen as Robert
Geoffrey Wright as Actor